There are days when life forces us to occupy reality and practicing what we preach isn’t always the easiest thing to do. I often get encouraged for being a very present working mom and most days I get to breeze through by being able to bring the kids to work – whether it’s to the office, to an event or on one of my many projects. But there are also seasons when none of the above is possible and I go without seeing the kids as much as I’d like, and it’s days before Kevin and I realize that we’ve been working non-stop without any real time together. By that time, it takes extra effort for me to get back on the wagon and regain some semblance of a balanced work life. Walking the walk is no walk in the park for me, but with a little prioritising and a great support system it can be done - just as I’ve witnessed these ladies do too.
Left to Right: Charmaine Seah Co-Founder of Elementary Co. and Mom to energy ball Charlie Rose Ong; Jaime Lee Founder of The Paper Bunny; Elspeth Ng Communications Manager; Anita Kapoor TV Presenter, Writer
We got together for a fun little shoot last week to take our Jeremy Scott x Melissa kicks for a spin and as we turned “Run the World” up on Spotify, got to sharing about what it takes to keep our heads in place and feet on the ground as we strive to walk the walk we believe in, everyday.
1. What’s the one thing that you try to live by in your day-to-day? For me, it’s making time for the people that I love, and not to sweat the small stuff.
Charmaine: It’s funny but those are the exact two things I’ve tried to live by for quite some time now. Other than that, I also try to constantly remind myself to be life giving to the people around me.
Jaime: Prioritise and make time for the things that are important – like spending time with people I care about, and eating healthily. In everything, I believe in doing your best, and leave to God the rest.
Elspeth: Trust your gut and do what feels right.
Anita: Stay rooted. Be self aware. Don’t hold on to people, things or situations. If you wait a little, as little as 20 mins, everything passes into nothing.
2. No big decision is ever easily made. What are some things you feel you’ve had to give up or compromise in your journey toward achieving your goals?
Elspeth: For an introvert, stepping out of my comfort zone is never easy, but I’ve learnt to take small bunny-hops of faith outside of what I deem is comfortable to push myself to do more. This can be something as easy as speaking up in a group of strangers, as exciting as taking a solo holiday, or as painful as recognizing toxic people and habits in your life and ridding yourself of them.
Anita: Everything i’ve given up has not mattered in the end. Sure, in the moment you feel torn by the decision making. But i strive to remind myself, only I know what i need and don’t need.
Charmaine: I’ve had to give up time to myself - time I used to enjoy spending reading, doing yoga, getting my nails done (I’ve not gone for a mani/ pedi in almost a year!) traveling, all of those are things I’ve sacrificed in order to devote my time to more important tasks like running a business and spending time with my family, especially my daughter.
Jaime: When I decided to commit to The Paper Bunny on a full time basis, I did have to give up my security in a comfortable and well-paying job. It was definitely not an easy decision to make at that point in time, that meant The Paper Bunny was no longer just a side thing – I had to be absolutely sure this was where I needed to be for this season of my life; it would have to not just be a “passion thing” but also pay the bills, feed my family. I had to be prepared that when I eventually had children, I would have to juggle running a business and being involved in the lives of my family, possibly without the luxury of taking gap years or even proper time off. Nevertheless, the journey has been an extremely fulfilling one and the sacrifices and pains that come along with entrepreneurship is not without its joys and victories.
3. What’s the number one question people ask you about your lifestyle?
Elspeth: Why am I so busy all the time, hahaha.
Anita: People think i travel 24/7. I don’t - woman gotta have some downtime! But they love the idea of the freedom. And that tells me how much we need to create opportunities to enjoy life and encourage those we love to do the same. We all want to feel free.
Charmaine: People always ask, “How do you manage to have it all - juggle raising a family and running a business while still managing to have some semblance of a social life?” I don’t have it all, and many sacrifices have to be made in order to spend my time doing the things I need and want to do. I’ve had to tell myself that I need to learn to practice saying no to some things, so that I don’t get burnt out.
Jaime: When I was still working in my day job and running The Paper Bunny, people used to ask me all the time how I actually did it. I think humans have a huge capacity that we don’t know of or don’t believe we possess until put to the test. You are so much stronger than you think and more capable than you know.
4. What is your advice to anyone who is looking for a healthy balanced life?
Jaime: Stocktake regularly about what you want your life to be and what needs to be prioritized – and then do what is in your power to work towards it, even if it means saying no to some seemingly good things.
Elspeth: Don’t forget to treat yourself well. Sometimes it’s an oversized glass of wine, sometimes it’s an hour in a hot yoga class.
Anita: That’s a personal decision. There is no magic formula to balance because our lives are so individualistic. I’d say, if you feel something is off, or needs addressing, then don’t shy away from it. Trust yourself. Go the distance and poke around to see how you can change things up.
Charmaine: Never be afraid to ask for help. The only person who expects you to be a superwoman round the clock is you, and in the long run that’s not healthy. Allow yourself to have a life - actually, allow yourself to have fun!
5. When it comes to personal style, what do you consider the most important?
Charmaine: What’s most important to me is that what I wear should make me feel confident and happy. I dress according to my mood, I buy clothes that suit my personality and lifestyle, and I’ve never felt inclined to follow trends.
Elspeth: The knowledge of knowing what works for you and what doesn’t. I feel my best when I’m not fiddling with what I’m wearing and worrying about how I look.
Anita: The most important thing is to be bold, and to laugh at yourself.
Jaime: The best outfit is the one you feel confident and comfortable in! Wear what makes you feel good.
For me, the most important thing when it comes to style is to remember to be myself. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing but someone once told me this: We are sometimes surrounded by mediocrity because everyone is striving to be like someone else. But we are all made different and for a unique purpose. So be you, and be the best version that you can be. No one else will be able to do you as well as you.
With that, I invited the ladies to pick their favourite pairs of Jeremy Scott x Melissa shoes and bring their personal style to the floor. I knew they were going to rock their looks but I was also so pleasantly surprised by the mix of looks that we got from the shoot. And of course, I couldn’t leave Zola Mae out. She too dressed herself for the day.