Camille Meloto: Doing Business with a Heart
By Ma. Vanessa L. Estinozo
Camille Meloto and her sister, Anna Wilk-Meloto, grew up in a family that converses and takes part in nation building.
With Tony Meloto, their father who is a founder of Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation movement, inspired them to address social issues through their business, it’s innate in their family to be game-changers in an industry that oftentimes exploits the employees.
Despite graduating with a degree in Early Childhood Education at the De La Salle University in Taft, Manila, Camille was sent to the United States to reflect on what career to pursue.
She then discovered her passion to play around cosmetics by exploring freelance bridal make-ups as well as make-up apprenticeships.
From a gift in one of her makeup gigs, she learned about natural cosmetics that sparked a light bulb to put up a pro-poor, pro-Philippines, and pro-environment business that we know now as Human Nature.
‘We did everything ourselves’
Like any other startup company, one grows by learning from your own mistakes. For the Meloto sisters, it wasn’t an overnight success despite their relation to the founder of Gawad Kalinga.
“We didn’t really have Saturdays off for a good two to three years into the company,” she quips.
There was even an instance they asked their mother for help to stay up until 2 a.m. just to fill the bottles with products or keep inventory of sticker labels.
“We did everything ourselves,” she added.
It was challenging for someone who was a young adult at that time and got used to hanging out with friends.
“Working with your family is difficult as it may affect your relationship, but it was especially difficult to treat your family the same when they are also your business partners, as well,” admits Camille, but it made her to be more mature and gain wisdom she never would have gotten so early in her career in another company.
While promoting beauty with compassion, the brand has grown not only in products but also in social aspects as having more impact in the communities, as well as in the environment.
Over the last couple years, Camille has gained and shared her insights by engaging with different people with the same agenda in France, US, and Korea.
“Every single time I’d go on a trip to a different country, I make it a point to do benchmarking and competitive checks in the stores, compile my observations, and cascade it to our product development, research and development, design and marketing teams,” she notes.
Also the creative director, Camille has become more aware of not just the local market but the bigger world as well.
“We really try to push for more global standards instead of just thinking small scale,” she hopes that more brands and companies push for empowering the employees and bettering the environment.