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 Lin Jiawen (Arc-en-ciel Pâtisserie)
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your business/ brand about?
I am Jiawen, the chef-owner of Arc-en-ciel Pâtisserie, with a little dream of creating belly smiles for everyone in the world through the little treats I create in my magic kitchen.
Arc-en-ciel Pâtisserie is my new cake restaurant located in a heritage shophouse along Neil Road that specializes in artisanal French and Japanese-inspired pastries. Arc-en-ciel pronounced as “ar-kon-see-ell”, means rainbow in French. The sight of a rainbow brings instant smiles and that’s what my happy cake business is all about. We hope to indulge our customers in our sweets that will bring big happy smiles to their faces and bellies. Because that’s why we do what we do, and hope to bring more smiles in their lives through us.
What got you started on your business?
I have been in the F&B industry for close to a decade, during which I have worked with some amazing chefs, all of who have shaped me into the pastry chef that I am today. The interesting story behind my journey is that I started out working in corporate marketing before taking a six-month sabbatical holiday that totally changed my life because that spurred me on to enroll in a pastry school in Singapore, and since then it’s been an exciting sweet life adventure!
After pastry school, I knew I wanted to have a little shop on my own but also understood that craft takes time to master so I chose to work with some amazing chefs whose mentorship helped me make my little dream a reality. About three years ago, I felt I was ready to start out on my own and started small with my home-based business. When the pandemic stabilized, I made the decision to move out of the comfort of my home and found a little cozy space at 37A Neil Road for my cake business. It’s been an incredible journey so far, a lot different from working for someone but extremely fulfilling.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
I was working in corporate marketing for close to six years where life was all about traveling the world and making full use of every annual leave day to satisfy my wanderlust. Then about ten years ago, I made a drastic career change by becoming a pastry chef and working for a couple of restaurants and cafes before deciding to start my own cake business.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
During the Covid years when I was home-based, there was a period of time when home-based businesses boomed. My home-based cake business saw a spike in sales during the same time but unfortunately, once borders opened, I saw a stark difference in sales. I figured that after two years, people did not want to continue to be stuck at home and wanderlust could finally be fulfilled. Also, with the cakes that I was selling, people preferred very much to enjoy it as an afternoon tea break outside than in their homes. It was then extremely clear to me that the home-based business was no longer working and was the time to start a brick-and-mortar cake shop. Sometimes challenges present themselves for new opportunities to happen!
Who inspires you?
My mom is one tough rose and my biggest life inspiration. She had to fight battles every day – both at work and with her three kids back at home. But yet every single day, she radiating with beauty. She is the main heroine in my life.
What excites you most about your industry?
I think the pastry scene has greatly grown in the last five years in Singapore. More and more aspiring young pastry chefs are coming out of their comfort zone to start their own cake business and we are seeing more and more exciting pastry shops with out-of-this-world cake flavours. I can’t wait to see what the pastry world in Singapore is going to be like in the next five years!
What is your vision / personal motto?
Life is short, time is even more precious. Indulge your time with plenty of things that make your world go round.
Do you have any words of advice for other ladies who are starting their businesses/ starting to pursue their dream?
Have courage and be brave in taking a leap of faith. Fight the fear monsters and believe that a passion-made business can make your life a great wonderful adventure.
What have you learnt recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
People will always be in a rush to advise you on life issues but sometimes we should learn to take advice with a pinch of salt and trust our own gut. Continue to believe in what you do and push through life’s unknowns or crises because life will always turn right back to the way you want it to be.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
My cake restaurant, Arc-en-ciel Pâtisserie, serves as a sweet haven for all ladies to come to have a sweet afternoon tea break while enjoying the perfect catch-up time with their best girlfriends. We want to offer a tranquil space for all ladies to feel their best selves while they indulge in self-love over sweet treats.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
To be able to have strong family support to do what I love doing – making sweet treats that bring happy smiles to people’s bellies.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
I love reading a book or two during my spare time. A leisurely stroll by the beach while listening to the sea waves crashing against the shore also helps me relax and unwind during my restful moments.
Let us know more about what you do!
If you are looking for cakes that are both beautiful to look at and taste great, come by our little space. We are big on serving our customers belly smiles, because we believe our cakes will give you the ultimate cake-eating experience filled with only bigger smiles!
You may also find us featured on Channel NewsAsia CNA938, Time Out, Mothership, Yahoo! Life, and Tatler Asia.
Connect with Arc-en-ciel Pâtisserie!
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)