Tay Su-Lyn began her career as a fashion designer and co-founder of T-Bags Los Angeles. Sold in over 20 countries, her bags and clothes were also worn by Hollywood celebrities including the cast of Sex and the City: The Movie.
After 13 years, Su-Lyn successfully sold her company and parlayed her creativity and drive into starting a restaurant with her brother and mother, culinary icon Violet Oon, to preserve Violet’s work and legacy. Three years later, Violet Oon’s Kitchen partnered with Group MMM and later rebranded as Violet Oon Singapore to represent the new restaurant group. With a total of four outlets in Singapore—a flagship store at ION Orchard, National Gallery, Clarke Quay and Jewel, Changi Airport, the group also launched a line of tropical jams, sauces and cookies to shine a spotlight on Singapore’s heritage and beloved flavours.
We don’t usually equate doctors to social media personalities, but Dr Jade Kua’s brand of useful, informative and engaging content got us wanting more. The social media savvy doctor is a senior emergency medicine specialist, with more than 17 years of healthcare experience under her belt. She’s also president of the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association and director of the Dispatcher-Assisted First Responder programme.
In 2020, she became a certified life coach and started her own practice, Jade Life and Wellness, and will be focusing on coaching and creative projects revolving around wellness in the year ahead. She’s also an author, having wrote and illustrated Good Night Marion, a children’s book on mindfulness, with her daughters.
Credit: Nicky Loh
Jenny never thought her passion for pets and travel would lead her to build a multi-million-dollar pet technology business. But that’s exactly what CarePod has become: a pet technology company that leverages innovative engineering, design and technology to ensure the safety of pets when they travel by air.
CarePod has been invited to the World Economic Forum and has been featured in The New York Times and The Japan Times. When not speaking about travel and tech space and volunteering her time at Accelerating Asia, one of the top accelerator programs in the region, Jenny volunteers at SOSD, Singapore’s largest no-kill dog shelter. She helps the non-profit organisation develop its digital platform and leads projects that resulted in the approval of larger dog sizes in HDB adoptions.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the travel industry, Jenny is making plans to adapt to the new normal. She says: “The coronavirus has impacted everyone across all industries, especially in travel and aviation. On the bright side, people are adopting and getting more pets due to the pandemic. I am confident that people and their pets will be flying again in the future. Until then, I have a few crazy ideas on how we can better the lives of our pets and new ways to incorporate them into how we live, work and play. For all of you pet lovers, definitely watch this space!”
Sabrina has been working in the talent solutions industry in Asia Pacific for over 10 years. She founded Half The Sky (HTS) – a career and headhunting platform that connects female professionals with employers who offer equal opportunities. Through HTS, Sabrina hopes to empower women in the workplace and level the playing field for women at work.
She says: “As a woman, you should be able to excel in your career and be a wife, mother, daughter or any other roles you desire. Having a career should not get in the way of you being you, and that’s how and why HTS was born.”
The HTS Circle links women to a community of career women and mentors. The HTS Blog, on the other hand, equips them with information, tips and strategies to navigate the workplace.
Constantly surrounded by people who ceaselessly care for others, Ziling was inspired to create enjoyable experiences at Re:erth. It was founded with the belief that healthy skin is beautiful skin. Every product is a result of dedication to quality, simplicity, and sustainability. And what was first seen as a skincare trend, known as “mochi-skin”, is now being identified as Re:erth’s signature.
“I believe that beauty is a work-in-progress of taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, which the “mindful beauty” seeks to achieve,” says Ziling who ensures that RE:ERTH promotes mindfulness inside out.
She’s known as Flurry Fish – the gamer-girl who has earned her chops in the male-dominated electronic gaming arena. Tammy is behind the Female Esports League (FSL) – an outfit for female competitive gamers with a 1,000-strong community. The youngest is 15, and even teachers join the league with their students.
In the last 15 years, Tammy has been instrumental in prying the door open for women to get into the boys’ club. The then-16-year-old co-founded Asterisk, Singapore’s first all-female esports team. Today, it has participated in more than 60 leagues.
Tammy wants to introduce the esports to a wider female community. “The FSL is a strictly no-hate, no-troll and non-toxic space,” she says. “There is no difference in skills, whether you’re female or male.”
She started #thebodywithin movement on Instagram to advocate body positivity and self-care. The movement encourages people who’re struggling to feel good about themselves, to share their stories and photos.
She started the movement because many young girls face the pressure to be socially acceptable in the way they look, often comparing themselves to others or trying to live up to certain expectations.
She says: “I will never change anything about myself today, even if I’m being judged for the way I look. I want women to know that no matter how you look, you’re beautiful in your own special way.”
She has a big passion for food – and the F&B business. Jolene helps out at her father’s heritage food business, Yong’s Teochew Kueh, which was founded in 1998. Its goal is to bring the taste of her grandmother’s delicious handmade kuehs to more people.
Jolene tells Her World: “I’m working on refreshing the brand and adding new items to our existing menu. We’re also planning to reduce plastic and change our packaging to something more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”
She adds: “We’ve launched an online ordering system that allows us to operate more efficiently. The past months have changed the F&B scene, and one thing has remained constant – Singaporeans love food and continue to find comfort in it. That has also reinforced the importance of affordable local heritage food.”
Jolene plans to produce a cookbook. “I’ve been brushing up on my baking skills and working on simple, delicious recipes that can easily be replicated at home,” she says. “I’ve managed to bond with people over these shared recipes on Instagram, and I hope to come up with a cookbook that’s practical and useful!”
A team leader, speaker, mentor, advisor and investor, Sunita has a strong knowledge in the changing dynamics of the real estate estate markets and world economies. With over a decade of experience in real estate, the mother of two girls won numerous real estate awards for her work.
Sunita is a volunteer-mentor at Halogen Foundation, ambassador at the Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide, a member of the Ladies Investment Club and many more finance and literacy clubs.
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.
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.
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 and her 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, and in 2020 won the Women of the Built Environment Award at RICS Awards 2020 Southeast Asia.
“Winning the Women of the Built Environment Award at the RICS Awards 2020 SEA has been incredibly humbling and this recognition is definitely another milestone that motivates me to carry on redefining the proptech landscape for the next generation of female leaders,” she said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.”
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
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
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.
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.
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. “
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.”
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.
Apart from being motivated by her own breastfeeding experiences, Yvon had also identified a gap within the mother-and-baby-care market, so she founded award-winning nursing brand Hegen to create solutions to the difficulties many mothers go through after childbirth—the products include breast pumps and feeding bottles. For its innovation, the brand swept up three Silver Stevie Awards (Fastest Growing Company of the Year; Company of the Year – Consumer Products – More Than 10 Employees; Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Asia, Australia or New Zealand) during the 17th Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business held in October 2020.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
Victoria Cheng is a published writer, digital strategist, presenter and producer. She’s also a TEDxTalk speaker and a fitness coach. She began her career in the F&B industry in 2006, helming the business development and franchising of start-up restaurant group, Concept Italian Company. Over three years, the group saw numerous accolades for each of their restaurant concepts, notably Duke’s Burger and Caffé Vergnano 1882.
Victoria combined her passion and curiosity of the city-state’s bursting F&B scene and became an established writer, food critic and social media personality. Besides her journalistic work, she also does TV presenting and also works in the fitness industry.