Lifestyle

These 16-year-old girls prove age doesn't limit their achievements

These girls prove that age does not limit them

To celebrate its 60th anniversary this year, local magazine Her World is presenting #HerWorldHerStory, a collection of 60 real-life stories of inspiring women on print and on www.herworld.com that run from now till August.

Each profile shares her success, challenge, passion and ambition, in her own words. Together, they give a snapshot of what it is to be a female in Singapore today.

And these three 16-year-olds prove that age does not have to limit their achievements.

ANG JIA XIN

This multitasking "slimefluencer" juggles homework, co-curricular activities and her side business, which makes $3,000 a month

It was love at first sight (and sound) when I chanced upon a YouTube video of slime ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) when I was 12. But I never thought making slime would become a business for me.

I love it as it is therapeutic, satisfying and stress-relieving.

These 16-year-old girls prove age doesn't limit their achievements
ANG JIA XINPHOTO: HER WORLD

And I wanted to share this experience with people, so I started selling slime on my Instagram account a few years ago.

My youngest customer is six years old, and the oldest are in their 40s. Today, my slime is also sold on consignment at seven shops.

After some research, I rented my first small display locker in a consignment shop at Ang Mo Kio Hub two years ago to sell the slime more efficiently, as I was struggling with the mailing of the weekly orders because of school work.

At first, my parents thought my slime business was gimmicky. But as the business grew bigger, so did their support.

They realised it was a great way for me to gain entrepreneurial experience and understand the value of hard work and earning my own money.

The best part about making slime is that it allows me to be creative, and there are endless possibilities in the way I can decorate my slime.

My homemade slime is high-shine and thick in texture, with a tendency to squeak. They are made with lots of polyvinyl acetate, or PVA glue, and contact lens solution.

My slime comes in a variety of colours and patterns too. I sell about 1,000 tubs of slime at $4.20 to $4.50, making a monthly income of up to $3,000, with a highest earning of $7,000.

Last year, I purchased (with my own earnings) an industrial-sized mixer at home to handle more orders. I pondered over this purchase for a long time before I finally put down $1,700 for it.

But juggling school and a growing slime business is not easy. After a long day of classes and co-curricular activities, I would rush home to complete my homework before spending the rest of the day making slime.

I had to put my business on hold for six months last year to focus on my O levels because ultimately, studying is my first priority. But I will continue making slime for as long as there is a demand.

TAN WEI TIAN

She embraces her roots and wants to inject new life into Teochew opera

These 16-year-old girls prove age doesn't limit their achievements
TAN WEI TIANPHOTO: HER WORLD

While many children wore capes to mimic their favourite superheroes, I would put on my dad's long-sleeved shirts to imitate the "water sleeves" that were worn by the Teochew opera actors.

My grandmother opened my eyes to Teochew opera when I was little. She frequently took me to Kreta Ayer People's Theatre in Chinatown and Bukit Gombak Community Centre to watch the live performances.

I was taken by the costumes, beautiful headdresses, and poetic lyrics and music.

At three, my parents got me an opera teacher with the help of the National Arts Council, and I performed my first opera. At first, my friends at school did not understand why I took an interest in Teochew opera, which they perceived as a dated art form. But I managed to pique their interest with videos and images of my performances.

I was really touched when some of them even came to watch my shows. I now perform with Nam Hwa Opera during school holidays. We prepare for our full-length opera shows at least two to three months ahead.

When I finished school in the evening, I would head for my rehearsal at 7pm, ending at 10.30pm. To don the full regalia takes two hours of preparation. It is challenging for me as I stand at 1.6m, and the headdress alone can weigh over half a kilo.

I see myself practising and preserving this dying art form for a long time. It is something I have wanted to do ever since I watched my first Teochew opera performance.

DEBORAH LOH

The rising ballet star emerged from an imperfect performance to win the inaugural 2019 International Ballet Grand Prix Singapore

These 16-year-old girls prove age doesn't limit their achievements
DEBORAH LOHPHOTO: HER WORLD

I felt like quitting ballet two years ago when I missed a few steps during the last 10 seconds of my performance at the 2017 Asian Grand Prix in Hong Kong. At that time, I felt like I had failed myself and my teachers. But I recovered from my mistakes and moved on.

Dance is a rigorous form of art. I have to be very disciplined when it comes to practising my routine. Over the years, I have experienced a lot of injuries. But I am more careful now. I won't push myself too hard when I know I may get injured.

I am a dance student at School of the Arts Singapore (Sota), and I also perform at the Singapore Ballet Academy.

I commit to a two-hour rehearsal twice a week during performance season, on top of the usual two-hour dance classes that I take thrice a week. It has always been my dream to be a dancer, ever since my mother introduced me to ballet when I was three.

I look up to dancers like Iana Salenko, the principal ballerina at the prestigious Berlin State Ballet. She is known for her precise ballet technique.

I am looking forward to the training at the National Theatre Ballet School in Melbourne when I graduate from Sota. This is a scholarship, which is part of the International Ballet Grand Prix Singapore prize.

I am also really proud of the time when I choreographed a contemporary solo for my performance at Sota last August.

When I finally performed the dance for my peers, teachers and parents at school, it was such a fulfilling experience that I will never forget it. Right now, what I want is to become confident in my own skin when I am dancing.

These 16-year-old girls prove age doesn't limit their achievements
PHOTO: HER WORLD

These articles were first published in Her World Online (www.HerWorld.com)

WELLNESS & BEAUTY