From The Straits Times    |


They came, they shared, and they truly inspired us.

Welcome to Her World Live! – one of Her World’s signature events, and part of our initiative to start insightful conversations that matter to women. 

Hot on the heels of Her World Rally in June – an intimate space for a panel discussion and conversations – the inaugural Her World Live! presented by Westgate on Aug 31 stepped up to a bolder atmosphere, for us to aim high, dream big, and harness the power of women.

From left: Eileen Chia, publisher of Her World; Jeneen Goh, founder of 21 Stories; Ang Jinyuan, founder of Style Lease and The Ivory; Ng Yi Lian, editor of Her World; and Shireena Shroff Manchharam, founder and principal image consultant of Sheens Image Consulting.

Her World Live! focused on all-things female, with some of Singapore’s most dynamic women in attendance. The big topic: How to overcome your limitations, and be confident of who you are, and who you can be.

That morning, more than 40 invited guests were greeted by the striking photo wall of Her World Live! as they waltzed into Westgate, and were led to a red-carpeted space lined with a scrumptious brunch spread by Grain, bubble tea by Hey Tea, fresh blooms at Fleuriste’s floral bar, a moisture bar by Belif, and a Vdivov lip makeover booth by The Face Shop, alongside a chic fashion installation styled by Her World.

Her World’s fashion installation at Westgate.

Westgate, which is located at Jurong Gateway, offers a city lifestyle shopping experience with many popular brands. 

On the Her World Live! panel roster were three highly-successful entrepreneurs – Shireena Shroff Manchharam, founder and principal image consultant of Sheens Image Consulting; Jeneen Goh, founder of digital marketing agency, 21 Stories; and Ang Jinyuan, founder of dress rental brand, Style Lease, who also recently launched The Ivory, a bridal rental platform.

Moderating the discussion was Her World’s editor, Ng Yi Lian, along with Her World’s publisher, Eileen Chia, who opened the highly anticipated event. 

Addressing the audience, Yi Lian said: “Even though we live in this social media age of perfection, we’re still very much the same as before. We still have our personal struggles, insecurities, self-doubt and family issues. Just because they are not seen on social media, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”

She added: “At Her World Live!, our panelists will share their real experiences so as to empower and inspire women to be the best versions of themselves – to dream, to achieve their goals and to get where they want to be.”


Trial and Error

Her World’s editor Yi Lian addressing the audience on the topic of the day: how to overcome your limits and be confident.

And the panelists bared all: They were bold and brilliant – without apology. And inspiring, too.

They shared their success stories, challenges and soul-crushing moments in their lives. From growing up as the awkward kid to being “lost” in their 20s, and with one panelist even told to leave her job, the setbacks they suffered were the catalyst – if not motivation – for their accomplishments.

Recalling her childhood, the poised image consultant Shireena recalled: “I was that kid with bad hair, thick glasses, bad skin, and crumbling on the inside. I wasn’t even able to introduce myself to people. Even sitting here today is such a journey (for me). 

“The only way I could change and move ahead was with a lot of confidence, and (by learning to) understand who I am to get where I am today.” Shireena also took up a degree in coaching to help herself – inside and outside. 

Shireena spoke about transforming from an awkward kid to a confident woman.

She added: “I completed my degree, got married, lived in another country, and had my first child… when I realised that I had transformed. When you lack the confidence, only you can get (yourself) out of it.” In 2008, she founded Sheens Image Consulting.

Then, there are successful business owners, like Jeneen, who didn’t always know what they wanted to do – until years later. In Jeneen’s case, her journey took a decade.

The well-spoken entrepreneur revealed: “When I was in my 20s, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. My first job was working as an air stewardess for Japan Airlines. Right after, I worked in different industries year after year, from finance to marketing and advertising.

“I’d always wanted to achieve something for myself. I felt it was not right for me, until five to six years ago, (when) I found my true calling.”

It took a decade-long journey for Jeneen to get where she is today.

Jeneen introduced digital marketing to a brand she was working for, and later decided to venture out on her own. She said: “After 10 years of switching jobs, and (dealing with) feelings of insecurity, (I decided that) when there are new opportunities, (I should) grab them.” 

Jinyuan, on the other hand, thought everything was going great at work until one day, she was asked to leave. 

“It was a major setback,” she said in retrospect. “But as you progress, you’ll realise that everything happens for a reason. If I had remained in my role, Style Lease wouldn’t have happened.” 

In the face of adversity, these women picked themselves up and found their footing. They bravely accepted and understood their weaknesses and strengths, and embraced what they are – so they could become who they wanted to be.


Small Goals to Big Dreams

Jinyuan shared how she picked herself up after a major setback.

Becoming that somebody, though, may take baby steps. 

Jeneen said, with fervour: “I set small goals, but I also have big goals. If something is so far away, small goals help. If you feel that you can’t win big goals, win today. If you win every day, you’ll get there. Do what works for you, your fears and insecurities, and find a solution.”

Jinyuan agreed and added: “Confidence is built with small wins and by setting up small goals. It’s also important to remind yourself about how well you have done.”

On finding inspiration, Shireena emphasised that one can be inspired by an ordinary person.

“You don’t have to be inspired by the man who landed on the moon. You can be inspired by the mum-next-door with four kids, who goes to work, keeps it all together, and is a wonderful person. You can find the rock of confidence inside of you,” she said with conviction.


Be Positive, Be Happy

Each guest received a copy of the September issue of Her World.

Being happy and positive play a tremendous part in being a confident woman. “Cut the negativity out of your life” was a common refrain among the panelists.

But first, accept everything about yourself, including your failures.

Jinyuan pointed out: “Acceptance is usually the key to everything. When you can’t accept (certain things), it’s hard for you to move on. Confidence is usually built around acceptance. Accept your weaknesses, too, and embrace what’s happening around you. (You don’t have to) seek validation all the time.”

Of course, there are days when you may feel stressed out – or have moments of self-doubt – but that’s alright. If you feel happy with what you’re doing, you’re on the right track because it gives you a true sense of purpose.

And the bad things in life? 

Well, thank goodness for them, quipped Shireena.

“Although I was an awkward teenager, I found something that changed me: I was good at swimming!” she recounted. “You’ll still come back right up when something bad happens… I reminded myself who I was, and (used it) as my motivator. Confidence is about being happy.”

The 45-minute exchange was riveting, and it closed with questions from the enthusiastic audience.

The all-women audience at Her World Live! at Westgate.

Of Her World Live!, Westgate’s Centre Manager, Sabrina Lai, said: “As a social space for the community, Westgate is pleased to support the inaugural Her World Live! event. It is a meaningful platform for women to inspire and kickstart conversations in empowering themselves and others.”   

For Her World reader Helen Joan Nobel, Her World Live! was an eye-opener. “An elegant event! And it was great to be here to listen to an authentic conversation.”

Indeed, the conversations were deep, observed Jinyuan. “I felt that the audience was very engaged and really connected with us on what we’ve shared. They asked more questions than I had anticipated!”

As Asia PR Werkz’s Julie Chiang summed it up: “There were many practical takeaways that came out of it. I could tell that their struggles are real, even though they’re successful. It keeps me grounded knowing this, and knowing that (I’m not alone in) my worries and struggles.”


Key Questions from the Audience

Guests participating actively during the Q&A session.

How do you find a mentor, and how to pick one?

Jinyuan: “I learn from other co-founders and business owners, or people around me. I interact with everyone, learning from my customers, too.”

Shireena: “I, too, learn from other co-founders. I get inspiration every day by reading books, listening to stories on podcasts or watching movies.”


How to take the first step to start your own business? Quit your job and go all in, or do it on the side, first?

Jeneen: “Save money first as it will take a big worry off you when you leave your job to start something else.”

Shireena: “I agree with having a safety net. But if you have an idea, start today. Don’t waste time.”


How can we develop ourselves to be better? 

Shireena: “Take small steps, small goals. Listen to something inspiring, instead of overthinking.” 

Jeneen: “Besides a to-do list, have a did-it list as well. Remind yourself that you’ve done well, and reinforce your abilities.”



Join us at the next Her World Live! 

E-mail us at with your name, occupation and contact number. Seats are limited.