From The Straits Times    |
Christabel Chua (@bellywellyjelly) on her Circuit Breaker life

We’re in Phase 2 now, but most of us still remembers what the circuit breaker period was like for us. A result of the local Covid-19 outbreak, it has stirred up plenty of uncertainty following the torrent of job cuts and company closures, among other unfortunate developments.

But much as she’s pretty much her own boss, influencer Christabel Chua (@bellywellyjelly) wasn’t spared from the unease.

“It was unsettling as I was very worried about my business and employees. I was also worried about the drop in income and my financial health,” shares the 29-year-old.

It didn’t help that she wasn’t—and still isn’t—sure how the pandemic would change the dynamics of the influencer industry.

“It is generally uncertain how brands will move forward, especially since there’s still talk that timelines might change.”

But that’s not to say it’s been all doom and gloom for this popular content creator with 255,000 followers on Instagram. For one, she picked up cooking from her helper during the circuit breaker and started the lighthearted series Cooking with Kakak in the process.

“I’d always been meaning to learn cooking from her but didn’t get to because of my constant travels, so this is one good thing that came out of it”

And while she is concerned about her finances, she isn’t actually worried about not having enough in her bank account.

“The importance of saving was taught to me when I was a kid, so I always knew to save my income and invest it in multiple ways.”

Things are also looking up for kāi, a lifestyle brand she founded in 2017— they have just launched a new sticker pack in collaboration with local brand Besbes and will be expanding the range in the coming months.

But perhaps the biggest good thing to come out of it for Christabel is that she now spends more time with her family than before.

“Being around them all day is great as I used to not be able to spend enough because of my travels. I also enjoy Zoom dates with friends—I feel more connected to them now that we chat more frequently with lesser distractions.”

This article was first published in Cleo.