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 Kelly Hill, Karen Chan and Lydia Law (The Charity Home Bakers)
Tell us a little about yourselves.
“The Charity Home Bakers” is an initiative that was set up following a very successful Charity Bake Sale run back in 2020. Founded by three home bakers – Kelly Hill, Karen Chan and Lydia Law, we came together to collaborate with our first selected charity, the Children’s Wishing Well. We each come from very varied backgrounds, but all share one common interest, and that is baking.
What got you started on your business?
After our first bake sale, we received overwhelming interest and support from not just our friends and family, but also from our own network of followers within the Singapore home baking community. It is also through this charity drive that we got to meet many other home bakers just like ourselves, who are eager and keen to lend a helping hand and contribute to Giving Back. This was the main driving force behind creating an online community or some would call a ‘Hobby Group’ where fellow home bakers like ourselves are able to connect, share experiences and exchange ideas on how we may reach out to more Charities. There really is not one fixed Cause that we support, and we are open to supporting any that target issues that are important and close to our hearts.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
As Charity Home Bakers is more of a “interest group”, we still have our hands full with what we do on a full-time basis!
Kelly is a currently a full time mum whom prior to being one, was working in the Public Health sector for over 12 years. She has taken on many roles in the Social Services arena, in the capacity of paid work as well as a volunteer, and had run countless charity programmes and fundraising campaigns throughout her career. With that, it become a natural calling for her to continue pursuing charity work in even the smallest ways by volunteering her time whenever she can. And now with her love for baking, she combines the two together to do some good work.
Lydia is a working mum of twin boys and spends most of her free time unwinding in the kitchen. She loves a challenge in achieving a good bake and is constantly looking for opportunities to bake for others and to make tummies happy.
Karen is an eclectic self-employed Crafter whom many of us envy. She is a ‘Jack of all trades’ and has a very wide experience in the field of Arts, Design, Fashion and everything else creative. With her great hands and social flare, she has become a fluent Crochet Fanatic and trainer in the past years and also started to put her time into good use by baking and exploring new recipes. Always enthusiastic to try new things and more recently since the start of the pandemic, she has even taken up a keen interest in Basic Patient Care and currently works part time in the healthcare sector.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
Broadly speaking, we strongly believe that challenges are part of our learning journey. It is important to set certain goals in life and work towards them, often expecting to succeed, however sometimes you don’t but it is equally an outcome to learn from. In order to overcome failures, we should take on the growth mindset and to see our shortfalls or failures as a means to improve and grow. Most importantly, do not be afraid to try again.
Who inspires you?
Like-minded people who share similar interest to give back is what motivates us to do more for the community. Our key motivation are the people, their stories and topics of concern.
What excites you most about your industry?
Essentially, we believe that there are two key elements to the industry that we’re in. First and more importantly, it is the desire to Give Back, and equally important is our love for baking. Applying a skill and leveraging on it to do some good just adds more meaning to what we love doing. We are not in favour of owning this trade or specialising in something that others can’t similarly do. In fact, we want to share this with as many people as possible and hope that we can build a strong community of home bakers who share our love for charity work. This is what keeps us driven and excited! Knowing that through our small effort as individuals, we are able to create and expand our tribe of charity home bakers.
What is your vision / personal motto?
We live in a highly diverse society where we witness a vast difference between those who are well and healthy, and have the means to live relatively comfortable lives and those within our same society that struggle to survive and lack even the most basic means such as food security, healthcare, education and social support. It is an unequal world out there and we believe that small gestures of kindness each day are all that is needed to create ripple effects of many more kind deeds. The appreciation that each one of us can do something good in our own small way is what inspires us to volunteer our time. That is the main objective of The Charity Home Bakers – to bring more like-minded home bakers together who share our passion for supporting Good Causes.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business/ starting to pursue their dream?
Do not hesitate to reach out to likeminded people to get their inputs and insights. This is a great way to learn from their experience as well and perhaps learn something new that you may have missed out. Seek advice from others who may have had some success stories to share. It could be someone within the same industry or just from within your community of close contacts. Essentially you are also trying to reach out to a certain target group with your business, so gaining some invaluable feedback from them as a consumer would also be helpful.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
Staying authentic to the things you love and believing in your own abilities is key to feeling confident. Understanding that we are unique individuals and all have the ability to contribute to the world in different but equally meaningful ways. When you stay true to your inner voice, you will naturally find strength to pursue the things you love. Finding “purpose” and asking “WHY” questions will help you do well in the things that matter to you. Never be afraid to make mistakes and understand that challenges and obstacles are just part of the journey and milestones that needs to be crossed in order to find fulfilment. Sharing your experiences, may it be a failure or success story are good ways to empower yourself. Always remain open to feedback, because only then can you learn and improve, and always trust your own instincts.
What have you learned recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
Giving back to your community and reaching out to help someone is something anyone can do. You do not need a particular skill for it, just a lot of heart and empathy. There are so many ways in which one can be involved in charity work. We wish to encourage more people to look inward and reflect on some of the skill-sets that they may already have, may it be baking, or public relations or even creative design skills, all of which are key roles in making a charity initiative a success.
We have also learnt that there are more people than we think, within our immediate community that have the same desire to contribute their time and skills to a good cause but just do not know where to start. Hence it is through such “interest groups” like The Charity Home Bakers that help motivate them to take that first step.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
There are just too many things we are grateful for, but if we had to narrow it down to just one, it would be to be well and alive so that we can be present for our family, friends, loved ones and the still find the capacity to give back to the community.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
Though we each have our own personal and work commitments, I believe we all can agree that finding some free time off to engage in baking has been our way of relaxing. The kitchen is our happy place where we mostly feel free to be creative and expand our personal love for baking. Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have found refuge in our home kitchens as more meals are had at home. Like ourselves, many new home cooks and bakers have sprouted, some even going the extra mile to take up culinary and baking courses to upgrade their skills and converting that new found interest into a business. For us, we chose to convert our mostly self-acquired skill to helping and contributing to others. Experimenting and accomplishing new recipes has also been a great way for us to boost our esteem and help manage daily stresses during these challenging times. Being able to help others whilst doing so has been an added bonus!
Let us know more about what you do!
We are a free, safe and happy group of bakers, open for all and everyone! If you share our desire to Give Back through baking, or in any other way, this is the place for you and we want you to be part of our TRIBE!
Connect with Sweety Care!