Move, Eat, Live, Breathe & Escape: Q&A with Theresa Shan, Co-Founder of SoulScape Asia

Soulscape is Singapore’s first online magazine dedicated to yoga, fitness, healthy eating, pilates, mind health and lifestyle related topics.

Having started classical ballet at the age of 4, Theresa has always been passionate about physical activities that enable expression. Continuing ballet into her teens and early twenties, she also took up modern dance, jazz ballet and hip hop.

In 2009 her interest in yoga grew to new heights, and she decided to take on a yoga instructor course, receiving a Yoga Instructor Certificate from the Swami Vivekananda yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (sVyasa) Yoga University of Bangalore, India. Theresa continued to broaden her horizons and explored different styles of Yoga, receiving a 200hr teacher training in Universal Yoga and a 100hr training in Hot Yoga. Yoga has now not only become a means of expression or release… it has become her way of life.

She then went on to develop her own brand of yoga products called Madana Yoga. Madana fills the gap in the Singapore Yoga market for high performance, good quality, Eco Friendly, grippy, colourful and reasonable priced mats. Madana Yoga is Singapore’s first homegrown yoga product brand.

LadyBoss caught up with Theresa on her entrepreneurship journey…

Q: Tell us about your business, how long of you’ve been doing it, and who your customers are?

A: Well I run two businesses, both in Yoga and wellness.

SOULSCAPE which is an online portal that bring Mindful Motivated Savvy millennials information about Health and wellness and keeps them connected to the brands, products and people in the lifestyle. Our customers are yoga studios, athileisure brands, juice cleans companies and others in the health and wellness industry. We’ve worked with brands like Scoot Airlines, PURE yoga, Lorna Jane, Punch Detox to name a few

MADANA is my brand of Eco friendly yoga products and accessories. Designed for the eco conscious customers who are looking beautifully designed, high quality yoga products. We sell both to customers online and through our retail partners and to boutique yoga studios and hotels.

Q: What were you doing before entrepreneurship?

A: I was working in TV/Film Production. Producing commercials in Amsterdam, then TV dramas for Channel 5, and my last job was at Lucas Film Animation Singapore.

I discovered yoga while working at Lucas Films. It brought me a lot of joy, and I kind of got obsessed with it, going to class 5 times per week. I did a yoga teacher training to learn more about what yoga actually was, and then fell into teaching by accident.

Q: Why did you decide to go into your current business?

A: I discovered yoga while working at Lucas Films. It brought me a lot of joy, and I kind of got obsessed with it, going to class 5 times per week. I did a yoga teacher training to learn more about what yoga actually was, and then fell into teaching by accident. It was during this time I felt so much happier sharing about yoga and how to lead a healthier lifestyle with other people, than my job. So the switch felt natural to me.

Q: In terms of sales and marketing, how do you reach your customers, and what works? Where do you see the future of your business? 

A: Digital for both are a focus point which enables us to reach the tech savvy and connected wellness seekers. Lots of it is on social media and content marketing which we create in house. In terms of the ROI its more accountable and we are able to run some split testing on it for more efficient use of our marketing dollars. What works, well i would say consistency and adapting the craft, what doesn’t work as  is print..

When it comes to wholesale and corporate clients its still back to word of mouth and making those relationships offline. Looking at warm leads through networking and recommendations is still key to facilitating the larger company accounts as there is more customization work thats involved as well. I do special custom mats with their logos and to their sizes,

Q: Tell us about your Number 1 business challenge.

A: “The biggest mistake a small business can make is to think like a small business.”

Yoga pants are the dress code for most of the week.

Q: Would you say that the work culture which you’ve fostered at your startup is different from others? In what ways?

A: For starters you HAVE to have a fitness activity as part of your lifestyle and be a non smoker to be on our team and generally be in the lifestyle of caring for your own health. Oh we also have an office cat to reduce stress so liking animals is also part of the culture fit we look for. Women dominate in my office, my co-founder is the only guy! Or will be the minority… Yoga pants are the dress code for most of the week.

Q: How do you stay motivated?

A: My partner and I keep each other motivated. When one of us is having a bad day, the other will help to perk things up.

Q: How many hours do you work a day and how much time do you spend with family?

A: Too much and not enough.. in that order..

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This article was written by the LadyBoss team. Want to be a contributor? Drop us an email at editor@ladyboss.asia

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