New Year, New Mantra
As we welcome the new year with all it’s expectations, challenges and new chapters, the one thing we all hope to achieve is being mindful in everything we do. Whether that means choosing our words (and what we eat!) wisely, or allowing certain mindsets and attitudes to reign over negative ones. Lucky for us, we got the chance to meet two women whose goals are to help men and women achieve mindfulness in a stylish, yet subtly beautiful way. Enter, The Mindful Company, a meaningful jewellery brand spearheaded by two boss babes, Ciara and Ling.
Recently, they were in town and I had the opportunity to chat with both of them and hear how their company came about. As a new mama, Ling found this business venture to be particularly appropriate as she learns to adjust to all things parenthood brings to the table. She dishes on how The Mindful Company was created (almost as a bit of a necessity!) and how being a mama has changed how she views the world and her priorities in this edition of That Mama.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born in Penang, Malaysia, grew up in Perth, Australia and now live in Singapore. I moved to Singapore in 2010 with my husband thinking it was just for a year or two, and here we are now – 6 years on, a baby in tow and still loving it! My Co-Founder, Ciara, was similarly born in Malaysia, grew up in Australia and now lives in Singapore too.
What inspired you to create The Mindful Company?
As a mission focused brand, we wanted to create a company that promotes mental resilience, personal reflection, and kindness. We believe that it’s important to encourage reflection and resilience, to ask people to celebrate the good times, to take a healthy perspective towards the challenging times, and embrace the crazy changes that life throws at them.
In your opinion, why do you The Mindful Company’s philosophy is important?
In an increasingly fast-paced world, we believe there’s value in being mindful and taking time out to reflect on what makes life meaningful. It’s through reflection that you gain clarity, and with that clarity you may then be empowered to take the necessary steps towards living a life that’s meaningful to you. We also believe that when people live meaningful lives, they are more likely to be kind to themselves and to those around them. After all, we reckon the world can always do with a little more kindness!
How did you come up with all the words that appear on your Reminder Bands?
The reminders on our Reminder Bands are inspired by our personal experiences and the stories of those around us, such as our friends, family, and customers.
Are there any specific words that are meaningful to you personally?
Gratitude. There’s always something to be grateful for, whether it’s smooth traffic, a superbly consistent coffee or good heath of loved ones. I’ve found that even on difficult days, thinking of things that I’m grateful for can make a big difference to my day.
Can you tell us more about the products on offer?
Our main products at the moment are Reminder Bands. Reminder Bands come in 3 styles – Cuffs, Braids and Chains. Each are simple, gentle reminders with subtle engraved messages (or a pendant for the chains). They have been designed to be minimalist, fully adjustable and durable so you can wear them every day. We intend to continue designing products that will be great everyday reminders.
Where can we buy these Reminder Bands?
Reminder Bands can be purchased on our site at www.mindful-company.com. We offer free shipping for orders above $150 (Sing Dollars) and you can expect your order to arrive in Hong Kong within 3-5 business days.
How do you balance work and mama life?
I think balance looks different for everyone and it isn’t necessarily calculated by the number of hours spent on each. For me, given that startups are intense, I do my best to spend dedicated time with the little one. Whether I’m working or with her, I try to ensure that my attention is not divided – that I’m present, in that moment. For me, scheduling in activities like visiting the aquarium (which we’re doing for her first birthday), or taking her on a walk helps me to not get too carried away with work.
How do you save time? Can you share any organisational tips and tricks?
Being organised and focused. From my years in the corporate sector I’ve realised that it’s not efficient to multitask. I have an ongoing checklist of things that need to be done. Once I’ve completed a task, I’ll determine the next most important thing to be completed – focusing on one thing at a time.
What do you do to get in that “me” time?
For me, it’s about being disciplined enough to stop working. To head out for a run, read a book, or watch a girly chick flick. I’m not always disciplined enough about it, but I’m certainly trying!
What do you find to be the most challenging part of parenting?
My daughter is still young (just over a year old), so I think the challenging times haven’t quite kicked in yet. To date, I’d say that it hasn’t been too challenging because she’s a really good kid and I’ve got an amazingly supportive husband who absolutely adores her.
Favourite family holiday spot?
Perth. We love going ‘home’ and spending time with family and friends.
What are your favourite spots to eat at with your family in Singapore?
Coming from Australia, we’re big coffee fans. There’s a quaint little café near our home, Brawn and Brains which we love. It’s our usual Sunday morning spot.
Can you tell us about how your career was pre-baby as compared to post-baby?
Pre-baby, I spent most of my time at my corporate job at Ernst and Young. During busy season, I’d be in the office past midnight and honestly, didn’t mind all that much. During my down time at work, there would be coffee breaks, some online shopping, catching up on news and googling personal interests.
Post-baby, I spent a few months wrapping up at Ernst and Young before dedicating my time solely to The Mindful Company (TMC). While I’m constantly working now, it’s nice to be able to head home for dinner and to tuck the little one into bed before picking up on work again. The main difference – I have very little down time! The coffee breaks and online shopping have disappeared, but there’s still chatter and laughter with the awesome TMC team.
What’s the best advice you’ve received as a parent?
It sounds cliché, but to treasure every moment because they grow up so quickly! It’s something that friends with older children constantly remind us of. It’s so easy to rush through each day so it’s nice to be reminded to slow down and not let these precious moments pass us by – she’s turning one already!
Something that you wish someone had told you about motherhood?
How much fun it can be! Most people try to prepare you by telling you how it changes your life, which it does. But they don’t always mention you how much fun it is, and how much joy little ones can bring into your life.
What has been your most humbling moment as a mum?
Seeing my daughter for the first time, a living, moving little human! She was the perfect Christmas gift, arriving just a few days before Christmas.
How do you keep the romance between you and your husband alive with such a busy work and family life?
Haha. As with all things, it’s a function of priorities. We make time for the things that are important to us.
As a mama, I wish I were better at…
Singing. I’m a terrible singer and while my daughter doesn’t seem to mind for now, I’m sure she’ll start laughing at me when she’s old enough.
I wake up in the middle of night thinking about…
My to do list, followed by how I really need to get back to sleep given my usual lack of sleep.
Bedtime is always smoother when…
She’s had a packed day and she falls asleep straight away.
My favourite moment of the day is…
Having dinner with my husband and the little one playing around us.
Thanks to the talented Gunilla Lindgren of Sugar Light Photography for all of the beautiful images above! Follow her on Instagram @sugarlightphotography