I quit my $5.50/hour waitressing job to pursue writing full time. Now, I work 36 hours a week helping others style their dream home – and make 4x more whilst owning 2 side businesses of my own.
Like most professionals in their twenties, I jumped into a corporate job, fresh after graduation at the first chance. I recognized the immediate need for a stable salary but it wasn’t where my heart wanted to be. I’ve learnt the hard way that investing your time into a job that simply doesn’t align with your personal values and life goals, will (eventually) do more harm than good.
It’s been a year since I started learning about everything furniture design, home décor and custom furniture work for the average Singaporean home. And I’ve learnt quite a few lessons along the way that I’ll be carrying forward for the rest of my life.
Number 1 being, how I re-discovered myself through furniture. You may think I’m biased but custom work takes a lot of slowing down and considering who you are as an individual. Even with a study table for example, you’ll need to recognize what style or colours you love or hate, the storage you need for your everyday tools and essentially what the study table needs to do for you.
At the core of it all, it was about restructuring my lifestyle to prioritize what actually matters to me; family time, painting, yoga and taking myself on dates to the park or a local boba tea shop. Ensuring that your work is aligned with what you believe in on a personal level, is way more important than what you might think. I was only able to do this once I told myself that financial goals aren’t on my list of priorities. To some extent, yes, a salary is still important but as a woman in her mid-twenties, I realized that I should choose carefully where I invest my time in. I’m at the period of my life where time is the most valuable resource I have.
Along the same narrative, I’ve also learnt how to stretch my time to cover my personal endeavors i.e., my two side businesses. If you’ve come down to the Gallery Space, you would’ve seen the solid teak dining ware on display, loud and proud with the Urban Homes Logo. We also have on display some one-of-a-kind sculptures and vases that celebrate the beauty of wood. Urban Homes is really in other words, my baby (if you can’t tell). There’s another project in the works as well, and I can’t wait to show you!
I’ve been asked time and time again, why I made the drastic change to move to the furniture industry from customer service in the corporate world. The truth is, I had a gut feeling that the impact I was able to make through Urban Salvation’s business model would run far deeper than just furniture. It would be far more than just a dining set but the dinners and breakfasts a family will have in their lifetime as they grow together. It would be more than just a super single bedframe, but the brave decision of a young toddler moving from their cot to their big girl bed. It wouldn’t be about the furniture pieces we build, but about transforming and growing a space into what a family can call home.
Family is important to me. Home even more.