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.
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.
Meet Marissa Tang (ATTENU8)
Tell us a little about yourself.
I started SoundBlock Asia about 1.5 years ago and was initially selling other brands of ear plugs to test the market demand and price point. The ATTENU8 brand focuses on attaining the right ‘fit’ which is crucial in attaining better sound reduction. The business was built upon a collection of customer feedback on other products and we aim to set the gold standard for ear plugs: effective, durable, and versatile.
What got you started on your business?
I’m a light sleeper. Without ear plugs, I always get woken up in the middle of the night when the door opens or even with the flicking of a light switch. I tried using foam and silicone ear plugs but they did not work for me so I started to find a better alternative to get a decent night’s rest.
During the first year I was selling ear plugs, I realized that I was not the only one struggling from noisy surroundings. There were others looking for a more effective and durable alternative and were willing to pay for quality ear plugs.
Ear plugs are not the most ‘happening’ product especially in Asia as you’ll typically see the top few brands from US / UK / Scandinavian countries. I wanted to bridge the gap, making ear plugs that fit smaller Asian ear canals. Inspired by positive feedback from my customers, I then decided to launch ATTENU8.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
I was in consumer marketing at a local bank and moved to a start-up to do user experience. That’s where I got a glimpse of start-up life and loved it!
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
I occasionally get imposter syndrome, which involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your experience, background, and accomplishments.
This typically means that my margin of error is quite small and when I make mistakes, I tend to get quite hard on myself and the people around me. It’s something I’m still grappling with till today. To overcome this, I try to rationalize my mistakes and be more accepting of them, viewing them as life lessons.
Who inspires you?
My ex-boss and mentor, Hema. In my opinion, she’s highly successful, down-to-earth, supportive, and always treats her employees with trust and respect. She’s got your back when you’re at a corner and genuinely cares even outside working hours. She inspires me to be a better person and hopefully a future leader as well.
What excites you most about your industry?
Noise is everywhere and happens at any point in time with no one-specific need. Many of our customers come from different backgrounds and I’m really happy when I know the ear plugs have a positive impact on their daily lives. For example, a sensory-sensitive individual is now able to have casual conversations in public or when someone can sleep through the night surrounded by highway traffic.
Hearing protection is also not something that has been explored largely in Asia and is only dominated by a few international brands. I’m excited to grow this brand to be the go-to ear plugs in Asia.
What is your vision / personal motto?
Spend your time wisely and prioritise. Money can be earned back but time cannot.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business/ starting to pursue their dream?
Spend your time wisely and prioritize. Money can be earned back but time cannot.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
I think confidence stems from being comfortable and sure of who you are. I believe that being part of a community that embraces our strengths and lifts us from our weaknesses definitely helps others feel confident and empowered.
What have you learned recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
There will always be nay-sayers. Don’t shut them off entirely – take what is objective, and see how you can improve. I’d like to think that my customers are my product designers as their feedback will influence the design of the next product. As cliche as it sounds, customer feedback is critical.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
The #supportlocal culture in Singapore. Many of my loved ones, friends, friends of friends, and even local brands helped to promote ATTENU8. Without their support, we would not have hit our Kickstarter funding within the first 24 hours. I’m grateful because I do not know them personally but they still showed their support either through buying or sharing it on their social media. For that, I’m touched and grateful.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
Nothing crazy, but I love going for a body massage and watching Netflix! I also find satisfaction in cleaning and organizing messes in my free time.
Let us know more about what you do!
Surrounded by annoying noise and want to get some peace and quiet?
Rid the noise and get the peace you deserve with ATTENU8 ear plugs. They come in 3 different foam tip sizes for unique ear canals and an aluminum body for an easier fit and better sound reduction.
You may find us featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vanilla Luxury, Lifestyle Asia and ONE FM 91.3, amongst other publications.
Connect with ATTENU8!
3 winners stand a chance to win a set of ATTENU8 ear plugs worth $38.90!
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝐆𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲:
👉Like the Instagram post.
👉Follow @attenu.8 and @theladiescue on Instagram.
👉Repost the post/story and tag a friend.
👉Comment why you’d love to win a set of ear plugs
Are you a Fempreneur too?
Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us via our social media.
Read TLC x Fempreneur Series:
- Margaret Wu, For Beloved One
- Nerissa Low, Liht Organics
- Pearline Foo, Spring Breeze Marketing
- Anna Milani, Sparkd
- Maddy Barber, Madly Gems
- Ezza Yusof, 2morrow Official (Malaysia)
- Julie Yim, Lilin+Co (Malaysia)
- Nadia, HelloBello (Malaysia)
- Zairin Azman, UMMA (Malaysia)
The rest of the Fempreneur interviews can be found here.