Back in August 2016, when Shixian and I were preparing for our first child, a colleague of mine jokingly suggested that I rent a stroller from her – she had four sitting idle in her storeroom at home.
It was then that we realised there is an oversupply of strollers in Singapore. This prompted us to start PramShare, which enables parents to rent premium prams on a monthly subscription basis.
Within the first month of launching PramShare, we discovered that customers also often have a hard time cleaning their strollers properly. This was when we created PramWash, which is Singapore’s first pram cleaning specialist.
Even though we managed to launch two businesses in quick succession, we faced some difficulties along the way. Shixian and I were first-time entrepreneurs, and we had to learn everything from scratch. We didn’t even know how to set up a company properly; in fact, Shixian had to call the ACRA hotline to ask for advice!
Through it all, we were juggling full-time jobs and preparing for the arrival of our baby boy.
Of course, parenthood was an entirely new and completely different challenge. Like all new parents, we felt lost in the sea of information and advice. Eventually, we wrote “Be Kind and Be Useful” on a sheet of A4 paper and pasted it on the wall of our baby’s room, and used it as a guiding principle in our parenting journey.
We are currently expecting our second child, and while we don’t foresee ourselves reducing our commitment to the business, we are very glad to have a supportive team. We also have a trusted helper who has been taking care of our son since he was four months old.
Running PramShare and PramWash has been highly fulfilling, as we get to bring smiles to the faces of both children and their parents. We have also witnessed both good and bad parenting scenarios – and it’s something that we strive to learn from and apply to our own family.
Some words of wisdom to aspiring dadpreneurs and mumpreneurs out there – running a business is challenging, as it can often eat into family time.
Don’t start a business if your sole aim is to make more money; instead, only do it when you are certain you can add value to people’s lives. Only then will you be able to realise that the importance of both family and entrepreneurship, and juggle them both successfully.