International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th of March each year, commemorating the feminist movement for women’s rights and equality. In this year’s theme of #ChooseToChallenge, we push against the persisting gender biases and collectively work towards building an inclusive world. For IWD 2021, we spoke with four of our women partners who #ChooseToChallenge by overcoming the adversities of the pandemic.
These lady bosses have put in their blood, sweat, and tears into building their businesses from the ground-up. Furthermore, they have adapted their business models to the evolving circumstances and implemented innovative ideas to bring in new forms of revenue. These remarkable women will be sharing some of their obstacles as well as advice for the budding entrepreneurs out there.
Natasha Toh, Co-Founder of The Fun Empire and Hyperspace
Natasha is the only Singaporean honorary of the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2019 list for the retail & e-commerce category. She co-founded the leading events and team building company, The Fun Empire in Asia and expanded to own the multi-functional event venue, Hyperspace.
When sharing with us her challenges she said, “During the pandemic, there were a lot of restrictions involved. For The Fun Empire, we have pivoted to virtual events and activities (i.e. virtual escape room). For Hyperspace, we introduced hybrid events where clients could use our creative spaces or tune in online for their workshops.”
Advice to entrepreneurs: “The pandemic has taught us that 5 or 10-year plans can change in an instant. So, analyse your strengths and weaknesses and see how you can pivot using what you already have. Adapt to the new normal.”
About The Fun Empire and Hyperspace: The Fun Empire is a leading events and team building company in Asia. They create the world’s most unique and interesting activities for their clients. They have also expanded to own the multi-functional event venue, Hyperspace. Hyperspace comes equipped with a full range of amenities and boasts a cheerful, bright, themed decor, perfect for casual get-togethers and hosting corporate team bondings. Learn more about the venue here.
Hillary Tjioe, Director of MM Galleri Singapore
Hillary has used her innovative thinking to build a one-of-a-kind marble showroom in Singapore that displays beautiful yet creative marble furnitures. MM Galleri was one of the only two Asian entries to receive the prestigious ‘Pinnacle Award of Excellence’ in 2018.
On her challenges, she said, “When the gallery wasn’t producing revenue, I had to go digital and designed a virtual 360 tour of my showroom. I put that online for my potential visitors, clients and international friends to have a look.”
Advice to entrepreneurs: “Work hard and work smart in this environment. Update yourself on the latest trends and technology in your industry. Everything’s going on digital, so you always have to find new ways to adapt.”
About the MM Galleri: MM Galleri is the largest natural stone supplier in Southeast Asia. The galleri showroom is a multiple award-winning venue for you to host your next corporate event in a unique and elegant way. It is also the world’s first bended marble showroom and has hosted a wide range of private events including fashion shows, corporate gatherings, media events, weddings and product launches. Learn more about this acclaimed venue here.
Lynn Tan (right) and her business partner, Janet (left), co-founders of Eat At My Kitchen
Lynn ditched her 9-5 job to pursue her passion for cooking. Together with her business partner, Janet, she launched this unique event space at the start of 2020, which was then adversely impacted by the Circuit Breaker period.
Talking about her challenges, “Our business model had to adapt to the shifting circumstances. We expanded from private dining to luncheons, brunches and food deliveries to bring in extra revenue. We even hosted Zoom Birthday Parties through Venuerific.”
Advice to entrepreneurs: “Plan well, execute well, and be nimble. Planning is important but so is execution. You need to be flexible to make changes along the way and be nimble to cope with the unforeseen future.”
About Eat At My Kitchen: Eat At My Kitchen is a private dining restaurant cum events space. Launched in April 2020, this event venue comes with a kitchen, living space and a dining area that can be rented out for you to host your next private gathering. Learn more about this dynamic space here.
Ying is the co-founder of not one but two venues: HAPPEN and HERE! Both the venues are creative event spaces, suitable for hosting a myriad of events and come well equipped with a suite of amenities. HAPPEN was also awarded as the most popular venue for Venuerific Choice awards back in 2019!
Speaking about her challenges, “Covid-19 pandemic was a fight-or-flight situation and we had to pivot our focus. We opened up a new market in providing venue rentals for photo and video shoots. We also collaborated with an AV company to provide one-stop live-streaming services at our venues.”
Advice to entrepreneurs: “Don’t be defeated by your circumstance. When I’m faced with a new obstacle, I try to understand and accept that the situation might not be in my control. But the one thing that you CAN control is your attitude towards your circumstance!”
About HAPPEN: HAPPEN @ Jalan Besar is a dynamic space designed to host a variety of events. This unique venue has hosted a range of corporate and recreational events and with its aesthetic interiors and high-end facilities, is a venue suitable for all occasions. Learn more here.
About HERE: HERE @ Farrer Park boasts a unique interior design of an indoor glasshouse cafe, 3D-art feature walls and fully-customizable mood lighting. This creates plenty of instagrammable spots for you to take your pictures! Forge an unforgettable experience by celebrating at HERE!
We were inspired…
to speak with these incredible women and hear about their endeavours, moving forward. International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women around the world and as we #ChooseToChallenge the status quo, we build towards a more positive change in 2021. Venuerific stands in solidarity with IWD’s aims, providing a dedicated space to recognise the achievements of our women partners 🤚🏻. Through continuous dedication to tackling challenges together ahead, we hope to continue growing our smart venue management CRM system. A system that can hopefully play a pivotal role in increasing productivity for both our female and male venue partners.