Australian Amanda Smith has been living in Singapore for two years now with husband Matt, daughter Poppy and son Jack. She arrived at a difficult time but she’s loving it, and has also managed to set up a business focusing on clean beauty and wellness, with products she’s passionate about.
Where are you from originally? What do you miss about it?
Sydney; we do miss family and friends, and of course the beaches! My Mum lives on the Northern Beaches where we spent weekends at Whale Beach and Freshwater – a couple of our favourites.
How did you end up living in Singapore, and where did you live before?
My husband Matt got an opportunity to transfer here with his business. He works in the data centre space and frequently travels around Asia. We had really wanted to come to Singapore for some time; we’d fallen in love with it having visited our best friends who were based here for a number of years.
We last lived in Balmain for 10 years, which is a beautiful part of Sydney. It’s on the harbour with a close-knit village vibe.
Tell us a bit about your business in Singapore. What made you focus on clean beauty and work with certain brands?
My background is in the fashion magazine industry, and I always had a particular passion for beauty. Becoming a mother of two young children made me much more conscious of using products that have transparency of ingredients and are toxin-free. So the concept of “clean beauty” really resonated. As well as ingestible beauty – beauty from within.
Living in Singapore, it was challenging to know where to find the brands and wellness products that fit with what I was looking for. So I found myself buying them from overseas websites and paying a lot in shipping charges, and waiting up to two or more weeks to receive them.
Clean beauty, in particular since COVID, is a movement that’s gaining attention around the world as people are more conscious of what they’re putting in and on their bodies and using in their homes.
So my business partner and I decided to launch thebared.com. This is an online shopping destination for clean wellness and beauty products where we curate the best brands and products in this space from around the world, making them easy and accessible to the Singapore market.
What challenges have you found living in Singapore?
We first arrived mid COVID, so it was a challenging time to move, meet new people and really get a feel for everything Singapore had to offer.
It took time to work out favourite places to go, where we wanted to live and all the essentials like schooling. We finally settled in River Valley, which we’re really happy with.
Adjusting from a dry climate to a humid climate really made me rethink my beauty routine, focusing on lighter products on the skin and ensuring I was nourishing myself from within as much as possible. I love collagen supplements; I use one of the brands from The Bared called By Beth, which is an Australian bovine collagen. It has had an amazing effect on the overall health of my skin.
What do you love most about working and living in Singapore?
Being in Singapore has been a great experience for us so far. We love the lifestyle, the food, the new friends we’ve made here from all over the world and the ability to travel and explore Southeast Asia now that restrictions have eased.
We’ve also connected with so many people here that are also passionate about a more conscious approach to wellbeing, and many other small business owners who inspire us daily. It’s a really thriving small business community and Singapore as a city is really leading the way in sustainable living.
What are a few things you like to do in Singapore when you’re not working?
Making new friendships here has given me lots of opportunity to enjoy the amazing food that Singapore has to offer. We’ve especially fallen in love with the various hawker markets around the city.
I also love taking time out for self-care and exploring beautiful spas – Singapore has many to choose from!
What are you looking forward to most for 2023? Any new projects or holiday plans?
We’re planning some exciting trips this year! We have been looking forward to visiting Sumba in Indonesia, which is top of the list, as well as a trip to Japan that the kids are particularly looking forward to.
There are also some really exciting projects coming up for The Bared. We have some big new brands coming soon and we can’t wait to announce those. We’re also looking forward to doing some more pop-ups around Singapore as we love meeting our customers in person.
Living in Singapore: Amanda and Matt’s Recommendations
What’s your favourite …
Casual restaurant in Singapore? We’ve just discovered Bakalaki, which has opened in River Valley – it’s been great with the kids.
Date-night restaurant in Singapore? The Butcher’s Wife
Bar? We’re very close to Robertson Quay and really like hopping along the bars down there.
Local food? Bee hoon noodles
Nature space? MacRitchie Reservoir
Thing to do with visitors in Singapore? Gardens by the Bay
Nearby holiday destination? Sumba
We wish her all the luck with the new business and with living in Singapore!