Featured Flexi-work Mum: The Gorgeous Mummy (who believes in beauty from inside-out)
When you first meet Violet, you cannot help but smile. This bright, cheerful Mum is a ball of positive energy. With an infectious laughter brimming with positivity and beauty, Violet loves her job of helping women discover their true inner and outer beauty. Besides doing makeup and hairstyling for corporate shoots, brides, and fashion, she also provides training in professional grooming and styling, and personal and corporate etiquette classes. This spunky mother of twins (who recently took part in Mrs Singapore 2015) shares with us her inspiration.
What was the inspiration behind your choice to do what you do?
In my first foray into teaching in Republic Polytechnic in 2009, there was a module offered, about proper corporate dressing. I found out that some female students skipped school because they did not know what to wear (afraid that their friends would laugh at them). Therefore, I decided to teach proper grooming and makeup skills to my students. I see this out-of-curriculum training as a pertinent skill that all young persons need (but at that point, was not offered as a course, in schools yet). As I ran more of such workshops, I was convinced that this was a missing piece in the transition of youths into adulthood. It was also an opportunity to learn the right behavior in a corporate and social setting. For the past 6 years, I have been honing my skills and making sure that I give my best in this area of education.
I also enjoy showing women how they can look their best. Makeup and hairstyling is an art. I believe it inspires women to be the best version of themselves. My motivation is to empower ordinary women (like myself) to be more confident, more self-assured and more charming in any setting. However, I have always believed that beauty is more than skin-deep. A beautiful exterior must be complimented by the way one stands, walks, sits and eats. This led me to get certified as an etiquette trainer with First Impressions, UK. A fun aspect of the job? The inclusion of ‘wine and dine’ elements, which are parts of the course module of ‘Fine Dining’.
How do you balance running your business and being a mother to twins?
Family support is vital. I have an extremely supportive husband and parents-in-law. They provide a loving environment for our boy and girl. On weekends when I am out for a shoot or conducting trainings, my husband takes care of the twins on his own! He does everything – changing diapers, bathing them, and telling bedtime stories just about everything! I have also learned how to ‘steal’ time. 5 to 7 in the morning are two precious hours for me to catch up on work and do some serious thinking. For instance, writing my response for this feature was done at 6am on Lunar New Year morning! It boils down to discipline, and focusing on what needs to be done.
Balance can be a tricky thing. We can never strike a perfect balance and there are days when I feel pangs of guilt towards my two munchkins who are growing up too fast! My personal mantra is to ‘Trust your heart’. Follow what your instincts tell you and keep making necessary adjustments in your time and commitments to reflect your true priorities.
Recently, you also found time to take part in the Mrs Singapore Beauty Pageant. What was the experience like?
I took part in the Mrs Singapore World Pageant 2014 as one of the sixteen finalists. What motivated me to take part was the desire for self-improvement – to put myself through an entirely new experience and out of my comfort zone.
The pageant was like a “mirror” for me. It reflected my strengths and areas of improvement: the way I carried myself, how I handled interviews and even the way I walked for the modelling segment. As a trainer in beauty and etiquette, I wanted to practice what I preach. I learnt that I spoke too fast, and needed to pause and smile more. I discovered the importance of always being well-groomed at publicity events. One great advice I received from a photographer friend: “Always take your time. Be in no rush. Pose, smile into the cameras and allow the photographers to capture your best.”
Are there any upcoming activities that your business will be running in the next 6 months?
I am super excited about a book that I am co-authoring with Joy Tan of The Style Atelier. It is a makeup manual that we envision, will benefit the modern woman –the perfect companion at our dressing tables. If all goes well, our book should be sitting on the shelves of MPH, Kinokuniya, and other major bookstores by the last quarter of 2015.
From April to December, I will be holding a series of workshops on beauty and etiquette. Check out our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thestyleatelier) for updates. For any 2015 workshops, Mums@Work members can enjoy a special 15% discount. You just need to quote “MAW” when signing up.
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