NORTHLONDON-SG-LEADERBOARD-31OCT2021

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Mompreneurs Who Rock Singapore – Influencers In The City

Balancing Work & Family Altogether!

Mumpreneurs-Mompreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore

Taking the leap into full-on work mode or running one’s own business after kids is by no means an easy feat. Little Steps is celebrating a slew of moms who have taken the plunge, poured out time and effort at managing and setting up their businesses, all while running their family’s schedules and activities. Meet them, greet them, share their stories, and be utterly inspired…check out these Mompreneurs who truly rock Singapore!

  • Mumpreneurs-Mompreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Joanne-Lin-Teo

    JOANNE LIN TEO - FOUNDER, OETEO

    Tell us about yourself!

    I am a mother of four children, 3 girls and a boy age 11, 10, 7, and 5 respectively. I am also a business owner of baby apparel in Singapore. My hobbies are reading recipes off the internet for inspiration and preparing meals for my immediate families during gatherings or any special occasions. Another hobby of mine would be taking morning walks after dropping my kids off from school to gather my thoughts for the day or weeks at work. I love to dress my little ones in apparel that could easily distinguish them at a glance. Especially should one of them be lost, I could use that trait as one of my descriptions for people to keep a lookout for them.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother! 

    Unsurprisingly, our story begins with way too many diaper blowouts and a pair of defeated parents. Yup. That’s us, Joanne and Wilson. While wrestling with unruly rompers and an upset child, we figured there must be other couples out there facing the same plight. I mean, there has to be a better way to design these tiny clothes. Right? OETEO was born. That’s “Ee-Tay-O”, spoken with the newfound zest and energy after using our products. Combining 40 years of experience in the apparel industry, and a whole lot of creativity, we successfully created a line of fuss-free and incredibly comfortable baby apparel. One of our best-loved products is EASYEO, a first-of-its-kind baby romper without zips and buttons. How’s that for convenience? But we’re more than just a fun brand name and a clever product. OETEO is the belief that parenting should be enjoyable for everyone involved. Whether it’s Daddy, Mummy, or baby. Because these moments, precious as they are, don’t happen twice. And we want you to embrace the moment, knowing that everything else has been taken care of.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    It is not easy finding an equilibrium between work and family life, but it is possible to make that happen by consciously prioritizing your focus on work when in work mode and family during family time. Always have faith in your choices and lastly, enjoy the journey together as a family. By paying attention to your own needs, you will be better at meeting everyone else's. You have to love yourself so that you can love others.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    With our kids, we love to snuggle, snack, and giggle over movie date night at home on a weekend. I spend time with my first two daughters in the kitchen baking whenever we spot any new recipes. As for the younger two kids, the bonding sessions are mainly in the playgrounds. Wilson, my hubby, loves to explore the different playgrounds in Singapore and bring the kids for playdates.

  • Mompreneurs-Who-Rock-Vanessa-Yeo-Barger

    VANESSA YEO BARGER - VP OF BRAND, Love Bonito

    Tell us about yourself! 

    Wife to my Great British Husband (haha), Mom to 2 beautiful and lively girls, and Momager to my team at Love, Bonito.

    Our family moved from Hong Kong to Singapore a couple of years ago and have set up base in the green, leafy area of Upper Thomson. I love yoga and Pilates and I make sure I carve out 30 minutes every morning to get a practice in! The daily practice literally allows me that me-time and acts as a daily check-in. Since having children, I've used exercise to nurture my mind and body versus punishing myself. I'll never say no to a glass of bubbly! I particularly enjoy sipping Champagne on date nights with my husband. Needless to say, I also enjoy fashion and love to explore adding new trends to suit my style. I'm obsessed with true-crime dramas and superheroes. I also, very oddly (or maybe not!), find kitchen prep extremely therapeutic and love to cook. Sunday meals are a favorite as I get to make something a proper 3-course meal for the family. I am currently writing my first children's storybook inspired by working mamas!

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother! 

    I'm currently the VP of Brand at Love, Bonito. What inspires me about the work I do is the meaning it brings to both my personal development and the value of our storytelling to the community and customer.

    I am inspired daily because Love, Bonito is not just a fashion brand, it is a brand that empowers women through the language of fashion.

    I have also found it so rewarding and refreshing to be amongst a majority female senior leadership and work with teams that regularly champion women's issues with our customers and community.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    My pro tip is not to split yourself up into parts! Be the same person you are at work, at play, and at home! Hiding parts of your life/responsibilities/personality is just way too stressful. I only figured this out in the last few years and honestly, it's made my life feel more authentic, rounded, and enjoyable. I feel equally excited sharing my work with my kids as I do their latest achievements with work!

    The one thing I totally recommend is to make time to reward yourself as well. To my husband's despair, I regularly gift myself luxury candles (love Temple Candles in Bamboo scent especially!). When I have a tougher-than-expected day, I love lighting one up while I have a bath or shower.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    I LOVE doing something arty with my kids. They are both fans of coloring and drawing so that helps. Good ol' Daiso has most of the bits we need for some creativity, but we also love foraging around the neighborhood for new materials. Once they found a vacated snail's shell which was repurposed into a pretty cool neon necklace. We generally like trying new things with the kids like rock climbing and trampolining as well!

  • Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Michelle-Hon

    MICHELLE HON - FOUNDER, MomBoss Academy, Chill Mom Kitchen, and Digital Startup Academy

    Tell us about yourself! 

    I'm a Malaysian living in Singapore with my husband and 3 children. As a mom and business owner, any free time is spent with the family. I would love to have time to read, once in a while!

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother! 

    I'm an author and founder of MomBoss Academy, Chill Mom Kitchen, and Digital Startup Academy which I started with 2 other partners. It all started when I had to give up my soup and salad bar business to care for my firstborn, Lauren. 6 months into the stay-at-home-mom gig, I was feeling restless and uncomfortable about relying on my husband 100% financially.

    I started a blog called The Chill Mom and it grew into a book and a consultancy business where I help expecting parents plan the arrival of their babies. My readers and followers started asking me how I started the business from home while raising kids, and that was when MomBoss Academy was born.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Set only 3 must-dos per day on your work to-do list. Most things can wait. Spend the rest of the time with your kids and on family matters.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    I let them decide what they want to do and go with the flow. Generally, it's play-pretend and simply being silly at this stage. They are 9, 7, and 5 years old this year.

  • Mumpreneurs-Mompreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Gidania-Wong

    GIDANIA WONG - FOUNDER, The Media Ministry, Mummyfique, and SOVA

    Tell us about yourself!

    I'm Gidania from Singapore. Besides running 3 businesses - The Media Ministry, Mummyfique, SOVA, I'm a mother of 2 young kids, Zyah aged 6, and Aleia aged 2.5. I also started a blessings group on Facebook - SG Mummies United, during the Circuit Breaker to help mums in need get by with daily essentials. The group has grown to nearly 7,000 members and is really active. I have a passion for fashion, music, sports, and yoga. I love dogs and chocolate! I'm on an eternal pursuit of looking and feeling better too. Hahaha!

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother! 

    SOVA was conceived during the Circuit Breaker. All of my events were halted overnight and the situation did not seem to get any better so after I mastered cooking (finally!) in June, I decided I needed a new challenge and to expand my revenue stream into another sector, since my current businesses were undergoing a lull period.

    I’ve been a big fan of silk since my early 20s and have been using silk pillowcases and sheets because of the many benefits they bring. I often have insomnia and as a breastfeeding mom to my kids, my sleep was constantly fragmented so literally every second in bed counts. Hence I wanted to maximize my beauty sleep and get as much out of my rest as possible so I use silk pillowcases.

    Now, I’m on a sleep revolution to promote better sleep to my friends and the public. We spend 30% of each day in bed, why not make the most of it?

    Started in 2015, Mummyfique was conceived as a digital destination with intelligent, thoughtful editorial for today’s savvy, time-starved modern mothers with babies and young children.

    At Mummyfique, we are committed to supporting and celebrating mothers, by offering a platform that provides information, inspiration, and recommendations of products and services that are relevant to moms from all walks of life. The brand has since expanded to provide marketing consultation, events management, and producing creative content for mommy and baby brands.

    Started in 2012, The Media Ministry is a boutique PR agency that works with lifestyle clients on their marketing needs. It was my first foray into entrepreneurship after working for several years as a PR practitioner.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    I’m still working on it, unfortunately! Hahaha! I’ve implemented a “no-work” rule from 7pm to 10pm so that I can focus on dinner, putting the kids to bed (they sleep by 9:30pm), washing up before I get back on my laptop. It’s not always possible, especially when I’m hosting IG Live content in the evenings at times, but most days my team keeps to it. I'm also working on improving my quality of sleep and getting more hours of rest every night. It's a work in progress, but so important for a better life.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    We love spending time together. Whether it's the great outdoors, swimming, visiting museums and places of interest, or just discovering new restaurants, we make it a point to go somewhere together weekly. My son loves Science and we often work on little experiments at home while my daughter loves to eat so we bake together. Or rather, I bake and they eat. We've also been getting them more involved with doing their part to protect our planet and being more eco-friendly in their daily lives.

  • Mompreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Aparna-Sundar

    APARNA SUNDAR - FOUNDER, Global Mindful Journey

    Tell us about yourself!

    I’m a mom to two children, aged 8 and 6, and live in Singapore with my family. I love to bake, sew, and cook meals from scratch!

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother! 

    I’m a doctor-turned-KonMari® Home Organising Consultant, Montessori Parenting Coach, National Geographic certified Educator. I am the founder of Global Mindful Journey and empower parents in fostering meaningful family connections, by creating a peaceful home environment, through mindful organizing strategies. I love helping families raise confident, self-reliant, and responsible children using my unique approach of integrating KonMari® sustainability and Montessori principles.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Prioritize! I keep my daily priority tasks to no more than 3 which helps me stay focused while politely declining requests that don’t align with my values. That helps to keep me productive while not jeopardizing time away from my family.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    We love to play board games, hike, and watch movies over the weekend at home!

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Zhang-Zhengfang

    ZHENG ZHENFANG - FOUNDER, Little Nail Shop

    Tell us about yourself!

    I live in Singapore with my husband and 5 lovely children. My husband has been living in Singapore for the last 20+ years and is a PR. My kids are age 4, 6, 7, 10, and 11. My hobbies are reading, cycling, doing pilates, talking to people, and travel.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother! 

    I am a home-based nail artist and sometimes I travel to clients' homes to beautify their nails. I had always been very keen on this industry and started when I was about 22. I began my home-based business in 2013 after the birth of my 3rd child and have been doing it since then.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    I find that planning my time and having a more fixed routine helps to keep me going. When I’m not at work, I usually go to the gym or cycle before I pick my kids from school. As I choose to work from home, managing the kids has been a fulfilling task, and also knowing how their day goes.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    I enjoy a nice day out at the beach with them and chat with them every day about their daily life. As my eldest and I love reading, we spend time reading side by side. With my other kids, we sometimes play hide and seek at home, and watching them laugh is my most enjoyable moment. Every weekend morning, they accompany me to watch my fav childhood cartoon, Doraemon.

  • Mompreneurs-Mompreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Rebecca-Chan

    REBECCA CHAN - FOUNDER, AllTenTic

    Tell us about yourself!

    I am from the little red dot Singapore and a mom of 3 bringers of Joy. I have 2 girls, age 16, 13, and a boy, 6 yrs old. My interest has always been wellness and I'm intrigued by holistic remedies to improve wellness. I love to catch a movie or have a good massage when time permits. Most of my weekend is spent bonding with the kids by preparing a meal together or doing activities that involve the whole family.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    AllTenTic was started in 2008 and was born out of passion and a mission to educate mothers on the importance of postpartum care after birth and the aim of bringing effective Jamu postnatal massage to new moms in Singapore.

    I experienced my first postnatal massage in 2005. Amidst the intense joy of receiving my first newborn, my body was plagued with aches and pains common to new mothers, with problems such as engorgement, blocked ducts, blood clots, contraction of the uterus which had left me stressed out, nervous and lethargic. Being an advocate of natural healing, I discovered an ancient secret of Jamu massage that has been proven to restore a mom's well-being naturally.

    My positive experience with Jamu Postnatal Massage sparked my interest and passion in the art of traditional Jamu Massage. Studying under various experienced postnatal specialists and trainers from different countries, I gained an acute understanding and expertise of the traditional Jamu postnatal massage techniques. Taking into consideration the unique needs of many new mothers, I had subsequently redesigned the AllTenTic Jamu Postnatal Massage Treatments to be more comprehensive, yielding greater results and satisfaction for all customers, and today, we are an Award-Winning Most Comprehensive Postnatal Massage.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Prioritize and have self-discipline. As a mompreneur, you can never have a clear-cut work timing. Sometimes you have to work around your kids' schedules. Prioritize what needs to be done first so you don’t experience burnout and it makes work more effective. When you decide that time is required for the family then have self-discipline and ensure that there are no emails, calls, or work during this period.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    One of my favorite things to do is to be able to travel with my kids. Whether it a short trip, or a nice beach staycation. I believe children look at the world differently and with every trip, they gain valuable experiences. It is also a great family bonding activity because there are no daily distractions on a holiday. Another thing we like to do together is to cycle or fish when the weather permits.

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Dolores-Au

    DOLORES AU - CEO, Keisuke Ramen King USA; FOUNDER, Mummyfique

    Tell us about yourself!

    I live between Singapore and the US. I have 6 kids including 1 step-daughter (ages 4 to 22 years old). I am a self-professed hodophile and bon vivant who loves to travel and immerse in the different cultures and culinary surprises. I love my drinks too especially Krug, Smokey Old Fashioned, and High Ball.  I love visiting countries by car and my favorite holidays were those when the husband and I used to drive across Europe exploring every city and town along the way. I read when I have the time accompanied by a glass or two of champagne (Krug is my favorite) and SLEEP - a rare commodity these days with the little 4-month old bub. I am deeply passionate about the subject of motherhood and issues of mental health in children. That is why I started Mummyfique in 2015 and am the co-founder of Sg Mummies United - a community-driven blessings group that aims to provide as much immediate assistance as possible for mums who are struggling because of Covid and #lifebeyondgrades - an initiative that was started to drive a mindset shift among all in Singapore, to alleviate the increasing pressures of school on our children. I started this with the rest as we were shocked by the increasing number of suicides among the youth and young in Singapore.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    I began my career holding key positions in fashion companies such as Song & Kelly and Club 21 before starting my own marketing and communications agency in Singapore. With a taste for entrepreneurial life, I quickly launched another public relations and marketing company with offices in Kazakhstan and China. I exited a few years later, joining FJ Benjamin as the regional head of the marketing and communications division. My interest in the media relations field solidified into an offer to take up a pioneer position as Assistant Editor in the Special Projects Unit of The New Paper, a daily tabloid with Singapore Press Holdings, before nightlife, food and beverage giant, KU DE TA (now Ce La Vie) headhunted me to be the PR & Marketing Director of its global brand. Under my leadership, the team launched several F&B businesses in the region to much high-profile fanfare. In 2016, I founded Mummyfique, an independent e-magazine catering to the mother and baby industry. I continued to build and develop F&B concepts, with the most recent venture in a famous ramen chain that I'll be growing in the US. I've also recently ventured into the beauty accessory business specializing in mulberry silk products with SOVA.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Seriously, I am still trying to find that balance. I don’t think I am qualified to give any tips in this area as what I consider to be “balance” might not be someone else’s idea of equilibrium. Why I can still manage both is because I am extremely fortunate to have a loving and understanding husband who has been the rock in my life. He steps up when he needs to with the kids and at work, he is my partner as much as my mentor. I have been working my entire life and while I am lucky to be able to have the choice of retiring early, I cannot imagine myself not working for something – be it a cause, a passion, an interest, or a movement. I am driven by wanting to create value in society through my work. Ultimately, I would like to be involved in full-time philanthropy within the maternal feminism and children space, and start an incubator for mom-led businesses.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    With the younger ones - Cuddle! Cuddle! Cuddle! I love holding them, squeezing them, and squishing them when they are small and they still allow you to do that to them. As a group – movie nights! That’s when their father would make fresh popcorn and they are allowed to sleep past midnight.

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Rakhee-Shah

    RAKHEE SHAH - FOUNDER, Maisha Concept

    Tell us about yourself!

    I am a third-generation Kenyan by birth and of Indian origin. Kenya will always be my home and where my whole extended family lives, but in the last 12 years, I have lived in Hong Kong for 10 years and now Singapore for 2 years with my husband and 2 daughters.

    I was an ex-banker and have worked in finance for over a decade, but 6 years ago I decided to follow my passion and that is when Maisha Concept was launched.

    I love exploring and traveling to locations that are rich in history and culture. For my mind, body, and soul I do yoga, meditate, read and enjoy experimental cooking. I have a strong interest in heritage textiles and have a collection of textiles and rugs from some amazing artisans around the globe.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    Maisha Concept was launched to create awareness of various cultures and traditions in Africa and India through textiles and fashion. I travel extensively to different destinations, familiarize myself with the cultures and traditions in order to design a collection that truly and authentically represents its origins.

    Every collection is handcrafted by local artisans using traditional methods to create contemporary pieces. By supporting local talents, we have created new jobs, partnerships are made and opportunities are turned into reality and the quality of life of our artisans is improved. Behind every collection is a story, a unique journey, and a rich heritage.

    My aim is to resurrect the culture, heritage, and skill of local artisans and textile manufacturers across the globe.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    I set a lot of realistic goals to get the right balance in both my work and personal life, plus I compartmentalize my day so whether I am at work or with my family, I am fully present.

    It's not easy wearing many hats, but I strongly feel putting your goals into categories from personal to family to work, setting an intention as to why you have set the goal, and have a step by step idea on how you will achieve those goals, really helps in trying to balance work and home life.

    Setting a goal allows you to be focused on the right things for yourself which allows you to be overall balanced.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    Singapore is extremely child-friendly and there are so many fun things you can do with the kids here. We are definitely an outdoor family and one of our favorite things to do is cycling around East Coast Park, exploring Botanic Gardens, or playing in the sand at Sentosa.

    At home, I spend time doing fun art projects and science experiments with the girls. On the weekends, as a family, we love making a big breakfast feast together in the kitchen or having a movie night.

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Anna-Luu

    ANNA LUU - FOUNDER, Strider Coaching

    Tell us about yourself!

    I am currently living in Singapore with my husband, two boys, and two dogs. Outside of work, I love going for walks with my dogs, watching funny and light-hearted movies, and playing the piano (I started learning the piano during the COVID lockdown). Recently I have rekindled my love for painting, something I have forgotten since my teenage years. I am not an artist, but I absolutely love painting-by-numbers. I find it very soothing and therapeutic as there’s nothing else to think about other than the brushes, paint, and canvas in front of me. The end result is also very satisfying.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    As a performance and mindset coach, I help individuals gain clarity around what they want to improve in their life and build a bridge for them to reach their desired outcome. I work with individuals who want to get unstuck in life, to overcome a major life or career transition, to perform better in their job or personal life, or to know which is the best direction to choose at a crossroad.

    When I turned 35, life was far from the way I imagined it would be for me. I thought I would be quite settled in the corporate world and a mom to a couple of kids by then. However, life presented a very different reality for me.

    Although my career was progressing well, blessed with happy bosses, however, I felt unsettled and unsatisfying. My biological clock was ticking but life circumstances had taken me nowhere near to becoming a parent. I was living alone abroad, away from family and friends, divorced, and felt like I was spiraling into a dark pit. I was stuck in the same spot for years, paralyzed with fear.

    Then I reached rock bottom one day. I quit my job, boxed up my belongings, and together with my dogs, relocated back to Australia in 2011.

    Not long after I started working with an Australian construction company, they brought in a Coach to help the teams develop a culture of a positive mindset. I experienced coaching for the very first time, and instantly I knew it was the answer I was looking for all along.

    My thirst for more answers grew from there. I started formal training for professional coaching, and never stopped researching and learning since.

    What started out as a quest for answers for my own predicament turned into a mission to share my knowledge and experiences with others.

    I didn’t want another individual to have to go through the level of pain I did to find their answers. I want everyone to experience how powerful a mindset shift can be, how liberating and empowering it can be to break free from the fog to clarity and find alignment in life.

    So I founded Strider Coaching to help individuals and professionals find their answers in the most effective way. The name comes from one of the main characters in Lord of the Rings, the Strider, whose real name was Aragon. He wandered around for many years before the time came for him to fight the final battle and eventually became King of the Reunited Kingdom. Like the Strider in Lord of the Rings, my wish for all those brave amazing individuals who are aspired to transform their life will also go from crownless to the king of their own right.

    When I finally became a parent, I learned very quickly that as much as I would love to, I cannot always be there for my child. I had two choices, either I leave it to chance and pray hard that my child will turn out okay, OR, I can arm him with a toolkit, a strong foundation of mindset and thinking habits that empowers him throughout his life.

    My choice was clear, and it led me to start Strider Kids Coaching to help other children as well.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Establish a clear work schedule - I schedule most of the appointments and meetings during office hours. I do have appointments/meetings in the evenings, but I keep those to just a couple per week at the most and Sundays are off-limits. Establish daily family time - We have family dinner together every day. This is the time when we share about our day and just talk or joke about anything really.

    Then there’s also the bedtime routine for the little one. This provides a quiet time to connect one-to-one as we go through the routine of reading, sharing, and quick breathing exercises. Schedule in ME time - I stick to a 45 minutes morning routine daily. This is when I do some stretching, jump on the trampoline, practice mindfulness, and set my intention for the day. In this same order.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    We like to go to a park each week. Simply because we can enjoy it with our dogs as well. We have a couple of favorite parks that we go to, but there is this lovely park along the coast where we live that we go to most of the weeks. It’s a great place for bike or scooter rides as well.

    Some of the regular things that we enjoy doing together are swimming in the pool, taking turns to go to each other’s favorite food places, or catch a movie in the cinema. We also love our lazy afternoons when we just chill and sort of do our own things but be in the same room together.

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Mary-Cliffe

    MARY CLIFFE - PHOTOGRAPHER, The Pin Up Rebels

    Tell us about yourself!

    We are a family of three (a 5-year-old rambunctious boy), and we live in Sunny Singapore! Ok, this might sound cheesy, but I love journaling in a diary. (I think I am a bit of an old soul). But journaling allows me to pour out my thoughts and emotions. It is a great way to start and end a day. I enjoy reading books, exercising in the gym, and even do some street photography.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    I am an empowering boudoir photographer of The Pin-up Rebels. It was rough raising my son in the first couple of years for he was super clingy and basically highly spirited. No one can soothe him except me. There was a point in time when I resented him and felt no connection to him. I did not know of any supportive community of moms who will not be judgemental if I reach out to them. It was from this isolating experience that I told myself that I need to heal. I remembered that, for me, telling stories through photography is a powerful tool to reconcile with myself.

    The Pin-up Rebels is a photography studio that is exclusively boudoir/intimate photography. It was created to allow ANY women (all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages) to be unapologetically themselves in a non-judgemental, safe, and fun environment. Every woman who leaves the studio after their session would be glowing with confidence and a deeper understanding of the power of being vulnerable. Before and during their photoshoot, women would peel away their insecurities about their body and basically everything about themselves. All secrets are kept safe with us. Let me just say, boudoir photography is like photo-therapy. It is a transformational experience that every woman should try once and there is never a right time to do it!

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Stay active! I would walk my child to school in the morning and then head to the gym after. Working out before starting work at home is an amazing way to celebrate the fact that my body can move. The endorphin boost after a good workout elevates my mood!

    Your favorite things to do with your kids?

    Creating home videos. In fact, my son has created 4 science and craft videos of his own during the circuit breaker last year. I'm proud that this kiddo is able to sit still and host his own 5-minute video recordings with no prompting.

    We enjoy pillow talks during bedtime. This is a crucial time to reconnect after a long day of not seeing each other. I usually learn a lot more about what happens in his world in the daytime. Get out and explore!

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Candice-Wang

    CANDICE WANG - FOUNDER, Coding Lab

    Tell us about yourself!

    I'm Candice, a proud mother to 2 kids and I live in Sunny Singapore. My husband is a techie and I am a Trekkie so together you could say that Sci-Fi shows, tinkering with household devices, and testing out new gadgets are common everyday occurrences. We all love to play and love music too, and we also go rollerblading as a family on weekends or holidays.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    My husband and I started Coding Lab in 2015. In our previous work (both of us were from the corporate sector), we saw the importance of automation and applying coding to make processes efficient and decided that we needed to take the step to help our kids and other kids benefit. Previously from the FMCG and Pharmaceutical sector where I did sales and marketing, I realized that my minor in Scientific Computation at the NUS helped a lot in making my work more efficient. I also have my parents to thank for the foresight of putting me through programming courses after I had finished my A-Levels. This really helped when I did a stint as a programming instructor to 13 and 14-year-olds at my Alma Mater.

    Fast forward to today, at Coding Lab we conduct programming classes for ages 4-18. It's really exciting and heartening to work with my team of Educators, as we grow with students in their programming journey. Many have started with us 5 years back and many are now in High School or doing degrees in Computer Science in the USA.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    There are only 24 hours a day, much as we hope for more time. Therefore I make use of the Eisenhower matrix as a way to discipline my schedule, to give me clarity of thought in what's important or urgent. I also keep a to-do list which I make every morning when I wake up to send the kids to school, before stepping into the office, so that I can start the day fast.

    The rest of the time is spent with my 2 kiddos! I am very involved in their day-to-day needs and practice. I hope to continue to be there for them whenever I can. The best part is when we find things we can do as a family, such as practicing music, swimming or playing board games.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    My 2 kids have gone for Coding Lab's classes since they were 4 years old! My son really enjoys the classes with us and my daughter loves the creativity that she can input into her projects. At home, they also play with their favorite tech toys such as remote-controlled robots, toy cars, and all natural-wood-based toys designed at MIT by Learning Beautiful.

    We love hiking the Bukit Timah Summit and Dairy Farm Nature Park. We also hang out often at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden - the flying fox is a huge hit with the kids and East Coast Park for blading whenever we can!

  • RINKA PEREZ - FOUNDER, The Java Eco Project

    Tell us about yourself!

    I am an Australian expat who has lived abroad for almost 10 years in San Diego, Singapore, and Jakarta. I am now living in Singapore for the second time! My mom is a true example of women and their amazing strength during challenging times. My mother is Cambodian from Teochew heritage and was a survivor of the Khmer Rouge where she lost all her family members. She fled Cambodia when she was pregnant with me as a refugee not knowing where her life would lead her. She raised me in a new country as a single mother, where she didn't speak the language (English in Australia) and taught me hard work and resilience. I grew up in Australia and always felt the desire to give back to other women and families in need. I was blessed to receive an education in Australia and wanted to extend this opportunity to other children, which lead me to start Java Eco Project.

    Now I am living in Singapore with my 3 children, all born abroad. We are a mixed culture family with Cambodian, Australian, Cuban, and Chinese heritage. Our kids were born in Singapore and Jakarta.

    My hobbies are centered around food and exercise. I love being around wet markets, hawker centers, and temples. I love the smells and buzz of living in Asia and Singapore gives me so much nostalgia of my childhood and upbringing from my Asian mother.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    I am an Australian expat who has lived abroad for almost 10 years. In my previous posting before moving to Singapore, I lived in Jakarta where I had 3 children under the age of 3. Employment wasn't possible for me at that time, so I focused my efforts on helping a local charity named XSProject. The charity produced high quality up-cycled products from non-biodegradable trash and in turn, supported the healthcare and education of a trash picking community in Java. I am passionate about this cause because I was a refugee child myself, who was given an education and lifeline in Australia as an immigrant. I understood the importance of opportunity. I knew that I wanted to continue supporting XSProject after leaving Jakarta. So I set up a social enterprise, The Java Eco Project, once I settled in Singapore.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    I spend a lot of time being kind to me and I remind myself that there is no timeline for success. I allow myself space to be forgiving, patient, and honest. I try to divide my day into segments - health, family, career, and leisure. Having a female tribe is also critical for my emotional health and they are my cheerleaders who keep me on track.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    We love to go on camping trips in our camper trailer in Australia. We love to fish and explore the outdoors. In Singapore, we are an active family that enjoys bike rides, walks with our dog, water sports, and sailing. We also love exploring Singapore and will never run out of things to do here!

  • Mumpreneurs-Mompreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Vernessa-Chuah

    VERNESSA CHUAH - FOUNDER, Mindful Space

    Tell us about yourself!

    My name is Vernessa and I live in Singapore now (we have immediate families in the Netherlands, Malaysia, and Hong Kong). I am a mother, educator, and coach who is passionate about respectful and mindful parenting.

    My dream was to be a teacher since young. Somehow I knew I was an educator at heart. I spent more than a decade, gaining experience as an educator in Canada, Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore, connecting with both children and adults.

    I love the outdoors very much, from hiking up Mount Everest B.C, camping on no man's land (we hunted and gathered our own food), to sailing. I hope the next generation has the opportunity to enjoy adventures and deeper connections with mother nature, grounding themselves, and leading more centered lives. Thus, I also created an edible urban farm at Mindful Space so families can explore BEING together, BEING with themselves individually, or simply just BEING and practicing mindfulness.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    I founded the first parent and child platform in Singapore that curates a variety of parent and child activities, holiday camps, kids enrichment, and parenting talks from different experts around the world (USA, France, Sweden, etc). Mindful Space has been recognized by Monash University (Australia) as a changemaker in the Singapore community.

    We focus on holistic, inclusive, and play-based activities. Some of our activities include family mangrove kayaking, island cycling, vegan baking, gardening, batik painting, mindfulness, and yoga. We are currently the only place in Singapore that offers Family Aerial Yoga and Family AcroYoga.

    There were 3 missing links that inspired me to build Mindful Space -  here are the 3 core pillars:

    The first was the well-being of parents. I want a space that encourages parents to recharge themselves so they can be better versions of themselves for their family - mentally, emotionally, and physically. We need to fill our cup first, so we can run a longer mile and not on leftover fuel. This is the reason Mindful Space provides yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and wellness workshops for parents.

    The second is knowledge and skills for parents and partners. As 21st-century parents, we are advocating respectful and positive parenting, yet most of us lack the knowledge and skills as we are raised the traditional and conservative way; nagging, yelling, and even spanking was common. Good news, these are learnable skills and I am inspired to create a neutral space where we can leverage a vast range of expertise from professionals from different backgrounds - from a nutritionist, family psychiatrist, occupational therapist, to relationship and family coach and other like-minded beings who are aligned with our vision. Mindful Space curates quality learning and experiences conducted/facilitated by different trainers and speakers on a monthly basis to provide workshops from the moment parents are expecting their first child to when their children become young adults at 18 years old. I believe that every parenting journey has a different set of challenges at each stage of our children's growth. It doesn't necessarily get easier, and we are parents for a lifetime. Parenthood is on-the-job training that never ends.

    The third is bonding and learning as a family. My ambition is to create opportunities for parents and children to bond and learn together, whether it's family yoga, music & movement, creative arts therapy, sensorial play, or other experiential learning. Through fun-play, parents can discover more about themselves and their children. Both parties explore how to communicate and express themselves better and reinforce the life skills and values learned as a family.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Parenting doesn't take place between a parent and child, but within the parent. It starts with us. A calm and regulated adult can regulate a dysregulated child, but a dysregulated adult can never calm a dysregulated child. Remember that taking care of yourself is part of taking care of the family. It's important to role model to your child how to prioritize your own well-being, even just 20mins of quiet time or exercise a day. When we feel good, we parent better. When our child feels good, they behave better too. I remind myself to NOT to pack my schedule so tight that I am only parenting in my spare time.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    Hiking, outdoors, play catch, and silly dance! There is so much communication, bonding, and security built when we play together.

  • Mumpreneurs-Mompreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Lisa-Chong

    LISA CHONG - FOUNDER, Stillen Maternity

    Tell us about yourself!

    I live in a quaint part of Singapore in Tanjong Katong where you can find Peranakan influences in the architectures found along Joo Chiat, a good mix of the expat and local community and great cuisines that represents these communities. I am a foodie so being close to so much good food is great for me. My husband and I have 2 boys and we are avid Netflix fans this season, something that helped get many of us through Circuit Breaker last year. But my boys are naturally active so no chance of being couch potatoes for daddy and mommy! We enjoy hanging out with our friends and family, but my personal interests lie in trying new things so am always bringing my family along on my new interests. I've picked up cooking as a hobby so they are my guinea pigs whenever I go for my cooking classes.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    It was on a recovery journey from postnatal depression, where a part-time sewing course sparked my renewed interest in fashion. One of the modules involved conceptualizing a fashion label and that’s where I began to work on closing the gap I saw in professional-looking maternity fashion. Both the pregnancy and breastfeeding journey for me was steep learning curves and maturing experiences. Those experiences have left a deep impression on me and I wanted to give back to the mom community from what I have learned. That pushed me to start Stillen Maternity.

    Stillen provided me a great starting point as I realized there was a gap for stylish maternity workwear in the corporate sector. Stillen is also my platform to reach out to more moms to raise awareness on the importance of self-care for mental health and hopefully flatten the steep learning curve that comes with motherhood as we share tips and information within the community.

    Despite being barely a year into the business when Covid hit Singapore, I am thankful for the growth I have seen in the business as we pivoted and the various opportunities that have come up to partner with various platforms to create more exposure for Stillen. It’s also very exciting for us that we have also launched our latest Stella Nursing Bra this year which is made from micro-modal fabric, and it is seamless and wireless. Being micro-modal, it is environmentally friendly and brings superior comfort with its softness. We really hope to bring premium products to consumers and are always looking for constructive feedback as to how we can make Stillen a better brand for all moms out there.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Time blocking is what I do in order to balance my work, business, and family. In the day, I am focused on my finance job, but mealtimes are important for me and my family so we will make it a point to always have dinner together. We do set aside 30 minutes daily or so to spend some family time together, watching tv and playing card games etc. When the boys are in bed, I will get started on Stillen’s work.

    Pretty much like filling a jar with rocks, stones, and pebbles, the way to fit them all in is if you put the most important or biggest items first and working on them in order of priority, ie. rocks then stones, then pebbles. In this case, my family and church are the bigger rocks, followed by work and time for myself as stones, then the miscellaneous that comes my way as pebbles.

    A supportive spouse and family are very important. My husband helps me with logistics and transport sometimes and I rope the boys in to help me as well with simple tasks. They would help me with sticking the labels, counting stocks etc. and they seem to like that. I guess it’s a good training ground for the boys as they see and understand why I am busy and that they can help to alleviate my workload.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    I would say traveling was my favorite thing to do with the kids before Covid but now we love playing card games with them, especially since the younger one has learned his numbers. We would keep 1 night for games with the kids and on weekends, I try to let them stretch their legs a bit more by exercising, like scooting.

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Sher-Li-Torrey

    SHER-LI TORREY - FOUNDER, Mums@Work

    Tell us about yourself!

    I am from Singapore and am a mother to 2 kids (soon-to-be 9-year-old and a 12-year-old who thinks she is 15). My husband is originally from USA but is now a permanent resident in Singapore. I love traveling, hiking, trekking, and combat sports such as Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and anything high energy. I bake to de-stress. My dream is to retire and run a farm in Japan, where I have lived for a few years when I was younger.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    I run 2 main businesses:

    Mums@Work is a social enterprise that is 11 years old. We support mothers in Singapore to find flexi-work jobs or to start up Mompreneur businesses. Our main aim is to partner women who want a work-family balance. This year, we started a new project "Mumpreneurs-Go-Places" that help to take Mumpreneur businesses in Singapore global. #belocalgrowglobal is our aim.

    Career Navigators was started in 2016 as a subsidiary of Mums@Work. Together with my partner, Deborah, we work with organizations and corporates to bring women back to work. In the form of returnships, back-to-work hires and other career-related projects, our goal is to allow women to restart their career path, after a break taken to look after the family. Our big project this year is "Singapore:40-over-40. Inspiring Women". We are getting the public to nominate 40 women, over the age of 40 years old, who inspire them. The purpose is to champion the message that women, should not be afraid to pursue our dreams and that age and gender should never be our obstacle.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Always know your purpose and your goals. Have a clear idea of what you want: (1) out of your career and (2) out of your role as a mother. There will be times when one aspect of our life takes centerstage. But know that these periods do not last forever - so having anger or a sense of helplessness may not help us. Instead, focus on that moment - enjoy it.

    Also, don't push for the feeling of "Having it all". No one has that - and more importantly, what you see as adding value to your life may not be the same for someone else.

    Cliché as it sounds, always seek to understand what works for YOU and YOUR LOVED ONES. That is all that matters, actually.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    We really love hiking and taking walks in forests. Both my kids are quite different - I love going to concerts and musical performances with the older, more artistic one. The younger boy loves sports - so investing time to watch (and play) with him a softball, soccer, or basketball (or any fun sports) is something that I have taken up doing.

    We all love traveling very much - and living in 'unusual, off the beaten track' kind of accommodations (such as above a Japanese restaurant which we did once).

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Kate-Mitchell

    KATE MITCHELL - FOUNDER, Littleones Photography

    Tell us about yourself!

    I have lived in Singapore for nearly 14 years. I live on the East Coast with my 3 children and husband and have 3 stepchildren in Sydney. Having a big family means there is never a dull moment and it’s happy, fun, and always busy! Sadly Covid has meant we haven’t all been together for a while now, and are excited to all be together again soon as we all miss each other greatly.

    My interests include my family! And I love to read or watch anything about history. And obviously, I love photography and when I am not shooting babies and families I like taking landscape photographs and keeping up with all the new software and tech with photo editing etc.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    I did my 4-year degree in nursing and qualified as an RGN. Sadly I had a car accident and injured my back. I was so heartbroken about not being able to pursue my chosen career that I decided to do something else that I had always loved as a hobby. So I got trained professionally and became qualified as a photographer! I went back to school and now here I am years later!

    I set up Littleones Photography in Singapore in 2007, and since then have gone on to receive many awards and more qualifications as a Master Photographer with the Master photography Association (MPA). Recently I have been awarded the ‘Gold Winner’ for the best family photographer in Singapore as voted by readers in Expat Living, for 4 years in a row.

    It has always been very important to me that whatever job I choose to do in life, that I was professionally qualified and recognized. I feel very proud of that.

    I love what I do and feel very privileged to call this my job. For me, family photography is all about capturing that moment and craeting a photo that reveals emotion. It’s not about clicking hundreds of photos, it’s knowing what to look for and seeing that split-second moment and pushing ‘capture’ right then!

    I specialize in newborn and family photography using studio lighting or natural light.

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Be the best person you want to be! And know you are enough. Remember you are a role model to your son/daughter like when they see you working hard and are an independent woman - I believe this is a gift to my kids and it will model a good work ethic and appreciation for doing something in life that you love. Life is too short.

    I choose to work from home and build my own studio at the top of our house in the attic so I can be around my kids before and after school and during the holidays. It means I can choose when I work around them, and I can walk away from my office and sit and do homework with them. It means I might be back at my desk to finish up after they have gone to bed and I like that choice and freedom.

    I stopped seeing people who drain me with their negative energy with opinions and judgments. You only have so many hours and minutes in each day. Who you choose to surround yourself with really matters. Choose positive friends who support and love you, no matter what.

    All moms need to stick together - regardless of what job you do or if you are a full-time mommy at home doing that amazing job. We all need each and all of us do suffer mommy guilt at some point and sometimes every day, but being surrounded by positive moms makes a huge difference. Moms shouldn’t be comparing themselves to any other mum. One mom organized an awesome school trip to Facebook because they used to work there and one mom is great at creating a magical entrance to the kids' school show; we all need each other.

    Balance is something I think all mom constantly strive towards and it can truly feel elusive. I have now learned that self-care comes first - so if I need 1 hour of relaxation time away from everyone, I'll do so - with no guilt.

    That is what makes us a better mother, wife, friend, and colleague.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    We all love finding new places to go for a walk with the dog and new places to eat. We all love the variety of restaurants to choose from in Singapore - and the food is so good. We all love spicy food which is helpful when living here and the boys have obsessed with Japanese BBQ places. The only downside is that it’s always hard to find somewhere we all want to go to especially given we have one vegan and one vegetarian in the house, finding a restaurant with a menu that caters to all of us is tough.

    Travel used to be a huge thing for us all to do together and we have a house in Fiji where we all love getting together and can’t wait to be there soon.

  • Mompreneurs-Mumpreneurs-Who-Rock-Singapore-Kim-Unwin

    KIM UNWIN - FOUNDER, Spark And Sprinkle

    Tell us about yourself!

    My name is Kim and I am a mom to 2 active boys (5 & 8 years old). I’m British and was born in Hong Kong, lived in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and Dubai before coming back and settling down here in Singapore with my Singaporean husband. Looking after both boys myself without a helper means my days are busy with bringing them to school, going back to the office and then picking them up again, preparing dinners and bedtimes, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Tell us about your work/business outside of being a mother!

    I started Spark and Sprinkle in 2014 while I was pregnant with my 1st son. I received a gift hamper that accidentally had the price attached to it and was appalled at how expensive it was for such simple products. After doing some research, I realized that the gifting market didn’t have much affordable and good quality gifts that parents would truly love to receive, and hence Spark and Sprinkle was created. We specialize in personalized gifts that are affordable and are of good quality. We have since expanded into other types of products for ladies and men and are planning to launch our separate online retail shop to differentiate the markets. It’s truly a joy to receive messages from people saying they love our gifts!

    Top tip for keeping a healthy work/home life balance?

    Having a shared timetable with the rest of the family for all our appointments and kids' schedules is definitely a lifesaver. Everyone knows who is needed at what time and where etc. I will normally be in the office when the kids are in school and sometimes continue to work at home when they are asleep. I try not to mix both together so as to give my full attention to the kids, but it is hard sometimes.

    Favorite things to do with your kids?

    I love bringing them to the playground, cycling, and swimming. Kids spend too much time watching TV these days and so bringing them outdoors gets them active and tires them out at the same time.

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