Serial entrepreneur, in-demand model and owner of multiple lifestyle businesses in both physical and digital spaces: on paper, Amanda Dyer seems to have it all. Yet, behind the glitz and glamour, she’s a devoted mother and wife who still puts her children and family first. How does she manage? By planning ahead, and embracing life’s lessons positively.
You’ve lived and worked all over the world. What first brought you to Singapore, and what do you appreciate most about it?
I came to Singapore nearly 10 years ago on a modelling contract. I was living between Tokyo and Paris at the time and was sent here for a one-month stint to do a few jobs. I was instantly captivated by the energy and vibrancy of the city and was immediately drawn in.
Singapore offers a wide variety of lifestyle options that rival those of any modern city in the world. It is designed for entrepreneurs to get set up quickly without much red tape, and that has been very important to me. I’m constantly surrounded by creative and talented people who inspire me on a daily basis to do well in my businesses.
You’re a social media butterfly! What would be your top online networking tips for newbies?
I get asked this question a lot, and one of the answers is simply to be nice! In some ways, people nowadays live two lives – physical and virtual. Many of us meet people online and become good friends without ever meeting in the real world. This is what the internet offers, and to grow your digital network, the secret is definitely to be nice and – more importantly – be helpful!
I run a series of social media platforms that serve the needs of both expats and locals alike. I’m constantly uploading to these pages and groups with useful and interesting information, and continually connecting people with each other – helping them with their queries about different things. This has made me a trusted source for many, and along the way I’ve forged many great friendships.
Last year you launched your lifestyle brand, Maison by Amanda Dyer. Tell us your inspirations behind this product.
Simply put, I love candles. I also love the way a certain scent can trigger particular memories from the past; this connection of the senses makes me feel good. So I decided to create some scents of my own, and to bring them to life through my passion for candles.
We worked tirelessly with a French fragrance house to develop the scents based on three human intentions (or moods) – Calm, Focus and Play. We worked with aromatic science to create our signature line, Collection Privée, which is now stocked by over 20 retailers in Singapore, with international distribution coming soon to the US, the UK and the Middle East.
What’s been your favourite part of starting the business, and what’s been the hardest?
Hands down, my favourite part has been seeing my dreams come true. I’m a creative type, so to extract the vision from my noisy head and bring it to life as a finished product on the shelves was very cool!
The hardest has been the admin, and knowing what and how much to outsource. As entrepreneurs, we try to take on every facet of the business. My mentor told me to focus on the product (the magic!) and outsource the admin to those who enjoy it. I listened.
Do you have any other projects on the horizon?
I do. We’re working on some line extensions for Maison by Amanda Dyer. Our limited edition candles will be on sale soon, just in time for Christmas. We’re also working on some cool concepts around my Living 360 brand of online magazines, potentially to bring out a Living 360 TV show. Watch this space!
Busy, busy! What do you do in your spare time? Any recommendations for shopping, eating or unwinding in the city?
I’m not a huge shopper, so I tend to do a yearly blowout when we go away on holiday to the States or Europe. I get it all out of my system then, and that typically lasts me the year. But a few stores that I do love in Singapore include Gnossem, Inverted Edge, Accent, Keepers and Mythology Boutique.
When it comes to eating, that’s a whole other story. A few of our favourites are Long Chim (Marina Bay Sands), Meat Liquor (Duxton) and, for a great steak, Bistecca (Robertson Quay). For hanging out with some delicious cocktails and small plates, you’ll find me at Neon Pigeon (Keong Saik).
How do you juggle your career with kids and home life?
My children come first, always. I work from home and have become very good at planning my work schedule around homework times, play dates and morning regimens. As mumpreneurs, you organically learn that the best time to work is when the kids go to sleep and when they are at school. Hold your meetings at home and have a system in place for meal preparation and so on. It’s all just planning – after some trial and error, you work it out.
So, you must have some advice for fellow or aspiring mumpreneurs such as yourself?
I live by the saying, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” I speak to hundreds of women who are so passionate about their ideas but simply never see them through due to the fear of failure. I want them all to understand that failure is good (as crazy as that sounds), because with failure come the best lessons. Don’t be afraid – just start. Ask for help, collaborate with mentors, do what you need to do, but make that first step – today!
For more inspiring entrepreneur stories, get your copy of LIV magazine, packaged with Expat Living every month.