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Life Advice From Singaporean Business Maestro, Nicholette Pang

How this young woman made it to the top of her game at just 26.

Years of relying on nipple pasties as a ballet dancer in her younger years had left Nicholette Pang dejected that there was ever going to be a real solution to the problem of finding a reusable, comfortable alternative to a bra. Relying on nipple pasties, she found that they were usually not adhesive enough, or seamless enough, and worse still, often only offered one or two shades of “nude”.

This is when the creative 26-year-old decided to to challenge herself in creating the perfect nipple pasty. Pooling her own life savings and embarking on a one-woman show, she went through around 10 months of online research and sourcing for the right manufacturers overseas. Trying, modifying, shooting, packing, and marketing on Instagram were all done by Nicholette alone too.

Eventually, “Nipstick” brand Barebodies was launched in October 2020, and managed to break even in just four months. Here, Nicholette gives her 5 key pieces of life advice.

Tip 1: It’s okay to slow down.

It’s not the end of the world when things don’t go according to plan. Sometimes the process may require a longer time and in return, it may offer better results/opportunities and prevent a risk that could have potentially taken place if not for taking a step back.

Tip 2: If you’re going to compare, at least make it productive.

Comparisons are necessary, but be aware of the comparisons you’re making. It’s a common tendency to compare our weaknesses to others strengths, these comparisons often result in bitterness towards yourself or others. If applied to a business context, you find yourself comparing your brand to another, the least you could do is make it productive. Ask yourself: - Is this a fair comparison? (If no, end it right there. Oh the anxiety.) - If yes, next ask yourself: What can I replicate? What can I do to make it better? Identify & focus on what’s important. 

Tip 3: Stay creatively stimulated Stay curious!

From personal experience, I’m not always curious about something, but when I am, I question it and you’d never hear the end of it till I manage to solve it. Actually I direct the questions at myself so technically, I’d never hear the end of it haha. I ask myself questions like: What do I like about it? What do I not like about it? If I could make it better, what would the result look like? What can I do to get to the end result? Then I get crafty with scraps around my house or purchase materials to prototype. I find it very exciting and I can spend hours, days, weeks and months on it. 

Tip 4: Value your customers.

Like any other relationship, it needs to be nurtured. Customers are not money bags - they are human beings with needs. I enjoy having conversations with my customers, some have even reached out to me on my personal platform, and we have girl talks completely unrelated to Barebodies and I love it. But what I am trying to share is that when you have positive customer relations, you’d be able to connect with them and understand them better on how you can further meet their needs. (Shout out to my amazing customers, I really appreciate all of you!) 

Tip 5: Take breaks!

With many people around us practicing hustle culture, taking a break may seem sinful. But I assure you you’re not being lazy, breaks are essential to prevent burn out. By consciously disconnecting and taking time off, you’d focus better, and in the process begets ideation, creativity and innovation.