In conjunction with International Women's Day this year, we thought it would be a great opportunity to hear from three of our founders on their life and journey building up a business as women.
Our three founders; Vanessa, Joanne Tan-Rocca, and Joanne Yee, pens down their thoughts and reflect on their past three years of partnership together as they devoted themselves to grow The Chic Habitat Studio to what it has flourished into this day.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. If you could describe yourself in three words, what would it be?
V: : I am a team player, fun yet always strike to be a perfectionist at the same time. Love doing what I do and always work on improving every aspect of the job to make it right, this includes involving everyone’s opinion.
JTR: I am responsible, optimistic and a dependable person. I am very passionate about my work and I know how to get the job done.
JY: I am a jovial person with great patience. Especially persistent in the things I have identified myself with. Always believing in myself despite obstacles that may come.
2. What is one value that you hold close to your heart as a woman?
V: I always believe it is important to be trustworthy and honest to yourself. Most importantly, I always believe in the importance of loving yourself first before others.
JTR: To be proud and confident of who you are and never worry about what others have to say about you as a person. As long as I know I am doing the right thing, and most importantly, I am happy of who I am in that season.
JY: The value that I hold close to is acceptance. Acceptance is where we learn and understand how to accept things or situations that we can and cannot control. This is important to me because everything in life directs the lessons and experiences that you receive.
3. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity, what does this mean to you?
V: There is no one better than another person in this world because everyone is unique, the only competition we need to be in is to challenge yourself to be better than yesterday. I choose to improve 1% each day, and I will be 365% better than the year before.
JTR: Every person in this world has their own specialty, one might be better than another on something they do, but that does not mean she is better than others in everything. Everyone have unique backgrounds and experiences that we must respect, value, and embrace.
JY: Everyone is unique and charismatic. All of us are different from one another, thus why we need to value the differences between us and embrace diverse perspectives from different individuals.
4. Is there another woman who has inspired/supported you the most? In both life and work.
V: : I do meet different mentors in different stages of life, in my career and personal life. Though there is no specific person I would like to highlight, I am thankful for the lessons I get to learn from each of them throughout. And it shapes who I am today!
JTR: This might sounds a little cliché, I'm always inspired by Angelina Jolie. She portrays herself to be a strong and confident lady (Though having her flaws too, she is only human). Being a celebrity is never easy but she couldn't care more on what people think of her. She has this charm that has driven me to be who I want to be, leaving no space to worry about what people might say.
JY: No specific person to mention but I’m grateful for every piece of sincere advice from all the female individuals I have met along the way.
5. What is the most valuable piece of life lesson/advice you would like to pass on to another woman trying to establish a career/life?
V: Always practice transparency and be confident in what you have decided to do. It's always important to do it wholeheartedly! You will reap what you sow.
JTR: Never give up and keep trying your best. Being independent as a woman in our current society is very important so people will see you to be on par with everyone else around you. Just be real and genuine!
JY: Be positive! Focus on good things and practice gratitude.
6. As a leader, what kind of workplace culture do you aim to build in this company?
V: We spend 1/3 of the day being at the workplace and sometimes more. So, having a happy team makes work less stressful. I aim to have a fun and joyful environment while still ensuring everyone is aligned to the vision of the company and take on their roles with full ownership.
JTR: Respect is not given, it is earned. As a leader, I value the weight to do the work with my team and guide them by example. I see the importance in getting my hands ‘dirty’ while training the team before letting them ‘run’ on my own. I like to make jokes with the team to make sure the workplace is always full of laughter, that is important to me.
JY: Would aim to instil integrity as a culture in the company. I'd love to build a space where everyone is open to sharing ideas, connecting as a team and respecting each other. Of course, a fun team would be a bonus.
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
V: I would love to ensure me and my family are always at good health so that we can travel the world together. Our bucket list is tour many prefectures of Japan, USA, and Europe. I will strive to ensure I have time freedom to do this in 5 years time. Other than traveling, I would love to have better quality of life and be able to provide the best education for my kids too!
JTR: I would definitely like to stay healthy. Keeping fit is my number one personal goal. A healthy mind and body leads to a better life. For self growth, I hope to be more resilient towards better time management to juggle between work and family so I don't burn out from neglecting either one. I hope to be traveling with my family to places I always want to visit too.
JY: In 5 years, I see myself even more independent. I want to be a woman who can be proud of my own success in my career, while building a happy and loving family!
8. Where do you see The Chic Habitat Studio in 5 years?
V: I envision The Chic Habitat to be a brand that people will talk about whenever they look for small or big gifts. I want to see our brand be so reputable that we are able to cater for every kind of service necessary in the gifting industry. Also, a very chic studio with a café for our clientele and customers to chill at when they come visit perhaps?
JTR: I would like to see The Chic Habitat to grow into a reputable company, moving into larger workspaces with extremely chic furniture with more storage and stock system available for the team. When people talk about gifting, I want to see The Chic Habitat be a name they will not miss.
JY: The branding of The Chic Habitat Studio being elevated to the next level together with both my lovely partners, where everyone knows us as their top choice when it comes to gifting. Apart from this, in 5 years, I would love to see the team to grow and flourish in diversity and talent, where our team will grow in quality together with the company.
9. What is an encouragement you’d like to give to all the woman reading this?
V: As cliché as it sounds, “do what you love, and love what you do!”
JTR: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in life. The important thing is, when you fail, you know where you ‘fall’. Learn the lesson and start again. With all strength outside, the sky is the limit. So don't give yourself excuses, bring out that courage and fight for your success.
JY: Never limit yourself, you have the power to make it. Believe in yourself and go for it!
We're so honoured to have done this interview with our founders in conjunction with International Women's Day 2023. From all of us at The Chic Habitat Studio, we will work towards empowering our workplace to #EmbraceEquity , a space where diversity, equity, and inclusivity is a priority, and a culture where differences are valued and celebrated. Will you #EmbraceEquity in 2023 too?