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 Rynette Tan (13Thirteen)
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a mother to 4 boisterous and lovely children, and also a certified Babywearing Consultant and Breastfeeding Counsellor. I homeschool my children throughout their preschool years and enjoy exercising and exploring the outdoors. I also own 13Thirteen, a babywearing and breastfeeding consultancy, as well as a retail and distribution business.
What got you started on your business?
My business was birthed out of the need for a functional yet lightweight diaper backpack. We struggled to find a good quality, lightweight and practical backpack that was large enough to fit all the items we needed for a whole day out with two young kids. My husband and I then designed our own backpack and had them manufactured. Over time, I decided to diversify my business to retail baby carriers. This was birthed out of my passion for babywearing my children (together with my husband’s nagging that I had one too many carriers) and I decided to take Babywearing Consultant courses to be certified to help other parents. Thereafter, my passion to help other parents along their parenthood journey grew, and that led me to becoming a certified Lactation Counsellor. At the moment, I am pursuing a course in childbirth education, to better assist my clients in the future.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
I was finishing up my postgraduate degree overseas when my husband and I decided to start our family prior to returning to Singapore. We enjoyed the laid-back lifestyle living in overseas offered and I wanted to have a stress-free pregnancy there. We moved back just before the birth of our child for support from family and friends.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
While I am thankful that my life has mostly been smooth-sailing, I do have my fair share of difficulties in life. The most difficult thing that I’ve had to face was my mum having a stroke and subsequently her passing. It was difficult for me as I was pretty close to my mum. She was my closest confidant and main pillar of support (aside from my husband). As such, when she suddenly had a massive stroke and landed up in the ICU for close to a month, I really felt my world crumble. I had to come to terms that she no longer could help with the kids, or that she could still be my confidant and listen to my struggles.
Without my husband’s mental strength and strong support – I think I would have broken down far worse than I actually did. His resilience made me resilient and I am very grateful for that. I also have my in-laws to thank for stepping up much more to help with the kids and with supporting my husband and I as we journeyed through that phase.
Slowly, I learned to focus on the positive things in life, and appreciate those who are still around.
Who inspires you?
To be honest, I can’t think of anyone!
What excites you most about your industry?
I love that each child is different and unique and every client I meet presents a different set of challenges for me to tackle.
What is your vision / personal motto?
Your children are only young once, so prioritize them as much as possible and spend as much time with them as you can, though it may be exhausting at times. Work and money can come later.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business/ starting to pursue their dream?
I think it is important to have a clear idea of why you’re doing what you are doing. If you keep working on your dream, and have a strong moral compass and vision for what you hope to achieve, it will eventually pay off.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
I think feeling confident and empowered has to come from within. While I can encourage and support other ladies along their journey in life, it is ultimately their own prerogative to take charge and be in control of their own lives. I can offer the match stick, but they have to spark their own fire.
What have you learned recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
Life is too short to stress about the small stuff. Just keep doing what you do, and keep moving forward.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
I am grateful for family support. Without support from extended family, managing a household, homeschooling, and running a business would not be possible!
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
I enjoy a good massage, facial, or mani/pedi. I also enjoy swimming and jogging. On rainy days, watching kdramas on netflix is a great way to unwind!
Let us know more about what you do!
We offer Babywearing and Breastfeeding consultancy services, and complement them with a range of products that we sell and distribute, with the aim of educating, empowering and liberating parents!