International Women’s Day!

As women entrepreneurs, we are proud to have so many amazing women in our team and always strive to provide opportunities that empower and support them, fight bias, broaden perspectives and celebrate women's achievements.
Over the past 6 years in business, we have learned to always believe in our own strengths and capabilities, keep our eyes open for new opportunities, adapt to changes and accept all the challenges and failures as a natural part of the learning curve and key to success.

This International Women's Day we are proud to showcase successful women in our team and community partners. Read their success story and IWD message they have shared with us.

Anne Swain & Susan Soulard Co-Founders of The Whole Kitchen

Anne Swain:
What’s your International Women’s Day message? 
You can do anything you put your mind to! Don’t be afraid to dream big. If you have a passion or a calling to create change in this world, believe in yourself and go for it. There will always be challenges along the way that make you question your capability and your worth, but it’s in these hardest moments where growth and strength come from. Always keep moving forward one step at a time, at whatever pace feels right for you. 
Based on your experience, What would you tell other women? We would love to quote your advice for women. 
As women, we are our own worst critics. We wear so many hats each day and try to always try to show up 100% for everyone else - family, kids, business, friends. Give yourself permission to not need to be perfect all the time. Balance doesn’t mean everything needs to be equal at all times. Above all, don’t forget to prioritize yourself, so that you can show up as the best version of yourself for everyone else in your life. 

Susan Soulard:
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
Let’s not forget why we are celebrating today and appreciate the journeys of the strong women before us who continue to fight for our rights to vote, education, healthcare and workplace equality. Remember to be strong and question the status quo for our families and communities yet be humble and quietly evolve within ourselves.
Based on your experience, what would you tell other women? We would love to quote your advice for women. 
It’s important for women to aim to be independent, self-sufficient and have that true grit when it comes to life in general. Misogyny, sexism and inequality is prevalent in society still therefore it is important to support, nurture and encourage our sisters, daughters, mothers, friends and colleagues and aim for further change. #breakthebias 
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass."
Maya Angelou  

TWK Team

At The Whole Kitchen, we have an amazing team consisting of women from various ages and cultures. From left Gina, Rolilah, Joyce, Nisa, Jelita, Yan all are part of TWK family who help make, bake, pack and arrange our products for our community.

From left to right (Kristine, Guliz, Adlyn)
Kristine is one of our Katong cafe team members, always on time in the morning to get ready for her busy day!
Guliz is our marketing manager, has been working more than 3 years with us. She loves to be part of TWK family. 
Adlyn joined our team last year as our Nutrition Manager and she is passionate about healthy food, and sports nutrition.

From Left Ruth & Shahliza
Ruth works at our CBD cafe team. She makes sure our customers get the best experience!
Shahliza is our lovely sales manager. She is passionate about her work and always brings joy to our team. 
Our Partners

We work with amazing partners in Singapore which are led by successful and inspiring women. Read our interview to learn more about them and celebrate their achievements with us.
Emma Paris - Living Cafe Bukit Timah

Our long time F&B partner Living Cafe in Bukit Timah, founded by Emma Paris. They offer our gluten free bread on their healthy menu and stock up our healthy snack and pantry ranges. 
Your story as a female founder
As the owner and operator of a wellness business I make it a priority to ensure that all staff feel that they have a positive work life balance. This is especially true for the working mothers in my team as one of the biggest challenges for women to sustain a career is the ability to create a positive balance between succeeding in the work place but also feeling like you are fulfilling your role at home as a mother. 
What’s your International Women’s Day message? 
To be successful in life it’s so important to know what your purpose is. Once you know your purpose - be that on a professional or personal level - everything else will fall in to place and you will find the strength you need to overcome challenge and adversity. 
Based on your experience, What would you tell to other women? We would love to quote your advice for women. 
I always remind women that they have to look after themselves both physically and mentally. As wives, mothers, carers, friends we tend to always look after others but if you don’t look after and nourish yourself, then you can’t be of service to others. Work out what it is you need to feel happy and fulfilled and don’t feel guilty about taking the time to find your own balance.

 Teo Jia En - Crane
Crane is one of our great retail partners where you can find amazing local produce. 
My story as a female founder... 
Is not that special, to be honest! All founders are just people trying to change the world in their own way, and I think most founders go through similar struggles of self-doubt, anxiety, frustration, and occasionally the rewards and immense joys of the small victories. 
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
Every day should be Women's Day! Celebrate and embrace womanhood every day, not just on one day a year or during a special occasion, although I guess IWD exists as a yearly reminder to do so! 
Women are multi-tasking, all-present super achievers - I am constantly impressed by the women I meet and know - they're juggling so many roles and manage to keep things together, even if by a thread, we would never know. As a gender, I've learned that so much is expected of us, and the only way to make it better is to go easy on ourselves. Be ok to drop the balls we are jugglin

g, be ok to lean back (rather than lean in) sometimes. Ask for help when you need it, and don't judge when other women do things differently than you. These are all things I am constantly struggling to do myself!

Wendy Riddell UFIT Nutritionist/ Health Coach
 We work with Ufit Clean & Lean program led by Wendy Riddell. She is an amazing super women, mum of 4 and great health coach.

Tell us your story
I’m a working 47 year old mother of 4 (3 boys, 1 girl) and equally passionate about being a mother and my vocation, I’m originally from Aberdeen Scotland but have lived in 8 countries over the last 22 years and I am very grateful for the opportunities that has brought me. I choose to start working in Health and Fitness as I really wanted to help people reach their full potential and thrive in life. I’ve been in Singapore almost 10 years and have worked at UFIT for most of that time.
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
To never give up! There will be lots of obstacles put in our way and we need to teach the younger generation that equality for all is possible. I believe this is a day to strive for everyone not just woman being given equal opportunities in life and owing it.

What would you tell to other women? We would love to quote your advice for women.
Anything in life worth having usually has a price to pay, and that price is worth paying. Falling down 9 times is a failure on your journey because you will get up 10 and reach that finish line! Always believe in yourself especially in the hard times, hard work never fails to pay off! LADIES WE HAVE GOT THIS!

Elaine Soh - Tasty Snacks Our new partner Tasty Snack is an online platform focused on bringing the best snacks and beverage options in this region.

Tell us your story as a female founder
It all happened during a bushfire in Australia. I shuttered my previous start up and decided to take a break. 
My husband suggested that we visit our family members in Sydney with our 2 and 5 year old when the black summer bush fire broke in the midst of our holiday. I immediately had to stock up on foods, snacks, and books and stayed mostly indoors. While I was in the supermarkets, I noticed the variety of snacks that was not available in Singapore. Sensing an opportunity, I decided to see what we can do when we got to Singapore. That was 2020, since then Tasty Snack has grown from a portfolio of 500 products to 2,000 products across 20 countries, we plan on expanding our foot print from Singapore to Indonesia this year. 
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
Acquire the courage to believe in yourself. 
Based on your experience, What would you tell to other women? We would love to quote your advice for women.
Feel your feelings. Be curious. Be fearless. See beauty. Grow a little every day (even when its hard) no matter your age.

Victoria McKellar - Akesi 

Our partnership with Akesi started in 2020 when we first opened our Katong cafe. We are proud to serve their gut-friendly bio-fermented tonics at our cafes.
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
Elizabeth and Victoria first met in Singapore in 2011. Elizabeth trained as a medical doctor, Victoria has a marketing background with a keen interest in health and wellbeing.
Together they share a common belief that functional medicine is the future of wellbeing. An integrated strategy that targets diet, lifestyle and a personalised approach to optimising health in an individual.
Between them, they have 7 children. Over the years they have shared stories of family health woes from the common to the rare and together found that good gut health was key to overall health at every age. The health-conscious duo are thrilled to be helping people make dietary and lifestyle changes with a food as medicine approach. Akesi’s reputation speaks for itself. The company carries a strong track record of customers reporting better health outcomes after taking the products. Nutritionists and doctors are endorsing Akesi and also buying the plant-based Bio-Fermented Tonics for their own families.
Based on your experience, What would you tell to other women? We would love to quote your advice for women.
Women these days seem to be dealing with many different things at any given time. Because of this, it is important to take time out for yourself – especially if you’re constantly frantic – take time in the busyness to reflect, be mindful, and find joy.

Renuka Silvaraju Music Love Yoga

Meet Renuka Silvaraju - Co-Founder of Renuka is one of our regulars at our Katong cafe. Renuka strives to inspire people and lift as many lives through the beautiful practice of yoga.
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
You are Beautiful. You are strong. You are Enough. Happy International Women's Day! You deserve to celebrate YOU every single day.
Based on your experience, What would you tell to other women? We would love to quote your advice for women.
Being a woman is your greatest strength. You feel emotions so intensely, tune into them. Your intuitions are strong, use them as your guide. Your love is unconditional, the world needs it.  
These are your superpowers, don't be afraid to use them!

Dyutima Jha - My Food Lens

Dyutima is an architect-turned food stylist, food photographer & the first South Asian woman to run a food photography podcast, My food Lens, also the name of her food styling and photography business, where she helps clients elevate their brand through delicious photos. Her motto is, ‘put your best food forward’.
A commercial and editorial photographer, her work has been featured in several food magazines.
What’s your international women’s day message
As women, we are too hard on ourselves. We want to fill every role in our lives, perfectly. We want to be an ideal mom, a loving partner, a fierce entrepreneur and a fun friend –  we want to go above and beyond for everyone in our lives. And yet, no matter how much we try, we forever feel that we are not doing enough. That we aren’t giving our best. That we could do more and better.

It is so important to realise that the perception of perfection is subjective. That in reality, all we really need to do is be ourselves & give our best. And if something doesn’t go “perfectly”, then we just need to give ourselves grace.

We need to constantly remind ourselves, we are enough. We are doing our best.

We need to be kinder to ourselves.

Based on your experience, what would you tell other women? We would love to quote your advice.

 “You have to be so sure of who you are that no one’s opinion, rejection, or behaviour can rock you” – Origin MagazineBest regards,

Sasha Conlan Sasha's Fine Foods 

We are grateful to be one of Sasha’s Fine Food partners in Singapore. As a women-led business, we share the same mission to provide high quality, premium food accessible to everyone. 

Your story as a female founder 
As a woman in a food industry that is largely male-dominated, I have found myself occasionally being thrown curveballs, but I have always found solutions and over the years, my confidence has grown. This confidence comes in part from my strong belief in what I am doing; feeding our families clean top quality food, looking after our planet (‘Mother Earth’), supporting companies who treat their staff well and who invest in their communities. 
At Sasha’s Fine Foods, I combine my passion for cooking and eating with the growing demand for “cleaner” food in Singapore. Sasha’s Fine Foods is Singapore’s first online grocer that is positioned as both premium and ethical, selling high-quality sustainable groceries to households and restaurants across Singapore.
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
Do not be afraid. In our modern society, we see a growing and greater emphasis on gender equality. We see many women stepping up to fill leadership roles. We are looking at more female-led organisations and female government leaders around the world. 
The biggest challenge for future modern women would be to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It is not easy to fight for equal opportunity at work and going home to children demanding your attention. As a woman, we would always be battling with mom guilt whenever we get too engrossed with work. 
We simply need to find the confidence and diminish the fear that clouds our perception of what women are capable of. There are many people with great ideas but the probability of success only happens the moment you have the courage to execute your idea.
Based on your experience, What would you tell to other women? We would love to quote your advice for women.
Ultimately, a business has to be purposeful to you -  the relationships we have with our suppliers like The Whole Kitchen, suggest the same! Having a passion that you can channel the drive and motivation into is super important as well. For The Whole Kitchen, it was to reignite people’s love for real food and likewise, SFF is where it is today because I was, and still am, guided by a simple philosophy - helping our community understand the importance of where our food comes from. 
When you believe in the purpose of your business – for me, that is serving the community – you will feel empowered to make it succeed. Believing in your vision and business then creates the excitement you need to sustain the business. 

Alicia Pan - Yoga Movement
Yoga Movement is one of our amazing women-led business partners where you can find our healthy snacks after a great yoga session.
Tell us your story as a female founder
I have always been a bit of a go- getter, and when I want something I go get what I want, no matter what it takes. This year marks a decade since the start of YM. And I am super proud of how far we’ve come, and am super proud of the team we’ve got going.
What’s your International Women’s Day message? 
You are a woman; that is your super power
Don’t let fear be a hinderance to your pursuit- instead, let it be an enabler. We all get scared of doing things out of our comfort zone all the time, but this fear comes from a place of knowing that you don’t want to fail, so let it be what drives you.

Carolin Barr SusGain
SusGain is our sustainability partner in Singapore since 2020. They provide a great platform to incentivise people to adopt more sustainable habits.
Your story as a female founder
My passion for sustainability led me to where I am today. After returning to Singapore from a stint in the US and the Netherlands 5 years ago, I started crunching my brain on how I could do my part in driving the change towards a more sustainable Singapore. What I was wondering what could we do to make sustainable living more accessible, fun and rewarding for all stakeholders.
This is how the idea for susGain, a social enterprise on a mission to better connect the environmentally and socially conscious stakeholders in Singapore was born. 
I became fulltime entrepreneur in July 2020 after receiving a government grant. While our initial idea was running susGain as a side hustle, we soon realized the immense effort and time needed to build this business.
I still really love the work I do and can definitely say that I’ve found my passion in entrepreneurship. Starting a business is definitely a very steep mountain to climb with lots of ups and downs in between. Yet, building a community in the local sustainability space has been the most fulfilling experience for me and I’ve met so many amazing fellow entrepreneurs, such as Anne and Su from The Whole Kitchen, who I really look up to.
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
The theme for this year’s International Women's Day is "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow".
Over the course of my journey with susGain, I’ve met many inspiring female entrepreneurs, who have built successful businesses which also create positive impact on people and planet. I would like to encourage more females to follow their passion and join us on this movement to create a more sustainable future together.
Based on your experience, what would you tell to other women? We would love to quote your advice for women.
My number one advice for any women would be, believe in yourself! Women tend to be plagued by self-doubt and perfectionism which might hinder us to turn our great ideas into reality. So all I can say is, take the leap of faith and put yourself out there. No matter how small your first step may be, most importantly is that you get started!