Al­most three years ago, she be­came a mum. Five months ago, she closed her pop­u­lar In­sta. A month ago, she opened her third busi­ness ven­ture, a juice bar in the CBD. The 32-year-old, one of Singapore’s ear­lier in­flu­encers, says her days of dress­ing up only

Herworld (Singapore) - - NEWS -

Why one of Singapore’s ear­lier inuencers no longer dresses up purely for pho­tos.

When Stephanie Er left her In­sta­gram ac­count in April, it trig­gered a size­able re­ac­tion. Peo­ple – friends, fol­low­ers and the cu­ri­ous – were try­ing to nd her, see her, and hear from her.

“What hap­pened to her?!” “Where is she?!” “What is she up to?!” Well, she has been up to a lot. In­clud­ing de­cid­ing to “not want to be found” so that she can be “more present in real life”.

“My friends go, ‘I don’t know what’s go­ing on in your life now that you don’t use In­sta­gram’. I think that’s great. We can now have a con­ver­sa­tion. We can sit down and ac­tu­ally talk,” says Er.

“I think In­sta­gram is def­i­nitely a great mar­ket­ing tool for busi­nesses. But for self-val­i­da­tion like ‘Hey look at me! I dress well!’, I don’t need that any­more. I am a lit­tle too old for that. And I think that at some point, ev­ery­one should age grace­fully and move on with their lives. I’d rather be known for my work. Even if all my busi­nesses failed, I want peo­ple to say ‘She tried. She failed, but she tried very hard’. At least, that’s what I want my daugh­ter to think.”

Her soon-to-be-three­year-old daugh­ter Ara hasn’t just been her fo­cus – she has been piv­otal to the change we see in Steph Er 2.0. “I want her to have some­one to truly look up to, in­stead of some­one who just takes nice pho­tos of her­self,” says Er. “I want her to say, ‘Mummy tried dif­fer­ent things’, not just ‘Mummy dresses well and takes a lot of pic­tures’.”

In April 2016, Er started salad bar Sprout at Dux­ton Road. “It rep­re­sents an ex­ten­sion of my home, a place for a good meal.” In Jan­uary this year, she launched Arch. army, an online “tomboy­ish-girlie” streetwear la­bel Arch. Her lat­est project: A Juicery, an online cold-pressed juice busi­ness which she ac­quired last year and turned into a brick-and-mor­tar at 21 Lorong Telok last month.

Er was pre­vi­ously a cus­tomer of A Juicery. “They wanted to sell it, and I have a salad bar, so I thought the two would go well to­gether. They al­ready have an ex­ist­ing pool of

cus­tomers and we’ve just got to build on that in­stead of start­ing from scratch.”

Since tak­ing over, Er and her team of three have changed the brand­ing. “Pre­vi­ously, its juices were mar­keted for detox cleanses, but I want to change that per­cep­tion. Cold-pressed juices are nu­tri­tious bev­er­ages and thirst quenchers. They should be con­sumed ev­ery day, not just for cleans­ing.”

They also re­designed the bot­tles – in­tro­duc­ing a smaller 100ml one for ex­er­cise junkies and older kids – as well as the web­site and ex­panded the menu with sea­sonal juices. The only thing that’s sta­tus quo: the juice recipes, which are now split into four cat­e­gories – green-veg­etable-based, root-based, cit­rus-based, and nut-milk-based (Er says the lat­ter is a more lling op­tion).

A Juicery also has a ba­sic cof­fee menu – “Be­cause cof­fee is a sta­ple, and we are in the CBD” – and to-go wraps that tar­get the lunchtime crowd who want grab-and-go bev­er­ages and food.

Next up: A Juicery prod­ucts will be avail­able via ATM-like vend­ing ma­chines. “Like a typ­i­cal vend­ing ma­chine, it will dis­pense bot­tled juice. Un­like a typ­i­cal vend­ing ma­chine, you can’t see the goods, and it only ac­cepts credit card pay­ments. We are still hunt­ing for the per­fect location for it.

“My daugh­ter has changed' me. I am still su­per­fi­cial, but I am not as su­per­fi­cial as be­fore. I think.”

Her World Sept 2017

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