Meet Filipa Muñoz de Oliveira, a powerhouse of a woman, that I met through my friend Magda, and just knew I wanted to tap into her life for you! She runs her own company called Wink, which she started just 8 years ago in a shopping mall in the heart of Lisbon called Amoreiras. It is an eyebrow styling service based on the Indian art of threading. This is the removal of hair with a cotton thread that the technician masters with so much expertise, and it’s pain free, chemical-free and leaves you looking prettier. Now there are 31 kiosks in Portugal and 2 in Brazil. She has tons of energy and does it all with a mega-watt smile! A while ago, I sat down for a chat with Filipa and we talked, and talked and talked…
Describe your style in 3 words?
“I’m very casual, but always try to look chic, and pulled together. And although I’m going through a sneaker phase, as it’s easier to run around in flats than heels, I absolutely love a great heel. “
How do you keep fit?
“ Three times a week, I work out with a personal trainer, and we really take care of what we eat at home, especially during the week, then on the weekend, I sort of eat what I like! In moderation.”
You have amazing hair, how do you look after it?
“My hairdresser, Helena Vaz Perreira, at Griffe Hairsalon cuts it while Sofia does my colour. I used a straightening product, called Inoar from Brazil, and use masks a lot and splurge on a good shampoo, and great conditioner. I learnt from Sofia, to put a mask on, like on a sunday night, let it dry, sleep with it, and rinse it out the next day. My hair really thanks me! It gets superhydrated, and because I love long hair, I look after it religiously.”
5 tips on creating your own business.
“ In the first place, be faithful to your principles, maintain your focus on the path that you’ve chosen, and do what you think you have to do, especially ethically.
2- Do not quit at the first sight of trouble, there are going to be so many obstacles in your way, really a lot, but believe in yourself. Don’t give up.
3- Work, work, work and more work.
4- Surround yourself by people who are as good or better than you in certain areas. Sometimes there’s this idea that if someone is really good at what they do, in fact better than you, that they’re a threat, but it’s the exact opposite. They bring knowledge that I can take from, and the way WINK has grown, I really could not be everywhere. I really need to have people that are great in their designated area, be it financial, operational or marketing . Otherwise there is no growth…
5- You must love what you do!! There are No sacrifices here, and it’s true what people say that when it’s your own business, you work longer hours, because you never, ever switch off, so you have to adore what you do!! There are days and weeks, where we have a very heavy workload but I genuinely love going to work! to the shops, and to the office.
“One last tip, Be nice to those that work for you!!! This is essential for me!”
What was your previous job?
“After studying Business at the Catholic University in Lisbon, I began working at Jerónimo Martins, in the marketing department. Two years later, my husband went to New York to do his MBA and as I went with him, I stopped working for a while and took some marketing courses at N.Y.U. In the second year, I got a job at Christies Auction House, as they needed somebody that could speak Spanish and Portuguese. I loved it soo much! We did eveything, the 500 biggest clients, that bought into art, antiques, jewelery, cars et cetera, and I worked mostly the South American market. Then we moved to London, where I got a job at SKY, marketing again. When I came back to Lisbon, I brought back with me the idea of eyebrow threading from the Indian women in London, and adapted it to Portugal. And so my brand was created !!”
What was your dream job?
“I knew I wanted to work with brands! I’ve always been obsessed with brands, their creation and development. My mom tells a story that when I was little, whenever an advert came on, I stopped what I was doing and was just transfixed by it! Loved adverts, not just the marketing but the conception of a brand like Coca-Cola, and what’s behind it! But I never thought I’d have my own business, but I definitively wanted to create something from scratch.”
Were you influenced by your parents?
“No parental influence at all, my father has always worked in multinational companies, and my mother studied law although she never practised. My father has a huge influence on me, mostly in the human relations part. Still today, I ask him for advice, when I ‘ve got problems and don’t know exactly how to go about them, and how to treat people. We have collaborators from different countries, and sometimes it’s a challenge adapting our cultural differences. With 100 plus workers, it’s a huge effort.”
How do you find time for yourself?
“It’s a huge accomplishment but I mark my time down on the calendar as a meeting. Unless I really cannot make another appointment, I will obviously change it but normally I’m disciplined. Drop the kids at school, then hit the gym, do the same with the hairdresser, manicurist, Some are just once a month so I’ve got to book them in! “
Vacations, do you totally do nothing at all or take in the culture?
“We, my husband and I, tend to take city mini-breaks, and that’s when we go to museums, go to local markets, have a coffee, live the city and it’s people a bit. Holidays, for longer periods, I chill out, do nothing, just lie on the beach!!!