9 to 5 is a weekly series in which Tatler speaks to influential individuals about their unique journeys and what keeps them going.
When entrepreneur Yan Ng made the bold decision to start her own company, she was at the peak of her career in fast fashion, leading teams across Southeast Asia and helping to launch brands in multiple different countries.
However, exhausted from a career built off the back of the ugly side of fast fashion, Ng decided that it was time she did something to disrupt the industry, even if it meant going out on a limb and taking significant financial losses. And so, she founded local sustainable fashion brand Lily & Lou.
“I love fashion and I always envisioned myself working in it which is why I was not keen to follow a traditional career path that would give me security,” Ng shared.
“I wanted to take a risk and so I enrolled myself into Raffles Design Institute (now, Raffles College of Higher Education) and got a degree in Fashion Design as well as a degree in Business Marketing from the Singapore University of Social Sciences.”
While she was studying, Ng worked as a retail assistant for a local fashion brand and was converted to become a full-time staff member after graduating.
“It was my first foray into fast fashion and quickly, I progressed within the company and pioneered several important projects,” she said. She added that she helmed the company’s pivot towards e-commerce and digital marketing campaigns.
“These projects are the default now, but back in those dinosaur days, I had to muscle my superiors in order to be given the green light. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to start from the ground up in an organisation. I sometimes consider my tenor at the company a sponsored entrepreneur effort,” Ng said with a laugh. She added that at the company, L’zzie, she managed seven retail stores across three brands that were under the company portfolio.