Starting and maintaining a business can be tough, even in the best of times. And it’s been made even more challenging in today’s climate, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to throw the world into uncertainty. The difficulties are further amplified if you’re a woman, says entrepreneur Tjin Lee, as female entrepreneurs are more likely to lack the support networks of people who can help them launch and sustain businesses.
This is the reason why Lee, the CEO and co-founder of CRIB, a not-for-profit social enterprise that empowers women through entrepreneurship, decided to launch a social campaign with Makers Inc. Studio to give women-led businesses a boost.
“It’s been a challenging year where many businesses have taken a hard hit, as many are reliant on tourist arrivals in Singapore,” says Lee. According to her, the smaller brands struggle even more as they can’t always afford to do digital or social media marketing to spread awareness and gain online sales to make up for the loss of physical footfall to stores.
“We decided to rally Singapore’s thought leaders, content creators and celebrities to join our local businesses in creating a campaign where we are united in solidarity to show love for our favourite local makers and creators,” adds Lee. #SgLoveLocal sees big names such as media personality Jade Seah, actress-host Oon Shu Ann, Hype Records artiste Shine Koh and creative consultant Tracy Phillips showing their love for these homegrown labels.
The initiative will have an added good cause – 15% of all profits will go to AWARE Singapore, which advocates for gender equality. “It is very much part of CRIB’s mission that we should uplift others, and those who are able should reach out a helping hand and pull another woman up. We hope to uplift the vulnerable women in our community to let them know that this is a caring sisterhood,” says Lee.
This Christmas, instead of purchasing meaningless stocking fillers or buying your gifts from an international mega brand, why not invest in some quality products from Singapore businesses for your loved ones? We ask Lee to share some great gift ideas from some of these women-led local labels for every person in your life.
I would choose a cool printed shirt from Elizabeth Little. I love that they come in matching adult and little boy sizes, perfect for dressing the whole family.
The new jewellery for 2021 is a bejewelled mask chain! I would choose a series of stylish masks from Maskela – they come in gorgeous and luxe fabrics such as brocades, sequins and satins, and I would pair those with a statement bejewelled mask chain so she can stay safe and stylish all at once.
A gorgeous scarf from Binary Style would do the trick. I love their vibrant Singapore-centric prints that marry architecture and nature. I might also get a pair of modern Peranakan-inspired earrings from EDEN + ELIE, which works with a community of disadvantaged artisans to produce their hand-beaded creations in Singapore. These are extra special gifts with heart!
I would gift dad with a Clynn by Nature gift set of natural hair rejuvenation products, researched and developed right here in Singapore by founder Lynn Yap, who is a chemist by training.
I would choose the Pocket kimonos by Pocket Label for kids aged three to eight years old. It folds neatly into a compact pouch, which is great as a carry-along jacket, ready for use when feeling chilly. It also has large pockets, which will make it perfect for collecting ang pows (red packets) come Chinese New Year.
I would gift them a pair of sparkling Toujours earrings from JeannieRichard, which are a great way to glam up those Zoom calls! Made with Swarovski crystals with unique hand-beaded tassel designs, these statement earrings are classic keepsakes that can also be customised with longer or shorter tassels. I love them because they’re lightweight, and pair with everything from T-shirts to gowns.
I would opt for the B Clean waterless face cleanser from eco-conscious Singapore skincare brand Bhuman. They have designed a 100% plant-based enzyme powder cleanser that has zero water footprint, making it the perfect companion for those who want a fuss free but high-performance cleanser. Formulated without water, it also means it’s leak-proof in its bottle, so no spills in the gym bag for his active lifestyle!
For best friends
I would gift them with the Rise & Shine Day Glower Moisturiser from Auolive, which specialises in multiple award-winning one-minute skincare options. It’s an antioxidant and brightening moisturiser with built-in SPF 30 sun protection, making it a skin-nourishing, time-saving must-have for our tropical weather.