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Meet The Mama Behind Seasoned Singapore Expat Women: Anju

Meet The Mama Behind Seasoned Singapore Expat Women: Anju

Meet The Mama Behind Seasoned Singapore Expat Women: Anju

This past week, we had the opportunity to sit down with Anju from SSEW. SSEW is a thriving community of Expat women in Singapore. She gave us an insight into how she built and grew a close knit community here in Singapore and came in to drop off items at the Retykle Studio to sell!  

Please tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a walking talking advert for SSEW as I’ve been a Seasoned Singapore Expat Woman for over 16 years and still love it! I was born in the uk and originally moved to Singapore with my fiancé for 6 months… It’s such a familiar tale! I used to be a graphic designer in my past life, and love all things colour and pattern as well as fashion and the arts. I’m a real girl about town and my friends call me a “walking Time Out”! Most of all I love meeting people and making connections which is why I love running SSEW so much!

What was the inspiration behind the launch of SSEW and how is it different from other Facebook groups?

SSEW is a safe space for long term expats in Singapore. It’s for people who are ‘over the bright lights of Asia’ and want to make the most of Singapore as their home. The strength and quality of our community means it’s a reliable place to ask for intel, recommendations and support on personal issues. It can be hard connecting with expats who intend to stay beyond a one/two/three year contract - members of the Wisetribe understand the value of investing in loyal friendships as part of a support system. We are a welcoming, ‘No Drama’ community of likeminded women who are open to helping and leaning on each other - it’s a great place to hang out!

What are the main topics of concern for the SSEW community today and how do you help address them?

There are currently lots of stresses and strains due to the increasing cost of living in Singapore. Many are being forced to make changes to the structure of their lives; move home, change school, seek new jobs, leave Singapore… This can be a huge pressure and can result in loneliness when existing networks fall away. Having a wider community of women who can empathise and support you through this ever changing adventure of expat living is priceless. As well as online support within our community, we host various in person events throughout the year. We have enjoyed larger scale parties and celebrations recently, now we are planning a series of smaller, more intimate gatherings so that members can make meaningful connections and rebuild their networks.


What are some tips you have for others trying to create a community in a new country?

When I arrived in Singapore I didn’t know a soul and Facebook groups weren’t ‘a thing’. I explored the city, hung out in places I liked, got involved with charity work and made friends slowly and organically. Now you can join community groups - stay active, keep putting yourself out there, and say YES to new experiences! When you connect with someone, be proactive and invite them out for a coffee or a walk. I also think it’s important to remember it’s not a race… Building a village and finding your tribe will all happen at the right time!

How do you practice sustainability and where in Singapore are the best places to help with this issue?

Sustainable fashion is really my thing… I’m so happy that buying preloved clothing has become popular and accessible in Singapore because I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager in the UK! Here, I regularly swap my clothes with The Fashion Pulpit as well as private events / online classifieds. It’s wonderful that there are now options such as Retykle for children’s clothes too - a much needed, valuable resource and service! There are lots of fantastic businesses in Singapore that are all about sustainability and we try to spread awareness of these to our members through our Eco Directory at - check it out!


You can shop from Anju's brand new Retykle closet here

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