"I learned not to be too hard on myself so I can grow, and my growth helps me to focus less on money-making, and more on developing people and creating value."
Founded in 2009, Porcelain is a homegrown cult skincare brand that started as a skincare spa/salon with three brands. Located at Cantonment Road, Orchard Gateway and its flagship outlet at Tanjong Pagar Centre, it provides safe and effective premium skincare solutions utilising quality ingredients, cryotherapy and advanced treatment technology. It is a recipient of more than 30 beauty awards for both its cutting-edge treatments that are combined with traditional craftsmanship, and its range of skincare products also named Porcelain. Its brand new concept store at Paragon features retail, a spa and a café.
Over the last nine years, Porcelain has been featured frequently in The Business Times and The Straits Times for its unique business strategies. Porcelain believes in treating the skin from the cellular level because healthy cells, full with nutrients, oxygen and moisture, and drained of toxins, are the reason for a beautiful skin.
Internationally, Porcelain has been awarded the “Best Beauty Spa in Asia” (World Luxury Spa Awards) for six consecutive years. It has been featured on Forbes and also in the Louis Vuitton City Guide. Its founder Pauline Ng won the prestigious Teochew Entrepreneur Award in 2016, presented by DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam. She was also featured on BBC’s 30under30 series in 2015.
In her office housed within a beautifully conserved shophouse on Cantonment Road, 32-year-old Pauline Ng meticulously goes through her schedule for the week. Dedicating time for all her activities on her planner is her key to staying productive, says the managing director of Porcelain Pte Ltd, a face spa that provides safe and effective premium skincare solutions.
Pauline, who founded the business with the support of her mother, says her role continues to evolve since the company’s founding in 2009. While in the earlier years much of her work saw her attending to the operational needs of the business, Pauline now spends most of her time ensuring that the business meets all its goals, and sets the strategic direction and execution of mid-to long-term plans. She also allocates a significant portion of her schedule to the company’s product research and development, where she works with formulators to create proprietary products that are specifically designed to address the needs of Porcelain’s clients.
We are transparent in everything we do, and we don’t believe in hard selling. In this industry, there are certain persistent practices that we don’t subscribe to; on the contrary, we want to carve a path where we can do business the right way. In addition to delivering honest and realistic results, we also provide value. We push ourselves really hard, and in everything we do, we think about how it will benefit our customers. If not, why do it?
We’ve come a long way. It is crucial first to know your customers and the value you are creating for them, and to build the team to have the same passion and culture that we are constantly moving towards. Everything is done in line with our values while remembering the core of what we provide to our customers. We should never deviate from this core, while at the same time trying to be creative and finding ways to do more.
One has to have an inclusive mindset. One question I always ask myself is how we can build every individual and create a better team, and that includes how I should further develop myself and those around me. I have a lot of passion for the industry and the people around me. I don’t shy away from things, I prefer to face challenges head on and take ownership of failures rather than shift the blame to external circumstances. These are also traits I see on fellow entrepreneurs, and they don’t have petty mindsets or sweat the small stuff.
I have grown so much in my journey in terms of how I make decisions and how I deal with people. I learned not to be too hard on myself so I can grow, and my growth helps me to focus less on money-making and more on developing people and creating value.
Female entrepreneurs can be more nurturing and sensitive to people’s emotions and moods, which to a certain extent, influence their leadership styles. I see driven female entrepreneurs who also emphasise work life balance, especially health and family. When it comes to women entrepreneurs, it’s a different style of leadership.