We saw that your agency helped Elvin Ng hire a helper recently.
Yes! (Laughs) Elvin approached me to say that he and his family needed a helper, and the interview was conducted by Elvin’s mum since she’s the one who’s usually at home. I was very confident that [the helper we arranged] would be able to handle the chores in Elvin’s place because she used to work at a four-storey landed property. [Ed: Elvin and his family live in a three-storey semi-D.]
Did you have any bad experiences with helpers that made you want to start an agency of your own?
Thankfully not. But I’ve seen helpers outside who use their phones and ignore the kids when walking them home, or let the kids run around on their own and not care about them at all.
Are you very particular about your own helper?
I became more particular after I had my son. Before that, my only requirements were that they do the chores, don’t bring strangers home, and don’t steal. I only realised how important it was to have a helper who loves children after I became a mother.
Does being the co-owner of the maid agency mean that you spend less time with your son?
The reason I chose to be part of an employment agency is because I can spend most of my time working from home. Of course, we have meetings but I schedule my time so that I’m only busy when he’s at kindergarten or taking a nap. I feel that being hands-on with him is important.
A lot of people do wonder why you're working so hard. You certainly aren't struggling financially, to put it crassly.
There have been people who joke that I don’t need to work [to provide for my family] but I feel that I’m not someone who can just be a tai tai (laughs). I need to keep track of what I’m doing and stay in touch with the world.
When my son grows up, I don’t want to feel like I no longer have anything that I'm good in, and I don’t want him to feel that I’m just a stay-at-home mum. I do all these for the sense of fulfilment I get when I help others, rather than for the profits. For example, for my online marketplace, I’ve had customers tell me that the supplements [that they buy from me] have helped them become healthier, and that made me really happy.