Running your own business is no small feat. It can often feel like a marathon with no end in sight, especially if you’re also a full-time mother. We asked Stephanie Choo, mumpreneur and proud owner of ethical jewellery label, Eden + Elie, on what keeps her going.
Find Your Why
“Business has tremendous potential to do good. Instead of focusing on a narrow definition of profit as financial returns only, business should be measured on impact. How are we making life better?
It is tough and there’s no doubt about it. What keeps me going is to go back to the ‘why’ and remember why I started. If you lose your compass, you’ll never last. There are days when things weigh so heavy you will need to hold on to why you started in order to stay the course.”
On Social Responsibility
“Our social mission is two-fold. The first is to provide employment for marginalised communities in need. We currently train individuals with autism through our partnership with the Autism Resource Centre to become bead-weaving artisans and they become part of the Eden + Elie team. We also work with women in need of income to support their families and want home-based work either because of care-giving responsibilities they have at home or because they just need flexibility. We currently have three women artisans.
All our artisans are based in Singapore and we are able to develop not just a contractual relationship with them but build a community of makers. Because the nature of our jewelry is deliberately meticulous in design, it is extremely labour intensive to make. It is also intentionally low-tech — meaning, we use needle and thread, not complicated equipment. It is low waste, clean to produce, and hence very conducive to be home-based work for our women artisans and for our artisans with autism who thrive in a focused setting.”
Working with Artisans
“Sometimes, I am conflicted about pointing out the different abilities of our artisans – especially as autism may be perceived as a disability by some. However, you only have to observe our artisans at work to realise how good they are – and how beautiful the work is that comes from their hands. Our women artisan also tell me that they love the work, and the pleasure of the craft brings intrinsic satisfaction.
Last year, our focus was to begin the training and hiring of artisans. Going forward, we want to reach out to a wider community to share that love of making.”
“Certainly there is a lot of inspiration to be taken from case studies, precedents and a good idea meeting a gap in the market, but I’ve found that I have the most drive, the most passion, and the most flow when I do something that closely connects to who I am. You can run on ambition, but you will run further with ambition, passion and authenticity.”