It takes a lot of courage, blood, sweat and tears to run an independent business, never mind a successful one.
But in Singapore, there seems to be no shortage of enterprising women thriving in fashion, fitness, beauty industries and more.
To pay tribute to these extraordinary women this International Women’s Day (IWD), we’ve curated a list of six remarkable female entrepreneurs that have shaken up industries and changed the way consumers indulge in shopping.
By purchasing their products, not only are you treating yourself to something special, but also showing your appreciation for their hard work and dedication.
Ranging from CRU fitness and Skin Inc to Love, Bonito and Hush Candle, here are six female-owned businesses you should check out this IWD 2023.
Founders: Rachel Lim, Velda Tan, Viola Tan
If there’s a homegrown brand that transformed the fashion scene in Singapore, it’s none other than Love, Bonito.
Founded by three university students – Rachel Lim, Velda Tan and Viola Tan – who came together to sell their preloved clothes online eventually found footing in the fashion industry by creating their own label.
Ten years ago, e-commerce was just beginning and this trio was among the first to initiate the trend of blogshops in Singapore.
Turning a $500 blogshop to a full-fledged multidollar e-commerce business, the founders propelled Love, Bonito internationally, with a strong 200 to 500 headcount globally.
One of Love, Bonito’s co-founders, Rachel was even honoured by Forbes’ 30 under ’30s in 2016.
Shop now: Pvara Regular Flare Pants ($65)
Whether you’re new to Love, Bonito, you should know that the brand is famous for its long pants. Culottes, straight cuts, flare, you name it, they’ve got it.
Dress up in the Pvara Regular Flare Pants ($65) to showcase your confident self.
This high rise wide leg pants is appropriate for any important occasion. It’s hard not to notice when someone is wearing something so stunning.
Shop now: Aleena Padded Ruffle Smocked Top ($42)
Alternatively, if you adore something more casual yet classy, check out the Aleena Padded Ruffle Smocked Top ($42).
The cropped top features sleeves that’s good for hiding your arms (if that’s what your insecure about) as well as a flattering sweetheart neckline.
The best part of this top is that it is padded, so you don’t have to wear a bra.
Founders: Beatrice Ding, Valerie Ding, Calvin Ding
Where do you find siblings who love working out together?
That’s right, the Ding siblings, otherwise known as Beatrice (Bebe), Valerie, and Calvin Ding, are spin enthusiasts who love it so much that they decided to popularise this sport in Singapore.
What started out as a small family business is currently a gym franchise with five studios in Singapore, with Bebe Ding being the master who oversees all other instructors at their five studios.
Fitness enthusiasts, you may find CruCycle familiar as the fitness gym has been around since 2014.
Lauded by spin goers, CRU has a cult following of cardio junkies and music lovers chasing after well-curated playlists.
Since its success in the indoor cycling scene, the gym broke into the international markets with CruBox, CruYoga and CruHIIT, which deliver high-intensity and music-driven strength training exercises.
Among their members include A-list celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Usher, and Hailey Bieber.
Founder: Tan Jing Jun
Who knew developing an underarm rash during an overseas trip to Cuba could seed the idea of an all-natural deodorant, which eventually led to the creation of Jomingo?
Founded by Tan Jing Jun, the indie brand was first used as an idea as part of her Master’s degree capstone project.
She quickly realised that her innovation filled a gap for consumers, especially people who needed a product that wouldn’t cause breakouts in the underarm.
Despite initial struggles, Jing Jun kept an undying attitude and eagerness to bring awareness to the brand.
She relied on her digital marketing experience to advocate the benefits of natural deodorants. and launched pop-up stores in universities to attract the younger eco-conscious crowd.
Shop now: Jomingo Certified Natural Deodorant Stick in Tea Tree Mint ($23)
Whether it’s after a good workout or to combat the humidity, a good deodorant can mask sweat and leave you feeling refreshed.
With a Jomingo Certified Natural Deodorant Stick in Tea Tree Mint ($23) on hand, you can say bye bye to sticky, post-workout underarms.
Made from natural ingredients, the deodorant’s scent is neither overpowering nor pungent. Furthermore, it’s easy to carry around since it’s palm-sized.
Shop now: Unscented Jomingo Certified Natural Deodorant Stick ($23)
If scent is not your thing, the Unscented Jomingo Certified Natural Deodorant Stick ($23) may be just the thing you are looking for.
Just like its scented buddy, it’s easy to apply and cancels out the smell of perspiration even after a workout and several hours out.
Founders: Nicole Su, Chelsea Low
Is self-care really self-care without scented candles?
Scented candles have long been known for their therapeutic effects, but can sometimes be overpowering and artificial.
Enter Hush Candle, a Singapore-based home fragrance boutique founded by Nicole and Chelsea who first ventured into the scent-making business with the passion to create aromatic and quality candles that are suitable for all walks of life.
Being scent-loving individuals, the ladies have also expanded the business to develop essential room sprays and roll-ons which allow you to bring your favourite scent everywhere you go.
Shop now: Hush Candle, Palo Santo Essential Oil Candle 8oz ($35)
The Hush Candle, Palo Santo Essential Oil Candle 8oz ($35) is a therapeutic blend of palo santo, sandalwood and clove, with delicate hints of incense and smoke that create a grounding and meditative atmosphere.
Light it up, and let the air purify, as the scent promotes positive energy and deep relaxation.
Whether you’re meditating or practicing yoga, this candle will encourage peace and mindfulness, helping you to connect with your inner self and find inner peace.
Shop now: Pure Lavender Essential Oil Roll-on 10ml ($20)
Want to bring your Hush Candle scent everywhere with you? Scent rollers such as the Pure Lavender Essential Oil Roll-on 10ml ($20) will do the trick.
Scent rollers from Hush Candle are compact and travel-friendly, which are perfect for little pick-me-ups wherever you are.
Discover Hush Candle at Amazon
Founder: Sabrina Tan
Founder Sabrina Tan is the driving force behind Skin Inc.
With millions of skin profiles at her fingertips, Sabrina used this treasure trove of information to shake up the skincare industry by creating the world’s first ever personalised serum cocktail – My Daily Dose Serum.
Skin Inc has gone on to launch even more innovative products because that everyone deserves skincare that caters to their individual needs, not just boring old generic stuff.
Shop now: Skin Inc My Daily Dose of Vitamins ABC Custom-Blended Serum ($118)
Wind down your day starting with the Skin Inc My Daily Dose of Vitamins ABC Custom-Blended Serum ($118).
This serum is designed to detoxify your skin by regulating oil levels and combating oxidation using vitamins A, B3+, and C that are encapsulated, and aims to give you clearer and less congested skin, free from blemishes.
Shop now: Skin Inc Supplement Bar Optimiser Voyage Tri-Light++ ($179.79)
To ensure your serum is well incorporated, optimise your skincare routine with the Skin Inc Supplement Bar Optimiser Voyage Tri-Light++ ($179.79).
Raved by ‘Crash Landing on You’ actress Son Ye Jin, this gadget is a triple threat with its three light settings that take on different skin issues.
The red light is all about keeping things tight and bouncy to kiss fine lines goodbye. The blue light chills your skin out and controls that greasy shine. As for the yellow light, it’s like a superhero against dark circles and scars – our mortal enemies.
Fun fact: Son Ye Jin first discovered Skin Inc when a friend picked up a sample for her when she visited Singapore. She quickly became a fan of the brand because of how easy her skincare regime became.
Discover Skin Inc online at Amazon and in stores at Sephora
Founder: Xenia Wong
If K-beauty is your thing, you wouldn’t want to miss trying out another local skincare brand, Sigi Skin.
While it is a Singapore brand, all products are made in Korea and the brand’s ambassador is none other than renowned Korean make-up artist and beauty YouTuber, Pony.
Shop now: Sigi Skin Tea-Tox Sheet Mask ($69)
Detoxing with tea-toxing? Yes, rejuvenating your skin by removing all unwanted microbiome and dead skin has never been easier with a Sigi Skin Tea-Tox Sheet Mask ($69).
Shop now: Sigi Skin Dream Capsule Overnight Sleeping Mask ($96)
If you’re tired of layering serums after serums, it’s time for you to try out the Sigi Skin Dream Capsule Overnight Sleeping Mask ($96).
Say goodbye to harsh and boring skincare routines and hello to a sweet dream with this amazing overnight mask.
Packed with bakuchiol, an ingredient that stimulates skin cell turnover, smooths fine lines, wrinkles, as well as improves skin tone and texture, you can expect to wake up fresh and fabulous in the morning.
Discover Sigi Skin at Shopee and Lazada
As Author Roxie Nafousi wrote in her internationally-acclaimed self-development book, Manifest:
“When we change our thoughts, we change how we feel and what emotions we experience, which in turn shifts our entire vibrational frequency.”
Indeed, change is the only constant in life and where do we start if we want better lives? Ourselves.