All Eyes On: Rebecca Chiu
Tell us about yourself
My name is Rebecca, I’m 30 this year. I founded Soi 55 at The Cathay. We serve up specialty Thai tea and coffee and snacks, which you can bring into the cinema at The Cathay.
What were you like as a youth?
Incredibly awkward. I still am, lol, but now I just hide it better 😉
Tell us about how your brand grew from back then to now
Soi 55 started two years ago from a makeshift cart made from scrap metal sheets salvaged from construction sites. Two years on we have two shops, one at a hawker centre – Golden Shoe Food Centre (which in other exciting news is relocating in October 2016 to One Shenton at Shenton Way so watch that space!) and another at the box office level of The Cathay Cineplex, where people can bring our drinks into the theatres. We also do plenty of events like private parties, weddings, school and corporate events and flea markets.
Who made a significant impact on your life that led to your success?
My father. He was a businessman and he taught me the importance of a “can-do” spirit in entrepreneurship. I learnt from him that there is almost always a way around a problem if you try hard enough or if you think creatively enough.
One thing you cannot do is be ready to agree when you meet with a problem and someone tells you it just can’t be done. Go in with the mind-set and the starting position that it can be done. Challenge it. You will often then find you can find creative solutions to your problems.
We’ve come pretty far from the days of rummaging through construction sites but we had a lot of fun along the way. We’ve become a brand which people have come to love and we love that we can do that for the people.
What advice do you have to youths who have a dream to set-up their brand/business?
Dare to do it. Know that there is more than one way to achieve success even here in Singapore. It’s not only about being book-smart.
However having said that you must always be practical about your numbers. Be conscious of your bottom line. Passion is not enough to grow a successful business, what is popular may not always be profitable.