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.
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.
Meet Johanna Monange (Maison 21G)
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, my name is Johanna and I founded my company Maison 21G. Maison 21G is a bespoke haute perfumery. We empower customers to create their own perfume based on their personality, the occasion they are wearing or the mood they are feeling. We employ AI to guide customers in finding their perfect perfume and use cutting-edge technology to freshly blend the perfume on the spot with the highest-quality essences.
What got you started on your business?
I had been working with big global perfumery brands and hearing consumers complain of how everything is the same made me want to create something different. Many global perfumery brands often take a one-size-fits-all-approach to market a product around the world. The perfume industry lacked soul and a personal aspect and that inspired me to bring back this personal aspect and give people the power to create their own scent, in any way they wish.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full time basis?
I worked as the creative director for Asia at IFF (International Flavours & Fragrances) before I started creating my business that could allow individuals to personalise and customise scents.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
When I was in my early twenties, my dad made me move to China and that was a real challenge for me. It was a brand new environment, a new language and culture. Everything was very alien to me. But it made me stronger as I learnt to adapt and now I believe that whatever challenge comes my way, I can take it on. That helps me with my start-up business, reminding me to always keep on going.
Who inspires you?
Over my career I have met many people who inspire me. Particularly designers, e.g. Viktor&Rolf. They are shy on the outside, yet they are into every detail and their creativity is a real inspiration!
What excites you most about your industry?
I am passionate about scents but I am also passionate about people. I want people to feel that they can express how unique they are and you can do that through something as personal as scent. The perfumery industry is full of secrets and thanks to my 20 years of working in the industry, I can share all these tips and tricks with everyone.
What is your vision / personal motto?
Inspire yourself to inspire others.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business / starting to pursue their dream?
Don’t let anyone tell you that there is something you cannot do because you are a woman. I have heard it so many times over the course of my career and I am standing here showing people that being a female entrepreneur is possible. You just have to have a good idea, believe in it and surround yourself with the right people to bring your idea to life.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
Working in fragrance, I believe that the right scent can make you feel confident and empowered. Of course, you need to believe in yourself first and foremost but when I go into an important business meeting, I spray on some tonka, oud or rose. This allows me to feel confident through the scent and I can take on the day. Scents really do empower me and give me confidence.
What have you learnt recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
What is one thing you are grateful for?
The opportunity work with my team at Maison 21G.
What do you do in your free time as self care? How do you unwind?
I like spending time with my children. I also enjoy playing tennis, eating out, meetings friends. Pretty normal, really.
Let us know more about what you do!
Maison 21G offers 21% of perfume concentrate – the highest in the industry. Because for something as personal as scent, you only want the best. We have workshops that you may participate in. These workshops are catered for you to create your very own scents!
Maison 21G has been lucky to have received coverage in many publications including Tatler, CNA Luxury, The Straits Times, The Peak, Cosmetics Design Asia, Augustman, Expat Living, Avenue One, Vanilla Luxury, Vogue Australia, The New York Times Style Magazine, Business Times and many others.
Connect with Maison 21G!
Are you a Fempreneur too?
Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at [email protected] or reach out to us via our social media.
Read TLC x Fempreneur Series:
- Alverna Cher, City Funeral Singapore
- Hong Choy Yin, Tots Society
- Pearline Foo, Spring Breeze Marketing
- Evangeline Leong, Kobe
- Maddy Barber, Madly Gems
- Ezza Yusof, 2morrow Official (Malaysia)
- Julie Yim, Lilin+Co (Malaysia)
- Nadia, HelloBello (Malaysia)
- Zairin Azman, UMMA (Malaysia)
- Farrah Rahman, Hellokraf (Malaysia)
The rest of the Fempreneur interviews can be found here.