She-Hustles is a lifestyle series celebrating the diversity, passion and grit of the many inspiring female entrepreneurs we've met on our journey with SOJAO. It is a collective arsenal of inspiration that fills our lives with positivity and soul.
Oasis:skin’s solid shampoos and soaps are entirely handmade and they are all incredibly delicious-looking. Hildra Gwee founded the skincare brand when she started concocting her own creams to treat her facial acne, after little success with using over-the-counter products. We had the good fortune of first meeting Hildra when we were fellow vendors at one of our earliest popup stalls and we bonded as we traded stories of our entrepreneurial journey. We’re now proud to call her a customer of SOJAO! It’s beautiful to see oasis:skin thrive and grow and we wanted to share her inspiring journey.
“I started oasis as a passion project back in March 2018, which eventually became a serious endeavour when I opened the Beauty Kitchen space at Everton! My passion for creating natural remedies started with the search for a sustainable solution to heal my sensitive and blemish-prone skin. I was so tired of relying on chemical laden products on beauty shelves and harsh steroid creams prescribed by doctors, so I started to research extensively for natural alternatives and discovered the world of aromadermatology – harnessing the essence of plants to nourish and protect the skin.
“My husband Philippe was the one who encouraged me to start making my own skincare by buying me a dozen books from amazon. The best birthday gift ever!"
“I just went full time this November! Before that, I was juggling my full time job with oasis and was working non-stop – day job till 6pm and oasis thereafter till 2am every night. I got used to sleeping around 5-6 hours a day which is so bad for health. (Luckily for me I have the softest bedsheets from Sojao to give me the best sleep. This is not an ad – it’s true!)”
“I start my day with a simple cleanse and hydration of my skin, and the rest of the morning is usually dedicated to my pets! Breakfast for the cats, morning walk with my dog – I take 10 minutes for myself and 30 for them. I will head over to the kitchen right after to begin making fresh products and preparing the shop. The rest of the day is usually spent on Instagram posting content for the business, reading, delivering products to stockists and sending out emails to partners and customers.”
“I definitely have moments of burnout from time to time, because an entrepreneur can rest physically but never mentally (I can picture all fellow start-uppers nodding alongside at this point). I often de-stress by doing a good hiit workout or just spending time with loved ones. My daily dinner conversation with my husband is definitely what keeps me sane. Although we do often end up talking about the business anyway!”
“This has been a meaningful journey because it can seem very daunting to adopt a “sustainable” lifestyle. An important value of oasis is to enable customers to take little steps towards being more sustainable, without compromising too much of their lifestyle.”
“That is why I strive to create pleasant experiences for oasis customers that want to go zero and low waste - via an ever-expanding range of organic solid or refillable beauty products made with sustainably sourced plant-based ingredients. I believe in providing a good balance between caring for the environment while still making it enjoyable for the user to adopt greener habits. Personally, I also find little ways to adopt greener habits by cutting down on single-use items and avoiding any consumption of leather products.”
“There are so many people who inspire me all the time. Makers, social impact influencers, fellow entrepreneurs, and just about anyone who has a passion for anything in life. There is no greater energy than that of a person who is passionate about life.”