To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, HHWT has found 6 exciting #girlbosses who run their own business! Breaking barriers and gender stereotypes, these women are independent, strong, and inspirational. Learn more about their stories and their tips to becoming your own boss below!
P.S. Check Out These 24 Influential Malaysian Women Who Are Making Waves Overseas
1. Noralifah Ilyana: Founder Of The Henna Story
Noralifah, 25, is the proud founder of The Henna Story, a one-stop henna service provider based in Singapore! Specialising in bridal henna services, she also does henna parties, private henna appointments and corporate events using safe, 100% freshly handmade natural ingredients in her Natural Henna, Hengua (Jagua Henna) and White Henna products.
”I chose the name The Henna Story as I wish to tell stories though my designs. I take every session with my clients as an opportunity to exchange stories. I share them with my followers: the memories and the personality of my brides, through the designs I have crafted.”
Credit: @zomgitsashok on Instagram
Since young, Noralifah always had an interest in art. Taking O-Level Art and architecture in polytechnic, she often found her self diving right into many things creative. In fact, it was in the middle of her polytechnic years that she discovered henna as something that was therapeutic amidst her busy schedule as a student.
”That’s when I realised that there’s a demand for henna artists…and that I’m actually really good at it! I’ve always been entrepreneurial type, even before henna, I previously had a tote bag business where I customised designs on tote bags, and I still do freelance photography.”
In 2021 alone, Noralifah embellished the hands of 300 brides. What a feat!
Here’s what Noralifah has to say to ladies who’d love to start their own business!
”Don’t be scared to give it a try. Usually people don’t dare to start a business because they have the mindset that they are not ready. But seriously, just go for it and learn along the way. Learn from mistakes and grow from that. I always keep in mind, rezeki comes from Allah swt. Even so, we have to work hard and put in the effort to earn it. So be disciplined and resilient. Never compare yourself to others but compare your present self to your old self. Lastly, please take care of your health, be it physically or mentally!
P.S. Follow me on Instagram (@thehennastory), Facebook and TikTok (@noralifah_ilyana) for more henna contents! Hehe. Also, 2023 slots for bridal henna will be opening in April.”
2. Widyanty: Founder Of Royz Et Vous, Pancake Place & Waffle Place
Born in a kampong and brought up in Bedok, Widyanty is your almost average Singaporean. She worked as a stewardess and in various administrative positions for 13 years. It was only after deciding that she no longer wanted to work for someone else that she thought of starting her own businesses.
If you want to be your own boss, check out Widyanty’s tips for running your own business!
1. Do your homework. Study your market carefully & your competitors. Unless you believe you can do at least at par or better than your competitors, only than you should venture into the business.
2. Make sure you have deep pockets and have enough budget to sustain for at least 12 months to pay your expenses.
3. Do not solely rely on your own business projections for all your business expenses. Projection is just like fortune telling, you will never know if it’s going to be true.
4. Do your business projection conservatively. Only use 50% of the projected business to rely on for all your business expenses. I strongly believe that most businesses fail due to over confidence of their business projection hence, the effect on cashflow and subsequently failure of their businesses.
3. Aisyah: Founder of By Harmoni, Talking Stage and Modestly
Her journey started in her first year of university when she realized that she did not want to pursue a career in Real Estate, her degree. It was during this time that Aisyah noticed the hijab industry was booming, and that there were only a few established local hijab brands. Knowing that she had something different to offer, she started By Harmoni.
As By Harmoni grew, Aisyah started to expand her business into modest clothing with Modestly, before more recently diving into her latest passion project, Talking Stage, which sells gelato and drinks like coffee, milkshakes, coffeeshakes and butterbeer (coming soon!).
Check out Aisyah’s tips on being your own #girlboss!
- Have a clear sense of your business vision, target market and products. An entrepreneur’s mind can get easily chaotic because we constantly have new ideas popping up so this will help in keeping you in check.
- Learn the fundamentals of business. You can easily learn these through google, reading books or watching shows like Shark Tank or Apprentice!
- Minimize cost! For example, if you’re first starting out you can try taking your own product photos and marketing materials instead of hiring a photographer.
- Mind your own business. There will always be people that will tell you how to run your business or there will be competition that will get in your face. If there is constructive feedback or something to learn, then be open to learning. If not, just ignore them. It is your business and you know what’s best for it.
4. Sarah Bagharib: Founder Of Crazycat
Sarah Bagharib is the founder of Crazycat, a media and community platform that helps everyday women shine and build their confidence through digital content, events, workshops and experiences.
Sarah started Crazycat in her mid-twenties. On her own journey of self-discovery, Sarah hoped to find a community of other women who were seeking similar answers to similar questions. When she couldn’t quite find the community she had hoped for, she decided to build one on her own!
”I do work with a small team of volunteers but they also have their full-time jobs so wanting to grow and scale the business has been on the slower side. Despite all of it, I am grateful for the challenges because they are opportunities to learn, innovate and think outside the box!”
Now, Crazycat serves 5,000 women globally by providing a safe space for women to feel heard, seen and supported on their unique journeys!
”It gives me confidence to know that we are making a difference when women tell us that being a part of our community makes them feel supported and they’re grateful for our work that gives them confidence to live a life serving their own purpose.”
If you’re looking to be your own boss, check out Sarah’s tips! Hustle culture is definitely not lost on Sarah, whose advice on business is a little more unconventional, yet just as useful.
”You set and determine your own timeline! Grow your business at your own pace and know that you are exactly where you are meant to be. It is only human to compare but we should remind ourselves to stay in our lane and focus on realising our unique mission and vision. Also, collaboration over competition anytime!
I’d just like to encourage women who are reading this to own your story, embrace it and share it. You’ll never know who’ll be able to relate to your truth and who you’ll inspire and support along the way. Your voice may just be exactly what another woman needs to hear to help her shine!”
5. Jayina Chan: Founder of Anyameals
Jayina’s journey first started when her child, Anya, started weaning. Jayina started posting about her meals on her personal Instagram page as a form of food diary. As she documented her food experiments, she began pushing her culinary boundaries by researching about the different ingredients and cooking methods that would naturally enhance the flavours and nutritional value of her meals. And as time went by, parents started showing interest in our food!
”When it comes to Anya Meals, our greatest moments are when returning customers tell us how our products have changed their lives…It felt like we had accomplished what we set out to do when we hear about how they are bonding with their little ones as we eased their affairs in the kitchen, and that they are finally eating and growing well. We are so thankful for all our long-term customers for their unwavering support. ”
Check out what Jayina has to say about starting your own business!
”The very first thing we have to remember is the intention for starting a business. Does it serve the community and will it bring us closer to our Creator?
There will always be ups and downs with all businesses. Starting a business is the easy part; it’s grit, planning, and risk-taking that allows us to sustain and grow a business. We have to learn to ignore negative criticism but also know when to quit especially when an idea is not working out.
It is so important to always explore different alternatives but keep it simple. Focus on the barakah your business brings. If we get too greedy and are only in the business to earn loads of money, we will never be contented. Stay humble! Even the air we breathe in has to be returned; everything belongs to Him and Him only.”
6. Rumaizah: Founder of MeringueKind
Rumaizah is the founder of Meringuekind, a bespoke meringue cookies home based business! Their melt-in-your-mouth cookies come in many forms including caricatures, characters, and more! They are perfect for gifting and desserts for themed parties.
”I have always wanted to make cute desserts ever since I was obsessed with baking Youtube channels as a teen but did not have the budget or time to try them out then. When I started working, while I got to be creative (digitally) at work, I wanted to have a outlet to make tangible creative things so I started baking in my free time. Meringue cookies were my favourite because I could create anything I wanted. After spending time perfecting the meringue recipe and process, I decided to sell them to share the joy of having cute halal cookies.”
P.S. If you absolutely love cute baked bites, you have to check out Meringue Kind’s ‘Among Us’ meringue collection!
Check out Rumaizah’s tips for being your own boss!
I have to credit the movie “3 Idiots” for this tip. “Pursue for excellence, success will chase you” – Rancho. For service-based businesses, keep perfecting your processes and bringing value to others with what you do, and you’ll do fine.
P.S. Follow us on Instagram @meringuekind to appreciate our adorable cookies 🥺
Talk about breaking the glass ceiling! These women are truly inspirations to not only future entrepreneurs, but to all women. We’re capable of anything we set our minds to.
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