When you look at Cheryl Han today, the intelligent and poised co-founder of Orchard Clinic, you would never expect that this driven and passionate woman was once nearly kicked out of school because of how rebellious she was.
In fact, it took a teacher making a personal appeal on her behalf to keep her in the education system which eventually led to her becoming the woman she is today.
“I come from a humble background. For me, what matters more in terms of my education are the life lessons that I have gained,” Han shared. She added that she graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a degree in English Linguistics, but that she really did not think what you studied in school mattered much. Rather, it was what you did with the doors it opened for you.
In fact, one of Han’s first jobs was far from the healthcare sector—she started her career as the senior director and head of marketing and communications at DHL. She worked in DHL for over five years and dealt with marketing, external communications and all branding matters for the company.
Though she loved her job, her plans took a drastic turn when she was suddenly retrenched in 2019.
Noticing how many of her ex-colleagues had dedicated their lives to one single company and had little to no options when they too were retrenched, Han decided that it was a good time to branch out and find something else that she was passionate about, so that she could learn new skills and ensure that she was financially secure at the same time.
“It was a kick in the butt. I was retrenched from a very comfortable job, and on top of that, it happened just two weeks after my father passed away. It made me reflect on a lot of things. Firstly, that I need to always stay relevant. Secondly, I realise that I need to be responsible for my own future. Thirdly, that life is short and my time must be spent doing what I am passionate about,” Han said.
At that time, Han was pursuing yoga as a way to destress and keep fit. As a certified yoga teacher, she was also teaching yoga classes when she could.
“I’ve always been interested in yoga and therapy and the connection between body, mind and movement. My mother was a professional ballet teacher and choreographer so that really influenced my interest in movement,” Han said
However, her scope of interest was certainly not what you would typically expect.
“I was particularly intrigued by the pelvic floor. In some cultures, it is a taboo subject and if you Google it, there are countless articles talking about how mysterious this muscle group is and how it’s been ignored and under-researched,” Han said.
She continued by saying that as a yoga teacher, she had many women confide in her about pelvic floor struggles they experienced particularly after childbirth.