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Fulfilling the Dream of Opening a Women’s Clothing Shop

We had a hearty discussion with Jane, who decided to quit her job at 50, to fulfil her dream of opening her own boutique. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Indonesia and moved to Singapore. I took a Fashion Design and Dressmaking course from Bahraruddin Institute, and worked as a fashion merchandiser in my 20s. During my practice, I helped UK/ US retailers and designers to source for matching fabrics and accessories, as well as to make random quality and quantity checks before exportation. 

Till now, I still remember the excitement from receiving completed samples made by the factory! I was only there for xx years, because the industry wasn’t doing well. I moved to work in civil service for more than 20 years until my dad passed away two years ago. 

At 50, I decided to resign so I can pursue my interest in fashion! I recently set up my shop, two months ago in November. 

What influenced you to have an interest in fashion?

Since I was 10, I helped my mum to sew buttons and hem pants for traditional Baju Kurungs. The workmanship is extremely critical in Baju Kurongs. The hem sewing for the pants must not be seen from the outside and therefore, had to be hand-sewn carefully. Even as I worked till midnight every day, I really enjoyed the process of sewing these Baju Kurongs. 

What motivated you to leave your job and start your own boutique? 

At 50, I wanted to fulfil my dream of starting up my very own fashion boutique. I want to provide good quality, affordable and practical womens’ clothing for all occasions. 

The most favourite part of my job is to see my customers trying on beautiful clothes, feeling comfortable and confident. 

What inspires you and what do you like to do in your free time?

Natural sceneries, music, animals, insects, building architecture, etc, inspire me. The different moods I experience also influences my creativity. I enjoy research and exploring new ideas creatively. 

In my free time, I look for new styles suitable for Singapore’s climate, listen to music, pottery, decorate spaces at home, travelling (before covid), visit museums and do photography. 

Picture photographed by Jane in her travels.

Picture photographed by Jane in her travels.

Tell us in a sentence:

What’s your #1 dressing tip?

You must feel comfortable!

Do you have any favourite dress, jewellery or accessories? 

My grandma’s Indonesia Sarong Kebaya with silver brooches (Kerosang), silver belt (Tali Pending) and beaded slippers (Kasut Manik).

What’s your first thought every day when you wake up?

Every day is a fresh day.

What would you tell your younger self?

Don’t give up easily.

What’s your motto in life?

Be grateful every day with what you have.

When do you feel most powerful, empowered, confident? 

When my feedback or suggestions are being recognised and exercised.

What advice would you give to people who are thinking of leaving their job and starting their own business?

Know what you want to achieve and how to get your bottom line.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Love yourself and be grateful to others and live with no regrets. 

I also wish to support more local designers. I appreciate their hard work and want to help them promote it!

Jane’s Boutique

People’s Park Food Centre 

(Chinatown MRT Exit C)

Blk 32, New Market Road