Woman of Substance: Agnes Aquino Stott-Briggs
Photo by Eros Goze, Styling by Ushi Sato and Make Up by Ginno Alducente
“Mariposa” wrap by Dita Sandico-Ong and Diamonds from Liali Jewellery
Agnes Aquino Stott-Briggs
Mother, Career Woman, Community Leader, Image Consultant
Agnes Aquino Stott-Briggs is a walking-talking testimony that women can: take care of their families, efficiently run a household, have a successful career, participate actively in the community, entertain socially, follow their personal passions – and do so elegantly in high heels.
More than just the effective and efficient multi-tasker, Agnes is, first and foremost, a doting wife and mother of three, who has a thriving career in real estate – a Leasing Manager running a team of various nationalities in the UAE capital, handling high profile clients and dealing multi-million contracts. She is the Chairman of the Philippine Business Council (PBC) – Abu Dhabi , who has also recently added the title Certified Image and Style Consultant to her credentials.
Agnes is one of those rare ‘superwomen’ who seem to be able to juggle managing a family, a beautiful home (with interiors done by herself and maintained without any fulltime household help), property leasing and expat relocations with personalized service, team supervision, social and networking events for the PBC, the International Business Women’s Group, Expat Woman and various other clubs, throwing fabulous parties in her home, pursuing continued professional education to follow her dream, all the while always looking elegant and immaculately put together, without so much as breaking a sweat.
“It’s all about planning ahead of time, time management and timely execution. I grew up in a very dynamic household where there was always something to do, so it became a way of living,” says Agnes who is the eldest of 9 children of a middle class family from sleepy Pangasinan. She adds, “Both my parents worked and I learned to be responsible at an early age, helping my parents look after my brothers and sisters. I could wash my own clothes at the age of 9 and can cook a meal at 10 years old. As a result of my family upbringing, I have a strong sense of responsibility and I am sure I got my decision making capabilities from my mother.”
Agnes has a Bachelor of Arts degree, Major in Economics from Saint Louis University in Baguio City, a diploma in Interior Design, as well as a Real Estate Broker’s License in the Philippines. Arriving in Manila from Baguio City, when she was 23, she took a Personality Development course at Cora Doloroso, which she says has helped her to enhance her personality and ability to work with all sorts of people confidently – a skill that has paid off for her especially in her dealings with high profile clients in the capital. “Believing in yourself and being confident in the fact that you are as good, if not better, than most people you meet whatever nationality, is the first step to being accepted as a business person in an international market,” Agnes shares.
Apart from diligence, good work ethics and managing her time wisely, she also puts a premium on the importance of appearance. Agnes explains, “It’s important to always project the right image and to be dressed appropriately and for the occasion. You only get one chance to make a first impression. And I believe that your personal presentation, communication skills and appearance influence people’s perception towards you – including their instant evaluation of your intelligence, credibility, capability to comply with requests; whether to trust you with information, give you access to decision-makers, pay you a certain salary or fee for contracted business; or even hire you or purchase your product.”
But Agnes was quick to point out a common misconception – that being well presented and stylish is not about flaunting expensive things. “A Louis Vuitton bag with a too tight spaghetti strap top, a skirt that is too short and flip flops doesn’t make you stylish,” she states emphatically. “Style’’ is a manner of expressing oneself through appropriate and tasteful clothing. It is about being smart when choosing a wardrobe that consists of clothes that are age appropriate, clothes that flatter your body lines, scale and proportion, clothes that reflect your personality in colors that complement the color of your skin to create a polished , well put together look in order to boost your confidence and help you reach your goals and triumph at work and at home and in life!
Last year, pursuing her passion for style and the dream of having her own finishing school in the Philippines someday, Agnes earned her Image and Style Consultant certification from the Sterling Style Academy – USA. She says, “I want to make a difference in people’s lives by teaching them how to look polished and confident in order to best present themselves to better their opportunities and achieve their best potential in their chosen careers.” She furthers, “I have come from simple provincial background and now work at a corporate level in an international community in a country halfway around the world. I know that other Filipinas can do the same.”
Indeed, this well-rounded Filipina can teach a thing or two to those of us who want it all – and how to do it fabulously.