We chat with Glowfully founder Charlene Sim, who creates clean and safe beauty products apt for Singapore's tropical, humid climate.
We love entrepreneurs and small business owners at Honeycombers, which is why we’ve created Launchpad, a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It’s a privilege and pleasure to learn from so many talented and inspiring folks, so we’ve decided to share the love by interviewing some of the lovely Launchpad members. Looking for inspiration? Check out how Charlene Sim, the founder of Glowfully, gets it done like a boss.
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
A personal experience ignited my passion for skincare and led me to launch Glowfully. Several years ago, I became the primary caregiver for my mother during her courageous battle with stage 4 breast cancer. I was increasingly interested in the power of clean and safe skincare products that could provide relief and support her well-being. However, I noticed a lack of options in the market, especially for individuals living in humid climates like Singapore.
Driven by my love for my mother and inspired by her strength, I embarked on a mission to create a skincare brand that would cater to those living in such conditions. I wanted to develop products that were lightweight, refreshing, and free from ingredients like silicones, making them suitable for individuals with sensitive or acne-prone skin.
With extensive research, passion, and dedication, I founded Glowfully, infusing it with the essence of love and care that I experienced while caring for my mother. My ultimate goal is to provide effective, clean, and safe skincare products that enhance well-being and empower people to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges I faced was establishing brand recognition and gaining market traction in a competitive industry. Overcoming this hurdle required a multifaceted approach. I focused on building a strong online presence through strategic digital marketing campaigns, social media engagement, and collaborations with influencers and beauty enthusiasts. This helped to create brand awareness and generate buzz.
I also actively sought partnerships with local retailers and boutique stores (we’re still open to collaborations!), leveraging their customer base to expand our reach. By showcasing our products in physical stores, we connected with customers on a personal level and built trust in our brand. Finally, I prioritised customer satisfaction and feedback. By actively listening to their needs and concerns, I continuously refined our product offerings and improved their experience. This helped to build a loyal customer base and positive word-of-mouth referrals.
How do you stay motivated and energised?
This is crucial for me, especially during challenging times. One of the key ways I maintain my motivation is by spending quality time with my loved ones. Being surrounded by their support, encouragement, and positivity rejuvenates my spirit and reminds me of the purpose behind Glowfully. My late mother, in particular, serves as a constant source of inspiration. Her strength and resilience during her battle with breast cancer continue to drive me to make a positive impact in the skincare industry.
Also, I regularly remind myself why I started Glowfully. It renews my passion and commitment, as well as reinforces the importance of our mission and fuels my determination. I stay engaged with the skincare community, connecting with like-minded individuals and seeking inspiration from industry leaders. Attending conferences, participating in networking discussions, and staying informed about the latest trends and advancements help me stay motivated and continuously evolve.
How do you keep stress levels low?
Regular exercises, such as badminton or jogging, help release tension and clear my mind. Maintaining open and honest communication with my team is crucial. Delegating tasks, setting clear expectations, and fostering a supportive work environment allow for effective collaboration and reduce individual stress levels.
I also make sure to set realistic goals and manage my time effectively. Breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps helps prevent me from feeling overwhelmed. By prioritising tasks and organising my schedule, I can maintain a sense of control and reduce the stress associated with time management.
Lastly, spending quality time with loved ones and engaging in hobbies outside of work both provide a healthy balance and help me recharge. By nurturing relationships and pursuing activities I enjoy, I can detach from work-related stress and find fulfilment in other aspects of life.
Favourite place to work?
Definitely my home. During the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home allowed me to spend precious time with my children while still being productive. It provided a comfortable and familiar environment where I could balance work responsibilities with family obligations. However, we have now returned to work in the office.
Favourite business tool?
Canva. It’s a versatile and user-friendly platform that we rely on extensively for creating engaging and visually appealing content. Its wide range of templates, design elements, and customisation options make it an invaluable tool for our marketing and branding efforts.
One thing you can keep talking about for hours?
Skincare and self-care. I’m deeply passionate about the importance of taking care of our skin and overall well-being. From discussing the latest skincare trends and ingredients to sharing self-care tips and routines, I can engage in conversations that inspire and empower others to prioritise their self-care journey.
Your go-to self-care activity?
Playing mahjong with my friends and exercises such as playing badminton, going for a jog, or joining a spinning class. Mahjong provides a fun and social outlet that helps me relax, unwind, and connect with loved ones. Meanwhile, exercise allows me to release stress, boost my mood, and prioritise my physical well-being.
One piece of advice to your younger self?
Embrace and celebrate your unique journey. Trust your abilities, stay true to your passions, and believe in the incredible potential within you.
Get in touch with Charlene Sim online.
Launchpad is a comprehensive digital networking platform (with IRL benefits, too) that encourages connection, business support and community. It is designed to make the entrepreneurial journey not only easier, and more successful, but also a whole lot more fun. We offer almost daily activities for members to connect, along with weekly masterclasses, member networking roulette, small-business mentoring and media profiles on Honeycombers. Check it out and join us!