Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Women in Weddings #ChooseToChallenge

Happy International Women’s Day!

It is the first time TWM Team is celebrating this important occasion this way – by having a platform to share and amplify the voices of so many powerful women in our industry. To us, this is a privilege and an honour.

In recent years especially, we have all come to recognise the significant roles women play not just as daughters, homemakers, and wives but also the ones who power incredible businesses. Many of them have come far in their individual journeys and we believe their experiences can empower others who come after them or even those finding themselves in the same shoes.

We have gathered inputs from just several of the powerful women in the wedding industry who #ChooseToChallenge themselves to take on the many hats they now wear.  They share how their journey began to what they have come to realise is important and what they hope you don’t have to learn the hard way.   

We present to you Women in Weddings:
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Brenda Lee, Fiore Dorato

Brenda Lee

Founder & Director of Fiore Dorato (@fioredorato)
Mother, Wife, Entrepreneur

1. Why did you choose to become a wedding florist?

“Flowers never last. The impressions will” I truly believe in it.

To fulfill my heart’s desires and to do transformations. I express floristry to the world locally and internationally to increase Floral Art appreciation and to make it come to life. This includes wedding theme decorating and transforming spaces.

2. What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a woman starting her career in wedding floristry/decoration?

Dare to Dream Big! Do not Limit! A vision to believe in their passion. To encourage Artists to contribute, to create, to dream big, and to inspire others across the world.

3. Is there any message you would like to send out to women on this day?

Integrity and sincerity are very important! This builds up a person’s character! We work for passion not for money! “Great design done with passion always leaves an impression, and an imprint on our hearts”

Be confident in yourself. Dare to do what you want, dare to inspire and most importantly, dare to be yourself! Express yourself in your own way and creativity.

4. What does the theme for this year #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

Let’s encourage and strengthen each other! Together we can make a difference!

Womensupportingwomen #womeninspiringwomen #Womenempowerment

5. In the current business landscape, what is one word you remind yourself constantly to empower you?

Courage

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Caroline Tan-Reed, The Wedding Stylist

Caroline Tan-Reed

Principal Wedding Stylist at The Wedding Stylist (@theweddingstylistsg)
Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Entrepreneur, Colleague and Friend

1. Why did you choose to become a wedding planner?

I started wedding planning in 2009 and it came about by chance. During that period, wedding planning was not as popular as it is today and there were maybe 4 to 5 main planners then. I became interested as more friends got married, the more I got pulled in to help and realised that there was a gap in the market for wedding planning and decided to try it out.

During that period, most weddings were done in Hotels and hosting weddings in more exciting venues like museums, restaurants, blank spaces were rare, even the choices for deco and styling were also very limited. I recall reading magazines like Martha Steward Weddings and being awed with the weddings done overseas, I was determined to try do something like that here in Singapore. So, I guess you could say wanting to bring different and more modern weddings to Singapore was the main reason I started wedding planning.

2. What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a woman starting her career in wedding planning?

You need to find the right clientele for yourself. Every planner has a different style, find yours and the right type of clients will come. Don’t over compromise on things you do not believe in.

3. Is there any message you would like to send out to women on this day?

Women are much stronger together, we should help and look out for each other.

4. What does the theme for this year #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

The theme #ChoosetoChallenge for me focuses on trying to obtain a better work life balance. It’s hard to have it all but it’s possible to attain a good balance, let’s hope I am up to this challenge!

5. In the current business landscape, what is one word you remind yourself constantly to empower you?

Believe

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Chelsea Low, Holy Moly

Chelsea Low Mei Si

Founder & Senior Principal Wedding Planner at Holy Moly (@holymoly.sg),
Founder at The Wedding Popup (@theweddingpopup)
Social Media Marketer, Entrepreneur, Creative Events Planner

1. Why did you choose to become a wedding planner?

There’s something really special about journeying through one of the most important milestones in someone’s life. To be able to witness so many intricate relationships up close, experience the warmth of a community that is naturally associated with gatherings, feel the love surrounding the newlyweds, as well as the nerves, and all sorts of emotions that somehow fall in place – it’s something meaningful that I hold close to heart.

The hours are long and the behind-the-scenes work is immense, but when we’re able to see the beautiful details finally coming together from a blank slate to an event that celebrates love, we know it’s always worth the hard work.

2. What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a woman starting her career in wedding planning?

Keep doing what you love! When you’re starting out, continually hone your skills, develop your style, connect with your community and hustle hard. It all pays off.

Behind the glamour of the wedding, there’s bound to be a lot of stressful moments. The more weddings you plan, the quicker and better you’ll become when dealing with unexpected situations or managing clients’ expectations. Having joined the wedding industry for 10 years, I have learnt to find that magic combination of work-life integration, so I have more time for other bits of life.

3. Is there any message you would like to send out to women on this day?

Love yourself more! I used to rush everywhere and be around for everybody or everything else that demands my attention. When you are able to slow down, focus on your own wellness and intentionally create space for the self, you’ll be able to recalibrate and find your purpose. It could be really simple, like enjoying a nice cup of coffee, reading a book, or going for a relaxing massage.

4. What does the theme for this year #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

For Holy Moly, it’s about growing a community and finding sustainability!

On a personal level, I want to learn something new this year — getting a driving license perhaps? And to maintain a healthy lifestyle — the lock down period last year has made all of us find time to exercise regularly and I haven’t stopped since.

5. In the current business landscape, what is one word you remind yourself constantly to empower you?

Sustainability.

Events are unpredictable at the best of times, much more with the COVID situation last year. It’s important to protect yourself financially or think about diversifying your services or skill sets.

I graduated in Marketing and have always dabbled in freelance projects for Social Media Marketing. That led me to a stable full-time position in Digital Marketing that still offers flexibility for managing Holy Moly.

Holding onto another job takes care of my day-to-day expenses and allows me to make the work I truly love. It keeps the joy of planning wedding alive, because I have the ability to stop when I need to.

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Jyue Huey, The Make Up Room

Jyue Huey

Co-Founder & Director Makeup Specialist of The Make Up Room (@themakeuproom_sg)
Daughter, Daughter-in-law, Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur

1. Why did you choose to become a makeup artist?

I always feel Make-up is a powerful tool. The paintbrush is like an artist’s hands and the face is a canvas. This canvas is already beautiful in itself, so what can one do to not obscure its beauty? To me this is an amazing art form that connects so much with humanity; that’s why I love it.

2. What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a woman starting her career in wedding hair styling/makeup?

The first thing that comes to mind is one must train oneself to garner tenacity and perseverance. And to really care for your clients because this is an event that is once in their lifetime.

3. Is there any message you would like to send out to women on this day?

We have to be many things today. We have to work, have to guide and have to nurture our family, friends and if you are lucky, your community.

Always give people the benefit of the doubt without hurting yourself.

Be authentic. Don’t take what doesn’t belong to you, because we are already so blessed in many ways as a woman.

4. What does the theme for this year #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

To me, challenges are part and parcel of my everyday life. Even when I don’t choose ‘challenge’ it will inevitably present itself. So, I guess the challenge is to pick your battle well; pick with wisdom and pick for the long term.

Do what is within your means. Don’t be envious of others and don’t create envy if you can. My challenge is always to reduce envy. In this industry that I am in, it is ironic, but it is truly what I believe in – so that’s my challenge.

5. In the current business landscape, what is one word you remind yourself constantly to empower you?

I have learnt that I can plan for things but I have to leave things I cannot plan to higher powers.

I always do my utmost and choose wisely. It is very tough and most of the time not always so straight forward. But I believe everything will be alright so long as I choose the most humane thing to do.

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Maritha Mae, Maritha Mae

Maritha Mae

Chief Photographer at Maritha Mae (@marithamae)
Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur

1. Why did you choose to become a photographer?

My journey with photography began when I picked up my first camera at 12, but it wasn’t until later in life that I decided to pursue photography as a career. My decision was rooted in a deep passion for the craft along with my lifelong desire to call attention to the beauty that’s in this world. Photography has this unique power to capture beauty, and I wanted to tap into that to inspire people and make a positive impact on the world.

2. What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a woman starting her career in photography?

Become a lifelong learner and keep on soaking up new information no matter where you are in the journey. Consistently adding to your knowledge base will help you grow and become a better version of yourself. Some of the most successful people in life devote an hour a day to learn something new.

3. Is there any message you would like to send out to women on this day?

You are powerful. Don’t dwell on limitations and everything you don’t have at the moment. Dream big and make the best of every opportunity you are given.

4. What does the theme for this year #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

As a mother of 2, for me it means challenging norms of what a female photographer – who’s also a mother – should be. It means breaking any bias barriers that might say you can’t be a mother and pursue a successful career in photography. Despite not finding many mothers who have modelled a successful photography career while juggling motherhood, I strongly believe that there is a place for mothers in this industry and that it is possible to be a mother and a successful photographer at the same time.

5. In the current business landscape, what is one word you remind yourself constantly to empower you?

Bloom where you’re planted and THRIVE.

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Paulin Teo, Crummb

Paulin Teo

Founder & Cake Artist of Crummb (@crummbcakes)
Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur

1. Why did you choose to become a cake artist?

I was a newspaper journalist before I was a cake artist. What led to this drastic change in career was just me wanting to spend more time at home after I had kids. I always liked baking, so it seemed like a fun stay-home career to switch to. But instead of just making cupcakes, which was my initial idea, I decided to aim higher and do wedding cakes. When I got married in 2006, I couldn’t find a bakery that could make me a stylishly designed cake, so I knew there was a market for that.

2. What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a woman starting her career in wedding cakes/pastries?

You’ll never feel completely qualified to start this business. Most of us start off from home, terrified and inadequate in both skills and experience. But know that you will improve, and things will come together. If you want to do it, do it. Just do your sums first and stay away from expensive rental areas.

3. What does the theme for this year #ChooseToChallenge mean to you?

It’s totally speaking to me right now because I’m trying to transition from making wedding cakes to selling cake decorating tutorials and tools on my online shop. It’s uncharted territory, I know nothing about e-commerce, but it’s the way my business has to go. It’s a challenge and a half.

4. In the current business landscape, what is one word you remind yourself constantly to empower you?

Adapt. It’s the only way to keep up with an ever-evolving landscape.

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NGL, as we went about gathering the thoughts of these amazing female entrepreneurs, we had felt incredibly inspired and empowered ourselves. Most importantly, it was an enlightening moment for us to see how even when the spotlight was shone on each of these individual Women in Weddings, they have collectively called for all Women to care and understand their personal brand thoroughly and then to band together because in so doing, we could all lift each other up.

That has truly spoken to us and we hope they have ignited a small part of you to also #ChooseToChallenge!

Happy International Women’s Day once again! Now go do your magic!

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