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Now, Dad's Cool

We have to say, Father's Day is one of the understated occasions in our lives, and there needs to be more appreciation for this special day as well. For the unsung heroes of our lives, we wanna wish all dads a Happy Father's Day!

This Father's Day, we have touched base with the dads who have put their heart and soul into giving the best for their families. Read on and learn about the sacrifices they have made for their loved ones!

p.s. There's a special Father's Day Promotion at the bottom! Don't miss out! ;)


Gary, Ming // Playgrd

Photo: Gary from Ming // Playgrd's illustration of his daughter


Tell us more about how you have decided to start your own business. 

Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, my illustrations aren't really a business for me. It's more of a passion that I've picked up around 2-3 years ago. I just have this habit - whenever I stare at an empty urban space, I find myself daydreaming about the lives that have, or could have, touched the space. So illustrations were a perfect way to express this. I also love the sense of satisfaction that I get when I see others enjoy my illustrations. As for sacrifices, I don't think that this is something that even crosses your mind when you do what you love. 


How do you spend time with your family when you're not busy with work?

Pretty much the same as every other family out there I suppose. I try to maintain some balance between family, illustration, and my day job though. It does help that me and my wife aren't really fussed about the usual things like tuition and enrichment activities.


What do your kid think of your profession? Or do they have any comments about your creative business?

My daughter, even at 8, has a very dim view of office jobs (which is what my real day job is). She once told me that she would hate being an office worker like me. Her ambitions range from being an artist, writer, to a soft toy designer. So you can guess which side of me she prefers to emulate.


Do you consider yourself a cool dad? Why?

This is like asking someone if he thinks he is good-looking? And why? Can't be answered. :)


What is the best advice you can give to other dads who want to start their own side business while managing their day jobs and family life?

I think we all need a balance. But we have to recognise that sometimes, certain things (we) have to give. And I think we need to always ask ourselves what is really important to us, and not what is important to us because of the perceptions of other people.



Lawrens, Tee-Saurus

Photo: Lawrens from Tee-saurus and his family


Tell us more about how you have decided to start your own business.

We started on our entrepreneurship journey because we love the freedom of expressing, creating and doing things we love, and not be bound by restrictions. However, at the start of the journey, it wasn't really how we expected - in fact, it was a nightmare to us. During our first startup as a branding and design company, things were looking great, investors were there, my beautiful wife was expecting (twins in fact), I had great staff who was as dedicated as me and it was all GO GO GO!

But in less than a few months, investors pulled out, giving the excuse of not seeing a big profit. They confiscated everything from me, the office equipment, furniture, even the revenue and my own salary too. I have to compensate for things that I had not done. And I was really sad that my staff was treated unfairly. When I thought things couldn't get worse, my wife had a miscarriage in the same week. I thought I still had my lovely Clarice to talk to, but she was really young at that time. Most of my time was spent on building the business from 730am - 430am every single day, and I literally had no time to accompany my family. I tried to carry my little girl but every time she was crying so loudly that I was on the verge of breaking down. My world was turned completely pitch black, and this was something I did not dare tell my parents. I could only squat on a corner and cry my heart out alone.

But Doris didn't give up on me and neither did our clients. My sister-in-law helped me. Together they mentioned, we will support you. Because of that, we bit our teeth and braved the storm. Till today, Idea Edge Group Pte Ltd and our client relationships are still going very strong and we had managed to win international awards for our creative work.

We just wanted to tell others that it's ok to fail; the most important factor is to look forward and face the world with optimism. Life is always beautiful, only if you set it to be. That's why we started Tee-Saurus, and also based it on humour and local design merchandise, aiming to make people giggle and create happier days. The name was fun and whacky, and if you take a closer look at the logo, you will find that we replaced the sockets of the fossil to apparel icons which won us a bronze in Milan for the logo! We thank Naiise for being the first design retailer to open their arms and giving us the first push and the rest was history.

Being an entrepreneur wasn't as easy as most think it would be. It takes a lot of courage, and the capacity to take risks and the courage to withstand falls. Perhaps one comment was to be where and what we are today, we had fallen a hundred, maybe a thousand times, but it's was all that brought us to where we are today. And the driving force, was the promise I made to my wife and my family - I will never let you go hungry. A simple promise and a little dream was all it took.


How do you spend time with your family when you're not busy with work?

We are always excited to go out and do something active, like going to the beach, playing outdoors. If we are stuck at home because of the weather, we would be doing craft related activities like clay, colouring and even playing "Win, lose or Draw"! We would also love watching Wheel of Fortune in the evenings and guessing all the puzzles. If we get it right, high fives goes around!

Another instance is because I love to cook, we (my daughter and I) will prepare the ingredients and Clarice will be there to cut the mushrooms and vegetables to create a wonderful surprise for my wife when she is back from work. Both Clarice and I love cooking! 


What do your kids think of your profession? Or do they have any comments about your creative business?

Clarice thinks it's cool to have a Design Daddy. She loves where things become more visual and challenging. Designers loves providing solutions. She says she wants to be a designer too! She loves my work and she likes to be beside me when I'm working and to art-direct me: Yes daddy, correct, to the right. Yes.


Do you consider yourself a cool dad? Why?

Hahaha. As a matter of fact, yes. I am always giving her challenges and pushing her limits, i.e when we go to Bangkok Kidzania, I will definitely tell her to climb the wall and really motivate her to go all the way and never give up. You won't believe it, after she conquered the wall, (which a lot gave up halfway) and I was that noisy idiot which was telling her to go, she climbed and conquered three times in a row! She said she loved the challenge and wants to conquer. Super awesome! 

I love to set rules at home, specially at the dining area. We have managed to build a culture with the traditional chinese plastic piggy bank (one for daddy, one for mummy and one for Clarice). There are strictly no mobile phones allowed when we are dining. No distractions, we will share what we experienced during dinner and keeps everyone in the loop of what we are doing. Imagine if it's me who is still texting, I would need to pay a dollar coin fine to Mummy's and Clarice's piggy bank. That's what we call the Fine Pigs. Great and creative system was created, nowadays no one in the family brings any mobile to the dinner table anymore.

And whenever I bring Clarice to her enrichment classes or art classes, we will gently knock our fists together and I'll go: You will do a great job today and I believe it Clarice". And there she goes, in all smiles. We do small actions that makes one feel really happy and positive!


What is the best advice you can give to other dads who want to start their own side business while managing their day jobs and family life?

a) Set time for everything - set schedules and stick to it.

b) Let positivity flood your mindset and you will see changes. Children are largely influenced by how parents act. 

c) Take actions, don't just talk about it. Be focused on what you are seeking after. If it's business: DO WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THERE. 

Family: Make time, and all it takes is just pinning down the time you want for your family, even if it means spending an hour with your family, discard all the distractions like phone, work, TV. Focus on bonding. Remember, money can be earned anytime but childhood only happens once. Once you are pass it, it won't return. It's not about how long you spent with your child, but how much attention and effort is spent on creating memorable moments. 

d) Don't let excuses be part of your life. If you want it to happen, it will happen. In life, you only have two choices - Staying in your comfort zone, or I'm going to kick some ass now and create a solid future. 



Robert, A Dose of Something Good

Photo: Robert from A Dose of Something Good and his family 


Tell us more about how you have decided to start your own business.

I began making candles because my wife loved candles and I decided it would be much more meaningful to make one with my own hands than buy one. So after a couple of years, this became a business. The main reason to start my own business was to create something I was truly passionate about and believed in – something new that would require learning and refining a product that would add value to people's lives, or something that people would enjoy. I feel that when you passionately pursue something, the hours you put in don't seem like a sacrifice, it's all part of keeping track to realise a vision of how you want your products or business to be.

I feel I made more sacrifices when I worked in advertising for 15 years, at times working around the clock on a faceless global brand that didn't have an important place in your life. I burnt many weekends with this type of work and I'll never get those hours back again – for me or spending them with my kids. I still work in advertising, but I work directly with clients I've met over the years with businesses and products I believe in and understand.


How do you spend time with your family when you're not busy with work?

I have 3 kids, aged 12, 9 and 5, and weekends are mostly spent chauffeuring them around to music, kickboxing and taekwondo lessons. But this is also quality time spent with them as I think the best thing a parent can do is be involved and supportive of any activity your kids do – and my son loves his milo-C-gosong-peng when we wait for my daughter's taekwondo lesson to finish! When I'm not chauffeuring the kids around, the whole family loves to get out of the house for an art exhibition, a walk through the botanic gardens, breakfast with some great carrot cake at the local hawker centre, or just swimming. My oldest daughter is getting into her cooking and my wife is imparting some of her tasty teochew cooking skills to her.


What do your kids think of your profession? Or do they have any comments about your creative business?

My daughter recently said she either wants to make candles or handbags as a profession! I think what's unique about kids whose parents run their own creative businesses is that a) they truly understand the hard work that is needed to run your own business and b) they learn an extremely positive work ethic. A lot of people I know who work full-time for companies (except for Naiise) endlessly moan and bitch about their work, or boss, etc. When you run your own business, you just can't do this, you need to make any situation work in your favour, otherwise you won't have a business for much longer!


Do you consider yourself a cool dad? Why?

No. I know a few good dad jokes, but it's definitely not something that would make me cool. I may even be an embarrassing dad!


What is the best advice you can give to other dads who want to start their own side business while managing their day jobs and family life?

1) Always love what you do and if you begin to not like what you do, take a good look at why you started to do it in the first place.

2) You can only get so much done in a day and there's always tomorrow to finish something off.

3) Try not to bring work home – I know it's needed sometimes but try to separate your home from the office.

4) Always look ahead a few months. It's nice that money is being paid today, but it needs to continue next month and the months after that too.

5) Never under-sell yourself. You need to be paid what your product and time is worth.

6) NEVER FORGET THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WHO GAVE YOU THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF YOUR CHILDREN! Yes, this beautiful woman is your wife and you need to remind her that she is beautiful. And beautiful women sometimes need your full attention (without the kids), maybe a nice dinner, a movie and a glass of red wine. We love to go to the projector room (wine and a movie at the same place!) or a great little Japanese restaurant in Far East Plaza, make this a weekly affair.




For those of you who need some gift ideas this Father's Day, we have 3 Father's Day Collection for you to choose from! 

1. Father's Day Gift Guide: For The New And Young Dad

2. Father's Day Gift Guide: For The Dapper Dad

3. Father's Day Gift Guide: For The Gadget Loving Dad


Don't say we don't share, use our promo code "WASIANACCIDENT" (no, we're not kidding) for 10% off your total cart!

Happy shopping and Happy Father's Day in advance! :)  


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