Ayn is the entrepreneur behind Morena the Label. She’s also a vlogger and influencer, documenting the typical struggles of millennials.
On top of that, she maintains Camp Confidence Radio, with fellow entrepreneur Rizza Lana. The podcast talks about women empowerment and self-love.
Ayn has been a part of social media campaigns with Avon and Ellana Mineral Cosmetics.
After my back scrolling on Instagram, I messaged Ayn for a Q&A to get to know her a little more and what she’s up to next.
What is Morena the Label? What’s the story behind the name?
Morena the Label is a clothing brand that celebrates brown skin, challenges colorism, and champions skin color positivity. Growing up, my “labels” were “uling,” “negra,” “maitim,” and a lot of names that made me feel ashamed of my color.
As I grew into my confidence through my colorism research in college and the birth of my YouTube channel (where I also make morena-related videos), I learned how empowering it is to take ownership of those labels and turn them into something positive.
Initially, I created the merch for my small YouTube community, but now we’re reaching Filipinos far beyond the limitations of my personal social media channels. Two years later, we have an in-house printing facility and a small but growing team.
How did you go about designing the items you have?
It was pretty simple. I was a writer before I became a vlogger, a designer, or an entrepreneur. I released statement tees that said what we all needed to say, such as, “I like my tan, Tita.” As for the color, we started with white tees because I grew up being told not to wear white as it “emphasized my darkness.” They said it as if being dark was a bad thing. Now, that’s the goal.
What should we watch out for without giving away much?
I’m currently working on Ideologie Studio, a print-on-demand platform for creators, communities, and causes. Working on Morena the Label for the last two years, I learned how much statement merch could empower communities and drive important conversations online and offline. Through our printing business and proven experience at Morena the Label, I want to help others create the same thing. It’s so exciting.
What have you enjoyed about life-at-home?
Life has been stripped down to the bare essentials, and I’ve learned to be more grateful for every little thing and every day. When I’m not working, I’m hanging out with my siblings and parents a lot, which is a luxury I don’t take for granted anymore.
Take us through your routine.
I’m a Virgo and a huge fan of routines! Sorry in advance if I get too excited.
The first thing I do when I wake up is to meditate. I use the Insight Timer meditation app to ease into my day. I avoid notifications at all costs. After that, I quickly jot down thoughts on my journal—gratitude list, affirmations, and my trusty to-do list. I’ll then take my dog out for a walk around the block, prepare his food, and then spend the rest of the morning on emails and website orders.
After lunch, I drive to our office where my assistant and I print and package merchandise throughout the afternoon. He leaves at 5 p.m., and I stay to work on marketing and other administrative tasks.
I’m home before 8 p.m. I quickly wash up and change into my workout clothes and squeeze in a sweat session for 30 minutes to an hour. After that, I have dinner, take a shower, get my room cozy and ready for bed, and just read, watch Netflix, or hang out with my siblings until bedtime.
This routine has helped me stay productive and happy throughout this weird time, honestly.
What’s your diet like and your exercise routine?
I learned how to incorporate the jump rope into my workout routines! I love following Jump Rope Dudes’ exercise videos on YouTube. If I’m not doing that, I’m doing simple HIIT exercises or learning how to improve my push-ups. I’ve tried not to focus on my weight, but instead on building skills and getting stronger. So while I haven’t changed a ton with my diet, I feel and look better!
What’s your favorite room?
My bedroom! My personal space means so much to me, and I am so grateful that I have that little corner to retreat to anytime things get stressful at work.
At-home look that makes you feel better?
Pants. I love wearing pants at home because it transforms me into my “Business” self. I can’t explain it, but dressing up as if I’m about to storm a boardroom makes me feel empowered. Some days I’ll even wear a blazer.
What are your favorite skincare products? Lana.ph is my number one! I started using their DNA Repair Elixir, and now I can’t go without it. Another favorite is their Argan Oil because now I wake up every day with supple skin. It’s a miracle combo. Plus, points for being a local brand too.
What are your favorite morena-friendly makeup products?
Ellana Mineral Cosmetics Loose Mineral Foundation in Almond Latte and the Cream to Powder Concealer in Smile. They match my complexion so well, and they don’t cake up. My oily skin looks dewy even hours after application. I’ve repurchased them so many times.
My favorite lip tint is Colourette’s Colourtint in Maya. My favorite lipstick is Happy Skin’s Moisturizing Lippie in Honeymoon Glow.
What are you looking forward to?
Wall climbing. It’s so specific, but before the lockdown, I got into wall climbing and have made some friends in the community. I can’t wait to go back to Climb Central and get back on the wall. It’s a workout that I can’t recommend enough.