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The business of bringing up baby


BRINGING up baby is taking on a different dimension among enterprising mothers who are behind the growth in the business of kids-related merchandise.

"This sector is big as parents are willing to spend on their children, especially their first-born," says Rachel Tan, who founded Urban Li'l in 2015 to retail customised kids' interior decor accessories. With smaller families and more attention placed on their precious tots, mothers - millennials and slightly older - have built up decent businesses selling everything from yoga mats to rattan furniture.

In Friday's issue of Weekend magazine, we speak to mumpreneurs who started their businesses organically - usually by making or sourcing products for their own children and then finding that other parents want the same thing. But it is not a path to be tread lightly as these women talk about juggling everything from designing to logistics and customer service while also being a parent to their own children. But they are all as inspired as children's clothing retailer Ho Su Mei who says: "If you have a great idea, go for it. It could change your life."

Changing, or rather, saving lives is also the mantra of Luke Bailes, the philanthropist and conservationist who is the founder of uber-luxury Singita safari lodges. The South Africa-born businessman is driven by his love for African wildlife, and has created a high-value, low-impact hospitality model that earns revenue to be put into conservation efforts. He shares how Singita's anti-poaching and community outreach programmes are helping to protect the natural habitat of rhinos, lions, elephants and other magnificent beasts.

If you're getting an early start on Christmas, check out our comprehensive guide to where to eat, drink and be merry this festive season; elsewhere, we spotlight fashion designer Priscilla Shunmugam's move into homeware and Hermès-backed designer Jiang Qiong Er's luxury homeware brand Shang Xia.

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