What was in­tended to be a three-month stint in Sin­ga­pore has turned into a six-year stay for Aus­tralian JULIE REN­YARD. The vi­va­cious busi­ness­woman is be­hind the launch of char­ity giv­ing web­site Sim­ply­giv­ and the life­style app Eat­playlive. Here she

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Life & Family -

Was there some­thing about Sin­ga­pore that in­spired you to stay?

I stopped here on my way to Paris in 2011 and hap­pened to visit Sun­tec’s Foun­tain of Wealth. I re­call say­ing, “Wow it’s hot! Not sure I could live here but I have a feel­ing I might work here...” Three months later, I moved to Sin­ga­pore for a short con­tract and that is now ap­proach­ing six years! I love the life­style and have made life­long friends. Liv­ing in Sin­ga­pore as an ex­pat has been the best ex­pe­ri­ence of my life, both for the amaz­ing travel op­por­tu­ni­ties (it’s the per­fect hub) and be­cause it’s a stun­ning place to live – so safe and clean.

What was the im­pe­tus for Sim­ply­giv­

From launch­ing in 2011, it’s now Asia’s largest on­line giv­ing plat­form, and I’m thrilled to have brought it to life. The con­cept of on­line giv­ing was new to Asia and with my ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with char­i­ties, my busi­ness part­ner’s lo­cal knowl­edge and the tun­nel vi­sion to make it work, I was able to con­nect and reg­is­ter 286 char­i­ties in 18 months.

What was your mo­ti­va­tion to set up Eat­playlive?

I’ve got a long back­ground in de­vel­op­ing en­ter­tain­ment pack­ages and loy­alty pro­grammes, and more re­cently I’ve fo­cused on be­spoke cam­paigns in the hos­pi­tal­ity, food and bev­er­age, spa, movie and trans­port sec­tors. Be­cause I travel the re­gion weekly, I’m al­ways aware of what’s hap­pen­ing both on­line and off­line. There are so many dif­fer­ent of­fers and apps but I saw a gap in the mar­ket for a one-stop shop that’s up­mar­ket, not mass mar­ket, and that’s what mo­ti­vated me. I hand­picked all the mer­chants in each cat­e­gory and launched Eat­playlive (eat­ in Novem­ber 2016.

How does a typ­i­cal day un­fold for you?

It can range from at­tend­ing meet­ings from 8am to 8pm to do­ing the op­po­site – and trav­el­ling to glam­orous lo­ca­tions to view the best restau­rants, spas, ho­tels and ex­pe­ri­ences that Asia has to of­fer! “Nor­mal” has never been a part of my vo­cab­u­lary; I started my own busi­ness at 22, am al­ways up for a chal­lenge and not too much scares me.


Favourite ho­tel? The Fuller­ton Bay Ho­tel; it was my first ho­tel ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter mov­ing to Sin­ga­pore, and I re­main a reg­u­lar – I cel­e­brate my birth­day there and the staff have be­come like fam­ily. Favourite unique din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence? Sun­day Brunches at Sin­ga­pore’s fab­u­lous ho­tels – but I couldn’t pick a favourite! Best lux­ury spa? I love the L’occitane Spa at the Four Sea­sons – not only are they clients, but I love their prod­ucts, and the spa is an ur­ban oa­sis; and also Aramsa – The Gar­den Spa, which is a new life­style ex­pe­ri­ence for sea­soned spa-go­ers! Favourite place to watch a sun­set? You can’t beat Siloso Beach on Sen­tosa, and I love Bali, too. Most in­cred­i­ble ad­ven­ture ex­pe­ri­ence? My busi­ness part­ner Dato’ James Greaves has a he­li­copter fleet and also owns KL Sky Tours. On a day-trip to KL re­cently, he picked me up in his pri­vate he­li­copter, flew me around, we had our meet­ing, and I was back in Sin­ga­pore in time for din­ner.

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