Sunday, October 2, 2011

Work & Enterpreneurship Series: Inspired to Action

Last week, we featured Adora and her children’s craft business. In the article, you would have also read a little about her mom Fiona’s business Blue Moon Valley - an exclusive spa-booking service for registered members. Launched just in April this year, it currently has about 100 members and seven Spa-ticipants.

When I first heard of her venture, I thought how clever her idea was. Then I learnt about the genesis of the business concept and can’t help but feel admiration for her.

Not Willing to be Victimised
Like some spa lovers, Fiona had experienced being pressured into signing up for packages and was a victim of sudden spa closure that caused her to lose money. But instead of moping around, she was motivated to do something to right the situation. That’s when Blue Moon Valley was born.

Today, it’s my great pleasure to share with you an exclusive interview with Fiona, where she talks about her entrepreneurial experience and about Blue Moon Valley.

Interview with Fiona

1. What main challenges did you face when starting your business and how did you overcome them?

It was a challenge putting various disparate parts of the business into an organized whole, particularly on a shoestring budget and dependent on friends and family’s voluntary contributions of time and effort.

One main principle I have is to conduct my business with a conscience and integrity. People first, money later. But it's a struggle because pride cannot pay the rent, and the bottom-line needs to be watched. The business environment too, is inevitably driven by monetary motivations, so I’m swimming against the current. I keep the rudder in place with Confucius’ “do unto others” dictum and stay true to myself.

2. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been the most successful technique or channel?

By word-of-mouth and friends’ recommendations. Blue Moon Valley is basically conceived out of pain and frustrations suffered by spa-goers, it is FOR spa-victims, BY spa-victims, so I believe that the most successful channel, will be where we reach out to fellow sufferers. They know the pains and exactly how it felt, they will appreciate the remedy that is offered.

3. What have been some satisfying moments in your business?

I’m very happy whenever a new Spa-ticipant signs on because it means members have more choices, and also, when members or people I speak to praise our programme. It’s very heart warming because it means both spas and members validate Blue Moon Valley’s objectives.  

During discussions with the spas, I learnt about the difficulties they faced and realized that I could add value to both sides. My objectives became more mature: to re-connect and mend the rift between members and spas, and that's when Blue Moon Valley evolved to become the well-rounded, sophisticated programme it is now.

4. What can people expect from joining Blue Moon Valley, what are the benefits?

Blue Moon Valley provides members with flexibility as well as freedom of choice – they have the flexibility of mobility among Spa-ticipants and have a repertoire of treatments to choose from. At the same time, we protect members from undesirable practices and tactics, such as hard-sell, senseless pre-payments, forced commitments and money lost due to spa closures.

My vision is to build Blue Moon Valley as the better way to spa – safer, smarter, savvier.

5. How does the programme work?

Members can enjoy their treatments in four easy steps:
Step 1: Join Blue Moon Valley as a Member (membership is renewable yearly)
Step 2: Browse through our treatment menus online
Step 3: Make your booking and payment through us
Step 4: Enjoy your relaxing treatment (facial, massage, manicure, pedicure etc.)! 

6. What insights have you gained in your entrepreneurial journey thus far?

When they say it’s not the destination but the journey, it’s true! Along the way, I got to know so many nice people and make new friends. I discovered a lot more about myself, for example, I’m smarter than I think! I’ve gained more confidence and more courage.

7. What’s your advice for women who aspire to start their own business?

I would encourage them that it's never too late. Believe in what you do. Have that “fire in the belly” kind of burning passion. Turn every “no” into a stepping stone that gets you closer to “yes”.

Listen to those who disagree with you, there may be truths in what they say, perhaps they can see something that you are too engrossed to notice.

However, do not over-romanticise and be carried away by daydreams or wishful thinking. Cold hard facts such as rejection and operational expenditure, are very much a part of reality. I liken the cold realities to taking care of architecture foundation and infrastructure, and pursuing one’s dreams as the interior décor and soft furnishings one can create within.

Lastly, don't lose sight of the people you love and who love you. If you're doing all these for them but in the course of it you neglect them, then you're better off not doing it.

Inspired by Fiona's story and her sharing? Want to find out more about Blue Moon Valley? Check out the following:


Note: If you (or someone you know) have taken a leap of faith to pursue your passion and are now doing something you love, I would very much like to hear your story. Please email me at and share with me your experience!


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