ShuQi is the editor in chief of Doyenne, a platform writing honest, intellectual and minimalist content for the modern woman’s relentless pursuit of success. Celebrating leadership, entrepreneurship, travel, and wellness with a twist – Doyenne inspires risk-takers who need that extra spark in their daily lives. We spoke to her about her ventures so far and the how the values of authenticity and empathy ground her journey.
Tell us about your journey through your ventures so far and what you seek to change in the world.
When I started Doyenne in 2016, I wanted to make more room for women to shine in the media limelight. I wanted to see gradual shifts in editorial focus and structures towards career, leadership and success among women, away from the traditional glamour of beauty and fashion.
Two years on, I’m glad to see these changes in the current media landscape. And lots more can be done to encourage honest, intellectual sharing about women’s real life struggles. Success can only be achieved through plain hard work. More stories like these can give both men and women a lift in their pursuits.
How do you envision Doyenne to fill a gap missing to the modern women now?
Doyenne curates English content that appeals to intelligent women in Asia. With a keen focus on honest conversations and a clean design aesthetic, we want high-flying millennials in Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand to gain first hand updates on interesting features, unconventional experiences and thoughtful ideas that encourage them to take a little bit more risk in their daily lives. Over the next few months, we hope to gain more financial support, grow Doyenne into more Asian markets, and bring greater content variety at a quicker pace.
What were some of the biggest challenges in getting Doyenne off the ground?
The online publishing business is very competitive. It also requires a substantial amount of initial capital to sustain operations. Furthermore, traditional revenue models are being disrupted by technology. The good old advertising approach is broken. Readers’ attention spans are shrinking. Nevertheless, the opportunities for creative content are plenty. As long as we remain witty, resourceful and curious, Doyenne is here to stay for the long run.
Doyenne is a magazine that began with a conviction to support women in their journeys towards achieving success. What is success to you and do you think you’ve achieved it?
To me, success is having job satisfaction, lending support to others and spending time with people who matter. After four years of hard work, I am glad that my entrepreneurial pursuits have gained some industry reputation. I enjoy what I do, and I get to build solid relationships. I would like to think I’ve achieved success.
Authenticity seems to be a big value of yours. Where does that come from?
Growing up, I’ve always found it difficult to keep up with superficial relationships, material things and having fun. Through social observations, I realised that everyone was too fixated on fitting in. We forget that each of us is actually born to be different. It is totally okay to pursue your own unique path!
Also, as a journalist, we are trained to peel off the layers to reveal the truth about people. That is where I connect with authenticity. When people allow themselves to be vulnerable, they actually form deeper connections and inspire others to lead a better life. I find this process a rewarding and meaningful one.
Tell us a story that showed you where you want to be in 5 years.
Years ago, I stumbled upon the concept of putting together a vision board. It was a fun process. Going through magazines, I get to cut out photos and type fonts that appealed to me. Ultimately, it was a creative process which articulated my dreams, goals and ideal life into a tangible reality. According to psychology, the vision board’s visual stimuli serve to trigger the subconscious mind, which becomes my compass for the future. I highly recommend everyone to do this exercise, which shows you where you want to be in 5 years’ time!
The world needs more…
Empathy. Imagination is a powerful thing. When you can sense other people by imagining yourself in a life that’s different from yours, you automatically grow as a person. When you have the ability to feel what someone is going through mentally, physically or emotionally, you instantly connect with people outside of your comfort zone. You get to see that the world has so much to offer, so much to do. Best of all, you get to experience a range of emotions – happiness, sadness, grief, remorse, anger, frustration, desperation, and so on.
What has been a catalyst for change in your personal journey so far?
Three years ago, I started practising self-care. It allowed more positive vibes to flow into my life. But it requires a lot of discipline. I had to say no to experiences that didn’t add colour, turn negative people away and deliberately schedule time for enjoyable activities like reading, yoga and listening to music.
I also started speaking kindly to myself. Previously, I was my harshest critic. I always thought I could do better, because I was surrounded by people who did better than me. When I softened and treated myself gently, I could face challenges with greater confidence. It no longer felt stressful. I actually enjoyed all the ups and downs which came with achieving success.
#ChangeBeyondTextiles is an act of resilience. This means recycling materials to make clothes that last. It should also minimise production waste. Most importantly, #ChangeBeyondTextiles is a wardrobe staple, a piece of clothing that’s worn again and again with pride.
What is one thing you stand for and believe in, and why?
Quality execution. As an entrepreneur, I believe that ideas can only turn into reality when they are executed with flawless precision and absolute passion. I’m not the best in the industry yet, but with great courage and fortitude, I hope to make an impact in the near future.
We are inspired by ShuQi’s authenticity and empathy and are proud to have her as Fieldtesters, a group of inspiring individuals that test MATTER products in their everyday journeys of passion, to help us improve durability and design. ShuQi is wearing the The Beach Shorts + Star Midnight in Size 1.