Stephanie on Style
“It's an exciting time for me,” Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez smiles.
Indeed it is. Stephanie is the Vice President of Sales and Business Development of their family-run furniture business, Philux Inc. Together with her sister, Jessica Kienle-Maxwell, she recently opened a new showroom called Philux Home Shangri-La at the Fort, and will soon follow that retail space up with another one. She’s been featured in society and lifestyle magazines, recognizing her for her style and substance. She’s a wife and will soon be a mother of two. And in between meetings, business planning, and factory visits, she still manages to attend events and high society functions looking glamorous and effortlessly put together.
To say she is busy would be an understatement. During our interview and shoot in her Philux Home showroom, she excuses herself to quickly attend to a staff question, or to give her daughter, Andrea (who she endearingly calls Bucci Bear), a hug when she drops by. She’s being pulled in many different directions, but manages to do it with grace. And that may be one of her secrets to success: making use of her time wisely.
Steph is a pro at balancing a hectic life as a mother and as an entrepreneur
On her business advocacy: “We've always wanted to support local, and Philux—that is the heart and soul of the company. It stands for Philippine Luxury actually. It is made A-Z by Filipinos, you know, for Filipinos.”
On her definition of success: “Success is all about perspective, I guess. It's all about being fulfilled. It really depends on what is important to the person. Me, I'm a working mom, so I juggle many different things and success has a lot of facets. It’s not really necessarily just work, you know. It's being able to strike a good balance between family life and work life, trying to enjoy life as much as possible and enjoy the ride.”
On balancing life and work: “There's no secret! *laughs* I haven't mastered it yet, but for me it is just finding that place where you feel like you have done something and feel fulfilled at work and with your family. When I know I put in enough time [in my business] and I know that I have spent enough time with my nearest and dearest.”
Steph with daughter Andrea
On how she makes the tough decisions: “First and foremost a job is just a job, at the end of the day don't take it too personally. The pressure [can be] very intense and [you’ll feel] so conflicted, and you make mistakes along the way – so don’t be too sensitive.”
On her workwear style: “Quite practical and functional. I spend three times a week in the factory so I just need to be practical. [Though] I make sure I dress for the occasion because if I'm in the factory I'll wear flats and jeans, and then I'll just probably bring a pair of heels for my afternoon meetings.”
On looking your best: “I think that confidence is more important. Confidence wherein you can go out and not wear makeup and just [be okay with it] because you are good at what you do. I hope that more women [will] feel less pressure in having to get overly dressed up and overly perfect wherein they can spend time honing their skills at work, or doing other things.”
Steph is effortless in putting work, travel, and party outfits together
On what keeps her going: “I just talk to my daughter. Really, it is such a blessing to be able to come back from work and to have this cute little being that's yours. Having quality family time puts things in perspective, and you realize that your daily stresses are not important in the bigger scheme of things. And also traveling.”
This feature originally appeared in Metro Magazine November 2016 and was repurposed for Metro.Style
Photographs Dookie Ducay
Makeup Byron Velasquez for M.A.C
Hair Francis Guintu for Cynos Inside Hair Care
Shot on location at Philux Home Shangri-La