Founder & CEO, Maison de L'Asie
(In her 40's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
Elizabeth initially started with a background in financial services. But later on, she pursued her interest and passion in the arts by completing her Masters in Arts Business from Sotheby's. She then came back to Singapore and joined the National Gallery and was a crucial part of the team that launched this national landmark when it opened.
The big change came in 2020 when she decided to once again follow her passion into the perfume industry and she set up Maison de L'Asie from scratch. In the last 3 years, Maison de L'Asie has grown to be a global brand and amongst other achievements, is the first South East Asian brand to be accepted to Esxence, which is one of the leading global events for art perfumery.
Very proud that she has grown her company from ground up and is now representing us on a global scale!
Elizabeth is one of the most driven women that I know and has displayed this, in the grit required to build a global brand by herself. She has also done what a lot of other women (and men!) are unable to do and that is to take the plunge into stepping out of her comfort zone in an immense way and pursued her passion. And to be able to blend the 2, work and passion, that is the ultimate goal to enjoying your days.
All this on top of being a mom who has to make sure her 8 year old receives the right guidance and attention as he is growing up.
In her own words:
For the sake of this context, it would be starting Maison de L'Asie from scratch, with no prior experience in the field. I saw a gap in the market and wanted to elevate the interpretation of Asia and to fly the flag proudly by being the first true luxury niche fragrance house from Singapore. I wanted to go beyond the stereotypes of the product narratives in the market.
There were none in the market. Making the career switch with no plan B except full belief in the brand (while also being a single mother) was a very intimidating move - it was a risk borne not just by me, but also by the people that depended on me.
With little budget at the start, I had to pace myself and do everything on my own - diving deep into learning about branding, marketing, operations, logistics, business development and sales. In a way, I welcomed this because it fully allowed me to understand every thing that was needed to build a successful brand.
And with pure consistency and (perhaps) blind faith to keep going, the company is growing. In a short period of time, Maison de L'Asie has made its way into the industry, with our brand getting attention because of our unique positioning and quality of products. We are now on our way to making our dream a reality - having our products in overseas markets by 2023.
Biggest challenge thus far
This business goes beyond being a perfume house for me - it is about conceptualising a global brand in a space that has been dominated by many western counterparts. The idea was against the advice of many people, who had doubts that an Asian brand could accomplish the same level of prestige and success. I wanted to challenge that. We do not have the deep pockets of bigger players in the market, some of whom I have chosen to compete against. And so, we were always perceived as the ‘underdogs’ in this industry, which in a way, appealed to me.
I always say – There’s a difference between a business that sells perfumes, and a perfume house. The former anyone can do, the latter requires a solid belief in what the brand actually stands for. Our vision is long-term - maintaining our high brand equity and ensuring the company is built on strong foundations and principles is a very important thing for me.