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By Alexandra Khoo

The year 2020 has turned out to be quite different from the norm – some of us turn to art, some to nature, and some have turned their passions into small scale home-based businesses. Here, we share the journeys of two couples finding their groove!

About Shioklah! Tiramisu

Tired of a long wait for an online tiramisu order, Wendy Liew (27) and husband, Smith Tey (31), decided to make their favourite dessert by watching videos and googling recipes – an attempt which turned out tasting as good as those bought commercially.

With that, they decided to make more for family and friends to try. Receiving positive feedback, the couple braved on to set up Shioklah! Tiramisu in July 2020.

Available in alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions

 

Process of starting up

Prior to starting their business, Wendy and Smith spent time on market research to suss out the competition and gauge demand for the dessert. Studying and observing online branding and packaging tips and ideas, Wendy masterminded Shioklah! Tiramisu and designed the logo and packaging.

They decided to start small on their own funds and grow with demand. Their first customers were friends and family, followed by word of mouth.

Smith’s job in the construction industry was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, so he and Wendy have more time for their business, although they do this after putting the hours in their regular jobs.

“If Smith returns to work, we’d still like to continue with this business on weekends as we’ve found joy in the process!” says Wendy.  

“We’ve learnt that customers liked our behind-the-scenes prep work IGs and will strive to be more creative with our posts.” ~ Wendy

 

Overcoming difficulties

What about balancing their spousal cum business relationship? The couple shares an anecdote: “We had different opinions when the cocoa powder dusting should be done – a day in advance or on the day of delivery. We did a taste test and concluded that the taste was not affected whether we dusted a day before or not. We communicate, listen to each other, learn to give and take, and most importantly, come to terms with the outcome.”   

Partners in every sense: Smith and Wendy

Find Wendy and Smith’s tiramisu creations on IG @shioklahtiramisu.

 

About Edith Fun House

This online children’s crafts fun shop was set up at the onset of Singapore’s Covid-19 circuit breaker in April 2020. It is the brainchild of 36-year-old Ezane, an entrepreneur who wears many hats.

 

Why start @edithfunhouse?

Job insecurity and fear of financial instability pushed Ezane to start the business, but the foundation was based on the couple’s belief that young children should not spend time on gadgets e.g. mobile phones and tablets.

“From a parenting perspective, we saw the benefits of these craft products through our experience with Emma.” ~ Ezane

“Even on holidays, we survive only on interactive sticker books, crayons and paper. Mealtimes are no exception. My elder daughter, Emma, learned to feed herself at about two and we attribute that to our ‘no gadget’ rule, which applies to the whole family. Hands-on learning also occurs when we grace each other with our presence – our products are built on this concept.”

Ezane and Emma bonding over storybook crafting.

 

Selecting products

Products are selected based on quality and how Emma reacts to the items. Samples are purchased and trialled before their launch. The products include elements that encourage problem-solving and builds emotional intelligence.  

 

Difficulties faced

Ezane’s husband doubles up as the photographer cum delivery man. Ezane shares: “I was a freelance photographer but I am not good at teaching photography, so I get a little angry with Eric’s angles and uncertainties. But we have learnt to communicate better.

We became acquainted with the parent’s guilt as we spent less time with our children due to the delivery orders, but we’ve managed to balance this through craft activities with our girls.”

Ezane with husband, Eric, and daughters Emma (4) and Ella (1).

 

Preferred platform

Edith Fun House was launched on Instagram because Ezane preferred its interface.

“I found it essential to create teaser posts to generate excitement in the community before launching a new product and engaging influencers who are our target audience.”

“Our pre-order business model kept our investment low and prevented inventory issues.” ~ Ezane

 

Advice for parents when starting a home-based business

“It may not be easy, and you’d need to push yourself. Always believe in what you do, in your products, and how all the hard work will benefit the family and ensure financial stability during uncertain times.”

Find @edithfunhouse on IG.

    Note to aspiring home-based business owners:

    • Home-based business activities are intended for small scale businesses wholly owned and operated by the homeowner – the business should not require the hiring of workers.
    • Home-based food businesses must meet the Ministry of Health’s guidelines and the latest provision under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020.
    • Food handlers must observe food safety and hygiene practices.

     

    Read more about Singapore’s home-based business guidelines:

     

    Catch I Love Children's Let's Share Series on Facebook and get your questions answered during the event! You could even walk away with prizes!

    • Episode 1: 21 August 2020, 8.00 pm to 8.30 pm, featuring @edithfunhouse (Maths Fun set worth $29.90 each x 3 winners)
    • Episode 2: 28 August 2020, 8.00 pm to 8.30 pm, featuring @simslikeatreat (8" Floral Jelly Cake worth $88 each x 2 winners)

     

    Disclaimer: This article is correct at the time of the published date.

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