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Why a young Singapore woman decided to become a frog farmer

WATCH VIDEO: She started with having an American bullfrog for a pet. Here's how she turned her love for amphibians into a career — she now runs learning tours and an online store for her frog farm too!
 

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CHELSEA WAN, 31
She manages Singapore’s only American bullfrog farm.

Not many would pick a slimy amphibian for a pet, but Chelsea did. Six years ago, she raised an American bullfrog (she named him Greg) from a tiny tadpole to a full-grown frog.

“I was very sad when Greg died,” says Chelsea, whose affinity for frogs is befitting – she grew up on Jurong Frog Farm, a frog farm in Lim Chu Kang that is owned by her family and which her father built from scratch in 1981.

The National University of Singapore sociology graduate is now the manager of the farm, which supplies frog meat, crocodile tails, venison flank steak and locally-produced hashima – a delicacy made from the fallopian tubes of a frog that is usually sold in its dried and dehydrated form – to restaurants and supermarkets.

Chelsea recalls: “Ten years ago, no one was interested in eating hashima because, well, it comes from a frog!” However, that perception changed in 2012, when she launched bottled, ready-to-eat hashima that had American ginseng. In the last two years, the farm has sold close to 18,000 bottles of it.

And Chelsea’s business smarts don’t end there. Last July, she set up the farm’s educational arm, Frogology Pte Ltd, and now conducts learning tours – the job title on her name card reads “frogologist” – during which visitors, including students, see, feed and handle bullfrogs in various stages of their life cycle.

She also started The Royal Frog Shop, the farm’s online store. “This is great for those who love frog meat and prefer to have it delivered right to their doorstep,” says Chelsea. “Now, all it takes is a few clicks.”

PHOTOGRAPHY WINSTON CHUANG, STYLING EVON CHNG, ASSISTED BY GRACIA PHANG, HAIR Dorene Low/ATHENS SALON, MAKEUP AMY CHOW, USING MAKEUP FOR EVER. Vest from Elizabeth and James/Robinsons, dress from Greyhound/Robinsons, ring & bangle are stylist’s own.

Read more inspiring stories of the other 54 millennials only in the special 55th birthday edition of Her World July, available on newsstands now. Download the digital edition from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Another Singapore woman too, took a more unusual career route. She shares what it's like, to run a prawn noodle stall.

Here are more inspiring women you should know: These Singapore women athletes won over 40 gold medals collectively at SEA Games 2015. 

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