Living in an Asian country, we would venture to say that most of us are familiar with the experience of our parents drenching us in the success stories of cousins and family members. Now with the omnipresence of the Internet, this bombardment of success has been accelerated through WhatsApp Family chats. However, we noticed that most of these stories are focused on the same things: revenue made, the mental prowess of the CEO and how they struggled through to crawl their way to the top.
Truth be told, we know that success stories like those aren’t always as they seem. They say it takes a village to raise a child, we say that it takes a group of wonderous women to make a success story. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we want to shed light on the success stories of women and their group of amazing women – these are #PorcelainWomen.
In today’s installment of #PorcelainWomen, we wanted to pay homage to the lady that started it all – Managing Director of Porcelain, Pauline Ng. The success story behind Porcelain is not a new one – a mother-daughter duo fueled by the passion to imbue everyone with self-confidence and love for their imperfections. A plethora of articles have been written about the story, but none have taken a deep dive into the true experience of it all.
We quickly caught the bustling entrepreneur to retrieve some sage business advice derived from the Trials & Tribulations of Skincare: her experience of creating a business that would set the beauty standards in Singapore.
Q: Entrepreneurship is a traditionally male –dominated profession, what were some difficulties you experienced as a woman in your entrepreneurial journey – both personally and professionally.
Truth is, I did not really face a lot of difficulties as I overcame the gender stereotype early on in life. I grew up surrounded by male cousins and did not have any female influences. Moreover, all my buddies are guys and I’ve been a groomsman once before! So I have been very comfortable around guys and still am.
Credit: Women Entrepreneur Award 2018
However, I know that many women feel the need to be exceptionally strong, especially against male counterparts. That may be true sometimes, but it is alright to go with the flow, to be comfortable with vulnerability, and find your own groove in life and business. It is important to recognize who you are as a person (man or woman) and find your footing in life, and stay true to yourself. A lot about business has to do with philosophy, how you find your purpose, lead and work with others, and most importantly to find inner balance.
What you think, you become. Start believing in yourself and march to the rhythm of your own drum!
Q: What do you feel it means to be a woman of modern times? Is there anything you feel people can improve upon to further support women and celebrate their achievements?
We are so blessed to be born in this day and age, to be given equal opportunities, and the option to choose our own lives. Many of my friends chose to stay home and be with their babies and then chose to start their business when they wanted. If we must, let us celebrate the fact we have gotten so far, and let us support people – not men, not women, but people.
Q: In addition to skincare and Porcelain, is there anything else you’re passionate about?
I am passionate about nature, the grandiosity of the Alps and mountains. The splendour of the underwater world also keeps me sane. It all reminds me that we are part of Mother Earth. Therefore, we need to do our part in protecting it and not destroying it with our human ways as much as possible. Every chance I get, I try to go away to the mountains to ski or the ocean to dive.
However, my truest, deepest passion is still music. My dad is a guitar teacher, and I have been listening to music before I was born. I’ve been doing music my whole life up till Porcelain started taking more of my spare time. I’ve studied and love Classical, love Jazz, and am pretty genre agnostic (Trance, Folk, R&B, House, Electro) but Jay Chou has a special spot in my heart.
Q: Apart from your mum’s desire to help others find confidence in their skin, was there anything else about her that inspired you to set up Porcelain and make it a success?
Truth be told, we started Porcelain because she needed a job and we had bills to pay. It was our way of finding a way out for ourselves, whilst doing it with integrity and providing value to the people who needed our services. The definition of success to me, is the impact we can make to the people we have touched – our customers and team, and the value we bring to our community as a result of us doing what we do well.
Q:What is the most valuable thing/experience you have gained through your process of establishing Porcelain?
My entire life’s learnings largely came from the introspective journey derived from my Porcelain journey. There were so many heartaches, so much pain, and sometimes it feels like it just comes wave after wave. However, from the ashes of it, I was taught grit, compassion, empathy and so much more.
Q: To end us off on a nice note, what is one hidden power that you believe every woman has?
I believe every person has their own super-power, and it’s not gender-specific. Every person is not made equal and everyone is unique. Thus, it is necessary we each go on our own path to find that superpower, and then in the later part of our lives, use that superpower to give back to society.
To all our #PorcelainWomen, thank you for being strong, authentic and unwavering in your support. We hope that through this series, you discover your uniqueness and hidden ability to pursue your passions fearlessly.