This Gen Z CEO of Hiraya Pilipina Started Her Brand at Only 15 Years Old

This Gen Z CEO of Hiraya Pilipina Started Her Brand at Only 15 Years Old


At 15, this Gen Z CEO rolled up her sleeves, made space in her living room for a makeshift warehouse, and got to work.

In 2019, Cleo Loque, a young and visionary mind, set her course to what is now known as Hiraya Pilipina, a lifestyle and advocacy brand that provides innovative and inclusive solutions for women. Since then, Hiraya Pilipina has grown with around 250,000 followers, going from selling empowering statement tees to reinventing inner wear and redefining period care for Filipinas nationwide.

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Cleo Loque, founder and CEO of Hiraya Pilipina

The young entrepreneur behind Hiraya

The now-20-year-old and third year BS Entrepreneurship student from Enderun Colleges said she found her purpose in her course of study. “I love turning my ideas into reality and seeing it grow from there with tangible products,” Cleo shares. That reality is now not only a brand, but also an identity for both its founder and the community it has built: “Hiraya means vision and imagination, the power of your mind to create something. And that’s what I did.”

Beyond the vision, for an entrepreneur, you have to put in the hustle and the work. From her living room and a 20,000 capital borrowed from her parents, Cleo persevered with building her brand from the ground up. “I bought 150 pieces of T-shirts in the beginning, and a year and a half after that, I only sold half of the inventory of the stocks,” Cleo tells us, reminiscing Hiraya’s growing pains. “I think that as an entrepreneur, you need to be a salesperson. If you don’t know how to sell your product, if you don’t believe in it enough, it will be harder to expand in the future and sell to not only customers, but also investors and franchisors.”

The Dream Bamboo Pad by Hiraya is a sanitary pad that is good for your body and the environment

While the brand has grown exponentially in sales with its niche products, Cleo has also been shaping Hiraya as a brand with heart and passion—not just a business. “I built it for female empowerment, inclusivity, and innovation. It’s not just about the products, but also the advocacy. It also helps that I’m constantly on social media, being the face of the brand, and showing other young entrepreneurs that even at a young age, nothing is impossible.”

The lifeline of Hiraya

That young age really factors in when you think about Cleo only being 20 years old with 5 years of a brand under her name. What started as a one-woman-team now has like-minded and empowered people working behind the scenes. Alongside the brand, Cleo reveals that all of her former team members grew alongside her: “Those who were packing orders before are now customer relations head, operations lead, human resources—they grew their skills and their income as the brand evolved.”

Hiraya Pilipina is every Filipina’s one-stop comfort shop

When asked about establishing leadership, the CEO expresses that they have to see something in you to make them trust and believe in you. For her, it was her intense passion for the brand that they saw and clear expectation-setting. “You want to make them feel like they are growing with you and the brand, na hindi mo sila iiwanan,” Cleo shares. “Selling out that clear vision and expectation makes them trust you and feel taken care of. Our employees are our lifeline and we wouldn’t be able to operate on a daily basis without them.”

The North Star of Hiraya

What ultimately drives the enterprise forward is Cleo’s active and diligent approach. For her, the most fundamental pillar, the aspect of the business she doesn’t compromise on, is being very hands-on with her brand and continuous innovation.

In today’s generation, it’s easy to get started. A few clicks on Instagram and you’re up. But sustaining it? “That’s harder,” the CEO says. “We have to listen to feedback, constantly improve our products, operations, and customer relations, and strive for higher goals. You don’t stop at 100% when you reach it. Go for 500% then 1,000%. You don’t want a business that’s on a plateau.”

These guiding principles that Hiraya upholds make it soar. Today, the enterprise is outgrowing their space, and the next step is to invest in a bigger and better warehouse. Alongside their continuous growth, Hiraya Pilipina is looking at their first celebrity ambassador this coming March, and we can’t wait. 

Take a page out of Cleo’s entrepreneurial guidebook: dream, start small, take it one step at a time, and make it a reality.

Photos: Hiraya Pilipina

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