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 Jude Kow (Nic & Wes Builders)
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your business/brand about?
My name is Jude Kow, and I’m the co-founder of a local design and build company called Nic & Wes Builders Pte Ltd. My husband and I started this company, named after our children Nicole and Wesley, which stemmed from a passion we shared for creating beautiful homes. The design and build route are an alternative solution homeowners can take as they embark on their home-build journey.
Building your own home can be a daunting process, and this is where we step in to hand-hold homeowners from the exciting initial conceptualizations and journey with them into the build before the much-anticipated handover. Essentially, we take on the role of project manager and builder. With our experienced in-house team of designers and project managers, accompanied by our network of architects, engineers, and suppliers, we have simplified the home build process for fellow homeowners.
What got you started on your business?
Both my husband and I love beautiful houses. From our very first matrimonial HDB unit, we took an active role in project managing our homes. My husband promised me that each home we moved to would be better than the last, a promise which he has kept even until today.
We designed all our own homes and realized through the process that there were problems that a lot of homeowners faced. With each home, we gained experience and insight. We went through good experiences, and we also went through some bad ones. That’s when we decided that the home-build journey doesn’t have to be complicated, so we repackaged it into a simplified solution.
Through our experience, we realized that teamwork makes the dream work. In other words, the builder, the architect, and the engineer needed to work together with the client in mind for the build to be a smooth process. We handle the project from start to finish liaising with the architect, engineer, and client. So, the client needs only to liaise with us, which makes it simpler for them.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
We wanted a life that could provide us with time with the family while working on something we were passionate about. Before we started Nic & Wes Builders, we explored running a few other businesses, including an employment agency which we sold off after a decade.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
Convincing clients with an alternative home-build solution was challenging in the beginning. Traditionally, homeowners would get their own architect, engineer and builder. In our model, we put together a tried and tested team while taking the project’s lead.
For clients, it can be a daunting option to try something different, especially in an industry that does not have the best reputation. Coming from the client’s side of the coin, we understood their fears and challenges. That alignment to create a simplified journey with integrity allowed us to, with time, convince fellow homeowners that an alternative option could also work.
The clients that put their trust in us allowed us to prove the methodology’s success which compounded over time. With more people understanding the design and build process, clients these days are more open to it.
What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me the most is that each house we build looks beautiful; at the end of the day, our clients are happy with their homes.
What is your vision / personal motto?
My vision is to see Nic & Wes Builders go into development because I believe we can build houses that are different. Like our company motto says, “Designing and building homes to be proud of”.
Do you have any words of advice for other ladies who are starting their business/ starting to pursue their dream?
Firstly, you must do what you love so that every day will be exciting.
Secondly, take calculated risks.
Thirdly, if you have a partner, both of you must be on the same wavelength. It’s good to have different strengths so you will complement each other. So, if one is better in a specific part of the business, then that partner handles that portion.
What have you learnt recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
Recently, I noticed that more and more women are owning their independence and achieving outstanding capabilities.
For the other ladies who feel held back, if you put your mind to your goal and go for it, you can make that change and go after your purpose.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
If you believe in your product/service you will automatically feel confident. When you are excited about your business, you would also influence your client.
When I get the chance to talk to anyone about the topic of property or building a home, I usually get very excited, and that’s when the client listens and believes because they can see it through my enthusiasm.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
I’m very grateful for having a good team. We are blessed to have a solid group of people working with us, many of whom have been with us for more than a decade, some even from the start.
It is the concerted effort of each individual that has contributed to the longevity of Nic & Wes Builders. Having passed our 20th year in operations, it is a milestone, and we couldn’t have done it without them.
Let us know more about what you do!
Building your home is a complex process that requires an experienced team. With 20 years in the industry, Nic & Wes Builders will walk with you throughout your entire home-build journey. To add, we don’t just build houses but bespoke lifestyle homes to be proud of.
You may also find us featured on The Straits Times, The Singapore Women’s Weekly, AsiaOne, Construction+ Asia, and EdgeProp Singapore.
Connect with Nic & Wes Builders Pte Ltd!
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.