For years, Charlene Sim harboured aspirations of launching her own skincare brand as she could never find products entirely suitable for her acne-prone eczema skin. But it wasn’t until her mother fell ill that this dream sharpened into focus.

“It was only when I left my full-time job at an MNC to care for my late mum, who was battling stage four breast cancer, that I began intensive research into skincare ingredients. Our family’s cancer history made me realise the need to have clean ingredients in what we use. I didn’t want my daughters and I to take on unnecessary and known risks,” she says.

She found that many clean beauty products were too rich for a humid climate and prone to causing acne. So with her mum’s encouragement, she started Glowfully in 2018.

Initially a one-woman show, she now has a small team of three that focuses on building the brand. “Being so lean means we have to undertake multiple roles. It can be overwhelming, but it’s also the best and fastest way to learn the business,” she says.

Despite the longer working hours and pay cut, being her own boss has opened up room for her to grow. “Being an entrepreneur pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am truly learning how to lead a team now, which was something I detested previously. There are sleepless nights, but each time I overcome an obstacle, the euphoria is indescribable,” she says.

Our family’s cancer history made me realise the need to have clean ingredients in what we use. I didn’t want my daughters and I to take on unnecessary and known risks.

Glowfully Healing Elixir, Charcoal Beads Gel Cleanser and Hydrating Mist Toner are made to address the common skin problems of tropical climates.