Women We Know #23 - Robyn Liang
Robyn wears Indian Summer Halter Bikini set SKU 1502A & 1502B
Robyn Liang is a fixed income trader turned entrepreneur. In 2012, she left her job as an executive director at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong to create Le Petit Society, a childrenswear label, together with her then-boyfriend, now-husband Dylan Ong. The decision by both Robyn and Dylan to leave their well-paying jobs in the finance industry 4 years ago was met with bewilderment to say the least. The couple had no children of their own and it was an industry that was entirely new to them, but they were frustrated by the lack of good quality and well-priced options when shopping for children's clothing for their friends and families. It also didn't make sense that most of the better-known childrenswear brands are from outside of Asia, when Asia is the manufacturing base with its own high rates of population growth. Robyn took the plunge to create a childrenswear label of her own and never looked back since.
Shortly after launching Le Petit Society, the couple, both Singaporeans, had their first child and relocated to Singapore where their business is now based. As a parent to two girls now, she is constantly motivated and inspired to create safe and comfortable clothes for kids to wear. Le Petit Society is currently stocked in selected shops in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, and the couple is working on plans to open their first store in Singapore in 2017.
I’m the co-founder and creative director of Le Petit Society, a kids clothing brand catering to children from newborn to 12 years old. We believe in creating well-crafted, comfortable and durable pieces that are as versatile as they are stylish - clothes that kids want to spend all day in.
What’s the hardest part about juggling family and business?
The biggest challenge for me comes from the fact that Le Petit Society came before my own kids and it is as much my baby as my daughters are to me! Trying to balance the time spent with our girls and on our business is not easy, and I would be lying if I said I don't spend a lot of time on work. People who know me know that I'm both a workaholic and a perfectionist, possibly the worst combination of traits to have! But I've learnt that there will be times when my business needs me more than my kids do, and vice versa. Being able to priorities and manage time well, including working late into the night when necessary, has made it possible for me to devote sufficiently to work without letting mom guilt consume me. We also refrain from going into the office on Fridays so that we always have long weekends with the kids, although that's getting harder and harder to do as our business needs grow!
What’s your favourite and least favourite part of your job?
I pondered over this for a long time. I really enjoy seeing kids on the streets wearing Le Petit Society clothing and making friends with our customers or followers on social media. But at the end of the day, at the top of the favorites list has to be the fact that I get to be on this adventure with Dylan, my partner in life and work, and that we have this unique opportunity to shape our professional and personal lives the way we want them to be. That has always been one key motivation for leaving our jobs in the financial industry. My least favorite part of the job? I honestly don't have an answer to that because when it's your own business, even the least glamorous tasks have a meaning and a place in the grand scheme of things.
Describe a day in your life!
Everyday is different - that's why I left the corporate world!
If you were not working at Le Petit Society, what would you be doing instead?
It's hard to imagine doing something else for work because our business is so young and there's still so much more we can do with it. More importantly, I'm really happy where I am.
Who would be the ultimate celeb kid that you would like to see wearing Le Petit Society?
Honestly, we are not a PR-hungry brand. We take more pride in seeing kids on the street, at a party or at the playground wearing our clothes!
What are your favourite pieces from Le Petit Society?
I have so many favourites! At the top of the list currently are:
(1) Our Organic Pyjamas for babies and kids. Since our children spend 10-12 hours each day in their pjs, I wanted something that is as close to 100% toxic-free as possible, and hence we chose the highest grade GOTS organic cotton for this collection. My kids sleep in these organic pjs every night now. They are so soft I almost wished we had made them in adult size!
(2) For girls, our signature and best-selling Bubble Tulle Dresses. It's that one dress that can take a girl from party to playground to playdate.
(3) For boys, the Black Diamond Harem Romper from our latest Adventures collection is a fun and edgy piece.
What advice would you offer budding entrepreneurs?
Don't try to turn your hobby into a business. Turn your business into your passion.
Your categories continue to expand as I see you have recently launched a new collection that goes from baby sizes up to 12 years. What does the future hold for Le Petit Society?
We want to continue growing with our customers which is why when some of them turned 7 this year - and 7Y used to be our biggest size - it was a natural decision to expand our age range. Le Petit Society is also a brand that's constantly evolving, and at this point we are studying opportunities in products outside of clothing. In 2017, we will be opening our first concept store in Singapore's CBD area and we hope it'll be the first of many in the region!