The mumpreneur and CEO of Motherswork transformed her hobby into one of Asia's leading retailers thanks to one key word: passion.
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 Sharon Wong, CEO and founder of Motherswork, a leading retailer for mothers and kids, gets it done like a boss.
How I get it done: Sharon Wong
What is your backstory and why did you decide to launch your business?
In each of our lives, there’s a moment. The moment when a thought enters your mind and it transforms your world, it grips and holds on to your imagination. It snowballs and you become obsessed with it. It’s the seed which grew the life I have now; it’s the seed that began my entrepreneur’s journey. For me, that moment started when I was pregnant with my first child. I was obsessed with finding decent maternity clothes, the coolest baby stroller, the safest car seat, and the perfect milk bottle. You name it, I wanted it. I was such a ‘mumzilla’.
By the time I was pregnant with my third child, I had done a lot of research and had a portfolio of brands from around the world that I wanted to share with other mums. I called it my little black book of “What to Buy and When to Buy”: everything you need to raise your baby. My quest to be a wonderful mother and my desire to get the best baby products to provide the best environment to keep my babies safe and happy whilst balancing my career and quality time led to the creation of Motherswork. It’s an extension of me as a mother of three, a hobby project that became a regional brand with stores in Singapore and China.
On a typical morning
A typical morning before my husband and I go about our exercise routine is to have coffee together. I watch and he makes coffee for two on his La Marzocco espresso machine, measuring and grinding the coffee beans, and practising his foam art. When we have no exercise classes, the morning includes breakfast at home with homemade avocado and eggs on toast or wrap and on weekends, breakfast at a hawker centre.
On dealing with self-doubt and criticism
Self-doubt and criticism seem to diminish and play a lesser role in my life as I mature as a mother and a business leader. I’ve always likened the demands of each stage of my business to my motherhood journey. At each stage of my children’s growth, I mature as a mother. The same goes for the business from a one-store hobby project to a regional brand. Each stage is a learning curve. And at the stage when you accept that you’re the best mother for your children and you’re doing the best for your business, self-doubt disappears and criticism is just noise.
On keeping stress levels low
I don’t acknowledge stress. I have the ability to block off problems by distracting myself until I’m ready to confront the issue. Somehow this has allowed me to keep my stress levels low.
On staying motivated and energised
Passion, passion and passion. If you didn’t hear that, let me repeat: passion! Find that passion inside you, believe in it and go. Once you press go, navigate your roadmap, change and adapt. With these characteristics, we managed to make Motherswork evolve from a hobby project to an SME from Singapore on the map of one of the biggest baby retail landscapes: China. I made my passion my work!
On the advice you’d give your younger self
When you’re in your 20s, everything seems amplified. I know now that’s part of the learning journey that everyone has to undertake. I wish I knew then it’s about having the right perspective and not worrying about everything.
On winding down in the evening
There’s something extremely comforting in having the kitchen to myself at night after dinner when everything has been cleaned and put away. I’m a night baker. Interestingly, what started off as just following instructions to de-stress created the baker in me.
Pre-Covid, I baked regularly for our customers and at in-store events. I had jars full of cookies in the pantry at Motherswork daily. Customers started referring to me as #TheCEOWhoBakes. I’ve received many requests to sell the cookies but I prefer to keep them exclusively available for family and friends of Motherswork. However, during the circuit breaker, I baked for 500 of our frontline workers. My cookies are good!
Check out Motherswork and get in touch with Sharon.
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!