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 Irene Leong (Scentkew)
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your business/ brand about?
I am Irene Leong, a passionate and certified essential oil specialist and trainer. My journey in the world of aromatherapy and wellness has been a remarkable one, driven by my unwavering dedication to spreading the benefits of natural healing through essential oils.
My Business: Scentkew Pte Ltd
I am proud to co-found and lead Scentkew Pte Ltd, a distinguished name in the realm of wellness and thoughtful gifting. Scentkew is not just a business, but a reflection of my commitment to curate meaningful experiences through the enchanting world of essential oils. Our forte lies in creating bespoke gift packages, customized gifts, and festive packages, all infused with the magic of essential oils.
Crafting Aromatherapy Moments:
At Scentkew, we understand that gifts are more than just physical items; they are expressions of emotions and care. Our meticulous attention to detail goes into every package we create, ensuring that each gift recipient experiences the joy of aromatherapy in a truly personalized way. From serene lavender-infused relaxation sets to invigorating citrus-themed bundles, we take pride in crafting experiences that soothe the senses and uplift the spirit.
Wellness Workshops and Beyond:
In addition to our captivating gift offerings, I conduct an array of engaging and enlightening workshops. My flagship workshop, “Wellness with Essential Oils,” delves into the holistic benefits of essential oils for overall health and harmony. Participants learn about the therapeutic properties of various oils and how to incorporate them into their daily routines. But the learning doesn’t stop there.
My workshops extend beyond essential oils. From “Make Your Own Lipstick” sessions that blend self-expression with natural cosmetics to “Baby Massage” workshops that promote bonding and wellness for both parents and infants, I believe in empowering individuals with diverse skills that contribute to their well-being. One of my creative endeavors is the “Make Your Own ‘Pure-fum'” workshop, where participants create personalized natural perfumes that resonate with their essence.
Looking forward, my vision for Scentkew is to continue fostering a community that embraces wellness in its purest form. I aspire to expand our reach, touching lives with the magic of essential oils and the art of mindful gifting. By offering an array of transformative workshops and curating bespoke experiences, Scentkew aims to be a guiding light on the path to holistic wellness.
What got you started on your business?
My journey with essential oils commenced from a place of genuine concern and a mother’s natural instinct to find the best solutions for her family. It all began when I encountered challenges with my eldest son’s sensitive nose and my young children’s aversion to traditional medication during their illnesses. This quest for gentler alternatives led me to the captivating world of essential oils, a turning point that would eventually shape my career and purpose.
Upon a friend’s recommendation, I ventured into the world of essential oils and was astounded by the incredible benefits they provided. The positive changes I witnessed in my family’s well-being were nothing short of remarkable. This experience served as a catalyst, igniting a profound curiosity and a desire to deepen my understanding of these potent natural remedies.
Driven by my newfound passion, I immersed myself in studying essential oils comprehensively. With each exploration, my fascination grew, and so did my conviction to share this knowledge with others. The more I learned, the more I became convinced of the potential of essential oils as a natural way to maintain health and well-being.
Equipped with a vision to make a difference, I pursued professional certifications as an essential oil specialist and trainer. The journey was transformative, enabling me to develop a holistic understanding of these remarkable oils and their therapeutic applications. After 17 years in the corporate world, I made the bold decision to transition my career to what I felt was my true calling – educating and raising awareness about essential oils as a powerful dimension of wellness.
In 2021, I co-founded Scentkew, a platform that goes beyond just retailing high-quality essential oils. Scentkew became a safe haven for consumers to access premium essential oils, setting a benchmark for quality and purity. However, our aspirations didn’t stop there. Understanding the diverse ways in which essential oils can enrich lives, we expanded into crafting bespoke corporate and festive gift packages infused with these precious oils. This allowed us to extend the gift of wellness, promoting not only the physical but also the emotional well-being of recipients.
In our relentless pursuit to explore novel avenues of essential oil integration, Scentkew pioneered the introduction of essential oils into culinary experiences. We ventured into infusing food products like cookies, Chinese tea leaves, and even mooncakes with the essence of these oils. This innovative step aligned seamlessly with our overarching vision – to educate, inspire, and transform lives through the multifaceted potential of essential oils.
My journey with essential oils, which began as a mother’s search for gentle remedies, has evolved into a purpose-driven mission to spread awareness and wellness through Scentkew. With each chapter, my commitment deepens, knowing that every life touched by the magic of essential oils is a step towards a healthier and more vibrant world.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
After graduating from Shatec, I began my career as a Corporate Ticketing Consultant at leading travel agencies. An opportunity arose to join Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), a former client that I served, where I spent 17 years in various roles. I managed expat accommodation, office facilities, travel programs, events, and corporate gifts. These experiences equipped me with strong organizational, customer service, and strategic skills. These skills now form the foundation of my role as a certified essential oil specialist, co-founder of Scentkew Pte Ltd, and advocate for wellness through aromatherapy.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
Balancing the demands of a relentless corporate job while being present for my family was a formidable challenge. Long hours, sometimes stretching to 12 or more, left me physically and mentally drained. As I arrived home exhausted, I faced the painful realization that my three young children were growing up without the attention they deserved. This epiphany brought to light the pressing need for change.
In the midst of navigating a stagnant career path and grappling with uncertainty in my employment, a conversation with a friend about essential oils ignited a spark within me. It was a glimmer of hope amid the monotony and uncertainty. This realization marked the turning point when I recognized that I had found my passion—a pathway that held the promise of fulfillment and work-life balance.
After thorough contemplation, I summoned the courage to step into the unknown. I decided to bid farewell to my corporate role, complete with its stagnant trajectory, and embrace the realm of essential oils. The decision to relinquish the safety net of a stable income was not taken lightly, but it signified my commitment to carving a path that allowed me to nurture my family and cultivate my newfound passion.
In this transformational journey as an essential oil specialist and co-founder of Scentkew, I discovered a sense of purpose and the freedom to chart my course. While uncertainties accompanied this leap, I realized that they were a small price to pay for the immeasurable gains in happiness and balance that followed. Today, as I engage in this fulfilling endeavor, I am empowered to be present for my family when they need me the most, and I’ve broken free from the cycle of mental and physical exhaustion.
My story is one of resilience, determination, and the pursuit of a more meaningful life. It reflects the transformative impact of acknowledging the toll of a stagnant career, embracing uncertainty, and daring to create a future that aligns with one’s passions and priorities.
Who inspires you?
My journey has been guided by mentors who provided valuable insights and advice, as well as the unwavering support of my husband and family. These mentors offered expertise in business and wellness, while my family’s encouragement fueled my courage to pursue my passion for essential oils. Their collective influence has been instrumental in shaping my path and fostering a strong foundation for success.
What excites you most about your industry?
Essential Oils are here to stay for now and forever, ushering in the new tomorrow. As we embrace the wisdom of pre-medicine days, essential oils emerge as our natural remedy for enhancing and sustaining well-being. This resurgence signifies a shift towards holistic care and acknowledges their potent effects on physical, emotional, and mental wellness. This movement mirrors an ancient return to nature’s gifts, adapted to our contemporary lives.
By emphasizing that essential oils are not merely a trend but a profound paradigm shift, you underline their significance in our wellness journey. This insight encourages individuals to integrate essential oils into their lives as a fundamental aspect of self-care, shaping a future where these remedies play a pivotal role in our pursuit of health and balance.
What is your vision / personal motto?
“Good Intent + Good Deed = Good Karma + Happiness”, is a thoughtful and inspiring equation that encapsulates the philosophy that positive intentions and actions can lead to both personal satisfaction and a positive impact on the world around us. It reflects the idea that our actions and intentions have consequences that extend beyond ourselves and can create a ripple effect of positivity.
By aligning our intentions with positive actions, we not only contribute to the well-being of others but also create a sense of fulfillment and contentment within ourselves. This equation emphasizes the interconnectedness of our choices and the potential for them to shape our own happiness and the well-being of others.
Whether it’s through acts of kindness, compassion, or generosity, the equation highlights the belief that by cultivating goodness in our thoughts and actions, we contribute to a cycle of positive energy that brings happiness to both ourselves and those we touch.
Ultimately, the equation serves as a reminder of the power we have to influence our own lives and the world around us through conscious and positive choices.
Do you have any words of advice for other ladies who are starting their businesses/ starting to pursue their dream?
“Follow your heart and dare to dream big. Don’t be afraid to share your dreams with others. You never know who will help you realize your dream.”
This advice encapsulates the essence of embracing your aspirations and the power of community. Following your heart and dreaming big allows you to tap into your true passions and potential. It encourages you to envision a future that excites and motivates you.
Sharing your dreams with others is a powerful step, as it opens the door to collaboration, support, and unexpected opportunities. Those around you may offer insights, connections, or resources that can propel your dream forward. The act of sharing can attract like-minded individuals who align with your vision and are eager to contribute.
Remember, pursuing your dreams might require courage and effort, but it’s a journey worth taking. When you combine the strength of your aspirations with the support of those who believe in you, incredible things can happen. So, follow your heart, dream big, and share your dreams with the world – you might be pleasantly surprised by the impact it has on your journey.
What have you learnt recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
Balancing self-care and pursuing our passions is essential for overall well-being. Just as we care for others, we must prioritize our own needs and aspirations. Integrating activities that bring joy, like crafting and embracing holistic practices such as essential oils, can lead to a more fulfilling and empowered life. By nurturing ourselves, we cultivate the strength to positively impact those around us. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish; it’s an investment in our own happiness and the ability to make a meaningful difference in the world.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
Here are some concise ways I think I can help women feel confident and empowered:
Education and Workshops: Provide workshops on essential oils, self-care, and holistic wellness to equip women with knowledge and practical skills.
Personalized Guidance: Offer one-on-one consultations to address individual wellness needs and boost self-confidence.
Community Building: Create a supportive community where women can connect, share experiences, and uplift one another.
Wellness Retreats: Organize retreats that combine activities like yoga, meditation, and essential oil workshops to empower women.
Personal Stories: Inspire others with your personal journey of transformation and empowerment.
Collaborations: Partner with like-minded businesses and influencers in the wellness space to expand your impact.
Creative Workshops: Host workshops that encourage self-expression through art, writing, or other creative outlets.
Mentorship and Networking: Facilitate connections with mentors and role models to guide women on their empowerment journeys.
My tagline is:
“Let me take care of you so you can take care of others.”
What is one thing you are grateful for?
I am grateful for my ever-supportive husband and family, whose unwavering encouragement has been a cornerstone of my journey.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
In my free time, I prioritize self-care through various activities that help me unwind and recharge. Some of my favorite ways to unwind include:
Crafting: I’ve discovered a passion for crafting, which allows me to tap into my creativity and engage in a relaxing and fulfilling activity. Completing craft projects gives me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Essential Oils: I incorporate the use of essential oils into my self-care routine. Aromatherapy helps me create a calming atmosphere and promotes emotional well-being. The scents of essential oils have a soothing effect that helps me unwind.
Cooking: Preparing meals is not just a necessity but also a form of relaxation for me. Trying out new recipes and cooking nourishing dishes gives me a sense of satisfaction and allows me to focus on the present moment.
Massage: I enjoy indulging in a massage to release physical tension and ease my mind. The therapeutic benefits of massage help me relax and recharge.
Quality Sleep: Prioritizing sleep is essential for my well-being. Getting sufficient rest helps me rejuvenate and start each day with a refreshed mind and body.
These activities, whether individually or combined, contribute to my overall self-care routine. They allow me to unwind, reduce stress, and cultivate a positive mindset. By dedicating time to these practices, I’m able to maintain balance and take care of my holistic well-being.
Let us know more about what you do!
Scentkew Pte Ltd: Your gateway to holistic wellness. Discover the power of essential oils through our bespoke gifts, workshops, and natural remedies. Elevate your well-being and embrace a healthier, balanced life with Scentkew.
Connect with Scentkew!
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:
- Margaret Wu, For Beloved One (Singapore)
- Nerissa Low, Liht Organics (Singapore)
- Maddy Barber, Madly Gems (Singapore)
- Dr. Menka Gupta, Nutra Nourish (Singapore)
- Lily Kew, Kew Organics (Singapore)
- Vikki Tear, SoyCraft (Singapore)
- Ezza Yusof, 2morrow Official (Malaysia)
- Julie Yim, Lilin+Co (Malaysia)
- Zairin Azman, UMMA (Malaysia)
- Liza Morales, Ecotecture Design Studio (Philippines)