Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.
In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.
Meet Denise Lim (FLO Aroma)
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Denise here, Co-Founder of FLO. I absolutely love anything and everything that smells heavenly. Aside from managing day to day activities, I’m largely involved in the marketing, sales and product development works of the company. FLO is about integrating quality aromatherapy into an everyday life item for everyone be it for scenting of space or for its therapeutic benefits. Aromatherapy is more than just scenting your space. It is about health and well-being as well. Quality counts. We share only the most sincere products and advices for our customers. We want to connect and impact on their lives like a sincere friend who shares only the best products we advocate.
What got you started on your business?
I feel that in the aromatherapy world, there is too little done and known about nebulising diffusers. My fiancé and I first started as consumers ourselves. We found it difficult to obtain a good quality nebulising diffuser. There is a number of diffusers in the common online marketplaces, however, the quality of those devices is disappointing. We have experienced ourselves so many that are either noisy or weak. Both my fiancé and I very much like the fact that nebulising diffusers are waterless and heatless. We believe that aromatherapy should not only be about using the purest essential oils but also the devices we adopt to use the oils should matter just as much as well so we can get what we intended for – the best for our wellbeing through the use of aromatherapy. Hence I decided to embark on the journey to start this business. We want good quality nebulising diffusers to be made available.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full time basis?
I was in a digital marketing agency, in the business team. In my 3 years there, I gained a vast array of experiences from business development to project management and digital marketing. I’m always thankful to have these experiences which have helped me in running my business now. I always know i would like to run a business of my own someday. After a good number of years working with others, I felt it was time to give it a shot before major life commitments set in. I took the transition and glad that i did.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
Setting up FLO was no easy feat. I took a really long time as we were particular about the quality of each and every aspect of the final product. Without strong knowledge on electronics, chemistry and also design skills, I took an extended time to study, find and produce the ideals. I was looking for trustworthy help all around, but sometimes all the help you need are within your reach. Thankful for a few good friends who have the right skills and knowledge, they provided immense support in crafting up the brand and products we had in mind.
Who inspires you?
My fiancé. His patience and confidence in his thoughts inspires me to always become a better me not only in the business field but also in personal development.
In the journey of running the business, there are times where you encounter some difficulties and frustrations. This spans across all aspects of the business. That can include dealing with errors in operations, management of difficult customers, hiccups in product development, and more. There are always fires to fight. It’s the worst when various aspects of issues come all at once. Sometimes, it can be too much to handle and I run out of patience to a firefight. But chatting with him like a best friend always help to ease me up. He is ever so patient in listening and dissecting anything I have to say. His calmness and confidence in knowing just how to deal with the challenges inspires me to grow stronger and become someone tougher and better for the company, for us, and for myself.
What excites you most about your industry?
The boundaries for aroma is almost limitless. It’s only up to your imagination and skilled concoction to making a captivating aroma.
There can be so many dimensions and depth to a blend. This is especially so for natural scents. Different grades, different origins, different species, and different age of the pure essential oils can give rise to very different scents. What’s more, is that pure essential oils provide therapeutic properties. Combining great scent and wellness is a really fun and exciting aspect of the industry!
What is your vision / personal motto?
Carpe Diem. Time waits for no one. We have to create our own future by working on the present. With age comes the understanding time is so precious. Whether it is time for the family, time for work, or me time, we have to seize the day and spend it feeling fulfilled.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business / starting to pursue their dream?
Always do what’s right and not what’s easy.
There can be times where it seems possible to have an easier way out perhaps because we want to save some effort, time, or money. In the journey of starting up, you will have many decision-making crossroads as you’re the leader. We are always eager to succeed, and when starting up we can sometimes be overeager. The easier way out might not be the right way or best way out. Good things can take time – be it taking time to find or to develop. It’s worth to always do what’s right, it will always bring you further and better.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
Surround yourself with friends or people with positive energy helps a lot!
You are who you mix with. Just like laughing is contagious, I feel that energy is contagious too.
I have a few close friends who are ever so optimistic and cheerful. They don’t let anything stop them. I learned from them that It’s just a matter of perspective and whether you are comfortable in going for what you’d like to do. Being with them, we’ve done things that I previously thought was not quite feasible. If you want to do something, make it happen. Meeting them is always such a joy, and their optimism and positivity let you feel nothing can really stop you. Even my office neighbour is someone with a sunshine personality. I’m really thankful to be surrounded by so many sunny friends!
What have you learned recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
With the onset of COVID-19, we saw how times can change so drastically and so quickly. Being far-sighted and staying agile for business is crucial.
When COVID-19 hits Singapore and there was a shortage of sanitisers, we had many friends and customers who had asked for them. We initially did not have plans to produce, but we decided after some time to produce a small batch so as to help ease out their demand and to keep them safe. Shortly after, it became hugely popular. Thankful that we were agile as a team and as a business, we managed to set up a whole production line for sanitisers within a really short time.
We wished that we were a little more far-sighted earlier when COVID-19 first hit China. During the production, we were faced with serious shortages of various production materials and that was a huge stress and challenge. From this, it’s a lesson we learnt and we planned further in advance now.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
Ever grateful for the support and understanding from my family. Spending more time on the business and accommodating their schedules around my work timings, they have been ever supporting. Having their understanding keeps me going.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
When you’re running your own business, free time is perhaps difficult to come by. It is to be created. Therefore, I create time to disconnect fully from work from time to time in a year to recharge effectively. I also do so with staycation or vacation with my family or friends.
Let us know more about what you do!
At FLO, we are committed to making the best of living and nature. Our products are designed and pieced together in Singapore. We believe in having the final touches on all our products to ensure that quality meets the standards we want for you.
You may find us featured on Faces behind ASEAN SMEs.
Connect with FLO!
One winner can stand a chance to win a 3 x 10ml Essential Oil Roll-On of your choice (worth S$87). Head over to The Ladies Cue Instagram to participate!
Are you a Fempreneur too?
Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at [email protected] or reach out to us via our social media.
Read TLC x Fempreneur Series:
- Kristin Chen, IRÉN Skin
- Race Wong, Ohmyhome
- Delphine Lefay, OnTheList
- Johanna Monange, Maison 21G
- Hong Choy Yin, Tots Society
- Pearline Foo, Spring Breeze Marketing
- Evangeline Leong, Kobe
- Maddy Barber, Madly Gems
- Ezza Yusof, 2morrow Official (Malaysia)
- Julie Yim, Lilin+Co (Malaysia)
- Nadia, HelloBello (Malaysia)
The rest of the Fempreneur interviews can be found here.