Meet the achieving women of Her World Tribe

by Her World  /   July 24, 2020

They are the stylish and industrious multi-hyphenates in Singapore who have successfully built a brand for themselves


Credit: Photo courtesy of Ang Jin Yuan

If you got an upcoming dinner or gala, Style Lease has got you sorted
out with an impressive wardrobe of over 400 high-fashion labels to
choose from – and rentals at a fraction of the price.

And this is the brainchild of Ang Jinyuan, who has reinvented retail to become a smarter and more relevant choice for the modern woman. That is, access instead of ownership. 

Jinyuan founded Style Lease at Circular Road in 2016. But this isn’t her first foray into fashion. She started her online fashion business when she was in university. Since then, the entrepreneur has developed her big ideas around her passion. This includes her latest baby, The Ivory, which she introduced last year. An expansion into the bridal business, the boutique has since brought on board several renowned and emerging designers like Allison Webb, Julie Vino and Vaughn Tan.

“I hope to continue to engage and impact the female community by bringing on board more options and new ideas – one step at a time, beginning from the wardrobe,” Jinyuan says.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Ohmyhome

She began conceptualising Ohmyhome in 2015 when she came across some of the issues that people face when buying, selling, and renting a home. This prompted Race to develop smart solutions that simplify the housing transaction. Ohmyhome was launched in 2016, targeting the HDB market, which is the largest sector of our housing market.

Under Race’s leadership, Ohmyhome was recognised as the Best E-Commerce Startup at 2018 Singapore Rice Bowl Startup Awards. Besides her real estate career, Race has also made her mark in the film and media industry. She’s also a Cantopop artiste who has four music albums, six TV dramas and 11 feature films under her belt.

Race holds a Master’s degree in business from the University of Newcastle, where she majored in marketing.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Ohmyhome

Her wealth of experience in the real-estate sector has helped her drive the company to become Singapore’s first one-stop property solution. Rhonda’s mission is to simplify housing transactions and provide an enhanced home search experience that saves time and money.

She’s a founding member of the inaugural Singapore PropTech Association, which aims to innovate the traditional real estate industry. Rhonda’s astute business acumen and passion for property make her a sought-after mentor at entrepreneurial and proptech events. She is also a speaker at schools and business leadership seminars.

Rhonda graduated with distinction from Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, with majors in finance, entrepreneurial, accounting, and a minor in economics.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Karman Tse

Her passion combines image consulting and life coaching practices aimed to inspire people to live more mindfully and positively. A certified image consultant who trained at the Academy of Image Mastery and the London Image Institute, Shireena is also a member of the International Coach Federation (Singapore Chapter).

The dynamic life and happiness coach has a truly global perspective on the subject of diversity, having lived and worked in many countries like Japan and Hong Kong. Shireena, who was one of the engaging panelists of Her World Live 2019 event, started her career at Transearch International in New Delhi, before moving to global recruitment firm Hudson in Singapore. After her stint as a recruiter, Shireena combined her people skills and channeled her passion to helping people look and feel their best with Sheens Image Consulting.

The mum-of-two spends most of her time creating memories with her family and children, Lara and Arian. Shireena has a Bachelor of International Business with a minor in Spanish and concentration in international trade & marketing from Carleton University. And a business degree from La Universidad Antonio de Nebrija.

Credit: Photo courtesy of ayeshakhanna.com

She has been a strategic advisor on artificial intelligence (AI), smart cities and fintech to leading corporations and governments. A heavyweight in the area of AI, Ayesha was named in 2018 as one of Southeast Asia’s groundbreaking female entrepreneurs by Forbes.

Apart from ADDO AI, a training enterprise that upskills corporate employees and students in data science, data engineering, and applied machine learning, Ayesha is also the founder of 21C GIRLS. It is a charity that provides free coding and artificial intelligence classes to girls in Singapore.

Ayesha is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councils – a community of international experts who provide thought leadership on the impact and governance of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Brandy Dallas

Before moving to Singapore in 2014, Brandy lived and worked in India while pursuing a fashion career. She wrote for major fashion titles and worked at one of the region’s most socially responsible cotton textile mills in Punjab. The experience gave her insights and a full understanding of the fashion industry from ground zero.

She witnessed the positive impact that a business can have, not just improving a community’s standard of living, but also the integral steps that manufacturers can take to provide safe conditions for their workers. Brandy was inspired to take action and founded her ethically-made womenswear label, Sans Faff.

“My mission is to work at the intersection of fashion, social responsibility and environmental protection,” she says. “Sans Faff is a call to arms for slow fashion and conscious consumption. We want to invest in our planet, support our local Sans Faff community and protect our resources for generations to come.”

Brandy’s first collection, Future Essentials, strives to create a platform for consumers to make a difference. By shifting the focus from temporary trends to enduring essentials, she encourages people to buy more responsibly and wear more consciously.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Charlotte Mei

She’s the resident nutritionist for Asian Food Network, where Charlotte shares recipes and articles on nutrition and wellbeing. A nutritionist by training, the media personality is also a self-taught cook, and an advocate of sustainable living. Her mission is simple: to get more people into the kitchen and get them interested in what they eat!

“My goal this year is to get more people involved in the conversation (and actions!) around sustainability to make it more of a daily habit than a lifestyle trend,” she tells Her World.

Her content channel TheCharlotteMei shares delicious and fuss- free recipes and nuggets of tips for living and eating more mindfully. She empowers her audience on their food choices – how they eat and perceive food, and how they shop and cook.

Credit: Photo courtesy of KC Eng

Sharul is a riot on stage and she’s also Singapore’s only female stand-up comedian, who has performed in festivals around Asia, and to full-house audiences at comedy clubs. Trained in theatre from Lasalle College of the Arts, Sharul is also a familiar face in the theatre scene.

She has performed several one-woman theatre shows – Crazy Poor Sita where Sharul was nominated for Best Actress in The Straits Times, Life! Theatre Awards 2020. And her much talked about performance (in collaboration with Aware), Am I Old? was screened on Zoom during the Circuit Breaker. It received rave reviews in The Straits Times, and Sharul is translating the virtual show in Hindi and Tamil.

Women and social issues are close to Sharul’s heart. Am I Old? highlights the ageing and caregiving situation, based on Aware’s report, Make Care Count. The talented comedian has a weekly online live show on Facebook and Instagram called Quickie with Sharul Channa, which features people from different backgrounds discussing survival tips during the Circuit Breaker.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Astrie Sunindar-Ratner

Etiquette is an empowering force that lays the foundation for children to blossom into successful adults, Astrie believes. And the mother of three speaks from experience, having attended her first etiquette course when she was nine.

The certified social and youth etiquette consultant founded A – The Etiquette Consultancy, with a goal to prepare children and adults for success by instilling a deep sense of etiquette, which teaches self-awareness, respect and kindness for others. A – The Etiquette Consultancy holds seminars and courses for businesses, families, individuals and international schools.

“Etiquette is just as valuable to adults who’re looking to reach their
full potential (with their confidence and charisma),” she says. “This
enables them to make positive impressions and stand out at
important social and professional settings.”

Dr Teo Wan Lin
Credit: Photo courtesy of Dr Teo Wan Lin

She’s a firm believer that natural beauty reflects honesty and authenticity – an approach she takes as a dermatologist. Last year, Dr Teo developed Dr.TWL Custom Lip Lab, a customised cosmeceutical lipstick laboratory, featuring anti-ageing ingredients such as Salmon Roe DNA and nourishing phytoceramides in a fully edible formula. 

She says: “Our pursuit of beauty should always celebrate individuality over vanity. I always emphasise that beauty starts with an inner consciousness and empowerment, starting with a scientific approach towards skin health, building confidence and finding peace.”

Dr Teo is also the author of Skincare Bible- Dermatologist’s Tips on Cosmeceutical Skincare. Formerly a national epee fencer, she continues to compete in the sport. She’s also a passionate equestrian.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Ginette Chittick

By day, she’s the programme leader of the Diploma in Fashion programme at Lasalle College of the Arts, shaping the young minds who eagerly await their entry into the fashion industry. Ginette is also one-third of cult fashion collective Frufru & Tigerlily.

By night, Ginette is a multitasking ninja, with her fingers in the music, fashion, art and design scenes. She was a resident DJ at now-defunct underground bar Home Club, playing indie, garage rock and other space oddities, in a series called Beat! She’s on electric bass and vocal duties for her shoegaze band, Astreal. Since 1992, the noise merchants have released two albums and two EPs.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Bella Koh

Bella embraces the philosophy of slow living, and she documents her every day journey on @catslavery on Instagram. The full-time mum creates content on her social media platforms as well as on Slowhouse – a space for conscious living dedicated to nature and the beauty of everyday life. 

Bella advocates the use of organic and sustainable produce to create healthy and delicious fare in her very own kitchen. She also conducts workshops at Slowhouse, such as making guilt-free desserts.

Constantly curious and excited about everything, Bella says: “I try my best to do what I love, and to always be better at it. Whether it’s cooking, yoga, motherhood or styling, I enjoy digging deeper into each ritual to form a stronger pillar in my life.”

I try my best to do what I love, and to always be better at it.

– Bella Koh
Credit: Photo courtesy of Celine Tan

She’s one of the two girl bosses at The Ate Group, which provides companies with lifestyle solutions for their communications and marketing needs. This year, Celine and her business partner, Su-Lyn Tan, will launch a podcast, Women Talking, to tackle issues such as mental health in women.

Apart from The Ate Group, Celine has been instrumental in expanding Caviar Colony’s footprint globally. She says: “We’re excited to be stocked at major hotels in Macau this year, as well as the Maldives. We’re still working hard on research and AI for the breeding of this fish species, as well as educating the industry and the public on our sustainable practices.”

For her, 2020 is about self-love and finding balance. She adds: “I want to give myself time. Time to go to the gym, time for date nights, and time for cuddles. After all, it’s home that makes everything okay, and it’s family that motivates me now.”

Credit: Photo courtesy of Jaime Lee 

Jaime Lee took a leap of faith to pursue her creative calling, and she hasn’t looked back since. Though a lawyer by training, her love for stationery, lifestyle products, design and colour led her to a whole new world of graphic design. 

Driven by a deep belief and desire to create practical and impactful everyday pieces, she launched a full range of ready-to-purchase stationery and lifestyle products in 2013.

Under her helm, The Paper Bunny has collaborated with international brands such as Sephora and Coach. She says: “Big things happen with one small step at a time. I hold this close to my heart when I feel discouraged or when problems seem insurmountable.”

Big things happen with one small step at a time.

– Jaime Lee
Credit: Photo courtesy of Jeneen Goh

Choosing to leave the corporate world to venture out on your own is no small feat. It’s a high-risk-high-reward situation, but great ideas, enough capital, and emotional support aside, you’ve got to have enough passion to persevere through the tough times. For Jeneen, that leap of faith came about when she left her job to start her own social media marketing agency.

Jeneen loves the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur, and how it allows her to have zero limits on what she can achieve. Her biggest fulfilment comes from building her business and mentoring her team.

She says: “You can be whoever and whatever you want to be. Keep dreaming, keep doing, and one day, you’ll wake up and find that you’ve arrived – that joy and sense of accomplishment makes it all worth it.”

You can be whoever and whatever you want to be. Keep dreaming, keep doing, and one day, you’ll wake up and find that you’ve arrived.

– Jeneen Goh
Credit: Photo courtesy of Pek Lay Peng

To provide a platform to support emerging Asian designers, she founded SocietyA in 2014 and launched it to a global market of consumers who are looking for unique and quality apparel at attractive prices.

Since then, SocietyA has made significant strides in the fashion retail scene. Today, it has grown from having only 11 Asian-designer brands to over 50 brands (offering garments, bags and accessories) from Korea, Paris, New York, Indonesia, Thailand and more. SocietyA is also the largest distributor of Korean labels in Singapore.

On the side, Lay Peng is also the vice chairperson of LadiesFirst – a registered society with an objective to give back, create a social impact, and make positive changes to women and society.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Shirin Tang

She’s described by her clients as the go-to lawyer for high impact transactions. Shirin, the powerhouse legal counsel, handles complex corporate transactions for regional clients around the world.

She was named by Asian Legal Business as one of the “40 Under 40” most outstanding private practice lawyers and in-house counsels in Asia in 2017, and Southeast Asia Woman Lawyer of the Year in 2018.

An active member of the firm’s Women’s Strategy Committee, Shirin is passionate about the personal and professional advancement of women in the legal profession. She pays it forward by mentoring and training more junior lawyers both within and outside the firm.

In her free time, Shirin – together with her son – helps out in community outreach projects for elderly cardboard collectors and other beneficiaries.

Credit: Photo: Courtesy of Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is a communications specialist with deep-rooted ties to the F&B industry.  She co-founded The Ate Group in 2006, which provides companies with lifestyle solutions for their communications and marketing needs.

Always pushing herself in her areas of expertise, Su-Lyn was named the 2017 Outstanding Asean Woman Entrepreneur by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This year, she’s launching a podcast, Women Talking, with her business partner, Celine Tan.

On the personal front, she says: “I’m looking forward to sharing the life lessons I’ve learnt in a helpful, structured manner. I’ve spent a couple of years struggling to juggle work and family. This year, I find that there’s greater clarity in my thinking. “

Credit: Photo courtesy of Dr Suhina Singh

She has a strong desire to change the way that healthcare companies interact with customers and patients. With over 14 years in healthcare, she has taken on instrumental roles in medical advisory, operations and data-driven digital marketing.

More than that, the former beauty queen and model is also behind the popular handle @LuxItGirl on Instagram, where she offers her take on luxury, fashion, tech and travel.

Suhina is also pursuing higher learning. She says: “My key goal this year is to maximise my learning during my Executive MBA and Leadership Development Programme at Insead this year. A key focus in my leadership development journey is to overcome my lack of self-confidence, and in doing so, I hope to inspire other women who face similar challenges.”

Credit: Photo courtesy of Trina Liang 

She is a pioneer and specialist in the Asian bond market securities sector. Trina has held senior positions in a number of global investment banks and has worked in Hong Kong, New York, London and Singapore. 

As the past president of the Singapore Committee for UN Women, and an outspoken champion of social and gender inequality issues, she has sought to better the lives of different communities. Trina launched the 2014 UN Women campaign, Girls2pioneers, which aims to raise awareness and cultivate skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics among students. She and her team at UN Women also successfully lobbied for a mandatory rest day for foreign domestic workers.

Trina is also the co-founder of Project Inspire, a global social enterprise competition for youth. She’s also behind social enterprise, Halo Health Asia, which aims to promote conscious food decisions by providing consumers with the latest in nutrition and food innovation.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Yvon Bock

Motivated by her own breastfeeding experiences and the gap within the mother and baby care market, Yvon founded the award-winning nursing brand Hegen as a solution to the difficulties many mothers go through after childbirth. 

Prior to launching Hegen, Yvon worked in the banking sector. When she was pregnant with her second child, Yvon was a management trainee at her family’s business, Fitson. Her experience inspired her to start Hegen, creating a line of mother and baby care products for mothers.

She says: “Mothers and babies are very close to my heart, which is why we support a shelter called Safe Pace that protects women with unwanted pregnancies. They can stay there or visit for support and counselling. Hegen helps by conducting workshops and breastfeeding talks.”

“In Singapore, many of us are unaware of women who suffer in silence, like rape victims, abused wives and those who are pregnant out of wedlock. They are really crying out for help and I’m very proud to be part of their support system.”

Credit: Photo: Her World

She’s the fresh faced 21st-century tech girl who has gone on to the big league on her own, in an industry traditionally reserved for brash, fast-fingered men twice her 26 years. Annabelle, who’s the poster girl of AI (artificial intelligence) – is also Her World’s Young Woman Achiever 2019. Also a mathematician and hardware hacker she was the founder of AI firm NeuralBay, and founding CEO of hardware company SmartCow. 

She creates innovative technology, flies the Singapore flag, globetrotting to give talks in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, joining the who’s who of the global tech industry. A visionary with a heart, she has developed AI software but her aim is not to replace jobs but to make the tech more affordable and accessible.

Despite her busy schedule, the go-getter has always found space for charity work, and to pursue other interests. She explains: “There are many elements to what I do. I run a business. I create tech. I have hobbies to maintain my sanity (she has a black belt in taekwondo, and is a licensed windsurfer). When you do the smaller things, you develop better hand-eye coordination. It does something to your brain, too – it keeps you alert.”

Credit: Photo courtesy of Jade Seah

She is one of Singapore’s noted social media influencers, with years of experience in both television and radio. Jade is also a charismatic host, and she contributes to Her World’s monthly column, Girl Talk. 

She takes a no-guilt approach when it comes to self-improvement. Jade has gone back to school to take up a year-long diploma in applied positive psychology.

She says: “Inspired by my studies, I’m now working on bringing this science of happiness to more people through motivational talks. This way, people can feel encouraged to take steps to be happier, improving their mental and emotional well-being.”

Credit: Louis Kwok

You know her as the lilting voice behind The Afternoon Scoop with Charmaine Yee on Kiss92 FM, bringing you All the Great Songs in One Place, but she’s much more than a voice. 

The radio presenter is also an event host and television presenter, who has interviewed Cristiano Ronaldo, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and the star-studded cast of Crazy Rich Asians at the red-carpet event. 

A versatile emcee, she’s also hosted a variety of events such as the launch of Kodak Evoblue, and the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore’s 10th anniversary fundraising gala dinner, with President Halimah Yacob as the guest-of-honour. 

Just this year, Charmaine started her new business MEvolution to help clients be the best version of themselves through talks, workshops, and seminars. MEvolution coaches clients in the three P’s: Personal branding (think styling, dressing for your body type, makeup), Presenting with confidence (speaking, body language), and Performing your best (mental and physical health). This involves her as a Speaking With Confidence coach, teaching clients how to nail that job interview, or to engage confidently with people. 

Here’s something that might shock you: Charmaine is obsessed with Taiwanese and Chinese dramas, and sometimes binge-watches them till five in the morning.