Singapore may be small geographically, but women entrepreneurs here are not afraid to dream big.
From trendsetting fashion, makeup and jewellery to handcrafted artisan goods and homewares, these lifestyle businesses—founded by fearless females—show that dreams nurtured in Singapore extend way beyond the shores of that Little Red Dot on the map.
Demonstrating that local creativity is just as worthy as their counterparts abroad, these Singapore-based brands are indubitably going from strength to strength. With courage and confidence, women entrepreneurs from Singapore are firmly putting their stamp on the world market.
Forget mass-produced replicas. Every bespoke leather work created by this homegrown label is 100 per cent handmade and customised according to your choice of design, size and colour of leather and hardware. That means every piece you acquire at Anastasiabyraine (ABR) is truly one-of-a-kind—no two pieces are alike.
“You can even send in your designs and I will do my best to handmake it for you,” promises founder and designer Raine Chin, who actually holds a day job as a polytechnic lecturer.
Since she was 15, Raine has always dreamt of being a designer—be it in fashion, animation or cartooning. However, pressured by societal norms and expectations, she chose to major in marketing and merchandising instead. Subsequently, Raine went on to become a teacher and is currently teaching entrepreneurship and innovation at a local polytechnic.
A sudden solo trip gave her newfound strength and impetus to kickstart ABR after more than 10 years.
As a self-made entrepreneur with a self-discovered skill in handmade leather crafts, Raine wants the label to convey a message of being “strong, independent and staying positively impulsive,” she says.
“I want ABR to be a label that represents a lady with attitude (A), a lady who is bold (B), and someone who is not afraid to be a rebel for all the right reasons (R).”
2. Bravo Collection
In a hot and humid climate like Singapore, wearing fabrics that are comfortable and breathable can make a big difference—both in terms of looking cool and staying cool. Enter the Bravo Collection, a handmade linen clothing brand that showcases fashion-forward linen outfits for such a time as this.
Founded by Nadia Bremner, a Ukranian who currently resides in Singapore, the brand works with talented young designers and artisans in Ukraine who create flattering designs at their atelier in Kyiv, Ukraine. Drawing on artisan skills, traditional methods and craftsmanship are used to produce their range of clothing. These include exclusive linen dresses, shirts and trousers which feature exquisitely embroidered contemporary elements.
After the birth of her daughter, Nadia left her corporate career to launch Bravo Collection when she saw the need for quality linen clothing that is perfect for the Singapore climate.
Made from sustainable linen grown in Ukraine, Belarus and Baltic countries, their uniquely embroidered garments are as beautiful as they are natural and hypoallergenic. Not only is the material highly durable, but it does not shrink, stretch or wear out easily. Best of all, the weave of linen fibres allows for airflow and its structure keeps your skin cool by wicking away moisture in hot weather.
“I am proud to share my sustainable linen clothing line and heritage, while supporting the Ukrainian women whose only way to make a living is through embroidery,” she says.
3. Capsule by Juliette
Show off some Parisian chic with the timeless and versatile collections created by French fashion designer Juliette Capillaire. Featuring easy-to-wear outfits, you can find everything from sophisticated basics adorned with feminine details or exclusive prints, to flattering dresses, skirts, trousers, tops and playsuits.
“I couldn’t find the perfect professional and versatile outfit, so I designed it,” says Juliette, of her signature jumpsuit and bestseller. “I want to design an effortlessly chic wardrobe of affordable luxury pieces for a real and happy life!”
Juliette launched her women’s fashion label Capsule by Juliette in Singapore when she moved here with her husband in 2016. Prior to this, she had started a luxury kids’ clothing brand called Jules&Juliette in Dubai three years earlier.
Inspired by her grandmother, who taught her the fashion principles she cherishes to this day, Juliette believes in keeping fashion simple but elegant—the epitome of authentic Parisian chic.
“Never wear more than three colours at a time; always wear quality clothes in nice materials; and buy less but only high-end fabrics that are long-lasting and flattering,” shares Juliette.
Her limited collections are created to stand the test of time and outlast trends that come and go. Designed with the softest natural fabrics, Capsule by Juliette’s pieces are made with traditional know-how and printed with eco-friendly inks. You can also find a beautiful range of exquisite jewellery—handcrafted from 18K gold vermeil—to add sophistication to your look.
That’s not all. You can also create a warm and soothing mood within your intimate spaces with Capsule by Juliette’s delicate interior spray and scented candles that are made in France that brings to mind the golden light of Provence and of beautiful memories.
Capsule by Juliette
Address: Cluny Court Level 2, 501 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 589760
Tel: +65 8333 8705
Getting a good night’s rest is important for our health because our bodies heal when we sleep. That is why investing in quality bedding matters, as it can vastly improve the quality of your sleep.
Founder of EASVEN, Yan Chen understands this well. The reason why she created the EASVEN bedding range featuring premium quality yet affordable bed linens? To perfect people’s sleep experiences. Manufactured with eco-friendly and sustainable TENCEL fabrics, the homegrown brand’s luxurious bedding products are not only comfortable and soft to the touch, but also keep you dry and cool as you sleep. Compared to polyester and synthetics, TENCEL’s lyocell fibres absorb moisture much more efficiently, so there is less available moisture for bacteria to flourish.
“For the millions of people around the world who crave for premium quality yet affordable bed linen, I created EASVEN to serve you,” says the Suzhou native who has resided in Singapore for over 16 years.
Formally established in 2019, the name EASVEN is a combination of “Eastern Venice”, in tribute to the Chinese city in Suzhou where Yan grew up. For two decades, her family ran a bedding and household goods business, where Yan first started her career. After getting her Arts and Design degree in the UK, she moved to Singapore in 2004. In 2019, Yan returned to her love of textiles and fabrics by starting EASVEN.
Tel: +65 8826 8972
5. Éclat by Oui
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, crooned Marilyn Monroe. However, not everyone can afford the real thing. If you are looking for a luxurious diamond alternative, look no further—the line of jewellery by Éclat by Oui is made with impeccable quality and optical similarity to naturally mined diamonds.
Founder Ethel Neo, who is a neuroscience graduate and mother of two, says it was losing her engagement ring while travelling that first sent her searching for a luxurious diamond alternative.
What was initially a personal quest very quickly turned into a passion project.
With the encouragement of her family and friends, Ethel decided to launch her first jewellery line Éclat by Oui (“Éclat” means great brilliance and display in French).
Honed with meticulous detail and exquisite craftsmanship, the brand’s sparkling gems are artworks in themselves, with their bright gleam and kaleidoscopic brilliance. Made with the highest-grade cubic zirconia—the purest crystalline form of zirconium dioxide—and handcrafted in Hong Kong, Éclat by Oui’s stones are hand-cut and polished to showcase the brilliance of naturally mined diamonds.
With a hardness of 8.5 on the Moh’s scale, these diamond simulants are comparable to the hardness of a natural Ruby or Sapphire gemstone. They are then set on ring bands that are made from 925 sterling silver triply plated with 18K white gold (unless otherwise stated).
6. Salient Label
Keeping things simple and understated is the hallmark of the pieces from this brand, which features minimalist hues and sleek lines. Designed for versatility in styling and accessorising, Salient Label demonstrates that the fewer the frills, the cooler and more edgy the look.
Founded in 2015 by Lim Yi Chin, a marketer by training, the clothing brand went from being a multi-label online boutique that outsourced designs from China and South Korea to creating her own distinctive designs in-house.
In response to the growing demands of her clientele, she has also expanded her range of sizes, ranging from XS to XXXL, to include clothing for plus-sized customers.
“From participating in various pop-ups, I was able to get feedback from some of my customers who would tell me my garments were either too large for an S or too small for an XL,” shares Yi Chin in another interview. “I wanted to cater to more women, so I began producing selected designs in an extended size range.”
As part of her research, Yi Chin also solicited feedback from friends and family on how they liked their clothes to fit and how she could improve the cut in her clothing. “These little steps helped with understanding how to properly fit and design clothing for plus-sized women,” she adds.
Salient Label prides itself on ethical and sustainable production. Its fabrics are only dyed with inks that have been approved by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and are made without the use of toxic chemicals. To reduce its carbon footprint, the brand also aims to work only with suppliers and manufacturers from the same cities within Asia.
Salient Label is stocked at:
Isetan Scotts – Slice of Life, 350 Orchard Road, Shaw House, Level 2 Womenswear
Tel: +65 8133 2995|
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
7. SCEPTR Cosmetics
If you are looking for multitasking makeup that is practical and easy to use, this vegan and Halal-friendly range of cosmetics is just what you need to transform your look in a pinch. Known for their waterproof and sweatproof properties, you can also count on coverage that lasts all day.
Founded in Singapore in 2019, SCEPTR Cosmetics is the brainchild of British expat and renowned makeup coach Samina Malik, who has a Pakistani and Indian background. After having worked with clients for more than 10 years, including giving custom makeup lessons and helping women to shop for the right products, Samina found that the available solutions were sorely lacking.
“There was a lack of formulas and shades best suited for my customers, so I decided to create my own, just for them,” says Samina.
Made with skin-loving ingredients, her formulas are luxuriously lightweight and come in an impressive range of shades—from their Powermatt liquid lipsticks and Powerglass anti-ageing lip glosses to their multi-purpose Eye & Brow Definers. Just a year after its launch, SCEPTR Cosmetics was lauded as one of the “Best New Beauty Brands in 2020” by Beauty Insider SG.
“Makeup can be powerful tools, but they need to be realistic and easy to use,” explains Samina. “That is why I created products that multitask and last all day. I also invented uniquely designed patented beauty tools for easy application.”
SCEPTR has also just launched its latest addition, a stunning copper bronze Liquid Eyeshadow named Sajal. The multitasking waterproof product can be used on eyes, cheeks and lips. Perfect for your travel kit!
Tel: +65 8661 1671
8. Voilà Concepts
Take your arm candy to a whole new level with these eye-catching handbags that made their debut on the runways of New York Fashion Week in 2020. “Designed by designers, for the designer in you”, the brand – co-founded by Shi Huiling and Claris Lim – promises that your handbag will definitely have your personal touch to it.
Celebrating individuality and customisation, what is exciting about owning a bag from Voilà Concepts is that you can add your own personal touch. Unleash your inner designer and have a say in your bag’s composition—from the body panels right down to its zippers, handles and accessories. For a classic look, pair a monochromatic body with colour-contrasted handles, or if you prefer something bolder, go wild with different colours for each element.
Creative director Huiling, who has a background in architecture, draws from modular concepts to build these customisable bags, allowing people to appreciate the art of putting components together.
Besides the aesthetic elements, the brand wanted to include functional and practical elements too. Hence, the idea of a modular bag came about. Moreover, the modular design also reduces fashion waste—instead of throwing away an entire bag due to wear and tear of a particular part, consumers can just replace the component that has worn out.
Made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam, its current collection is aptly named NIQ (N’importe qui, which is French for “no matter whom”) and NIO (N’importe où, which is French for “no matter where”) as the founders “wanted the bags to be suitable for everyone and for different occasions,” whether for the boardroom or for a fun day at the beach.
Fanning the flames of success
While these businesswomen have worked hard themselves to realise their dreams, it helps to have the support of a network like CRIB (Creating Responsible and Innovative Business) Society.
A non-profit social enterprise helmed by women, for women, CRIB was founded in 2014 by Dr Elaine Kim, Tjin Lee, Mei Chee and Marilyn Lum. Their mission is to help women entrepreneurs fulfil their business dreams through equipping them with leadership and business skills while providing a platform to connect with like-minded professionals and investors.
Reaching for the stars
As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. When it comes to birthing a business, it takes a supportive network like CRIB.
With many business bigwigs and leaders on board, CRIB currently has over 300 core members and is represented by five sectors: Fashion, Kids, Women in Tech, Wellness and Social Enterprise.