An inspired Karyll Puray runs her fashion dominion in style
By Deneb Batucan
IF anybody knew Karyll Puray 10 years ago, no one could tell she’d be running a fashion boutique. Growing up, Karyll never gave fashion a thought. Even though she was exposed to several family businesses centered on fashionable trends, Karyll grew up a shy and simple girl, content with just a simple tee, jeans and ballet flats.
Fast forward to 2015, Karyll now owns and manages Planet Exchange, one of SM Cebu’s first stores when they opened in 1993. It was acquired by Karyll’s family, exclusively managed by her mother, Sandy Yuvallos, in 2002.
Karyll is a self-confessed casual dresser. It was her mother that persisted to make Karyll learn how to look presentable at all times. After graduating from De La Salle University with a degree in commerce major in managing of financial institution, she finally conceded and took her mother’s countless advices and learned how to apply makeup and studied fashion using some online materials.
Karyll used to have a negative impression on wanting to look beautiful or attractive. She took it as vain and materialistic. Today, she thinks otherwise. “Beauty is God’s idea. I realized it only becomes vain and materialistic when it’s motivated with the desire to please people or even yourself. Making an effort to take care of my physique and to look my best is an opportunity to honor God and give Him glory,” she shared.
After two years of finding her niche in the financial world, Karyll finally took over their family business last February. When she started managing the business, she first felt very insecure and insufficient, knowing that through the years she never felt that it was essential to dress fashionably, plus she never had formal training in fashion.
“I thought that in order for you to succeed in this kind of business, a person has to gifted with an excellent taste in fashion or at least a daring self-esteem. I desired to improve our sales, but I didn’t know of a fashion-related strength that I have that could add value to our business,” Karyll confided. “But what I did know about myself is that I come alive when I see growth or progress in people.”
It was during one of those times Karyll spent alone that she had a eureka moment. While listening to leadership speaker and author John Maxwell, she realized that people are the most appreciable asset of any organization. “The best way to grow a company is by growing its people,” she said.
“When you increase your people’s capacity, you increase your company’s capacity.” This John Maxwell quote spoke to Karyll’s heart. It inspired her to study some foundational and very basic fashion lessons like how to match clothes, styling for different body types and learning fashion and clothing vocabularies. She teaches these to her sales clerks and watches them grow and become more effective and motivated with their work.
“It fuels me all the more to keep learning by teaching others. Matching clothes or styling isn’t a talent but a skill. It can be learned. This realization gave me a breakthrough and replaced my doubts with an excitement to do more and to work hard to bring our business to another level, all by God’s grace,” she said.
Today, Karyll is very keen on having an aggressive online voice for Planet Exchange. At least twice in three months, she arranges photo shoots that highlight her store’s products as well as her makeup artistry, as she dolls up her models’ faces. She hopes to bring Planet Exchange closer to the netizens by setting up an online marketplace for their various products. Currently, their website is being developed and will be going live by 2016.
Karyll has so much to look forward to as she continues her journey in the fashion world. But aside from her dreams for their family business, she hopes to get married and start a family before she turns 29, run a full marathon, win a golf tournament, study culinary or at least learn how to cook, and hopefully start her very own boutique from scratch.
With a God-fearing heart and strong belief in herself and her capabilities, Karyll is surely on her way towards achieving her dreams and more.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Make-up Artist: Carlo Damolo
Hair Stylist: Jerwin Bastatas