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HomewomenGive a thoughtful Christmas gift: From documentary-style family portraits to professional home...

Give a thoughtful Christmas gift: From documentary-style family portraits to professional home organisation

Christmas may be the season of gifting but it’s also a season of excess. Sometimes, the gifts we shell out for inadvertently become clutter for someone else. This Christmas, we’re opting to give our loved ones a meaningful experience instead.

Fuelled by their passion, these five female solopreneurs offer unique services that reflect their values and beliefs. Another bonus: When you gift these services to a loved one, you’ll be supporting a small business run by a woman as well.

DOCUMENTARY-STYLE FAMILY PORTRAITS

Tired of photographs of Instagram-perfect people in Instagram-perfect houses, and highly edited studio shots? You won’t get that with Red Bus Photography, which specialises in unposed and largely undirected documentary-style family photos.

“I do not need well-groomed houses or pretty clothes, well-behaved children or perfectly trained smiles. Where other photographers see mess, I see the richness of real life and the opportunity to organise this into images,” said founder Kerry Cheah.

What you get: Raw and real portraits that capture a genuine moment in the family’s life.

In fact, Cheah often starts shooting the second you open the front door. After introducing herself, she unobtrusively shoots in the background while the family goes back to their daily routine or enjoys a few planned activities together.

Price: Regular sessions cost S$1,095. For gifting, she offers customised mini sessions based on the giver’s budget, starting from S$495 for a photo session and a selection of edited images.

Meet the female solopreneur: Suffering from burnout after the COVID-19 pandemic, Saldhana, 35, left her job as a program manager in the tech industry. Finding great fulfilment in organising spaces, she started a home organisation business this year, and has organised 20 homes over the past three months.

“A disorganised space is where I thrive. It fuels my brain and is often a full-body workout. The end result is immensely gratifying,” she said.

Related:

Is it okay to give away unwanted presents? The dos and don’ts of regifting to avoid embarrassing yourself

A HAIR MAKEOVER AT HOME

For the social butterfly with many festive parties or big nights out to sparkle for, book a housecall hairstylist for her. Whatever the style and outfit for the night, Jacklyn Tan Hair Studio can elevate the look with an elegant updo or Blackpink-inspired braids, all in the comfort of your friend’s home. Founder Jacklyn Tan also offers makeup services to complete the look.

Price: Hairstyling costs between S$150 and S$200, and makeup costs between S$100 and S$150. Additional transportation fee varies from S$15 to S$25.

“You need to declutter and sort out what you have before you are able to define your style. A capsule wardrobe should have no more than 50 items, including shoes and accessories,” said Debby Kwong, the founder of Sortorial, a business offering style solutions.

“It guarantees that what you own is versatile and flattering so that you don’t waste precious time putting on bad outfits in the morning.”

Price: S$350 for a two-hour session.

Meet the female solopreneur: At five, Vasanwala was peeling off recipes from Nestle Ideal milk tins. At seven, she started cooking – and spent her whole life collecting recipes from her family, friends and total strangers.

Vasanwala was a technopreneur until the dot.com bubble burst. At the same time, she was jolted by a health scare to radically change course. She veered towards her two greatest passions for a living – cooking and entertaining at home.

“I come from a very small Indian sect called the Dawoodi Bohra. In our community, we entertain a lot. We don’t throw parties and dance. We go to someone’s house and sit down to a nice meal, and then invite them to our house for a nice meal.

“We never say ‘let’s go to a restaurant’. Most of the people in the community are really good cooks so you really have to up your game,” laughed the 62-year-old.

Related:

Planning a Christmas gathering? These experts share tips on how to host a great dinner party

4 fancy Christmas dishes you can make at home to impress your guests

CNA Women is a section on CNA Lifestyle that seeks to inform, empower and inspire the modern woman. If you have women-related news, issues and ideas to share with us, email CNAWomen [at] mediacorp.com.sg.

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