What it's like to own a funeral parlour.jpg

She’s revamping the death industry.

Jenny grew up watching her father dedicate his life to sending off the dead in a dignified manner. The University of New South Wales business and marketing graduate – who became the managing director of Direct Funeral Services in 2014 – tells us more about overseeing a funeral parlour.

She upgrades the business continually.
To make her staff look more professional, she ditched the polo-tee-and-jeans get-up and replaced it with shirts and vests. She also developed an in-house iPad app that allows the funeral directors to schedule funerals and send orders to the head office.

She’s always on standby.
“This is an industry where you have to move quickly. If I don’t pick up my dad’s calls within three rings, I’ll get an earful from him!” says Jenny.

She’s willing to get up close and personal.
“Often, the families of young women who have passed on will request that I do the deceased’s makeup because they prefer a woman to handle their loved one,” says Jenny. “Another memorable case: A 100-year-old lady from an old folks’ home had no next of kin, so I took it upon myself to see to her funeral arrangements. I also did her makeup and helped scatter her ashes at sea.”

Photography: Winston Chuang, Styling: Evon Chng, assisted by Gracia Phang, Hair: Dorene Low/Athens Salon, Makeup: Amy Chow, using Make Up For Ever, Jacket & Pants: The Kooples

This story was first published in Her World Magazine July 2015.

Feeling inspired by Singapore women with unusual, cool jobs? Find out what Munah Bagharib does as a YouTube comedian and what it’s like to be a female diplomat from Singapore.