Students grow home-based businesses during Covid-19
As some students engage in home-based learning during the circuit breaker and phases of Singapore’s reopening, several are also using the time at home to develop home-based businesses.
Polytechnic student Siti Nur Azizah Rasani went from reselling thrifted clothing to selling her own reconstructed clothing in May, June and July.
The owner of bhabie.co, an online clothing store which was started last year, sold out her own two collections of reworked two-tone cropped shirts and ruched tops on her website during this period.
The 19-year-old told The New Paper: “During the circuit breaker, every Instagram store was searching for clothes to resell, (so) I would rather not compete with them.
“The circuit breaker forced me to tap into a different market.”
Ms Azizah, who is pursuing a diploma in engineering with business at Nanyang Polytechnic, said she earned $1,100 in profit from the two collections and gained more than 1,000 followers on Instagram during the circuit breaker.
She said: “My collections are a huge success and the circuit breaker gave me the opportunity to mould and create a recipe for a sold-out launch each time.”
Now, she even has “second thoughts” about her future in engineering.
She said: “After graduating, I wanted to pursue a degree in mechanical or biomedical engineering.
“Right now, I plan to take a gap year to focus on bhabie because it would be a waste if I ignore the opportunity to make my business grow.”
She added: “My post-graduate plans changed so quickly. For years, I was so sure of just doing engineering for the rest of my life.”
Similarly, Ms Maribelle Su, 20, began her home-based baking business Flourworks in May.
The economics and business undergrad at Singapore Management University told TNP the circuit breaker allowed her to devote “more time” into planning and managing her business.
She also baked more in order to push out new products, like cookies, brownies and loaf cakes.
With more than 1,600 followers on Instagram and having baked over 150 orders since its launch, Ms Su has gained the confidence that her business will continue to grow and plans to open her own cafe in the future.
She said: “I think Covid-19 has helped me realise that starting a business in such an uncertain time isn’t impossible.
“I have to be unafraid of taking risks (and) I’ve learnt that pressure from competition really makes me work harder and innovate better.”