Power couple Z and Aivee Teo share how they’re successfully managing these ever-changing times and bringing their family closer.
For over a decade, doctors Aivee and Z Teo have more than achieved their goal of keeping their clients beautiful and healthy. In fact, they recently bagged the prestigious overall 7-star champion award at the Merz Tala Awards because of their commitment to delivering beauty procedures of the highest standards. This year, while many businesses struggled to find ways of adapting to limitations during the pandemic, this innovative, enterprising duo, inspired by their love of family and giant poodles, found ways to remain relevant through their newest ventures: Keli Devices, AiveeSkin, and Luxuripets.
Responding to the Times
When their clinics had to close, it was all hands on deck for the members of the Aivee Group, and they reached out to everyone they could. What started as a makeshift face shield crafting operation during the first week of lockdown turned into a full-fledged COVID-19 response system. During the entire ECQ, the Aivee team worked round the clock to pack medical and sanitation kits for the frontliners around Metro Manila, and distributed protective gear to over 100 hospitals nationwide. They also devised a feeding program using Aivee Cafe resources, and facilitated free rapid testing for public transportation operators, vendors, etc.
Since there has been a clamor for sanitation and disinfection solutions, bringing in products like V-Stop and Air Shield came naturally for the Aivee Group. Developed in Singapore, Air Shield provides 99.9% antibacterial and antiviral protection, including the coronavirus, but is safe for humans and pets. Dr. Z shares, “We are constantly innovating, so we have the Aivee Robots to sanitize larger areas and the UV light as well. Keli Kleen offers these sanitizing services.”
“Since testing for Covid-19 became an urgent need, we set up a new company and trained 50% of our medical professional workforce, who could no longer be in our clinics, to administer the Lionrun Diagnostic Antibody Test and Camtech Rapid Antigen tests. We are building our lab to handle PCR tests soon.”
The entrepreneurial Teo kids have become involved in all business discussions too! “During one of our family dinners, our thirteen-year-old, Kenz, said, “Daddy, why don’t you set up a different company to do sanitizing? That’s basically how Keli Kleen (under Keli Devices) came about; Kenz even gave the name for it. I told him that we could work on his concept together and I’m teaching him how to run a company, because he’s very interested,” Dr. Z quipped.
Dr. Z confesses, “I don’t necessarily want things to return to the way they were, pre-Covid. I’m happy spending so much time with my kids; watching them grow up before my very eyes. I think the world had sort of lost its way, and now people are refocusing on the things are really the most important.”
Being in quarantine has also brought out Dr. Aivee and Dr. Z’s creative sides. “Our work has always been multi-dimensional.” Dr. Aivee declares, “and we’ve come to realize that the being away from the clinic has allowed us the time to expand and give attention to other aspects of the business such as the Aivee Skin line and Aivee Lift.”
Raising Children of Faith
When it comes to raising their kids, the Teos made sure to maintain a spiritual environment at home. “When I met Z, he was a spiritual guy,” Dr. Aivee shares. “I could see from the time we started seeing each other, that he wanted to bring out the spirituality in me too.”
Dr. Z adds “We encourage our kids to read the Bible, and it’s a living Word, so it’s applicable to real life. We go through a chapter a day, then we all read and everybody shares their interpretation of it.” Aivee observes, “At a young age, it’s nice to see how they’re able to really absorb the Word without feeling forced.” Z says, “There’s a beautiful innocence about them, so sometimes we learn from them, because the kids see things differently; and people get encouraged by what they say.”
Clearly the kids enjoy this special time spent with their parents, as eleven-year-old Kenzo shares, “Mommy and Daddy help us in our Bible Study; we learn lessons in the stories about how to be good and about what we shouldn’t do.”
Kenz, being the eldest, is the one who reminds everyone about their Bible Study time and confesses he likes to listen to his Mommy and Daddy “because they’re very wise and what they say helps me to do better.” Far from being camera-shy, eight-year-old Keli shares, “Sometimes my Mommy takes videos of me when I’m preaching, so that I can share the Word with other people and maybe help them in case they need it.”
Z Giant Poodles
Dr. Z’s latest passion is the incredible giant poodles who have made their way into the hearts of the Teo family members, and those of their social media followers. They started with three giant poodles, then a litter of eight puppies were born over the quarantine, and just recently, they were joined by two more.
The couple’s latest enterprise, Luxuripets carries the Rolls Royce of pet food — Addiction. The idea for this was fuelled and inspired by Dr. Z’s passion and great love for his dogs. Aivee teases, “Z always used to post a lot about our treatments, now he posts more about the dogs.”
Dr. Z shares, “All of this staying at home has made many people realize how their pets are more than just animals, that they are part of the family. We recognized this fact early on and wanted to find a way of promoting and sharing our love for our giant poodles: Oslo, Berlin and Paris. We also have the first litter of giant poodles born in the Philippines.”
“The focus of Luxuripets will be on grain-free pet nutrition, plus we will be officially launching our e-commerce store on October 8,” Dr. Z announced. “We’ll also offer an amazing range of pet shampoos, conditioners and grooming essentials flown in from Italy, as well as pet supplements for coat and muscle maintenance.”
“We never anticipated that our posts about the dogs would generate this much interest.” Aivee says. “I get patients telling me how they’ve seen our dogs and now they want to own giant poodles.”
Their daughter Keli, who has her own account on Instagram called @kelifashion, is the official creative director for the dog’s accessory line, which includes pet clothes, leashes, collars and harnesses. Premium services will include mobile pet grooming with award-winning groomers, veterinary home services — featuring a virtual collaboration with Dr. Z’s brother, Dr. Jason Teo, who is one of the best veterinary doctors in Singapore. Expert pet consultants such as Manny Alarilla, who is nicknamed the dog whisperer, will also be available for virtual consultations to advise pet owners on proper diet and nutrition for their specific pets, as well as address grooming and hygiene needs and concerns.
Dr. Z explains, “The main difference is the expertise and technology that is available in Singapore resulting in top-of-the-line products which have been tried and tested by all of my own dogs. We look forward to our opening our physical store and veterinary clinic in BGC next year, once conditions become more stable and it’s safer for everyone.”
The Teo family has really grown enormously (pun intended), and their home is bustling with so much energy from their kids and their furbabies. Things have also changed in this new normal because both doctors make it home for dinner almost every night, just in time for Dr. Z to cook for the kids. “They love it when I grill burgers or when I make Singaporean fried rice and bee hoon, both are my mom’s recipes,” Z proudly says.
Dr. Aivee put it best when she said, “We’ve really used this time to consciously do things differently from the way we used to. I suppose we got too used to be being over-the-top in terms of work and material things. Perhaps God allowed things to happen for us to realize what is really important.” And indeed, family always comes first.
For pet needs, check out @luxuripets on Instagram for information and updates. And of course, you may visit @zgiantpoodles to get your fill of these wonderfully adorable gentle giants and their puppies!
Photography by Miggy Abesamis
Story by Risa Regala-Garcia
Art Direction by Ferdi Salvador
Makeup by Patrick Rosas
Hair by Paul Nebres