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10 June, 2016

THE RISE OF BLOGGER-PRENEURS

Friday, 10 June 2016, Singapore – Singapore and the region have seen a steady rise in bloggers venturing into entrepreneurship, with much success to boot. These empowering bloggers have been seen dabbling in diverse industries – from fashion to food, and even a franchise from South Korea.

Amongst the many who have taken the road less traveled, we feature our own enterprising Bloggerati talents – Jessica Loh of Shiberty Bakes, Michelle Hon of Maternity Concierge, Audrey Tan of Churros 101 and Cheryl Wee of Cheryl W Wellness & Weight Management.

CHILDHOOD DREAM FUELS HER PASSION
Shiberty Bakes 2 Jessica Loh behind the counter of her own café, Shiberty Bakes

What started as a casual hobby by the self-taught baker, Jessica Loh turned Shiberty Bakes into a viable business of creating personalized pastries and cakes. She pioneered the trend of rainbow colored ombré cakes, with her delicious sweet treats.

Jessica started off as a home-based cakery, but had always wanted to realize her dream of opening a dessert café. Just days before her 24th birthday, Jessica opened her own brick and mortar dessert café – a dream come to fruition after months of hard work. On the perks of being a blogger-preneur, “you have the additional benefit of the support of your sincere followers, and the ones who have been following you closely since the start. It’s something I am extremely appreciative of. People are so ready to support local startups!”

PERSONAL TROUBLES LED TO SHARE HER EXPERIENCE WITH EXPECTANT PARENTSThe Chill Mom

A mother of two (with a third on the way), Michelle Hon started The Chill Mom Maternity Concierge, a personalized concierge service for all expecting mothers. The idea stemmed from her own personal experience where she was working 13 hour days running an F&B business and had no time to plan for the arrival of her firstborn. She felt that many expectant mothers would be in the same position; overwhelmed with the amount of information and time.

Michelle expressed that most customers engaged her through word of mouth, from satisfied customers as referrals. “I believe customers buy from people they like and trust. So having a blog where I write from my point of view leads me to the right customers. People may have googled for something they want, landed on my website, read a few of my blog posts, found themselves sharing similar views with me and contacted me for whatever they want.”

Juggling Maternity Concierge, being a blogger and a mother, Michelle penned down her vast experiences in her debut book ‘The Chill Mom: Secrets to an enjoyable pregnancy and confident motherhood’. As a certified early childhood educator, she has helped many busy expectant parents plan and manage the arrival of their babies.

IT TAKES MORE THAN HARD WORK TO BE A FRANCHISORChurros 101 straits timesImage: Audrey Tan with churros from Churro 101 (Source: The Straits Times)

A South Korean franchise brought in by Audrey Tan, Churro 101 is Singapore’s first dedicated Churro café that offers customers a comfortable seating area to enjoy their churro fix with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Just like the brand’s tagline in mind, “Better than a boyfriend”, each churro is made fresh à la minute. The key to success and consistency, in addition to the shared knowledge and expertise – is the original churro recipe and ingredients specially imported from Korea.

Audrey shares that franchising a business is never easy, with many considerations to be made and that many do not think about the overhead costs. Her advice for those keen on starting a business, “don’t hesitate too long when the opportunity comes. Work hard and stay strong during times of doubt!” It is through sheer hard work and juggling her role as a mother, that today, Churro 101 is operating with two outlets and is expanding overseas soon.

PERSONAL STRUGGLES INSPIRED HER TO ADVOCATE POSITIVE SELF IMAGECheryl-Wee-6

We all know Cheryl Wee as an actress, singer and a food enthusiast. But she’s never really talked about how she maintains her slim and fit figure. Until recently, Cheryl shared about her past struggles with self-image. Showbiz pressured the 29 year old to resort to extreme fad diets and exercise; at one point she was subsisting on three cups of oatmeal in a day, which only fueled her with a meagre 400 calories (one-fifth of the recommended daily calorie intake for women). Ultimately, Cheryl’s extreme methods took a toll on her well-being and resulted in undesirable side effects, including secondary amenorrhoea (an absence of menstrual cycle due to low body weight).

It was a tough wake-up call for her to rethink her ideas and focus instead on maintaining a healthy weight through lifelong lifestyle changes. Wanting to advocate on the importance of embracing a positive self-image, Cheryl established Cheryl W Wellness & Weight Management, a “sister label” with her mother, hair and beauty conglomerate Jean Yip. Aiming to promote positive wellness & weight management lifestyle, there are no fad diets or extreme treatments, but instead a more holistic and “from within” approach.

These earlier Bloggerati talents who ventured into entrepreneurship include Yina Goh of The Velvet Dolls, Velda Tan of Collate The Label, Joyce Ng of The Tinsel Rack, Sheila Tham of Hollyhoque.

To find out more about our Bloggerati talents:

Jessica Loh
Website: http://www.shiberty.com
Instagram: @shiberty 

Audrey Tan
Website: http://forgetgrowingup.blogspot.sg/
Instagram: @audt

Michelle Hon
Website: http://thechillmom.com
Instagram: @thechillmom

Cheryl Wee
Website: http://thewword.com/
Instagram: @cherylweexh

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