Tress For Success

PrepLuxe

THREE years ago, three friends joined hands to start a hair salon. But it was not to be just another hair salon: This one did not have haircut on the menu. Yup. Instead, they specialised in blowouts — a first in Singapore.

“We were inspired by a forgotten era, where women were always immaculately groomed and getting their hair ‘set’ was an everyday affair,” says the trio, Jacqueline Chang, Jacelyn Soh and Yishi Lian.

They spotted and believed in a growing trend for specialised grooming services. It wasn’t a concept that most people were familiar with or understood then, but the long-time-friends-turned-business-partners stuck to their vision (didn’t Steve Jobs say that “a lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”?), and PREP was born. The rest, as they say, is hairstory. The blowout trend

DON’T DESPISE THE DAYS OF SMALL BEGINNINGS.

quickly blew everyone away. Everyone from #Girlbosses like Tjin Lee, Matter‘s Renyung Ho and The Paper Bunny’s Jaime Lee to It-girls Hanli Hoefer and Andrea Chong were saying yay!, leaving naysayers with a giant plate of humble pie.

Three years later, with a new home (they have moved from Mandarin Gallery to Capitol Piazza) and a new name, PREP Luxe, the award-winning salon was ready to put some serious luxe in our prep game, and give a girl all that she needs to look and be the best version of herself — everything from a haircut and a new hair colour to a manicure and make-up.

Absolutely, it’s a dream-come-true for us busy girls on the go, but not before it was a dream-come-true for Jacqueline (who has, BTW, recently been named by Prestige Singapore as one of this year’s “40 Under 40” — congrats!), Jacelyn and Yishi. So I popped into the new PREP Luxe one day — a cosy, cheerful, warm-hued setup — to have a chat with Jac and Jace (Yishi was on maternity leave) about this dream job of theirs, and what it really takes — other than a good, perfectly coiffed head on one’s shoulders — to make it happen.

 

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Failure is an event, not a person. Failure can happen to a person, but that doesn’t make that person a failure.

How would you describe each partner in a word?
Jacqueline Chang:
Curious.
Jacelyn Soh: Compassionate.
Yishi Lian: Decisive.

How did you become friends?
We got to know each other and became good friends in secondary school even though we have never been in the same class!

If PREP Luxe were a woman, who would she be?
She’d be a woman with many layers: Dynamic and humble, assured and curious, nurturing and humorous and, most of all, kind.

How old would she be now?
She could be any age. Age is just a concept to her.

What does she hope to be when she grows up?
She already is!

What did you girls do before PREP Luxe?
JC:
Business development and photography for a F&B and lifestyle company in London.

JS: Fixed Income Sales at an investment bank.
YL: Emerging Markets Rates Structuring at an investment bank.

When did you have the “a-ha!” moment to start this business together?
Like many things in life, there’s no knowing. Favour opens doors, and wisdom helps you to choose the right ones to open and walk through.

They say the hardest part is starting. But what happens after is no cakewalk either. What have been the biggest hurdles?
There’s a never-ending list of things to do on a daily basis, so we have to learn to be sharp and accurate in prioritising what is important and what is urgent, and to differentiate between the two.

Looking back, is there anything you wish someone had told you about starting a business?
That an entrepreneur’s life entails talking to a lot, a lot of different people almost all the time. (We’re all introverts.)

What advice would you now give someone who wants to start their own business? What are your golden rules of entrepreneurship?
Be humble. Be teachable. Have faith in the small things. Don’t despise the days of small beginnings.

Prep Luxe

Prep Luxe

The greatest luxury of a day in our lives is having the flexibility to have lunch with our grandparents on a weekday.

Elvis said in song that “true love travels on a gravel road”. The same is true of entrepreneurship — which is a lot like love isn’t it? What lessons have you learned on this gravel road?
Finishing, and finishing strong, is more important than starting. Patience is better than pride.

How do you deal with setbacks and failures? Is giving up ever an option?
There’s a Japanese proverb that goes, “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” It’s not about how you fall, it’s about how you get up after that. It’s also important to realise that failure is an event, not a person. Failure can happen to a person, but that doesn’t make that person a failure.

There’s a saying that “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” Do you think that applies to dreams?
Yes and no. Self-discovery is important in finding out where your passion lies, but it’s your actions and decisions that shape how far you take these passions and dreams.

What’s a day in your life like?
The greatest luxury of a day in our lives is having the flexibility to have lunch with our grandparents on a weekday. 

STRESS IS A CHOICE.

So, friends in business: Would you recommend it? How do you prevent business from hurting your friendship?
Believe in the best of each other. And you must share a common vision.

How do you relax and give yourself a break from the stress of running a business?
Stress is a choice.

When sh*t happens…
Call mummy!

Can you recommend a good read for new entrepreneurs?
Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and Get to Work by Mason Currey, and Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek.

What’s the surest way of giving yourself a boost of confidence?
Spend time with loved ones.

Finally, who are your #WoWWomen?
Our mothers.

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See you at PREP Luxe (15 Stamford Road, Capitol Piazza #01-62)! 

Photography & Art Direction: Karman Tse  //  Assistance: Charnice Lim