Straits Canopy THE lifestyle brand for Singapore.November 14 2014
My name is Suasti Lye and I am a professional photographer and also the founder of Straits Canopy, a lifestyle brand for Singapore. I moved here seven years ago from New York City and just love living here.
1. Why did you venture out and start your business:
After leaving a corporate background I had the opportunity to explore my creative side when I moved to Singapore so I took it. Starting the photography business not only allowed me to be creative, I was also able to be more flexible with my time. I intended on going back to corporate life but the flexibility in lifestyle was addictive! You have more freedom but as an entrepreneur you also work harder, at the end of the day you are solely responsible for your businesses success.
I started Straits Canopy as I felt a need to utilize my analytical side and business background while doing something creative that I really believed in. Living in Singapore and loving the people here has made it very easy to believe in Straits Canopy and do my best to bring it to life.
2. How did you start your company?
I thought about Straits Canopy for a long time and really wanted to formulate how best bring it to life. I sat and planned and pondered for months and months until one day I came home and my nice ‘work’ shoes were by the door. My husband had got everything prepared – even my shoes(!) and had made an appointment for me with business administrators to register a limited liability company and file the relevant paper work with the government. It was then done and I officially started – no looking back!
3. What were the challenges you faced/are facing
A huge challenge I faced early on is mentally trying to conquer the fear of wondering if Straits Canopy would be accepted as a concept. You put your heart and soul into something and then have to display it to the world – unnerving to the say the least. On a more ground level, as a start up, I have faced huge product development issues from sourcing to quality control which all take up time.
4. If you could redo anything, what would you do?
While there are some things that I could have done MUCH MUCH better, lets be honest, making the mistakes I did helped me to learn how to do things better. I have learnt lessons in streamlining and seeing the value of things beyond the dollar sign. There isn’t really anything I would redo – the whole process is a journey and I am enjoying all the many steps along the way.
5. Words of advice to future entrepreneurs.
Once you work out what business you want to do, sit down and do a SWOT analysis of your concept. The strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats you can see. If that looks good push further, dig deep and see if you can see yourself working on this in three years time. When these two things align and you feel that buzz of excitement, the fire in your belly lights up and all you can think about is building your business – you’re set – GO FOR IT!!
By Woomentum’s staff.