Shaping up the nation one yummy mummy at a time. Kareen Lai, entrepreneur and key opinion leader runs fitness and nutrition programs to help get mummies in shape whilst maintaining a balanced family work life.
What’s your story?
I’m the founder of Mums In Sync. We run fitness and nutrition programs that help get mummies into tip top shape. In fact, we specialise in helping postnatal mums start feeling comfortable wearing their bikinis again. I am also the author of ‘18 Again – Bringing Out the Sexy Fit Mummy in You.’ It was published and launched in May 2015. My work revolves around getting mummies to eat right, move right, think right and find the right tribe, so that every mum can make active and healthy living a sustainable journey. Once mum feels good, she will naturally translate the positive energy and vibes to her children and loved ones. Together, we inevitably nurture the next generation of healthy eaters and active individuals. That is why we aim to shape up the nation one mother at a time.
What excites you most about your industry?
People are generally getting more educated about health and have an increased awareness in making informed choices in their own context. Although the industry seems saturated with providers and trainers, it is not so. Especially when it comes to what Mums In Sync specialises in; helping mums get into tip top shape and kickstarting the fit mummy movement in Singapore. As such, there is great potential in our business to grow exponentially when women get enlightened about what we do and trust us to help them with their health and well-being.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am a Singapore girl, born and bred. I went through the infamous Singapore education system and worked for the public service at one point. I’m glad to be starting a business entity in Singapore. I am thankful for the safe test-bed provided by the government to launch new business ideas.
As a business entity that is based in Singapore, we are in a great position with strategic advantage. Right now, we do not have any presence in other countries. However, it is in our vision, to bring our business to other countries in Asia, so that all mothers can come together to nurture the next generation of healthy eaters and active individuals.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. Supportive business regulations, ethical systems, safe, secure, availability of grants for small businesses and a culture with a reasonably open mind. I am thankful for the safe test-bed provided by the government to launch new business ideas.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
While developing my program, a business mentor reminded me that there is no perfect product. Even in the manufacturing industry, products are tested through countless facelifts. “So just go out there and start getting feedback from actual customers, before you perfect your product.” You never know what comes out of anything until you actually get down to doing it. You can’t improve when there is nothing worth improving upon. It was a good reminder for me to always think about things from a different perspective in every aspect of life, not just in business.
Who inspires you?
Fellow men and women who lead lives driven by passion and purpose. I draw positive energy from these people as they inspire me to work towards being a better person with a strong conviction.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Just one and a half years into my business, I was awarded winner of the Singapore Mumpreneur Award 2014. Winning the award blew me away because I did not expect the judges to think so highly of my work and the business that was barely 2 years old. But it was definitely an assuring validation for my work and I know I am bringing the business in the right direction.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
To be honest, I would not have done done anything differently. There is a good reason why we walked our paths in a certain manner. Every experience is a learning opportunity. For example, when I started the business, I designed the website myself to save cost. I thought how hard could it be? It took me hours and days and months to get it right on WordPress. And it still looked cheap. In the end I gave up and hired a professional website designer to help me with it. He did such an awesome job!
You would think I might have chosen to save time, hire a professional designer from the start. But I beg to differ. If I had not gone through those hours of understanding website development, I would not have learnt to appreciate web designing and be in a better position to discuss and talk about web with my designer today.
How do you unwind?
When I need to unwind, I usually become physical. Either break a good sweat from running or hitting the gym. I also head to the climbing gym to get in a few climbs with my brother. Not forgetting hanging out with my twins and seeing their happy faces when we share a slice of cake. Yes I do enjoy a slice of good cake now and then.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
It has to be Hokkaido for me. I remember the first time my husband and I went to Hokkaido, we kept asking each other “Where is everyone?” We were so used to the hustle and bustle in Singapore that the streets in Hokkaido felt deserted. But it was the perfect place to unwind with lovely weather. I just love to get out of the city and noise and be in awe of the nature and good wholesome foods all around me.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Screw Business by Richard Branson
Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey
Shameless plug for your business:
We work especially well with mums between the age of 32-40 years, who have enjoyed a reasonable level of fitness prior to motherhood. Just last year, I won the Singapore Mumpreneur Award 2014 and also came in 3rd for Miss Bikini Fitness (above 30). I have been engaged as a key opinion leader by Nutella for their Active Family Campaign, and most recently worked on videos for Simply Her and Young Parents magazine.
Ask for a copy of my book, and I might just send you a copy!
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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