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#Soulpreneurs: Interview with Dawn Chen from Your Sustainable Store

by Soul Good Project Admin |

With July being a plastic-free month, we had the opportunity and the pleasure to speak with Dawn, the owner of Your Sustainable Store. Here's a small recap of our conversation.

Dawn shared what kickstarted her interest in starting her store that specializes in practical yet stylish earth-friendly products. As an avid traveler, Dawn had the opportunity to witness firsthand how our living habits can affect the environment. This sparked her interest to make immediate lifestyle changes that would have a better impact on our world. Aside from running her online store, Dawn also holds a full-time career in the hotel industry and manages to balance both jobs while making time for some "me-time."

Tell us a bit of yourself and why did you start Your Sustainable Store?
I have a full-time career in the hotel industry and run Your Sustainable Store on the side, out of passion. My profession of over a decade fueled my love for travels to experience different cultures and to bask in nature. Through my travels, I have witnessed how our lifestyles are affecting the environment. I wanted to make immediate lifestyle changes to reduce waste but practical yet stylish earth-friendly products were hard to find in the stores in Singapore several years back. Frustrated that options were limited, I decided to start Your Sustainable Store in a spur-of-the-moment. I wanted these amazing products to be accessible in Singapore for anyone who wish to make a change to be able to do so easily.

What does a typical day look like?
Nothing exciting really but extremely packed! If I can be up early enough, I would try to squeeze in some administrative work to be done for Your Sustainable Store – replying emails, ordering of sold out products etc. Get breakfast (this is a must) then get cracking at my day job. After office hours in the evenings are reserved for packing orders for the online store and if time allows, some wind down activities e.g. Netflix, yoga, fitness classes etc. I sometimes whip up dinner too!

Favourite part of your job?
Favourite part of my day job – when I close deals, secure contracts (I am in Sales). Favourite part of my job as an entrepreneur at Your Sustainable Store – when customers send messages telling me how much they love our curation (of products) and how my daily actions on reducing waste (which I share on IG stories) inspires them to change their lifestyles too.

Most challenging part of doing the business?
Having to manage ALL aspects of the business! As a small business owner, I have to oversee site maintenance, ensure products are stocked, fulfil customer orders, take care of marketing etc when I may not exactly be good at them.

What do you envision your brand to be?
To be a one-stop shop where customers can find a wide variety of functional, stylish and affordable earth-friendly products ranging from basic necessities to even products for pets and babies!

What does success mean to you?
Success to means being able to achieve happiness! Love your life and do what makes you happy really. It is hard to achieve when we live in a society where success is stereotyped as having an illustrious career or living a life of riches.

How do you motivate yourself?
Celebrate the little things and living each day to the fullest!

What’s your morning routine or daily ritual?
To have some “me-time”. I would choose at least one thing to do each day that helps me unwind whether it is playing the piano, listening to music, Netflix, treating myself to facial mask etc.

 

Things you wish you knew before starting your entrepreneurship journey?Nothing at all! I appreciate being able to learn new things along the way, it is all part of the process.

What’s your advice to those who aspire to be an entrepreneur especially those who’s into natural and sustainable business?
Uptake might be slow since demand for eco-products are not as huge as other mass consumer products just yet so it is crucial to manage costs and keep them low.

What’s your must-have self-care essentials?
To me self-care is not just skin deep but also means caring for my mental wellbeing too. I set aside some time each day to do the things that is not related to work, and that makes me happy.

What’s your favourite books/podcast/music that you live by? (If you have any)
A quote rather “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.” Life is not always smooth sailing so when things get tough, remember why you did it in the first place and keep going 😊