An Interview with Founder of Madam Partum: Yen Lim
In this inaugural relaunch issue, we introduce C-suite level women entrepreneurs who are inspiring, empowered and with the influence to drive industry change in Singapore and Asia Pacific (particularly ASEAN). This new feature serves to advocate and promote women business perspectives, where we also facilitate knowledge sharing, fostering business partnerships and growth through their experiences.
Kicking off this brand new series is our first guest, Ms Yen Lim, CEO and founder of Madam Partum in Singapore. Madam Partum is the leading pre- and post-partum wellness and confinement care specialist. Priding itself as Singapore’s first TCM pregnancy centre; it is backed by Chien Chi Tow, a renowned heritage TCM brand of over 50 years in Singapore.
The idea for Madam Partum came to Yen a good many years before its actual inception, while she was pregnant with her first child in 2011. Inspired by her own post-natal experience, Yen Lim, also the daughter of Chien Chi Tow’s founder Lim Choon Huat, founded Madam Partum in 2017 to provide proper pre- and post-partum TCM care.
“ Like many, I received post-partum massages. They felt good, but as soon as the session was over, my pain came back. I then turned to my father, a certified Chinese physician. For my issues, he pointed out specific meridian points to massage. Over time, with regular care, nursing becomes less frustrating and painful. I had healthy milk flow. I was inspired by how well it worked for me. We have since developed a complete TCM programme, especially for mothers. We want to help mothers the way my father helped his patients… These techniques don’t just make you feel good, they make you well!”
Founder, Madam Partum International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
No stranger to the entrepreneurial scene, this avid self-starter is a firm believer in the business of women. It was a calling for years thereafter, a deep founded passion that she continues to steer herself to build the perfect sanctuary for mommies and their loved one with a one-stop solution, not just about providing care and relief but the continuous education and awareness of what you need to know, setting apart myths from facts about pregnancy and confinement practices.
Madam Partum’s first flagship store is located in Katong. The beautifully designed space and integrated concept were carefully planned, designed and launched by Yen, drawing on ideas and feedback from mummies over many planned meetings. Madam Partum at Katong is a one-stop sanctuary where mothers and their families alike can experience a whole suite of services, where their wishes and needs can be met in a seamless, fuss-free manner.
A formidable businesswoman and an inspiring advocate for women, we pose 10 questions to this vivacious mother of 2 today in order to learn more about the ethos that drives her success.
Q: Which 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
A: I’m dedicated, tenacious and optimistic.
Dedicated – I am extremely passionate about the work that I do and always ready to face any kind of challenge.
Tenacious – As I have weathered many storms of life, and I am proud of how far I have come along and highly motivated to keep moving forward even when things dont necessarily go according to my plan.
Optimistic – I go through each day with grace and gratefulness. My father will always say one’s Attitude determines the Altitude (心态决定状态）
Q: How do you generate new ideas?
A: Be at the forefront of where our customers are – listening and observing their needs and consumption behavior. This pandemic has caused massive shifts and disruption to how products and services need to constantly evolve to meet their needs, both online and offline. Networking allows me to be introduced to new, exciting ideas and share best practices all around me. Be digitally connected – with IOT, anything is possible. The team comes together regularly to analyze statistics and trends so that we can create growth and innovative services that bring development to the business by our value.
Q: What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?
A: A collaborative-inclusive culture where we work together with everyone like a big family. I hope to foster an environment where relationships with my employees are strong and they feel taken care of like family members. We want to cultivate a safe space where mutual respect and trust are established. We also have an open-door policy to encourage openness and transparency to receive all suggestions and address relevant issues and concerns.
Q: How do you market your business in the current pandemic climate, and which tactics have been most successful?
A: Since the pandemic, we have harnessed and switched to viral marketing through our social media platform channels like Facebook and Instagram. We were constantly putting our ears to the ground to watch and hear the trends very closely in order to stay relevant in meeting our customers’ needs. For example, when our services had to be put on hold during the Circuit Breaker, we heard many new mothers were struggling with their breastfeeding journey. We immediately sprung into action and set up several webinars, even though it was so new to us, to help new mothers through their postpartum recovery in the comforts of their homes, Marketing, to me is how we genuinely connect with our audiences to help and support them at any phase of their demand with the real content they seek.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to women out there who want to become entrepreneurs?
A: As a female entrepreneur myself, it is heartening to see more women venturing into and running new business these days. I am often inspired by their dedication and tenacity, especially those who are mothers themselves.
I would advise women who want to become entrepreneurs to just jump in and go ahead! When you believe you can, you will succeed. There are no limits to what we can do, and the only limits are your fears and considerations.
Q: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A: There is no magic formula. To me, it is all about hard work, perseverance and courage. One needs to work hard, especially to level up in areas of weakness. Perseverance – to never give up when times are tough. Courage – to make difficult decisions even when no one else sees it.
Q: What key activities would you recommend entrepreneurs to invest their time in?
A: An entrepreneurial journey is a lifelong learning journey. Invest in self-improvement and in areas that can contribute to your brand. I have recently become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and I have derived immense satisfaction to continue to champion my mission to serve and support all breastfeeding mothers and advocacy.
Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A: When our store at Katong was finally complete after a major renovation, it felt like my 3rd baby was born. From the initial conceptualizing, going through stages of renovation works, dressing her up with furniture and styling her took us almost 9 months! To realize the vision that I have and see it build is deeply humbling, and it is the most gratifying moment for me.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A: It is building a brand that I can call my own and seeing how it has grown and impacted the lives of people I meet and serve, whether emotionally or physically. It’s the sense of achievement and gratification that comes with it.
Q: If you had a magic wand, which are the three things you would change in the world?
A: I would want it to be a healing wand to help heal the world, people and animals.