Not Just Juice

Malaysia Tatler - - FACES -

Rachel Ng Annabelle Co-mar­ti­nent

We all have the same 365 days in a year and 24 hours per day. It’s all about pri­or­i­ties and what you re­ally be­lieve in,” Annabelle Co-mar­ti­nent states with a daz­zling smile as she sips her chai latte. Seated in the spa­cious La Juice­ria out­let in Bangsar, Annabelle is an­i­mated as she re­gales us with the tale of how her health food busi­ness came to be, but what is truly in­spir­ing is how she is so hands-on with all her en­ter­prises yet still man­ages to find time for her­self and her fam­ily. From wait­ing ta­bles when she first opened Su­per Saigon to be­ing on her hands and knees scrub­bing floors at her newly opened out­lets, Annabelle is not above get­ting down and dirty along­side her staff to en­sure that ev­ery­thing is per­fect. “I al­ways knew be­ing a mum-preneur isn’t easy, I watched my own mom run a fac­tory and busi­ness as I was grow­ing up. Be­cause I saw how she did it, the strug­gles and the achieve­ments, it in­spired me to be the same,” she ex­plains. Tran­si­tion­ing from a high fly­ing cor­po­rate ca­reer to open­ing her own busi­ness was chal­leng­ing, but she at­tributes her con­fi­dence in tak­ing the leap of faith to her hus­band, Jerome. “It’s re­ally im­por­tant to have your spouse’s sup­port to main­tain peace in the fam­ily, to be your rock to hold on to in chal­leng­ing times, and some­one who will for­ever have your back through thick and thin. He be­lieved in me and gave me con­fi­dence to leave my pre­vi­ous life. It was a leap of faith. And I dared to jump be­cause Jerome was be­side me the whole time,” she ex­pounds. Her chil­dren are also un­der­stand­ing of mummy’s ca­reer de­mands. “I do try to ded­i­cate week­ends to my fam­ily, but as an en­tre­pre­neur, the re­al­ity is that work is a 24/7 type of thing, so I teach my kids to un­der­stand that by own­ing a busi­ness, you will need to be flex­i­ble. One of the hard­est mo­ments is when you’re about to walk out of the door and they give their cutest faces ask­ing ‘why you have to go to work?’” Annabelle laughs wryly. De­spite the nu­mer­ous other juic­ing out­lets and health food com­peti­tors mush­room­ing, Annabelle is un­fazed. “Change is con­stant. You have to in­vent and rein­vent, again and again. With this in mind, we keep forc­ing our­selves to get bet­ter, im­prove our of­fer­ings, and make things ex­cit­ing ev­ery time we can, so that cus­tomers will be de­lighted,” she states with con­vic­tion. With La Juice­ria, La Juice­ria Su­per­foods, Su­per Saigon and Sox­ial Sta­tus (a bou­tique so­cial me­dia creative agency) un­der her belt, Annabelle shows no signs of stop­ping and has some­thing to tell other mums out there who are look­ing to ven­ture into own­ing their own busi­ness. “Life is short, live it!

“Change is con­stant. You have to in­vent and rein­vent, again and again”

Plan what you can—fi­nan­cially, emo­tion­ally and psy­cho­log­i­cally, plus be pre­pared for hard work. Then take the leap. There is no per­fect mo­ment. There is only NOW. Don’t wait for the per­fect place, part­ner, prod­uct or any­thing per­fect at that. As a boss, you can con­trol some el­e­ments of the busi­ness, which means you can con­trol the out­come. Why re­main an em­ployee if you can con­tribute to a bet­ter so­ci­ety, to make a dif­fer­ence in other peo­ple’s lives. And the ic­ing on the cake? Hav­ing your kids look up to you and say, ‘You’re the boss, mummy, I want to be just like you when I grow up!’”

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