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#12

Ong Bee Yan

Model & Elderprenuer
With an infectious zest for life and voice charged with vigour, Yan can move anyone into action. She talks us through her experiences running her cold brew business and becoming a sought-after model while being a grandmother of two. Our takeaway? There isn’t a right time for anything, just simply time and what we choose to do with it.

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“I am the co-founder of an online cold brew coffee business called 1degreeC that I started with my husband and am mainly in charge of the brewing and processing of our drinks. We are a small team so that includes washing and mopping the floor at the end of the day, and even helping my husband with deliveries at times.”

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“A lot of thought goes into our recipes, from using natural pulps to catering to vegans. We wanted to make sure there was something for everyone and at an accessible price point as well.” 

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“1degreeC was founded as a result of my husband’s retrenchment in 2016. As ‘elderpreneurs’, we had no experience using social media, but we wanted to reach millennials through these platforms. For the first three years, our son’s friend helped us with the postings and photos before I learnt how to produce interesting content for our account and took over.”

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“It is rewarding to be able to collaborate and meet many young people who have come forward to offer their creative expertise. We are very blessed to be able to learn from them and now have a young team helping us scale the business.”

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Yan wears our Elevated Loungewear Women’s Set in Cloud.

“Modelling is my way of facing my fears and going out of my comfort zone. Going grey has been the most empowering and liberating journey for me. I am embracing my age but will not let age define who I am.”

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“Most recently, I had to memorise five lines for an audition for a commercial. I didn’t get the job, but that in itself was quite a feat for me and I was really proud of myself. I want to encourage people my age to challenge themselves and try the things they did not get to when they were younger.”

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“I feel strongly about supporting local and whenever possible, doing our part in saving the environment. This is why we encourage customers to return our cold brew coffee bottles so we can reuse them. We are also exploring ways to recycle our used coffee grounds and herbs waste in an effort to be more sustainable.”  

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“My first project is making soap foot scrubs with the used coffee grounds and we hope to involve young adults with special needs or their parents in this activity.”

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“Both my husband and I also love up-cycling old and discarded furniture. Before setting up 1degreeC, we used to refurbish lots of furniture to give them a new lease of life. We picked up what people call ‘trash’ and refurbished them into ‘treasure’.”

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“This vintage table was picked up on the street and we decided to tile the top ourselves with a butterfly motif. I love the extra pop of colour on it now. The table lamp used to be a hanging lamp and when I got bored of it, I decided to give it a makeover with simple tools around the house like ice cream sticks, some twine and a fresh coat of paint.

There are so many creative ways to salvage things that we already own and make new memories with them.”

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“I inherited my mum’s SINGER sewing machine when she passed away. In memory of her, I converted it into a vanity table with a sink and the pedal is now a light fixture above it. They are now in the powder room for my guests to admire.”

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“My daily ritual in the morning is waking up to one of my cats’ cries for breakfast at around 5am. I prepare breakfast for my three cats and go back to bed until 6.30am. I then do some stretches which help tremendously with my back pain. After a shower and my skincare routine, I head out to buy my kopi-o-kosong.”

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“I enjoy sitting on my swing with my breakfast in the mornings. This is also when I read my Bible and Daily Bread to keep me grounded and motivated.”

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“Our cats each have their own stories — we rescued Hero from a carpark when he was abandoned at birth and Susu is deaf. We are so grateful to have them with us.”

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“Some of my favourite ways to find balance and recalibrate are exercise and playing with our grandkids. I exercise twice a week and this helps me to keep fit. This is important as one grows older. My husband and I also love café hopping as I love coffee and eggs – scrambled, poached or baked!”

“I am passionate about what I do and enjoy what I am doing so have not actually felt burnt out. I think passion is important in anything that we do.”

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“I think I am a cold sleeper as I need to cover myself with a blanket most of the time. We have tried cotton and some other materials but prefer cotton.”

“SOJAO bedding keeps me cool during warm nights and warm when it's chilly. The soft, smooth and comfy bedding makes me want to curl in bed the whole day!”

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Yan’s bed is dressed in a Classic Mix & Match Bundle Set with a Classic Fitted Sheet, Classic Duvet Cover and Classic Pillow Case Pair in Navy with an additional pair in Stone. 

“God willing, I hope to be able to conduct workshops for seniors to attend. I would like to collaborate with industry experts in the field of skincare/makeup and styling for seniors, so that they can still learn and stay active.”

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“I hope to tell seniors my age not to let others dictate what we want to do. If you do not try, you will not know if you can or cannot do it. It is okay to fail because you learn from it.”

@grey_evolution