Paving A Conscious Path
When Supatriana Supaat (or Triana for short) was in her 20s and 30s, her career was her life. Like most young Singaporeans, climbing the corporate ladder and earning good money was a top priority. But when her 40s came, her perspective changed. She began to crave independence from a routine nine-to-five job. She wanted to do something different and more worthwhile, something which will not only help others around her but also the environment. She wanted to change the world, one step at a time.
So she embarked on what she calls her personal journey to self-discovery, to start living by making conscious decisions and to leave a conscious footprint on the people and communities around her. And if, along the way, she manages to shift a mindset or two about how to live consciously, then that’s a welcome bonus.
It is never too late to start something and create some social impact. My belief has changed and I cannot go back to how I led my life before. I just have to move forward and moving forward is Livconsciously for me. A majority of us just follow what people are doing. We're not really thinking about what we want and whether what we're doing is right. But my mantra for life now is not to be bothered by what’s difficult or what's the challenge. In fact, I think this challenge actually pushes me on because you have to start somewhere. If you can convince just that one or two people and they can help to spread the word, it's still going to be a community. And hopefully that community will grow and grow.
Triana admits that the journey has not been easy. She was in unfamiliar territory, riddled with many questions, negative naysayers and an unknown future. But she took it all in stride as part of her steep learning curve, even as she struggles with the biggest obstacle of all – herself.
Entrepreneurship needs a lot of self-discipline. When you work for someone, they tell you what to do based on certain timelines. So now I have to be that person to discipline myself. I try to keep to a timeline to meet key milestones and I try to review my accomplishments. It can also be lonely, so I surround myself with friends and family whom you know, no matter what, will be there for you and support you for who you are. I also have a few trusted mentors who will guide and give me advice whenever I lose my way.
In any new thing that one embarks on, there will be setbacks. So when I get discouraged, I try to see the larger purpose of what I’m doing and celebrate small successes, like meeting a nice person who is willing to work with me. That is a success to me. So I try to see setbacks as something positive and try not to be let down by it.
Perhaps, it was this positive outlook that drove her to launch her business amid the uncertain times of Covid-19. As the country’s economy struggles to rebound and Singaporeans worry about their next paycheck, many may wonder why Triana chose to kickstart her new chapter now. But given the volatile economic and social climate, it is even more imperative for Livconsciously to make its presence known.
With the disruptions that are caused by COVID-19, you realise that food security is very important. Even the United Nations have stated that there is an urgent need for sustainable development. In Singapore, sustainability and climate change have increasingly been put on the national agenda. We are acknowledging that sustainable consumption is important and is gaining traction in Singapore, so there's no time to waste.
And with COVID-19, more people are staying at home and buying more things online. Some people are saying that even when it’s safe to go back to the shopping malls, they may not, since they're so used to shopping online. So being an e-commerce platform, this is the most opportune time for Livconsciously to launch.
For the uninitiated, Livconsciously curates – both locally and overseas – and sells products that are fair-trade, eco-friendly and made sustainably. These include jewellery, coffee and its accessories as well as unique eco-friendly lifestyle items (beeswax wraps to replace plastic, anyone?) for the home. It even has its own range of candles, with more new ideas on the way. Triana hopes that as the conscious living community grows, so does her business. But she is mindful that it will take time, especially when her trade includes nurturing a community and changing mindsets.
It’s going to be difficult but hopefully, it will just become a natural process where people are doing it because they know it's the right thing. And hopefully there's a multiplier effect and more people will jump on the bandwagon to do better.
I hope that people understand that there’s a larger purpose for Livconsciously. It’s not just an e-commerce platform. We’re also about nurturing and trying to create that community of conscious people, and by supporting our initiatives and what we believe in, you are making conscious choices and supporting people who are creating social impact. By doing that, you're helping more people and creating even more social impact, ultimately helping the environment and the at-risk communities.