Turning your passion into a career
Do you ever wish you could turn your hobby into a new career? Or have an idea for a business that you just can’t get out of your head? Today, we’re talking to two members of the Sassy team who are pursuing new projects in 2016, and finding out what inspired them to take the leap!
Then: Sassy Co-Founder and Creative Director
Now: Launching new Design Agency, Delilah Creative!
Sassy’s co-founder, Hester Aba, moved to Singapore in 2012 with her young family, and there set up our now hugely successful Singapore presence. Hester has looked after Sassy and Sassy Mama’s look and feel since way back in the day thanks to her background in Graphic Design, but lately has felt ready for a new challenge.
“I kept looking around me and seeing all these fabulous women starting new businesses, but they kept running into challenges with getting everything up and running. It seemed to me that there must be a way to help them level up their digital presence using my skills, but I didn’t have time to help everyone or do all the coffee meetings I was asked to!”
The obvious next step? Hester handed over her day-to-day Sassy responsibilities to our awesome in-house design team (shout-out to the very talented Nikhita and Tin!), and threw herself into research for a new venture: Delilah Creative.
“I decided right from the start that I wanted to tackle the speed and affordability of logo creation, branding and web design. I ran a few test cases for tech startups in Singapore and it was an instant hit. I knew I had my new passion project. From there I worked on my pricing to keep the offering affordable, and from the amazing response I’ve received so far, it seems people think the concept will work”.
But Hester acknowledges that going it alone is never easy.
“I really missed getting the input of my Sassy co-founders (who are also some of the people whose honest opinions I trust the most!) and had to resist the impulse to keep checking in for their approval. I also felt that creeping ‘Impostor Syndrome’, where self-doubt about my abilities started to drag me down. I had to keep reminding myself that I am qualified and hard-working, and if anyone can make it work, I can, but that’s still a daily pep talk I have to give myself! I’m lucky too that I can still be part of the Sassy family, co-working with the Sassy Singapore team and visiting the HK team every couple of months”.
Follow Hester’s journey on Instagram at @delilahcreative!
Then: Sassy Director of Business Development
Now: Cordon Bleu trained Restaurant Manager in the making!
Simran has been part of the Sassy family for 3.5 years. She was initially attracted to Sassy as she was a big fan of the brand herself!
“Like most readers I was an avid fan of the newsletters, and always wanted to combine passion with profession. I wanted to work for a company that was in the know about all the food and drink happenings in the 852 – which I can’t seem to stop talking about!”.
Sim has kept progressing at Sassy, eventually becoming our Director of Business Development. However, over the past year her desire to explore and develop her enthusiasm for food and cooking has started to take over!
“Food has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, and more so, the pleasure of sharing food with other people. I first heard about Cordon Bleu while I was in high school, but I would blame the book ‘Julie & Julia’ for pushing me to constantly look out for a programme there that would best suit my dreams. When the Restaurant Management programme started three years ago, I knew it was made for me!”
After agonising over her decision for months, Simran decided to say au revoir to Hong Kong and head to Paris (a city where she knows nobody – eek!) to follow her heart.
“Deciding to leave the place I’ve called home for the past 15 years wasn’t easy, but it’s a new beginning and I’m looking forward to being trained in something that until now, has just been a vision. Most people in the F&B industry would tell you to get your hands dirty and start working on the floor to learn, but I’ve decided to pursue formal training to test out whether it’s the right fit for me. The programme combines training and internships, so I think it will paint a clear picture of the hard work required in this field. I’m also not going to be leaving Sassy altogether but taking on a new part-time role as Head of Brand Partnerships from the City of Lights!”
If we know Simran, hard work will be no obstacle in her path to success! But we wanted to know, what advice would she give to Sassy Girls considering a career change?
“Study your options, do your research and then do it again. Speak to as many people in the field as you can, and ask their advice, but in the end do what you feel is best for you. Take the risk, but know your odds – have your feet on the ground, but your head in the clouds, because dreams are free!”
To follow Simran on her Parisian adventure (think tons of croissants and attempts at speaking French!) follow her on Instagram at @asparkofmadness.
Want to find out more about what goes on behind-the-scenes in the world of Sassy? Follow us on Instagram or Snapchat @sassyhongkong