Fulfilling the Dream of Opening a Women’s Clothing Shop at Age 50

We had a hearty discussion with Jane, who decided to quit her full-time job at 50 to fulfill her dream of opening her own women’s clothing boutique. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I studied fashion design and dressmaking in the Baharuddin Institute in my early twenties. I worked as a fashion merchandiser sourcing fabrics and accessories for British and American retailers. Before products were ready for export, I had to ensure the quality of finished pieces.

I also used to sketch dress designs. Until today, I still remember the excitement of receiving samples from the factory! Unfortunately, the industry wasn’t doing well, and I had to leave to join the civil service.

Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, I made one of the biggest decisions in my life; I resigned from my secretarial job to pursue my dream in fashion! Is it too late to pursue my dream? It is never too late! I believe that dreams keep a person alive.

Jane’s Boutique at People’s Park Food Centre, opened in Nov 2021.

What influenced you to have an interest in fashion?
I have had an interest in sewing since I was little. I’d quietly watch my mum alter clothes for a living and make Baju Kurungs for our neighbours. Fascinated by what a seamstress can do with a simple piece of plain fabric, I made use of the leftover material to design and sew simple things, like small pouches and clothes for my dolls.


What motivated you to leave your job and start your own boutique? 
My dream has always been to have a fashion boutique of my own. I take pride in offering high quality, affordable and practical fashion that caters for every woman’s needs. I truly enjoy watching my customers try on beautiful clothes that make them feel comfortable and confident. This is the best part of my job!


What inspires you and what do you like to do in your free time?
Natural sceneries, music, animals and architecture inspire my creativity. In my free time, I spend hours looking through magazines and browsing the Internet for new styles best suited for Singapore’s climate.


Tell us in a sentence:

What’s your #1 dressing tip?

You must feel comfortable!


Do you have any favourite dress, jewellery or accessories? 
I am a little nostalgic, so, my favourites are my grandma’s Indonesian 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?
My first thought is always "every day is a fresh beginning", which is in line with my life motto, to be grateful for what I have every day.


What would you tell your younger self?
Don’t give up so easily.


When do you feel most powerful, empowered, confident? 
When my advice makes a difference.


What advice would you give people who are thinking of leaving their job and starting their own business?
My advice is to know what you want to achieve and to stick to your bottom line.


Anything else you’d like to add? 
I would like 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