International Women's Day 2020: Celebrating Our Versatility

International Women's Day 2020: Celebrating Our Versatility

Women have long been perceived to be expert multi-taskers and jugglers of multiple roles, but not nearly enough recognition and appreciation have been given for all that they do. This International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the beautiful female leads behind 4 of our past and upcoming collaborating brands, who are absolutely acing it in their own domains. These multi-faceted ladies wear many hats - entrepreneurs, designers, homemakers, caregivers, sisters, wives, mothers and daughters - but at the heart of them all, women, just like you and me.

Read on to learn more about why these ladies do what they do, the importance of following our intuition, and most of all, how they live by no one else’s standards but their own. I hope you get inspired by them, as much as I enjoyed chatting with these collaborators-turned-friends!

1. BRENDA TAN // WHEREBILLY

 

The brainchild of Brenda ‘Billy’ Tan, WhereBilly features one-of-a-kind, intricately-designed and strangely beautiful jewellery. Every piece is meticulously handcrafted with polymer clay by Brenda, the sole designer and maker behind WhereBilly, and she doesn’t believe in recreating exact designs as it is important to her that every piece of WhereBilly jewellery is a unique piece of art. She aspires to be an artisan who stays true to her aesthetic while creating jewellery that anyone can wear and adore.  

How did WhereBilly come about?

I was previously working as a special educator for 5 years and a part-time yoga instructor. My health was in a bad shape so I decided to quit everything and take a break. I was playing with air-dried clay and made some earrings for fun until Amandaleeonline asked me for a collaboration which got me thinking - okay, maybe i can explore polymer clay and make earrings that are more presentable. So I started getting serious and built a website and got my products going because I don't want to disappoint my collaboration partners. And it soared from there!

What's one thing you've learnt that you'd advise your younger self on if you could go back in time to when you were just starting up?

I will tell myself to just follow my heart and intuition, everything will fall into place.

What's the biggest obstacle you've faced in your business and how did you overcome it?

The biggest obstacle will be doing it alone. A one-man-show business is tough. The amount of work behind the scene is unimaginable with a crazy number of working hours which many people do not know, thinking how bad can it be to work from home. It's also tough because this is my only source of income and i have to produce earrings constantly to keep a living. When life happens like pregnancy and motherhood, I am left with even lesser time to work with and months like that impacted my income a lot. It's a great struggle to be a work-at-home-mum.

Any mantra you live by? 

做自己. Give zero f*cks.

 

Ft. WhereBilly x Papercranes Design’s Prosperous Peonies Ang Baos + Earrings set

If you've had the time and resources to embark on another business, what would it be and why?

Apparels! I sew some of my own clothes! I’ve sewn bags, pillow cases, pouches, and even my own curtains in the past. Fabric makes me go crazy!! When I was little, I wanted to begin my own brand one day and sell things that I sew, and name my shop "Only one" because everything I sell will probably only have 1 piece. Thinking back on that now, it's pretty lame but cool!

If you could collaborate with anybody, whom would be the collaborator of your dreams? 

Rainie Yang! My forever idol. I adore her and her style so much! All her earrings are so chic and quirky, and she can pull off any style. I hope she gets to know my brand and wear my earrings someday!

Instagram: https://instagram.com/Wherebilly
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wherebilly/
Website: https://wherebilly.com/

2. VERNICE & YONG YING // THE WALLFLOWER BUD

The Wallflower Bud was founded by 2 gal pals, Vernice and Yong Ying, who share a love for all things floral. Amongst the plethora of local florists blossoming in the scene, The Wallflower Bud stands out with their rustic, dreamy bouquets of flowers, just the way we like them. The best part? They offer beautifully preserved bouquets that last up to a year or more, which means no more saying goodbye to wilted stalks after a short few days!

How did you start with The Wallflower Bud? 

Yong Ying (YY): It was pretty straightforward: Both of us were interested in floristry and wanted to share new styles with everyone. I was taking a gap year so I took this as an opportunity to venture out and explore new things. Vernice was still studying back then and had a background in marketing and social media. I suggested starting a business and the rest was history. Funny story - our parents always complained about the dried flowers we had at home, now we're so happy to be able to share this with so many of our customers!

What's one thing you've learnt that you'd advise your younger self on if you could go back in time to when you were just starting up? 

YY: Don’t be afraid to take risks. You wont know how it will work out until you’ve tried. Everything is worth a try! You have to step out of your comfort zone and that’s when you will get to learn and experience new things.

 

Ft. The Wallflower Bud x Papercranes Design’s Valentine’s Day bouquet + card set

What's the biggest obstacle you've faced in your business and how did you overcome it? 

Vernice (V): Finding confidence in ourselves and our brand... this was tough in our early days. We were never satisfied with where we're at (even until now), but I guess that's what makes us work hard to become better at our craft, or anything we that we set out to do! Of course, other than working our butts off, it was because of the support from our family, friends and community of customers (some turned friends) that gave us the extra push! It would be really difficult to get by without any of their help.

If you've had the time and resources to embark on another business, what would it be and why? 

V: A cafe business! A quiet and airy place, with our favourite foods and coffee. It would be a little hideout for people to do work, catch up with friends, and not forgetting being around flowers! Somewhere that let's you escape from all the buzz outside. 

Moving forward, give us a teaser of any exciting plans you have for your brand in 2020 that we can look forward to? 

V: When we first had our workshops last Christmas, we got the chance to meet many people from the community! We had the chance to make new friends and we saw how everyone worked together and helped each other out. It was a really heart warming sight and we've had girls asking for more, so we hope to do more of such sessions or events in 2020! 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewallflowerbud/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewallflowerbud/
Website: https://www.thewallflowerbud.com/

 

3. EUGENIA YE-YEO // NODSPARK

Helmed by lady boss Eugenia, Nodspark is Singapore's leading designer of nail wraps, with an unparalleled range of beautiful designs that have a professional finish, require no drying time and are scent-free. She believes that looking polished should never come at the expense of spending time on what truly matters in life, and so Nodspark aspires to be a simple self-care kit that celebrates effortless beauty. Mum of 2 adorable children, Eugenia also runs 2 other brands with her husband - Cane Art and Hafbox.

Why did you start what you do, and what keeps you going?

When I started Cane Art, Hafbox and Nodspark, the core concept of them all address a problem and more. Cane Art and Hafbox provide products for modern seniors who appreciate quality options, and to give more product offerings to the under-served silver industry; Nodspark celebrates everyday beauty with nail polish wraps that help free up your time (bye-bye waiting for the polish to dry). Seeing customers react so positively and constantly to the products and brands that we offer, is a main driving force that keeps me going, and that there is meaning in what we do.

What's one thing you've learnt that you'd advise your younger self on if you could go back in time to when you were just starting up?

I'd tell myself that you should take everyone's advice with a pinch of salt; to listen to your gut instincts more. A lot of advice mean well, but you're the only person who knows your business as you face it day in and day out. 

Any mantra you live by? 

“Be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.” It's a verse taken from the Bible, Matthew 10:16.

Ft. our Nodspark x Papercranes Design’s Magnolia Bloom set

If you've had the time and resources to embark on another business, what would it be and why?

It'll be opening a chain of cosy bakeries! I love the smell of freshly baked bread and coffee. I think it energises people to start their day right.  

If you could collaborate with anybody, whom would be the collaborator of your dreams? 

We're actually in the works of collaborating with one (huge) brand of my dreams.  Stay tuned to 2020, it's going to be a blast! 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/nodspark
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nodspark
Website: https://nodspark.com/

 

4. MINDY ALETHEIA CHOW // SOAMI

Founded by Mindy Aletheia Chow, SOAMI (pronounced sow-me) is an artisanal jewellery brand that provides personalised engraving on their simple, elegant pieces, allowing you to physically wear love, promises, goals, dreams and truths on yourself, wherever you go.

Why did you start what you do?
I wanted to be able to wear God's promises and truth as a constant reminder of God's goodness. I also truly believe in how our words can have power to build up or tear down people, things, situations. Marrying my faith with my design background and love for business, SOAMI came about. 

What's the biggest obstacle you've faced in your business and how did you overcome it?

Believing in myself, and that the dreams I dream for SOAMI are possible. It is easy to discount yourself for so many things but I am so thankful to have supportive, loving people around me who are my constant pillars of strength, hope and motivation.

Any mantra you live by?

"As you have believed, so let it be done for you" - Matthew 8:13

If you could collaborate with anybody, whom would be the collaborator of your dreams?
I'd love to collaborate with Cara Delevigne/Salvadore Dali. I love adventure and pushing boundaries, and I feel these people are natural trendsetters simply because they take creative risks and are unafraid to push boundaries, yet at the same time keep it classy.

Moving forward, give us a teaser of any exciting plans you have for your brand in 2020 that we can look forward to?

Papercranes Design and SOAMI are working on something really exciting this Mother's Day. We're launching a limited edition collab series which combines exquisite botanical illustrations with heart + poetry and artisanal jewellery!

Instagram: https://instagram.com/soami.co
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soami.co
Website: https://www.soami.co/

 

In light of this season, I’ve also done up a new downloadable wallpaper to gift y’all; simply click on the image on the left and fill in the short form on the next page.

Happy International Women’s Day once again, and don’t forget to let the women in your life know how much you really appreciate them today!

xx, Aeri

 

 

 

 

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