HOME / Celebrity / Bea, Jess, and Martine School Us On the Business of Being Social

“Off topic, but Lil Miquela follows Sunnies Studios, and that is very exciting,” Martine tells us a few days after our shoot. “[We’re] very thrilled about it.”

In case you weren’t aware, Lil Miquela is one of the most famous influencers on Instagram. Her presence is indicative of how our world is changing because of technology. It’s a topic that our cover girls Martine Cajucom-Ho, Bea Soriano-Dee, and Jess Wilson, the businesswomen behind Sunnies and one of the most visible women on social media, have plenty of unfiltered opinions on, including how it impacts their businesses. Here are the most insightful tidbits from our chat:

How do you feel about the rise of digital influencers like Lil Miquela?

Martine: I remember this movie called Simone, about this AI character that became a celebrity with Al Pacino. I think this phenomenon of bots and digital influencers is only going to become more prevalent. I don’t know how I feel about it, but sociologically, it’s interesting to observe.

Bea: It’s just like a movie. You know, you create a character, you make it come to life.

Jessica: I think it’s really strange. Where is the line between offline and online, and what’s real and what’s not real? If I over-Photoshop myself, isn’t that also like an online character? I think it’s not that much more different to CGI images of cartoons and personalities becoming influencers.

Sunnies Face isn’t available internationally, but the products have been appearing on the feeds of many Stateside celebrities, editors, and influencers. What’s the tea?

Jess: It’s always been a dream to take all the Sunnies brands internationally.

Martine: In terms of celebrity product placement of Sunnies Face, it’s been 1,000,000% organic. We’ve had the opportunity to shoot many campaigns of Sunnies Specs and Sunnies Studios over the past six years, so we’ve become quite close with a lot of the makeup artists that we’ve worked with. When we launched Sunnies Face, they were the first people that were most excited about our formula. They [started] using them on their celebrity clients and everything just really snowballed from there.

Jess: I think it’s only reinforced the fact that we need to be available internationally and that’s something we’re working on really hard to make happen in the near future.

As owners of a fashion brand and a beauty brand, how do you ensure that your ads and online content aren’t detrimental to the self-image of the young people who see them?

 Jess: I think there’s huge pressure as a beauty brand owner to be able to portray true beauty and untouched real beauty. We work with individuals who have this certain confidence that they can easily project in front of the camera. They’re the kind of people who know themselves very well.

Martine: I am very pro-body neutrality. I find it so refreshing how brands these days are featuring flaws that I never thought I would see in my lifetime. I see beautiful modern women with armpit hair, body hair, unibrows, acne, pores, cellulite, stretch marks, all these things that are very human and all things that we had for millennia, and I find it very refreshing and progressive.

Bea: [Body neutrality] gives us confidence to love whatever you have, and I’m all for it. And I think it’s such a good movement for the mental health of everybody.

What role has SM played in the social media marketing of Sunnies Studios?

Martine: SM has really been one of our biggest supporters since day one. Sunnies wouldn’t be where it is without being available in SM Stores.

Jess: It’s great that we have stores in SM malls. I love working with them because they’re just ahead of the game. They’re always open to ideas and it’s just a great partnership.