February 4, 2020
43
 MIN

How Tech Is Upending the Fashion Industry – with Trisha Bantigue

Show Notes

Today we have a true hustle story. Our Guest, Trisha Bantigue is the CEO and Co-founder of Queenly, a marketplace for buying and selling formal gowns & dresses. But what’s more inspiring is Trisha’s journey to get to this point. She immigrated from the Philippines to the US at a very young age, and had to face quite a few challenges in her personal life. In spite of this she put herself through school at Berkeley and paid for it through many side gigs. One such side gig was modeling, which burgeoned into her participating & winning some serious pageants, including Miss California Earth in 2016, and Miss Asian Global in 2017. Trisha did all this, while working at tech companies like Google, FB & Uber. It was here, while modeling, she noticed a gap in the market to serve the large demand for pageant gowns & dresses & that became Queenly, a one stop shop for formalwear for women!

High Fashion made Accessible to Everyone!

Transcript

Shikher Bhandary [00:00:01] Today, we have a really empowering episode and a true hussle story. Our guest, Tricia Benteke, is the CEO and co-founder of Queenly, a marketplace for buying and selling formal gowns and dresses. But what's more inspiring is Tricia's journey to get to this point. She immigrated from the Philippines to the US at a very young age and had to face quite a few challenges in her personal life. In spite of this, she put herself through school at Berkeley and paid for it through many side gigs. Once outside, gig was modeling, which burgeoned into her participating and winning some serious pageants, including Miss California Art in 2016 and Miss Asian Global in 2017. Tricia did all this while working at tech companies like Google, Facebook and Uber. It was here while modeling, she noticed a gap in the market to serve the large demand for pageant gowns and dresses, and that became queenly, a one stop shop for formalwear for women. 


Jed Tabernero [00:01:24] Hey, this is things have changed, 


Shikher Bhandary [00:01:27] your host, Jessica and Adrian are just trying to figure it out, including this intro, we meet Pioneer's breakdown topics and have a laugh. Welcome to the conversation. 


Jed Tabernero [00:01:49] So as I was mentioning earlier, Tricia, we did a lot of research just to try to learn, just to try to learn your your story, where you came from and how you built the things you have built today. And, of course, your experience. I think there has been a really unique story. You had moved here from the Philippines and you started in Vegas. You are doing pageantry while going to Berkeley. You were you were doing all these crazy things while still being in school. Right. And you're working the entire time for all of those periods. Right. And you're at this point where you've built something and you can leave the jobs that kind of like where I don't know, how do we say stepping stones. So you're at a really pivotal point, I think, in your career. That's that's from just our research. And we we are interested to hear what your narrative is, really your story from from from from you. How did how did you get to a point where you started queenly? 


Trisha Bantigue [00:02:59] Well, it's definitely a long journey, I guess, but to start off, I know you guys wanted to learn more about my background. So I was born in the Philippines and I was very little. My parents divorced, and then my dad went to go work in Japan and my mom went to go work in the US. So I was pretty much left at the hands of my grandparents. So I grew up there until about 10 years old. And that's when my mom petitioned me to go to the US, which is Las Vegas. And I started out there and I had a new life, new family. I had a stepdad and a new half brother. So a lot of it was just like really assimilating into the American culture and trying to be a quote unquote, American. So slowly but surely, I quickly found out that my mom had this really bad gambling addiction, which pretty much ruined my relationship with her, her relationship with my stepdad and everything. So her ability to work, her ability to be a mom and my sort of dream, like my American dream, started crumbling to pieces, to say the least. So that's why, you know, they separated. And when I was about 16 years old, I started working my first job as McDonald's and very proud of it. I worked there for three years, also took on a part time job at Best Buy. And that's when I started doing some side modeling gigs, just really extra hustle. And I even started selling different things in my high school that are electronic gadgets. I would buy wholesale from China, not just to make money. If you guys are familiar with the company, Ali Baba or Ali Express, of 


Jed Tabernero [00:04:57] course 


Trisha Bantigue [00:04:58] I knew about it like way back when, and that's why I sold stuff. So I had different hussle troublespot. 


Jed Tabernero [00:05:05] Everything is a hustle here, this story. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:05:07] Yeah, definitely. And, you know, a part of it is just like I wanted to help out my mom. I knew she was struggling and I did. But then the gambling addiction and all the debt pretty much consumed her to the point where I didn't even recognize her anymore. And I had to make this really tough decision to choose myself and choose my future, which is a very hard thing to do for someone that is Filipino. Right. It's really hard to turn your back on family, but it became really toxic. And so I emancipated myself from her. My last year in high school. I was pretty much like couch surfing with my friends. And so I was like considered homeless. Right. It's incredible. And yeah, I, I don't even know how I got to do that, but I had a lot of help from friends. And then when I got into Berkeley, I was just like, you know what, I'm doing this. I'm going out of state in there. I went to UC Berkeley. Little did I know that I was moving to the most expensive tuition at the moment. You know, when you go to college, you don't really think about real estate. Yeah, like, that's not your research. You research, like, I don't know, sororities or like programs 


Jed Tabernero [00:06:26] I was true to before. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:06:28] You don't think about that. And they don't really break it down to you in terms of tuition and all the extra fees. So when I got to Berkeley, literally my first week at Berkeley, all of the counselors that I talked to told me to drop out and go to community college. The reason being is that I was declared as an independent student, meaning no parental support, etc. And then I was also an out-of-state student, meaning I had double the fee of an in-state student. And so pretty much my financial aid, meaning scholarships and need based aid, was already maxed out. And I still had this big chunk left to pay because I had an out-of-state tuition fee and there was just no way that these counselors could help me because there were pretty much like three options. One is to take out a parent plus loan, which I couldn't I didn't have a parent to take out a private loan from a bank, which again, I couldn't because I did not establish credit yet. And three, pay for it out of pocket, which I didn't really have fifteen K out of pocket just to handle. So that was a really. Yeah. You know, like I'm sorry. Like I 


Jed Tabernero [00:07:45] was 


Trisha Bantigue [00:07:46] one of those, one of those people that just don't have anything it. But it was just like they had no options for me and their independent student network had no more money left to give because it was like already maxed out. So I had like a week to figure it out in being me and stubborn, I was like, no, I'm going to stay here. Like I worked my butt off in high school to get into a school like this. And I already moved out here. I figured, OK, I'm going to leave the dorms because it was ridiculously expensive for a triple. And I found this really, to say the least, sketch place somewhere else. The Bronté four hundred a month, fine. But it's just really far. It was an hour and a half commute to Berkeley. So I moved there. I took on a bunch of jobs and I was able to to stay for fall, but I couldn't stay for spring. So what I had to do was I had to take spring semester off for two years in order to work full time from January to August. And I used that money to pay for fall. And then 


Shikher Bhandary [00:08:56] last year. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:08:57] Yeah. So I just I had no social life because I had that and I was working and I really just had to like, suck it up because I'm like, I need this degree. I need this for myself. And it's going to change everything if I just stick to it. And I just made those sacrifices. And thankfully enough, I was actually able to graduate the same time as if I didn't take those two semesters off. So I graduated within six semesters and a summer. So I guess three years. 


Jed Tabernero [00:09:27] That's awesome. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:09:28] That's so inspiring. Yeah. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:09:30] Yes. And at this point, I was able to pay off all my student loans. 


Jed Tabernero [00:09:34] Big achievement for our. That's huge. And at your age like this is magnificent. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:09:42] Exactly. So that's my story. Just going to Berkeley, it was honestly the most depressing time ever. If not, I think this is something that most people don't really highlight or talk about is that college is depressing, especially nowadays. People don't talk about the toll that it has on students. And just on top of your classes, like people that can afford it, like how are you going to pay for it? 


Shikher Bhandary [00:10:07] So you are going from there. You know, we were reading this just incredible things about the fact that you worked at like three tech companies, three of the biggest Google, Facebook and Uber, and then somehow still found time to kill it on the pageant side of things and then found and found quickly. So we were trying to wrap our heads around the timeline and we were like, well, she's doing all these things at the same time. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:10:39] Well, my first dabble with tech is that in 2014, back when I had to the first time that I had to take a semester off and I was like, I got to work full time to save up for fall. I came across this job at this one very small tech startup called Infl Skout, and it recently got acquired. And it's now numerator. Yeah, 2014. I worked at InfoSec Out as a data analyst and I pretty much lucked out on that one because I butchered the interview. I don't know if you guys are familiar with how tech interviews go, but they're not. You're like, oh, tell me about your strengths and weaknesses. Like, yeah, they give you Riddle questions. And so CEO interviewed me and he's just like, how many ping pong balls can you fit in a seven, four, seven Boeing aircraft with those 


Shikher Bhandary [00:11:36] questions, by the way. So I 


Trisha Bantigue [00:11:38] was there. I was I was just really thrown off, but I butchered it. But towards the end, I got desperate and I pretty much begged for the job. I said, I'll be your most hardworking employee ever if you give me a chance. And he just said, OK, we'll start on Monday. Yeah. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:11:56] So think, wow. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:11:59] Yeah, that was my first experience in tech. And honestly, without that experience, I probably would be, I don't know, working with the government or at the UN right now, because I was I was a poli sci major at Berkeley and that was my goal. But then this was my pivot. And this is actually how I met my current CTO and co-founder. We met at that company and then afterwards went back to school. And then I had some part time jobs. And then when I took another semester off again in twenty fifteen, I got the job at Google and it was through a pageant friend. I competed with her at Miss National Asia twenty fourteen and she's working at Google and she said, hey, do you need a referral. And I said, yeah of course. And then yeah luckily I was able to get that job at Google. It's really fun. I didn't even feel like a job because Google just gives you so many distractions. I don't know how everyone works there. And then I continued through Berkeley and I at the same time I competed in Miss Philippines, USA. Twenty fifteen. I was Miss California. Twenty sixteen. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:13:20] Jesus. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:13:21] Yeah, I did. And then I competed in a couple of Miss America locals and my last one was Miss Asian Global Twenty seventeen. But you know, I got a lot of scholarships and cash prizes from. From Pageonce, so that was a lot of the motivation to do it helped me a lot. It also gave me so much as a person, as a woman, as a working professional, because I honestly don't think I'd be the same person I am today if I didn't compete in those pageants. Back in twenty thirteen, when I competed in my very first one, I was extremely shy and I didn't really have a lot of confidence in myself or I just didn't see myself as someone that is capable, that is elegant or et cetera, et cetera. But my first experience there, I just met some of the most intelligent, talented and compassionate women that I've ever met in my lifetime. And it broke every stereotype that I had about pageants that I just loved it so much. I kept going back for more. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:14:29] So how do you get into pageants? Like, was it just like one day you looked at yourself in the mirror and was like, you know, I think I 


Trisha Bantigue [00:14:38] will definitely not. I think a lot of people get into pageants in a completely opposite manner. For me, it was just extremely random. I literally just got done walking out of my high school graduation ceremony, got in the car, get this random phone call saying hi, did you get her email? Where? Miss Global Organization. You're being sponsored. So are you going to go? And I was like, so confused. And I was like, what? So I thought it was a scam because one I don't think I applied to. I've never done a pageant before. Why am I being sponsored? And I guess they got my contact from all of the modeling gigs that I did in Vegas. Oh, yeah. And I checked out the website. It looked pretty legit. The sketch. Yeah. But at the same time, I was like, I just graduated high school and I don't have anything to do in the summer before Berkeley. It's a free vacation. So I was like, OK, I'll go. I just went because I wanted free food and a free hotel for a week in L.A. So I didn't really go to be like, oh, I can do this, I'm going to win, so I'm going to do it. I actually had no expectations whatsoever which made to experience ten times better. Yeah, yeah. I first that and I, I thought in terms of competition aspect, I didn't win anything, I just ate a lot of insects. But I just had so much fun and a lot of the girls I met there, I'm still friends with. And you know, I met girls from Korea, Australia, Egypt, UK and these girls I would have never met any other way other than the pageant. 


Jed Tabernero [00:16:29] So it's a it's a means of networking as well for you. I feel like. Oh, yes. These pageants, it sounds like you're your narrative is littered with just meeting or grabbing opportunities for people that you've met in pageants. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:16:43] Yeah, one of my mottos in life is to meet as many people as I can because that's great. You know, everyone comes from different stories, walks of life, and you just never know who's going to contribute a lot to your to your life. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:16:57] Is it stressful? Just imagining. Yeah, because you're like competing with I mean, all this. But is it like how nerve racking is it to walk on stage and then I bet like I don't know. So I grew up in a family where we were like so into competitions and I have two sisters and they were like, how she going to answer that question? How is she going to answer this question? Are you 


Trisha Bantigue [00:17:22] seeing. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:17:23] Yeah. So were there some difficult questions that you got? Was it stressful, the whole thing? 


Trisha Bantigue [00:17:30] Yes. I mean, I think, you know, what most people don't realize is that pageants are a sport on its own, like it's a competition. Right. And it's pretty much a year round thing. And not only these girls are not only pageant girls, like every single one of them have an occupation. They're going to school. They have responsibilities. So this is on top of everything. Right. And pageants are one of the very few competitions that actually assess you overall, like when you're, I don't know, trying to do a track marathon for the Olympics or even gymnastics like you focus on one thing. Right. But pageants now, OK, you got to focus on let's say you're training for your fitness because swimsuit is pretty much like health and fitness. Trying to promote that and training is really hard for most. That's my hardest thing. And then now you've got to prepare. You got to work with a designer just like. Got to prepare your evening gown, which is an art on its own, and then there's also obviously the Q&A and the interview. Those are two separate things, like there's a closed door interview or you get grilled on life. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:18:49] You know that. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:18:50] They're like interviewing for a job. You're interviewing for a job. Right. So that's that. And then you get scored on it. And Q&A is a different thing where you just really don't know what you're going to ask, going to get asked. And you're on stage for, you know, in front of hundreds, thousands of people. And you have twenty seconds to convey your opinion in answering this question. So there's just a lot of things that you have 


Shikher Bhandary [00:19:17] to do to come back to the interview and say, hey, I know how many ping pong balls fitted on 


Jed Tabernero [00:19:23] the 747. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:19:25] I actually don't know. I never cared to learn about it. But it is just such a traumatic question that I've ever gotten. 


Jed Tabernero [00:19:35] Pageants are huge in the Philippines. Dude, I don't know if you've seen this yet. Miss Philippines is a is almost not supposed to be in Miss Universe. I feel like we always to win, like every year there's like some kind of we're always on the top five or whatever, right. Yeah. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:19:51] Just like the past ten years. Yeah. 


Jed Tabernero [00:19:54] OK, past ten years. But yeah, we've had a lot of like winners from there. So people are really I don't know, I feel like there's a lot of there's a lot of industry for that. The pageant system you would talk about just kind of how would the inception of Quealy was and queenly. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:20:11] Let's see. So the queenly journey for me pretty much started maybe back in twenty end of twenty sixteen. And that's when I was still at Berkeley. And the inception of the idea came from my struggle, my personal struggle and competing in pageants, which was I don't have money and pageants. I guess most of it throughout history it has been for the privileged because it's a competition that you would need to pay a lot of fees for. You've got to pay for your gown and et cetera, et cetera. If you work, you got to take two weeks off of work and not a lot of people can do that. So this is something that I never thought I'd be able to do because I didn't come from a background of privilege. But it's been such a positive experience for me that I didn't want it to just be kept to the privileged. I wanted to give girls access to being able to compete. I never had much money to pay for a fancy, elegant evening gown. I've always my first one was my prom dress that I got from Ali Express. There's like seventy dollars. And then after that, like, I just kept borrowing dresses until I was I came to the point where I had connections, I had a reputation and people wanted to design for me now for free, which was great because free is always great. And so I was like, a lot of girls must be in the same situation as me, that they don't have two thousand dollars to shell out for a gallon that they're going to wear once. And I thought about first I thought about making a Facebook group to swap dresses. Right. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:22:01] Like a community, I guess. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:22:02] Yeah, I build a community because I'm very big on community. And then I found out there's already hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated for a pageant gown resale or just gown resale. And they had hundreds of thousands of members actively posting each day. It's a huge community that I never knew existed. And this amazed me. I would see girls just posting like I am looking for this gown size six colors green. My budget is five hundred dollars max. And then girls would then comment on this post saying, hey, here's my dress, I'm offering it for three hundred and there'd be hundreds of comments. So I saw this activity and I'm just like, wow, this is crazy. Like people are looking for a gown every single day. People look for their prom dress five months before prom. So I was like, OK, this is already existing. But I started noticing there's so many scams that happen. You know, a lot of these girls are obviously young or some of them live in the Midwest or South where they're not very tech savvy. So they're not really familiar with safe and secure payment vendors. So they would get scammed, lose their money, lose their dress. And I just thought this is extremely inefficient and just not safe. And it's just it just goes against everything that I want to establish for the community. And then I wanted to build an app for it. And I didn't know how, because I am not an engineer and I started inquiring with my friend, which is now my co-founder, because she is a full stack software engineer at Pinterest at that time. So I went to her for help, for advice and just said, how should I build this? Should I hire, like outsource it? Should I look for a female engineer, et cetera, et cetera? And in the beginning, she was not convinced. She was like, I don't think you needed an app for this. But then at the same time, she was teaching you you have my CTO for practicality. That's pretty much. And then she was going through some stuff in life. And I my suggestion to her was, you should join a pageant. Yeah, I know. And then she was like, Cheshire. No, that is you. That is not me. I'm an engineer. I don't do pageants. And I just said, trust me, it'll help you. So I pretty much asked are like 10 times. And so she said yes. And I was able to successfully convince her to do her very first pageant. And then she won a title. Yeah. And then right after after she saw the industry herself and experienced it firsthand, she said, OK, I'm down to build queenly with you. And that was end of twenty eighteen. Yeah. And we both just started working on it while we had our full time jobs at Uber and Pinterest and we tried launching it Christmas week, which is not the best time to launch an app. But we were working like Christmas, Christmas Day. Christmas Eve. Yeah, because APSA just has all these weird restrictions. So you have to like submit multiple times in early January. That's when we were able to launch Queenland App Store, but it was still a private beta at that time to closed off users. So, yeah, that's that's how we launched Queenly. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:25:37] So yeah, just listening to it seems like the industry was just rife with all this demand, this pent up demand for authentic but also good looking dresses and gowns. And that's what Queenly is aiming to. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:25:53] So, yes, we just want to aim for one. Is that access because we have a peer to peer model instead of like, for example, rent the runway where they get their inventory from designers and suppliers. Right. They produce brand new inventory. Interesting for us. We pretty much tap into women's closets everywhere in the US and all of their gowns that they previously worn maybe once or twice. And they paid a lot of money for now, just sitting in the closet collecting dust like, hey, did you know you can make money off of them and put it on our platform? Just give access to that kind of selection inventory and obviously for a fraction of the price. Right. 


Jed Tabernero [00:26:40] So there's also a sustainability piece to this then, because. Yeah, so that's huge about it. I guess when when you're reusing dresses that have been used in previous pageants. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:26:51] Yeah. I mean, there's so much fashion waste going on nowadays, especially with the rise of fast fashion. But these items really, you know, girls pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars and they wear it once. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:27:05] Yeah. Some of the price points. Yeah. Well, these dresses, some of them I like to grab three grand, 


Jed Tabernero [00:27:12] but those are cheap if you say. Yeah, yeah. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:27:17] Because everything on our app right now is like that's the resale price value of it. But yeah, craziest dresses I think were around 15, 20 K and that's like a car pretty much. 


Jed Tabernero [00:27:32] Yeah. That's, that's, that's a pretty old car. So how do you, how do you authenticate the quality of the products that are being put on queenly like the dresses and everything. And is it only dresses by the way. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:27:46] Yes. At the moment we're focusing on formal where we also have some jumpsuits like the lamb jumpsuits that kind of fit into formal wear. But yes, we want to focus on this vertical at the moment because it's something that has been largely ignored. I mean, there are marketplaces and platforms that contain formalwear, but they don't focus on it. And for us to authenticate it, because you're paying so much like you're paying seven hundred dollars off of one transaction online, we want to make sure that we provide a white glove experience for it and you get your money's worth. And so for us, anything that is over. Two hundred and fifty. Goes to show us our fulfillment center and then we pretty much authenticate by making sure I know it's some really sounds really dumb, but make sure it's the right size and color 


Shikher Bhandary [00:28:47] and then it's going like, whoa, they have a fulfillments. This is 


Trisha Bantigue [00:28:53] big. Yeah. I mean, it's just because, like, you know, a lot of people transacting online, it's it's hard to get one hundred percent accuracy. I would say it's hard. So we we're like the middleman for it to make sure it's it looks like the picture, the condition that it was stated like brand new, very good. Or what we want to make sure that there are no tears or stains that were not disclosed, etc. It's the right designer brand. There are no beads missing, et cetera, et cetera. And then we provide minor dry cleaning and then package it and then ship it to the buyer. So, yeah, that's that's how we authenticate it. 


Jed Tabernero [00:29:37] Is that an extra service that the sellers have the option to pay for, that they can go have a dry cleaned and sent before? Or is that for the buyer? 


Trisha Bantigue [00:29:50] No. So right now, how our business model works is that we are currently taking 18 percent commission fee off of each transaction. And I know it's a very specific number. It's because probably smart. Yeah, no, Mark, another marketplace platforms charge 20 percent of like, hey, why don't we be competitive and charge lower. There we go. Yeah, yeah. That pretty much for us covers the math and education, dry-cleaning packaging and then obviously running the platform and. Yeah. So that's what we currently charge them. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:30:34] Nice. Yeah. I'm big into sneaker reselling so I'm. Oh yeah. I'm always on like stocks go to trying to find, you know, a good deal on the shoes that someone else has worn before, you know. So I can just imagine the demand for just having these gowns and dresses. You know, it seems like a very viable project. Yeah. 


Jed Tabernero [00:30:59] Speaking about demand, actually, the people who are on your platform right now, the current users, are they all pageant goers or do you see adoption from you've mentioned kids who are trying to get their dresses for prom. So is there a kind of data on, like the users that you have right now? 


Trisha Bantigue [00:31:17] So, I mean, because my roots come from the pageant industry and my connections initially were pageant girls. There's definitely a large demographic that, ah, pageant girls on our platform because that's where we started. And at the current state of queenly, we've actually surpassed that where there are girls, just regular teenage girls looking for a prom dress or selling their homecoming dress in Wisconsin or Tennessee. And for these kinds of dresses, whether it's a pageant dress, prom, dress, quinceañera, et cetera, it translates to adjacent markets. So what you wear for a pageant, you can wear prom like it's not really a I guess like strict in that sense. So this this industry does this whole vertical. It can be for any special occasion. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:32:13] So, yeah, maybe like drawing comparisons to from pageantry to, I guess, prom dresses to party dresses. Are you thinking along those lines where you could actually cover formal and these these gowns and dresses for multiple occasions? 


Trisha Bantigue [00:32:31] Yeah. So what we're aiming to do is to be the go to dedicated marketplace for all of formal wear and formal wear. Pretty much just means in simple terms, anything that's not everyday wear. So anything that you would wear for any special occasion, whether that's a cotillion, a military ball pageant or Filipino's, the 18th dbu cotillion. So yeah, we're just focusing on high priced items with very low usage and pretty much promoting sustainability. With that, 


Shikher Bhandary [00:33:08] you mentioned a Filipino ball. I have no idea what that is. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:33:12] So that's close. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:33:12] I know it's what to know about this. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:33:16] This happens a lot with a lot of different cultures. It's pretty much a coming of age octillion fancy event for a daughter. You know, the quinceañera is for 15 year old. Right, Hispanic cultures. There's a sweet 16, and for Filipino's, it's the 18th birthday, pretty much saying, hey, my daughter is now an adult and she is going to be successful in life. And this is our party to show that she's an adult. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:33:48] Yeah, yeah. I wish I had that 16 or 18 celebration. Yeah. But I would never give you that. 


Jed Tabernero [00:33:56] That's OK. I think I think dudes of have had enough. Yeah. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:34:01] Yeah. I mean and to be honest, the whole point of it is actually archaic because the whole point of it is pretty much, hey, my daughter is an adult and she's ready to be married off. Right. This is the kind of event that for centuries people kind of hold to sell their daughters off. So it's it's cultural roots are not that great. 


Jed Tabernero [00:34:23] Yeah, yeah. But last night I had met somebody, Mexican girl who was telling me about continuities years, and she was telling me that she didn't like the idea of a continuo because at 15, usually, like her grandparents were, her grandmother was presented in the kinsinger and got married off to a guy the next day and they spent 95 years together. But, you know, it's still she didn't like the roots of the whole thing like you were mentioning earlier. But, yeah, that's super interesting. I just learned that last night. So that's there is one thing that we found and definitely wanted to ask about. What is your involvement for Miss Universe, Philippines, 20 twenty. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:35:08] So I actually a lot of my pageant dreams have always been to compete in the Philippines. And, you know, just because it's my home country and I want to see how it's like I wanted to experience it. I've only competed in the US and because this year it was under new management and in the application process, they didn't mention residency, they only mentioned citizenship. So right now I have a USA and Philippines dual citizenship. So I thought, oh, this may be my year to compete. And I did apply. But unfortunately, they have informed me that they actually still need a six month residency in the. Yeah. So that's why it's a really strict requirement. And as someone obviously running a company I can't take off next month in the Philippines. 


Jed Tabernero [00:36:03] Yeah, well, they messed up. Yeah. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:36:05] Because it's going to blow up and they're going to be like, damn, that could have been Miss Universe, Philippines 2012. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:36:11] I know, I know. I'm very heartbroken about it. But I'm trying to at least try to find the silver lining, you know, like a meaning for it. So I think it's for me to actually 100 percent focus on queenly here. Yeah. And really go like full throttle on it. 


Jed Tabernero [00:36:29] Lasting, actually, beyond all this amazing stuff that you're already doing. So you're competing in various pageants, you're running Quealy, you're doing good for the community. What is what is the end goal? What does it look like ten, twenty years from now? 


Trisha Bantigue [00:36:49] So I this question, I have a lot of calls for my own good, I don't have enough hands frequently at my end goal is to. It means a lot to me and it originates from my own personal experience. And my Uncle Gold queenly is to just make sure that no any other girl in the US or hopefully around the world will feel like they are not able to do something or accomplish something because they don't have the means to. And women go through a lot of special occasions in her lifetime that make her feel special or like a Cinderella moment. And a lot of girls don't come from affluent backgrounds and cannot afford the gown of her dreams and cannot therefore can't go to prom or can't do a pageant or et cetera. And so one day I want queenly to be so to be the norm for dresses that in the future people won't think about. You have to spend thousands of dollars to look pretty or to attend an event that actually like there are millions of dresses that are being unused that you can afford and you can still look like Cinderella or like you can still be that empowered woman at that event that you've been wanting to go to. And obviously, consequently, you know, save the environment, you know, reduce our carbon footprint within the fashion industry. That's my thing for queenly. And then because I'm very well connected with my heritage, my Filipino heritage and helping out the Philippines, my 20 year goal has always been helping the Philippines like revive its economy and alleviate poverty, improve infrastructure through the means of the tech industry. I mean, it's starting out now. I don't know how much you guys know about the startup scene there, but it's thriving. And we have incredible talented engineering talent in the Philippines that are not being recognized, I guess. And one day I hope to make enough of an impact or reputation to be able to bring tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Uber, etc., to have a headquarters in the Philippines and to provide job opportunities. Because I, I truly believe that the Philippines right now is at its current state because we just don't have enough job opportunities. We don't have enough to run the economy. And we obviously have a lot of corruption going on. And but a lot of it is tied to lack of opportunities in my life to provide opportunities. 


Jed Tabernero [00:39:46] I mean, I'm teary eyed, but let's just laugh this off, guys, 


Shikher Bhandary [00:39:54] you mentioned how you bombed your first interview at the first company and then you said you still got it because you pitched it. And we can totally see how you give such an empowering talk to that, you know, former boss. And he was like, this opportunity cannot be passed. So we are inspired. Just sitting here and talking to you, cited 


Jed Tabernero [00:40:19] for the progress of queenly. I'm excited for your future in Miss Universe Philippines. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:40:28] But they changed your mind. 


Jed Tabernero [00:40:31] Fingers crossed. Yeah, but I really am genuinely looking forward to seeing the progress of not just Coeli, but the things that that you want to do in life because they're so frickin awesome. The only guest that has made us cry so far, 


Trisha Bantigue [00:40:48] I don't know know. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:40:50] It's a it's a good thing. 


Jed Tabernero [00:40:52] Yeah. We needed this. We definitely would like to find out if there's a place where our viewers, our listeners can can reach you if you'd like to have a shout out. 


Trisha Bantigue [00:41:04] No pressure. I don't know. For me, I definitely have cleanly at the forefront of my priorities right now and would love any kind of support with spreading the word for it. We're launching Android soon, so hopefully we can have people use it. Currently, iOS and Web app Instagram for Queenly is at queenly app. So queenly app because we up and my email is Shusha. Try a at queenly app dutko that is that seeto. But yeah, those are pretty much my two main things, like where I'm constantly on there. You responsive through email. I never miss any. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:41:54] I'm always getting to inbox zero. 


Jed Tabernero [00:41:57] That's good. That's yeah. I have the opposite problem. I've had two thousand. 


Shikher Bhandary [00:42:02] I was, I would hate to give it to me like anxiety problems like if I see more than five unread emails but exactly. That is brilliant. Thank you so much for coming on our show. Tricia, we really are excited for the future of queenly. And yeah, we we just loved having you talk about the things that you're doing, empowering people, sustainability. Just great to hear. Thanks for listening to. Things have changed. Be sure to subscribe to Never Miss an episode and follow us on our Instagram app THC underscore part. 


Jed Tabernero [00:42:43] We're going to see you next time.