How Cynthia Chua Built Lifestyle Empire Spa Esprit Group, Helming 17 Brands Across 9 Countries

A quick search on Google for the name Cynthia Chua immediately brings up about 441,000 results – the fourth result showing a Wikipedia entry of Singapore’s lifestyle magnate who is the founder and CEO of the Spa Esprit Group.

On top of being a #girlboss, she is named by The Honeycombers, by the Peak Magazine, and Nylon declares her as “an , Ms Chua said the Group’s annual turnover was at $70 million, and the “total business… [was] worth between $200 million and $300 million”.

It grew from one spa with eight staff, to a corporation with a manpower count of over 800 now.

Brands under the Group’s umbrella may be in F&B and beauty only, but they serve different demographics and cater to diverse needs.

I think it’s impressive for a woman – and even better, a Singaporean woman – to be at the top of the game or specialisations, all while keeping the passion burning to keep improving in her work.

So what drives Cynthia Chua and her aspirations behind each of her fruits of labour? Let’s find out.

A Supporter Of All Things Local

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She is undoubtedly Singapore’s daughter.

As a frequent traveller, she observed that on Singapore Airlines’ flights, passengers were provided French body, skincare, and fragrances brand, L’Occitane en Provence instead of a local brand.

So, she aimed to develop a

She also knows facts about Dempsey that regular people would not take the time to find out.

She revealed that Dempsey Hill – a lush, green spot between Tanglin and Bukit Timah – is her . Chua easily explained the hill’s historic significance; where the area Open Farm Community is, used to be a nutmeg plantation before it was ruined by blight.

It had gone through some military transformations since World War II and is now a hidden gem for modern urban dwellers in the ’90s.

A project that she started working on last year in  right here on our little, sunny island.

Breaking Boundaries For Beauty Everywhere

Ms Chua attributes her inspiration to starting STRIP when she was overseas, when people she had met mocked Asian women for having poor grooming standards.

In an “in the cafe waiting for their husbands, who were upstairs getting their eyebrows trimmed.”

She’s Just Like Any Common Man

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Even after being complimented as “Singapore’s biggest lifestyle entrepreneur”, Ms Chua’s has given her a new playground for her to hand-harvest and experiment homegrown herbs that can be made into creams.

She worked with Edible Garden City’s founder on a number of occasions and learned about the benefits of urban farming, planning to make use of the under-utilised rooftop spaces of Singapore.

Since starting out on her entrepreneurial journey in 1996, at the tender age of 24, this ever-evolving and awe-inspiring lady does not seem she will stop here anytime soon. We look forward to hearing more from this successful woman as she makes waves locally and overseas.

Featured Image Credit: The Peak Magazine

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