Lessons Learnt: Beauty Entrepreneur Wendi Chan Talks About Being a Business Woman, Advice and More

Being an entrepreneur is tough – blood, sweat and tears are poured into a business and the hustle never truly ends. It takes strength and resilience to keep it trucking through all the good and the bad times. VibeCheck spoke with beauty entrepreneur Wendi Chan, the CEO and founder of Pinklestar who was one of […]
31 March 2023

Being an entrepreneur is tough – blood, sweat and tears are poured into a business and the hustle never truly ends. It takes strength and resilience to keep it trucking through all the good and the bad times.

VibeCheck spoke with beauty entrepreneur Wendi Chan, the CEO and founder of Pinklestar who was one of the pioneers to popularise Brazilian waxing in Singapore, on what it is like running a business for almost two decades in several countries, what women’s empowerment means to her and some advice for young women.

Photo Credit: Wendi Chan

What does beauty mean to you? 

Wendi: For me, beauty is not just about how you look on the outside, it's really the confidence on the inside because when you're confident in yourself and you're happy with who you are, it glows and it shows.

Self-love too. I'm 50 already and I’m very happy to be surrounded by a group of friends who have similar interests, we're very positive and when we get together, it's about doing sports, going out to eat and enjoying the little pleasures in life. So, I think it also comes with age, all these material things are not so important. It's really being happy inside and being confident on the outside.

How has being a business woman changed since you launched your first venture in 2005?

Wendi: Being a single divorcee back then was very challenging. In terms of the government initiatives, it didn't give us much advantages at all, even when there is a family involved and applying for an apartment.

So, it was very challenging, not only as a single mom but as a woman. But I’m fortunate because I am in the beauty industry, which is mainly made up of women and I deal mostly with them.

When I started this, I hired girls who were either single mums, divorced or struggling with financial problems. It felt good to train them and then give them a hard skill. Most of them are quite loyal after training, serving with us for at least two to three years before moving on. In fact, I have at least four to five ex-staff who have opened their own salons and become their own boss, and I'm happy for them.

Wendi is the Co-Founder of Pinklestar, the sister holding company of Parlour Group PTE. LTD, which operates multiple award winning waxing salons and beauty businesses across Asia such as Pink Parlour, Sylvia’s Secret, Datsumo Labo, JustWax, and Parlour Supply.
Photo Credit: @pinkparloursg

What made you want to be a mentor for other women who are looking to break out into the beauty industry? 

Wendi: I love upgrading myself all the time, whether it be in management or a new skill, which is sometimes unrelated and random. But of course, I also take management and leadership courses online and I think it's so important as I always learn something new, even if I take the same courses again because I find new insights or new ways to apply the things I’ve learnt. 

What does empowerment mean to you? 

Wendi: Empowerment really means taking charge of your own life, to have the knowledge, the skills, and the ability. You don't have to always be a graduate or have a master's degree. There are a lot of things that women can do by making calculated and smart choices.

When I was 25 or 26, I used to think that I would go wherever life takes me. But I only got smarter in my 30s, when I was in my bad marriage and realised: “hey, I have to take charge of my life, I have to set my goals – where do I want to be in life – and then to conscientiously acquire the skills to to reach the endpoint. 

I wished I had a mentor when I was younger. It's so important to find a mentor or somebody that you look up to who can give good advice so you don't have to knock your head 100 times or fall down as often because the mentor would have gone through it and they can now guide you.

What other advice would you give to young women of today? 

Wendi: Nobody is going to change your life for you. You are the only one who can do it and there are so many opportunities these days, we just need to go out and try to get them. I always tell myself: what is there to lose?

The only bad thing that can happen if you try is to fail but you will learn so many things in return.

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