Ahead of International Women's Day, we ask a number of Singaporean beauty business owners to share what drives them to achieve their goals each day
What does it take to start a business? For many, it involves a whole lot of grit, determination and passion.
But at the same time, it is their source of inspiration that keeps many business owners motivated. This March 8 on International Women's Day, the world comes together to celebrate the achievements of women everywhere once again.
Singapore has seen a steady increase in the number of entrepreneurs and start-up founders over the years—including within competitive industries such as the beauty and cosmetics market.
For IWD, we speak to five female beauty brand owners in Singapore and ask them to share their biggest inspirations and how they stay focused in order to achieve their goals.
1. Sabrina Tan, founder of Skin Inc
“Tired of my vanity graveyard, I founded Skin Inc with a radical leap of faith and from the belief that there is a custom beauty for every you. At Skin Inc, we celebrate the uniqueness of each individual with customised skincare fused with the latest technology to determine what your skin truly needs, especially since individual lifestyle choices and environmental stressors affect up to 80 per cent of our skin.
I want Skin Inc to be recognised as the most innovative skincare, wellness and technology company that harnesses the power of AI & Skin Inc Cloud to deliver customised skincare on demand, resulting in healthy glowing skin. I'm motivated by the need to improve the quality of life for time-starved individuals everywhere through the disruption of the traditional skincare paradigm.”
2. Su-Mae Chia, founder of Bskin
“A lot of the beauty industry is focused on selling hope and leveraging on the placebo effect—product after product with fancy packaging and slick marketing that give women the belief they'd look beautiful if they just make a purchase. I wanted to take a different approach when I started my own beauty brand. With Bskin, we help women (and men!) regain control of their beauty goals by empowering them to be smarter about their skincare choices. We're open about the ingredients in our products, which nasties are deliberately omitted and what kinds of results our customers can realistically expect.”
3. Xenia Wong, founder of Sigi Skin
“I started Sigi Skin to bring a customer-centric, easy and effective clinical and vegan superfood skincare to the market. We never shun away from expensive and hard-to-source ingredients as long as they are effective. As we do not have other investors in the brand, we can take the time to perfect a product before launching it, as one thing I strongly believe in is to not push out a product just for the sake of it. Even if it takes longer, it is better to get it right rather than to get it done.
We want a product to be everlasting, not just because it is a fad. Hence, we take about two years on average to launch a single product, which is why we have a total of eight products as of now.”
4. Karen Lam, director of Estetica Group (Est.lab, Heure, Verdure and Estetica)
“Any Singapore enterprise, retail included, must think Global in their evolution. For Estetica, our Singaporean roots have given us great access and advantage: we have a customer base that is extremely cosmopolitan, with unfettered access to global skincare brands and beauty trends; equally, our supply chain and partner networks, particularly in R&D, have been global rather than localised, and we have anchored collaborations with the largest technology innovators and manufacturers for our line of skincare products and treatments. Beyond Estetica and Est.lab, we have successfully introduced two new brands, Heure and Verdure, in the last five years.
While we may have been based in Singapore, and serving mainly Singaporean customers for the better part of 40 years, we have always thought of ourselves as a global brand that started out from Singapore! When customers benchmark our products and treatments, it is always against leading global brands, which is great validation on one hand, while constantly compelling us to raise our standards to meet and exceed their expectations.
Furthermore, we do have many loyal fans around the Asia-Pacific region and we have built up a strong reputation for quality and innovative skincare.
I consider myself an entrepreneur and not specifically a women entrepreneur. When we remove labels, we remove the limits set by society. We are also constantly inspired and motivated by our community who is really the fuel of our passion—to empower women to be confident, to be free to dream, and to revel in their successes.”
5. Talisa Poh, founder of Klynn Beauty
“After being in the corporate world for almost a decade, I've experienced stress and anxiety that impacted my skin as well as mental well-being. This led me to take a leap of faith with Klynn Beauty, a natural skincare brand that's not only effective but sensorial to help restore balance to fatigued skin and minds. Natural ingredients have such powerful topical benefits which inspired me to create skincare that's packed full of plant-based ingredients to feed your skin with all of nature's goodness.”
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