| Kimberly Chan
An International Women's Day Feature
In celebration of International Women’s Day this 2022, our team at Nodspark wanted to highlight the importance of having a healthy work environment that supports women in the workplace, on top of celebrating their accomplishments.
Nodspark’s 2022 IWD Campaign mission that we adopt from the International Women’s Day website (out of their many missions), is to forge inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated.
On the second week of our month-long project, we took a trip down to the By Invite Only office to speak with two of their employees, Jia Qi and Sarah, who have been with the company since almost the beginning! Seeing the company grow to the well-loved brand it is today, we could also see how much fun these pioneers have at work, and the hard work that they’ve put into growing with the brand.
About By Invite Only
Founded in 2009, By Invite Only is a Singapore-based brand that believes jewellery goes beyond accessorising. It’s the little details, the gold accents, the shine of diamonds. They are all about building your identity and strengthening your confidence – whoever you are, wherever you are.
To be a brand that’s there for every occasion, every style, every you - they are constantly working towards the goal of being a jewellery brand loved by consumers.
Read on to hear more about Sarah and Jia Qi's workplace stories and how they’ve received support at By Invite Only.
Retail and Operations Manager (left)
Wong Jia Qi
Marketing Manager (right)
Jia Qi: As the Marketing Manager of By Invite Only, I take charge of all brand building and marketing activities that help solidify our position as the leading jewellery brand in Singapore. My journey began with By Invite Only as a freelance social media strategist. I’m celebrating my fourth year with BIO this June!
Sarah: I am the Retail and Operations Manager. I help to ensure that the tactical executions the team plans for align with the company’s strategic goals and are executed in a timely and efficient manner. My team oversees product on-boarding, order fulfilment and product quality checking. In addition, I oversee the operations at our retail stores at ION, Bugis, 313@Somerset and Vivocity. This includes hiring, training and sales targets tracking. My journey with BIO started as a part-time crafter about 5 years ago. I’ve been in my current position for two years and have seen the company grow from a team of 4 to 30.
Jia Qi: The company constantly encourages communication - of ideas, of concerns, of emotions - to let team members know that it is ok to ask questions, give feedback or make mistakes.
As an introvert, I understand how difficult it can be to voice your opinion or to speak up. By enabling each team member to share feedback or to ask questions in a group setting, on Slack or via one on one check-ins, this helps to build psychological safety in the workplace.
Sarah: At By Invite Only, we welcome ideas and suggestions from everyone. We have formal, informal and anonymous channels for feedback and information sharing. We spend a lot of time talking about and trying to identify each person’’s ‘superpower' and help to build them up into the best versions of themselves. We practice giving feedback to one another in timely and specific ways. As a company, I feel that we are always committed to listening - to our customers, colleagues, teammates. We are focused on always being incrementally better today, than the day before.
Jia Qi: Our company sees us as women, and more importantly as human beings. The company understands that we have commitments or “not so great” days. We are encouraged to take the day off in support of our mental health, to find our balance and return feeling refreshed and ready to go again.
Sarah: I hope that more workplaces can be open and have persons of diverse backgrounds 'sit at the table' and have their opinions heard, valued and acted on.
Jia Qi: Find your ally at work. Whether it’s a trusted colleague or your manager, find someone who can be your advocate. In our case, our HR colleague does an excellent job in listening to us and helps ensure that our voices are heard and that our feedback is brought to the right person who can make a change.
Sarah: If you are struggling to be heard, know your own value and leave. But before you do, prepare. Do your research, seek a mentor, always stay professional, look for a better place. Because there are better options out there.
We also spoke to Trixie, Founder of By Invite Only, to find out her views on the importance of creating a good workplace environment.
Founder of By Invite Only
I think firstly to recognise the many stereotypes that come with women working in the workplace and making sure that we do not subconsciously fall into any of those biases. One of them being that women are emotional or irrational because of emotion. We recognise that emotion is not a weakness in the workplace and it has its place in how decisions are made because it is part and parcel of being human.
As a female majority team, we also have the tendency to hold back when it comes to giving constructive feedback as we over-consider the feelings of others and neglect our own interests in the process. When we want to encourage is to speak more honestly but also kindly, and know that those who take care of others, need to be taken care of as well.
Sometimes when you’re struggling with a decision or trusting your gut to guide you on your path and not letting outside voices tell you or give you doubt about your process if you feel that you’re doing the right thing.
By Invite Only is also looking to expand their team, if you’re keen to join them, do check out the different roles available on their careers page here - https://www.byinviteonly.shop/pages/careers.
You can write in to apply to email@example.com!
From the By Invite Only team, here's a little gift from them to you too! Use the code "bioXnodspark" for 10% off online and in-stores purchases.
Jewellery care, gift cards, greeting cards, gldsmth and extensions are excluded from this promotion.
Sending special thanks to Jia Qi, Sarah and Trixie for taking the time out of their busy schedules to share their stories with us ♥