Uma Nota, BEDU and JALAN, are just a few restaurants of note that have sprouted under Laura Offe’s umbrella. Having grown up with their toes dipped in the industry, Laura and her brother founded Meraki Hospitality Group in 2018, wanting to create a company that spoke to their passions. Their shared working philosophy is to work hard but to always have fun in the way they do business.
“2019 and 2020 have brought a lot of challenges that I think very few businesses were expecting. We’ve had to look at crisis management in a whole new way,” says Laura. Doing their best to stay afloat amid the current global recession, and trying to strike the balance between keeping business alive but also customers and employees safe, she says “It’s about being ready, being flexible and adapting to all and any situations.”
HULA founder and CEO Sarah Fung is slaying it in the Hong Kong fashion industry with her online platform, bringing pre-loved designer clothing to the masses. Hoping to build a sustainable fashion community and a business that benefits their buyers as well as the environement, 5% of HULA’s profits go back to partnered charities.
Throughout her career, Sarah says she has learned to stay positive and to also keep moving onwards and upwards from any situation, no matter how challenging. “You have the power to create the energy that surrounds your business and your staff.”
Award-winning author of Sunset Survivors, freelance journalist and professional Rugby 7’s player Lindsay Varty is a powerhouse that has been on our radar for some time now. She’s certainly had a number of rough falls, both figuratively and literally – but she’s always been able to pull herself back up.
“Whenever I face life’s challenges, I remember that I have battled social stereotypes and expectations to play women’s rugby at the highest level, against the biggest, scariest players. I’ve had black eyes and broken bones, yet always come out smiling, so I remind myself not to be scared because I am braver than I give myself credit for.”
We raise a glass to Amy Powell and Christina Lau Tam’s success as the co-founders of wine subscription service Toasst. Dedicated to serving vino enthusiasts who want to drink and live better, Toasst offers a sommelier experience by sourcing quality wines from around the world and delivering them straight to your doorstep. After years in partnership, Amy and Christina agree that “you need to have a plan, but flexibility is also key”.
“There are a lot of unexpected challenges particularly in the early days,” they say. “One of the nice things about being your own boss is that it is a lot easier to pivot and move fast when you need to adapt to changing circumstances.” They also recognise the value of building a strong network. “You need all kinds of support when you are starting a business. We are grateful to our circle of friends and colleagues who have been there for us in so many ways.”
Sarah Garner found her niche when she founded Retykle, Asia’s first and largest online resale platform for designer children’s and maternity fashion. When starting a business, Sarah believes passion and purpose play a large role in resilience, which is key to staying on the entrepreneurial journey.
“I’ve learned that the more you care about the problem you’re trying to solve and the more invested you are in a long-term vision, the more energy you have to get through the inevitable hurdles that come your way.” She adds, “Having reserves of grit and endurance is ultimately what will serve you in the long game as the entrepreneurial journey is sure to be a rollercoaster of ups and downs.”
All images property of Sassy Media Group.