Category Archives: The Merry Riana Show

The Merry Riana Show – featuring BonitoChico

In our highly tech-savvy society today, shopping has taken a whole new form on the Internet, a convenient, sophisticated and accessible platform that can satisfy even the wildest demands of the most hopeless shopaholics.


With a simple click on the mouse (or your iphone), you can buy anything from clothes, make-up, shoes to jewelry, food and the latest prada bag, all from the comforts of your home.


However, some traditional shoppers would complain that such an impersonal, one-way form of exchange takes away half the fun in their shopping. If you are one of those who prefer to have that personal touch when you indulge in your favourite shopping, you might find the solution in a blog shop.


A blog shop is where sellers put up pictures and descriptions of their merchandise on a web log and buyers make their purchase by leaving comments on the webpage itself or via emails. The seller will then email the potential customer before money is transferred and the desired item is sent to the buyer’s very doorstep.


Sounds complicated? Not to young fashionistas nowadays who are well-versed in technology and incredibly resourceful in seeking for the best bargains and latest fashion online. And this trend is in part, the result of the hard work of three ambitious and determined young girls, who not only like shopping, but are creative, bold and far-sighted enough to also make it their career.


Two sisters, Viola and Velda, as well as their good friend, Rachel started BonitoChico three years ago and have within this short time span, made it one of the most well-known blog shops in Singapore.


About end of last year, I actually got a chance to interview them both Viola and Velda. They are both very pretty and talented young lady.



Considered as one of the pioneers in the blog shop business, BonitoChico is Velda’s brainchild, initially used as an outlet to sell the girls’ pre-loved clothes. To their surprise, they had received more replies than expected and soon, the livejournal account started gathering its own strong band of followers.


Today, the girls’ creativity and willingness to take risks have finally paid off. BonitoChico has been awarded the Best Blog Shop 2009 by Nuffnang and on average, receives 15,000 to 20,000 views per day. On launch days where new collections are put up, 30,000 to 50,000 loyal fans would camp by their computers, flog to the site right on time of the launch, and play fastest-fingers-first to snatch the lovely and affordable apparels on sale.


Even with the intense competition posed by many other emerging blog shops, BonitoChico remains steadfast in its position as one of the most popular blog shops in Singapore. The secret to its success lies in how the girls consistently put in effort to maintain and improve their site to provide the best shopping experience for their customers. Collections of apparels on BonitoChico are updated frequently and a strong credibility is established when accurate measurements, clear photos and descriptions of the clothes, as well as prompt replies to enquiries are provided.


BonitoChico’s self-manufactured, original designs; friendly and efficient customer service; reasonable prices and pretty models are also some of the many reasons why BonitoChico continues to top the list of bookmarked sites for thousands of fashion-loving girls in Singapore.


Also, unlike an ordinary online store, BonitoChico allows more interactions between the girls and the buyer. People who are interested in the items can post comments and enquiries before making a decision. Often, they can also take a sneak peek into the blog shop owners’ personal life, via the URL of their personal blogs included in the BonitoChico’s website.


This inevitably closes up the gap between the girls and their customers. Instead of being merely a channel for a cold, faceless transaction, BonitoChico has built a connection between them, and made online shopping much more fun and interesting.


A short tour through the personal blogs of Viola, Velda and Rachel would easily reveal to their readers how friendly, fashionable and fun-loving they are. Furnished with pretty photos of their overseas trips, shopping “loots”, friends’ gatherings, fashion shows, their blogs make an interesting read and are no doubt a source of the latest fashion tips and inspiration for many girls.


If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, and are interested in making your passion or hobby your career, the way these girls have done, Velda and Viola have the following success formula to share with you: Be original, be yourself and not be afraid to follow your passion.


To get more ideas or to simply indulge in some good old shopping, check out, and if you have any enquiries, you can always approach the friendly ladies through their email addresses stated on the website.

Listen to my audio interview with them :)

(simply click the picture below)



The Merry Riana Show – Featuring Bryan De Silva (Razor TV) FULL VERSION !!

You probably recognize him from the Cleo's 50 Most Eligible Bachelors 2008.


bryan - cleo


And now you can see him everyday hosting his show/segment at Razor TV, an online television service that broadcasts live from Singapore Press Holding’s (SPH) Multimedia Centre.


Yup… he is none other than       BRYAN DE SILVA.


Few months ago, I had a privilege to have him to be my special guest at the Merry Riana Show.


MR- Bryan 1


MR - Bryan


MR - bryan 3



Bryan is such a friendly and down to earth person. During the interview, he shared about his passion in journalism, his experiences being in the media industry, and of course some very useful tips on how to be a good TV presenter.


I really learned a lot from his sharing :)  


Those of you who aspire to be like him one day, you must definitely watch the complete episode here.


PART 1/4 



 PART 2/4



PART 3/4 



PART 4/4 



The Merry Riana Show – featuring Bryan De Silva (Razor TV)

I’m sure many of you have watched the Razor TV interview of the MyPaper Executive Look 2010 Contestants. It was very nicely done.


Well, I actually got a little surprise for you… What I’m about to show you is actually a video of me interviewing one of the Razor TV presenter, Bryan De Silva ! :)  Isn’t this cool??  :)


I called it “The Merry Riana Show”.  This is actually a small project that I started last year.




One of the reasons why I’m where I am today is because I have the attitude of always wanting to learn more. I learn from books, seminars, school of hard-knocks, and many more. Most of all, I am grateful to have the privilege of being able to learn from many successful people that I know. 


So last year, I had this crazy idea, I've decided to interview successful and inspirational people that I know from various walk of lives to share their experiences, so that you will benefit too.


So far I’m very honored to have conducted Audio Interviews with prominent people like

- Adam Khoo (Singapore's No. 1 Motivational Speaker)
- Elim Chew (Founder of fashion retail shop '77th Street')
- Irene Ang (Actress, playing as Rosie in 'PCK Pte Ltd')
- Aaron Tan (Movie Director, of the TV series 'R.E.M.')
- Jasmine Tye (Singapore Idol, Top 3 Finalists)
- Sylvester Sim (Singapore Idol, Top 2 Finalists)

And many more…


So I really hope you all will benefit from my interview with Bryan De Silva  :)


There are a total of 4 parts of the video.. but for today, I’ll just only upload the last part. Will definitely write more about it and also post the rest of the segment in my later post.


So, sit back, relax, and ENJOY !  :)
(just click on the photo below)


The Merry Riana Show - Bryan De Silva

The Merry Riana Show – featuring Dr. Leslie Tay (

he eats he shoots he posts 

 Definition of ‘food’ in the dictionary tells you that it refers to simply any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, and so on. However, what does really good food mean? This kind of food not only gives you the nourishments, but at the same time, it triggers the sensation in your tongue and makes you want to go back for more. Now, food is an indispensible part of our lives especially for Singaporean.



However, we would often wonder, where to eat next? It is my pleasure to get to meet with the food ‘guru’ Dr Leslie Tay. He shared with us about his food blog and the tastiest thing that you can find in your vicinity!



He eats, he shoots, he posts, Dr Leslie Tay, is one of Singapore’s famous food blogger. His website,, is currently getting 11,000 hits everyday, and it was also voted as the Best Food Blog out of the 10,000 blogs that were nominated in the recent Asia Pacific Blog Awards. He first started out this food bog with a passion for food, and like he always says, “Never waste your calories on yucky food”. This is definitely true because when we’re eating yucky food, we’re actually putting on calories, making ourselves fat and unhealthy, but at the same time not enjoying ourselves, and that is definitely the most undesirable case that we would want. Therefore, instead of wasting your calories on that food, why not turn to those which are worth much more?



With the new fame garnered onto his food blog which started since 2006 August, Dr Leslie Tay is not only a blogger, but he also runs a full time 2-session clinic as well. During the afternoons when the clinic is not operating, Dr Leslie would go out to catch up with some rest and also meet up with his family or friends. His patients are always finding him very cheerful unlike other doctors, and his secret to it? “Because I had a rest in the afternoon! I had something good to eat, I met up with my friends, I went out with my kids, so I come back in very good mood most of the time” says the father-doctor.



As much as the blog takes up a lot of time, this food lover is simply enjoying this “part-time job” of his and disregards it as a form of work. Now, he’s updating his blog 3 to 4 times a week as a hobby, telling all makan kakis and food lovers where to go next for good food. Apart from that, Dr Leslie has his blog posts surrounding



Singapore life, our character, lifestyle, and also about the hawkers’ lives at times too. “I tend to look at food sometimes in the medical point of view, I try to analyze sometimes how you taste food, the physiology of taste, how we appreciate certain things, and then I also go into a little bit about people’s lives, lives of the hawkers” says Dr Leslie.



Although these contents are good read, Dr Leslie has also added on great photography to his entries. What is a food blog without a decent photo of the food itself isn’t it? He was a photographer even before he started the blog, and it has always been a hobby to him. Furthermore, he had found out that there are too many food blogs around that are not doing the good food justice. With the low quality photos that could turn people off no matter how hard you tried to describe it as heavenly as it may be, “so when I started the food blog, one of the main things is that I wanted the photos to look good. Because I found that at that time, there wasn’t a lot of nice food pictures especially in Singapore



Here are some photos that was taken from his blog.


The quality is simply amazing !










Talking about his success in his food blog, Dr Leslie put it as it is driven by sheer determination and content provision. The large traffic flow and popularity comes mainly with a great content and also a user friendly platform. He may not be earning much from his blog, but he’s definitely enjoying the eating, shooting, and posting. One of the main satisfactions comes from helping the stall or restaurant owners as well. After his post, many would go down to this recommended place which used to be ‘hidden’ at some obscure area of Singapore and now found. This could help the barely surviving food businesses to come to live. One of the favourite places that Dr Leslie would want to recommend to all now, is the Italian restaurant called Cugini at Club Street. This is one particular restaurant that kept him returning time and time again, not missing this year’s Christmas as well. The food was all prepared with sincerity by an Italian chef and you could trust Dr Leslie’s tongue to give you the best recommendation in town.



In celebration of 2009 success by winning the awards and also the anniversary of, Dr Leslie held an AGM – Annual General Makan, invited all who are keen to join them for a makan session. It was aimed to accommodate about 1000 people, and part of the cost will be donated to the charity like they had done for the previous years. This year, they have adopted Prison’s Ministry as their charity recipient, helping ex-convicts to gain a new job and also their families to gain a new life.  They have collected a total of $8150 from the Christmas AGM thanks to the generosity of the ieat community!



So, calling to all food lovers, you can visit the website and follow them on Facebook, or you could contact the food blogger doctor directly at



Last but not least, here is the part of my audio interview with Dr. Leslie Tay. (Click on the picture)


The Merry Riana Show - Leslie Tay



The Merry Riana Show – featuring Aji Rokhadi

Making Friends on air


Voices airing over the radio stations have the ability to mesmerize you with their words, their intonations, and their choices of songs. These voices work day and night to keep you entertained, provide you with the latest news, and keep you updated on the latest hits of songs genres in town. Aji has been a broadcast DJ for a total of 12 years to date since 1997, and has previously worked for Radio Singapore International (RSI). Being a Mass Communications graduate from University of Indonesia, Aji had not planned to be a DJ after graduation nor did he kick start his career as a radio DJ right away upon entering the radio broadcast industry in Jakarta, Indonesia.


He was appointed as a Scriptwriter, and later moved on to become a producer, then a radio director and so on, at various radio stations before becoming a producer presenter for RSI in 2004. Aji enjoys being able to reach out to many people and at the same time having a personal relationship with his listeners. He says, “For me, radio is very personal but yet, it’s not just limited to one person. I reach out to them, and we share a lot of things together. They send me feedback, and I share that feedback with other people as well. At the same time, they can enrich me too.”


Every job bound to have some requirements that the employee has to be equipped with before securing the job. For those aspiring DJs out there who plan to go into this industry, the requirement needed varies depends on the radio station that you plan to work for. However, according to Aji, there are also some basic requirements.


Firstly, is to have a pleasant voice, as listeners can’t see you but they can hear you, Secondly, be an extrovert and thirdly, you must also have good materials to talk about. But again, a good voice and personality could be great basics to own, but getting a deal at the radio stations still have to depend on each station’s requirements before they decide if you fit their bill. Or perhaps, if you’re someone who yearns to be in the industry but may not have the necessary prerequisites, you can also enlist yourselves in training schools that can help you to develop your talents for the career path.


Understanding the situation and type of radio information that you’re conveying is also important. “If you are interested in radio news, you have to be someone who has a keen interest in news, and the way you deliver the information would have to be more serious. However, for entertainment radio, the DJ has to put themselves into the shoes their listeners and identify the wants of these listeners. DJs can also help radio stations to differentiate one from another”, Aji explained. “What is my advantage? Why am I different than my competitor? There may be about a few radio stations focusing on career women between ages 25 to 45. So if they’re fighting at the same line, what do they get to offer to the listeners? Their DJs must understand this,” Aji added. Personality of the DJ that fits the personality of their radio stations would be able to help market the station to different audience segments and therefore differentiate themselves from others.


Being a radio DJ would also mean to gain respect from your listeners. Only when they respect you, would these people want to hear from you. Therefore, a DJ must also beware of what they say through the broadcast, and be responsible of the things they say. Unlike your own friends where you have no restrictions to what you can joke about, a DJ has to be responsible for their radio station and their listeners. Having hear someone on air and hearing face-to-face are two very different thing, and it is very easy for people to misinterpret what the DJ is saying. Therefore, all DJs have to exercise prudence in this area.


As veteran in the radio broadcasting industry, Aji’s shares that his most memorable experience would be reporting for the second bombing in Bali, Indonesia. He was on holiday in Solo when he received orders from the head office to cover that event in Bali. As Aji reached, he was one of the few journalists that arrived first at the scene. It was a tragedy, but for someone working in the media line, Aji takes great satisfaction from this work as he was able to beat other media competitors to the scene. However, being there early would mean more challenging as he had to get himself acquainted the situation and unravel the causes of the whole situation before anybody else without any others to consult.


For those aspiring DJs out there, never give up and continue to live up your dreams, because when there’s a will, there’s a way. If you have any questions for Aji regarding being a DJ in the radio industry, you can contact him at


Click on the picture to listen to the audio interview


The Merry Riana Show – featuring Aaron Tan

Have you ever dreamt of producing your own film, pitching your own story, and conveying the burning message you have to thousands of people? Being a producer may not be as difficult as you think, unless you’re looking at producing a long haul drama series or a big hits movie. With the current modern technology, anyone can easily produce a short video anytime.

camera rolling and action

Satisfying the hunger for creative arts, Aaron has always involved himself in the creative process since young, grabbing any opportunities in school, and learning from the people and resources around him. He once aspired to be a musician, an actor. But fate or chance, he lands himself in the film making industry. To date, he has already been in this industry for 7 years, and he is still flaming his passion for film making with the never-ending process of learning and testing new grounds.


Filming process usually requires the whole production team tons of hard work. Ideally, the shooting process inclusive of pre- and post-production, it takes at least one to two months per episode of the film. However, that occurs for TV productions or movies. If you’re one of those aspiring film makers, making your own video and posting it up through online channels such as YouTube may fulfill your desire for film making a little. This has also allowed film making to be more accessible. Cost of production becomes cheaper, and more user friendly, and the creative process can now flow more freely, which in turn empower film makers and even viewers to a certain extent.


“People can broadcast their work, without waiting for an executive in a suit to give them the green light, and viewers can also decide for themselves what they like and don’t like. So if they don’t like it, they can just click on something else” Aaron said. Film makers can now test out their ideas, be a little more experimental in their production, and there is no commercial pressure in terms of appealing to the sponsors or niche group of audiences. You’ll be surprised when you realize that this kind of freedom emancipates much more innovation and exciting ideas among people. Through an online medium, you’ll also get to obtain immediate response from the viewers, and you need not wait for it to be up on theatre screens or broadcast on television to know that you’re doing something that people likes.


Advanced equipments or technology can assist in the creative process in a certain way, but the essence of making a great film truly comes from a solid story behind it – a story that touch on the pulse of human condition and universal struggles. “Equipments are just story telling tools. A film maker with a very compelling story to share can produce something extraordinary with just a camera, and maybe the creative use of existing light sources, and some basic editing equipment” says Aaron. Equipments may assist film makers to a certain extent, but qualities such as passion, commitment, dedication, a good eye for visuals, and the ability to observe, listen and tell a story cannot be substituted by even the best equipment in the world.


Aaron’s suggestions to all budding film makers out there, is to never stop learning and absorbing information. Be really passionate, committed, and humble, be prepared for a lot of hard work, and have a never-say-die attitude no matter what happens. And because of this attitude that Aaron holds on to all these years, film making has helped him experience things that many other don’t have a chance to experience, and these years of hard work have expanded his horizons, allowed him to meet a broad spectrum of different kinds of people in life.


Having seen all kinds of people from all walks of life, Aaron’s definition of gorgeous person “means someone who is passionate about life, and what they do, someone who believes in their own potential and the potential of others, in making a difference to the world,” Aaron defines. For anyone who is interested in knowing more about Aaron or has got any burning questions to ask him, you could email him at



click on the picture to listen to the audio interview  


And if you want to have a piece of Aaron’s works, well, you came to the right place. Here’s the music video of Ming Bridges’ rendition of the Christmas song “Let it snow” that was done by Aaron himself.

You’ll see Ming skiing around Singapore, how interesting ! =)  


click on the picture to watch the full video  

The Merry Riana Show – featuring Sylvester Sim

With Sylvester Sim, Singapore Idol Season 1 Runner Up


With Sylvester Sim, Singapore Idol Season 1 Runner Up


Turning into an Idol


“American Idol”, “Britain Got Talent”, and “So You Think You can Dance”, all of which are familiar reality shows that became great hits and exceeds beyond the description of being popular in America. Everyone tune in to these reality shows is an indication of one thing – dreams of becoming an Idol. People are using this kind of channel to release their desire, showcase their talents, and realize their dreams.


And not only is this happening in America or Europe, this irresistible Idol “wind” has blown towards Asia, particularly in Singapore as well. “Project Superstar” and “Singapore Idol” are clear examples of such reality shows, and MediaCorp has successfully held seasons after seasons for these programs, attracting tens of thousands of people to go for the auditions in being part of the shows.



I was pleased to have Sylvester Sim, or widely known as Sly by his fans, to do this audio interview. If you are one of those budding talents, and would probably love to know more about the life of being an Idol contestant, you may want to hear from his sharing, learning more about life as Sylvester Sim of Singapore Idol Season 1.


Sly was the first runner-up of Singapore Idol Season 1 and he has also released his debut album “Take Flight” in April 2005. In this album, much of the production is handled by Sly, from singing to composing, and 9 out of the 11 tracks in this debut album actually came from Sly himself. It was tough in recording for his album, but hard work pays off as the album was sold more than 15,000 copies in Singapore.


Sly’s favourite song in the album is a mandarin song called “所以” where this is the song that he wrote solely by himself from composition of music to lyrics. “所以 is a very simple song which is really from my heart, and it’s just plain and easy. And surprisingly, the song is quite popular on the net as well,” he said. This song was also widely known and popular in China, where everywhere you can hear his song and even ringing in the phones of people in China.  

Born with an acute sense of musicality, Sly has already involved himself much in the music industry, doing stage performing as a band even before the competition. Thus, going for an audition for Idol wasn’t as nerve-wrecking for Sly. At the young age of merely 12, Sly has already started to pick up guitar. From there, he went on to compose his own songs and pick up singing as well.


Sly joined the Singapore Idol Competition with a desire of wanting to gain more exposure for his songs, wanting share his songs to more people and have them knowing what he is writing. Being in the top 2 of Idol Season 1 was an unexpected surprise for Sly.


Life being an Idol changed Sly’s lifestyle during the period of competition. He had to learn to cope with the sudden swarm of attention of the public and the sudden twist of turning into an overnight star. “It’s like today I might be going downstairs in my shorts eating Char Kway Teow, and the next day everyone is like saying ‘look at him’. So we got to learn how to handle this on our own in a quick way, and that’s the biggest change in my life” he said. However, being happy-go-lucky by nature, it makes it easier for Sly when bad publicities crossed his path, as he chose to handle it in a happier way.


Years after his competition in Idol, Sly is still following down the music path, where recently, he has changed his style from rocker, that everyone associates him with, to a more Hip-hop and R&B style. He is very much into dancing now, and is taking up dance classes. The reason for his change – It’s the trend in music. He said, “I believe everyone is not listening to rock anymore. It’s more into dance music, R&B. This is what is popular. So, even songs that I write nowadays are more R&B and Hip Hop, which is what people like to listen, because I think as a composer, I can’t write things that I like and others can’t accept. I have to go for what they like and make them accept. And when they like my songs, I can put a little more of my style inside so that that will make it more unique”.


In time to come, Sly would like to his own album more established to himself and maintaining a more stable life by writing songs for artiste, taking up a more supporting role in the entertainment industry.


Being in a ‘flowery’ world of entertainment industry, Sylvester’s definition of ‘gorgeous’ can be simply described as attractive. To him, the person may not be particularly good-looking, but he or she must possess the X-factor or charisma to attract people around him or her. “I like someone who really dares to showcase their talent, and maybe like someone who can sing, dance, who has a similar talent to me” Sly said. The kind of attractive girl that Sly is looking at? The answer is the talented Korean singer, BoA.


For those who are still hesitating whether to be part of the Idol series, Sly’s advice to you is to go ahead as we only lived once! Take a step out and begin to realize your dreams now. For the supporters of Sly, or even those who want to know more about Sylvester Sim, you can now contact him through St James, as Sly would be performing there every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.


Click on the pucture below if you want to listen to Sly singing LIVE in my audio interview with him.


The Merry Riana Show featuring Sylvester Sim

A Cozy Affair with Jasmine Tye

a cozyaffair with jasmine


Jasmine started singing when she was 8 years old. When the Singapore Idol first started in 2004, Jasmine already wanted to participate. Unfortunately at that time she was too young to join. So when the registration for Singapore Idols season 2 was opened, she didn’t need to think twice to sign up. From audition, She climbed herself up top 50, to top 10 finalist, to top 5, and finally she was the 2nd runner up.


If you are wondering, What is she currently busy with? Jasmine is currently busy preparing for her upcoming concert “A cozy Affair”. This is a join effort between Jasmine and a group of her friends. Jasmine will be singing her own self-composed songs and remix versions of billboard covers. In this 1 hour concert, she will also be collaborating with other artists to bring you a mix of bilingual songs, dances and other surprise acts.


Her former Singapore Idols friends will be there to support her too. Here’s the details: Date : Wednesday, 2nd December 2009 Time : 8pm – 9pm Place : Marine Parade Theatrette. The concert itself happened to be the same day with Jasmine’s birthday ! :) And moreover, the profits from the concert will be donated to charity. Ticket is $25 and it’s selling fast !!


So wait no more, you can email Jasmine at to book the tickets NOW !!

I’ll upload my complete article from my interview with Jasmine in the next post.

In the meantime, below is part of my Audio interview with her. (You can actually listen to her singing LIVE for you in this audio interview)
Just click the picture


click the picture to listen to the audio interview


click the picture to listen to the audio interview


The Merry Riana Show – featuring Irene Ang

Reaching For The STARS


You would probably know Irene Ang from her appearance as Rosie in the award winning local sitcom, Phua Chu Kang. Not only is she an actress, but she’s also a host, stand-up comedian, entertainer, and the CEO of FLY Entertainment Pte Ltd, Singapore’s first and largest Artiste Management Agency


 How did she get started all this?   Well, Irene shared with me that she unofficially started hosting at a very young age during family functions where she will dress up as celebrities; she just enjoyed the process of bringing laughter to people. Now being a professional entertainer and a CEO of her own talent management company, she conducts lessons from time to time, teaching the skills of hosting. Irene did not grow up with the intention of being an actress or a star. Instead, she had aspired to be a Sportswoman. At 20 years old, she was one of Singapore's most talented female fencers. She was the silver medalist holder for the Singapore's women fencing team in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games. She gave up her fencing dreams due to financial difficulties, she then went into the corporate industry and at the same time, continues to volunteer her services as a host for charitable organizations. Her debut on TV was in the award winning sitcom, Phua Chu Kang, where she acted as Rosie, the wife of the lead actor. Since then, audiences have liked her and embraced her appearances on TV. She shared with me one valuable lesson. She said “acting is not acting; acting is reacting”, She then continue her explanation “you should try not to act, instead you should try to be that person. Put yourself into the character.”  


So, Does Irene think anyone can enter the entertainment industry? “There are people who are talented, but they don’t dare. Or there are people who are talented, but lazy. There are also people who worked very hard, but they’re just not talented,” she says. There is no shortcut to success, and good looks alone get you nowhere in the entertainment line. Especially for people who enter this line, they would have to continually sharpen their abilities and skills through numerous attempts, and not to be afraid to make mistakes. “If you choose to come to this path, you have to invest a lot of time, make a lot of mistakes, try, and try, and try, and try, and practice and practice, and practice.” she added.   Irene’s advice to all people out there is to keep on practicing, work hard, grab every opportunity, and never give up even after going through numerous failures.  


Knowing that many of you who read this post might be an aspiring artist or model, I then asked Irene what are things to look out when searching for a talent management agency? Her advice was to always look at the company’s track record. Don’t forget to also read the contract carefully before putting down your signature. Make sure that you go for reputable ones, as there are people who sell fake hope and dream to young people, like you, ask you to pay a lot of money to go for a grooming course, and promise you that you can become a model. And then you realize that all you get is just some photographs.  


In FLY Entertainment, Irene and her team generally take up two kinds of people. One is those people who have already proven themselves in the media industry, and they require people to handle the management on their behalf. The other type of people is those who are very raw, but they possess great potential, and FLY would nurture these raw people into diamonds and eventually into stars. The qualities that Irene looks at are not much of the looks, but more into the talent, hunger, and the attitude.   Two of such examples are Chua Enlai and Mindee Ong, where the former may not have a pretty face, but he carved out a remarkable career in theatres and TV. The latter has the looks and talent, but not the timing. Before getting her big role in the local hits movie 881, Mindee worked for 5 years in short films and surviving through taking part time jobs every now and then before making her mark in the industry today.   A pretty face may not be the necessary prerequisite for anyone to enter the entertainment industry, but it can be of some help.


Being in the entertainment industry for so long and having seen so many beautiful people, Irene’s definition of a gorgeous person is“someone who encompass a lot of personality, someone who is popular, someone who exudes a lot of charm, but not essentially good-looking”, Irene says.  


Lastly, if you are looking for more information about the entertainment industry, you can either go to or follow Irene on her Twitter.

Here's part of my audio interview with Irene.


  The Merry Riana Show - Featuring Irene Ang  


The Merry Riana Show – featuring Elim Chew

Starting a business and building an empire on your own is never easy, but it is not impossible. There are an increasing number of people today who starts out as a young entrepreneur, looking for all kinds of business opportunities to make it into a career. However, not all can be successful in their first tries.


Elim Chew, the founder of a trendsetter for hip street wear fashion retail store in Singapore 77th Street, share with you her experiences of starting out as a young entrepreneur through my audio interview with her. Being an expert in retail business, Elim is also a social entrepreneur who founded The Young Entrepreneur Mastery (TYEM), a non-profit academy that supports and nurtures youth entrepreneurship.


Elim was a hairstylist before she started her retail business. She has started her Street Wear fashion empire 21 years ago, and today, 77th Street has achieved an excellent standing in the local retail market, where it owns 16 outlets in Singapore and a shopping mall called 77th Street Plaza in Beijing文化广场, China. In addition to that Street Wear is now recognized everywhere around the world. “When we first started people thought we were cult, and we used to be very odd, but today they look at us differently because we are now recognized by the world, recognized by the people, and also recognized by the fashion, high-end fashion as well” she says.


This remarkable success does not drop from sky, but it is through long period of her perseverance, hard work and building the brand that she attained all these achievements. 77th Street first started as a very small store in Far East Plaza selling iron-on t-shirts and also corporate print t-shirts. Having the spirit of perseverance, flexibility and being opportunistic allowed Elim to grow her business. At that time Elim would agree on any of their business from printing their t-shirts, polo t-shirts, glass, balloons, to providing stirrers and helium tanks. Her advice for young entrepreneurs who want to venture into business is simple. Being opportunistic is the first step. Next is to be flexible. You have to accept all kinds of business that you think you can handle and allow the scope of your business to widen. This can effectively boost the revenue of your business and sustain it, especially at the initial stage of development. You need to do as much as possible by being flexible, so as to gain more experience in overcoming different kinds of challenges, “because entrepreneurship is about experience,” Elim says.


A lot of young entrepreneurs who failed at their businesses because they are jumping into business without experience, and also without a finance budget plan out as well. Elim set up 77th Street with her hair salon financing the expenses. Financial control is important to help sustain the expenses of the business. A lot of young entrepreneurs “just go into it with high rental, and then roll profit, thinking that if I sell cheaper than next door I can make it, but actually it’s not true. That’s how the market dies,” she says, because this affects the whole chain where the low prices that they’re offering are insufficient to cover their costs of rental and staffs. However, not all failed businesses are your fault. Sometimes, circumstantial changes affect you, and your business fails. In this case, you’ll have to use experiences to solve the problems, and if you do not have enough yourself, you can approach mentors who have more experience for you. Keeping yourself spiritually high would help you as well. Even when things are not doing well, but if your spirit is high, you will be positive in facing the challenges thrown at you.


What kept Elim going and being inspired always is through her work in helping others to achieve success. She has also set up PaTH (Pop and Talent Hub) at Vivocity to help those under-privileged or less-advantaged people in starting their entrepreneurship as well. These people would create crafts or art or anything personally, and sell it through PaTH. Elim says, “I just want people to remember that they can use their hands to make money, and that’s basically a space for creativity. So you got a new business, you got to try something, then you try.” This is how entrepreneurship starts and being active in it would keep your momentum going.


There are a lot of females in the business arena, but there are many factors that stop them from being successful. One of the reasons is because they sacrifice their time for their children or family. They stop themselves from advancing because they want to spend more time with their family; and this is good sacrifice. However, females can be a great entrepreneur as they can multi-task – in being many roles – and they are also very detailed. But of course, it takes a good team of female and male to work together and make the business to excel.


In relation to Female 50 Most Gorgeous People, I asked Elim about her definition of gorgeous, and to her gorgeous is someone who is attractive and good looking, and also with a lot of depth, because beauty also comes from the heart. “When you’re a beautiful person, you love people, and you love what you do, it actually shows on face” she says. Before we ended the audio interview, Elim also said that networking is important in your walk of entrepreneurship or even in life. Females should network with other females during events, and this is where you’ll gain support and advices from people. Stay connected.


Click on the picture to listen to the audio interview"


The Merry Riana Show - featuring Elim chew youtube