(left) Eunice, winner of Team’s Choice
(right) Theresa, winner of People’s Choice
Each year, we hold the Shentonista Of The Year (SOTY) contest to celebrate and show our appreciation to everyone who has been a part of our journey, and it gives the team a chance to reminisce about the year gone by. This year, however, our entire SOTY journey ended up being a very unique experience for both of our winners and the entire Shentonista team.
When we began the voting process in January earlier this year, it’s safe to say we lived in a different time. Even as the two winners were decided—Theresa, winner of People’s Choice and Eunice, winner of Team’s Choice—and we began curating a special day outdoors for them, we could never have predicted the way the year has unfolded so far.
Despite the Circuit Breaker measures in place, we still hoped to celebrate our two winners—rather than a day out, we decided to adapt the experience to ensure everyone’s safety. So, we reached out to the people whom we’ve had the good fortune of working with in 2019, and curated a series of activities to make up a perfect day—indoors—for Theresa and Eunice. Read on below as we caught up with both of them about their highs and lows over the past year, and how they’re tackling the uncertain future ahead.
We kicked off the day just like how we’d start our usual shoots—with a little bit of styling. Of course, we were unable to meet both Theresa and Eunice to style them in-person, so the stylists from KIZUKI and Itto+LIM came to the rescue. They conducted a quick hair styling tutorial over FaceTime, offering our winners some simple tricks and easy hairstyles they could try out for impromptu Zoom meetings.
We last met both of you in early 2019—share with us some changes, big or small, since then.
Theresa (T): I made the shift to a new job over at ClassPass—much as e-commerce (the industry I was previously in) was dynamic and exciting, I felt it wasn’t really my calling or true passion.
I was fortunate enough to be blessed with great opportunities, but deep down ClassPass was a firm that had always inspired me in different ways. When a role popped up, I decided to go for it and hence the jump! It’s good to work with a firm whose values deeply resonate with me.
Eunice (E): I am very grateful for 2019. At work, I gained exposure through opportunities in management and leadership. The learning curve was steep but completely worth it.
Personally, I ticked off several items on my list, including getting admitted to the New York bar as a solicitor of England & Wales, passing a major piano exam, and taking part in a piano competition. It was a very busy year!
With the Circuit Breaker measures in place, were there any fun hair experiments you’ve tried at home?
T: I have not—actually, I probably haven’t combed my hair in a decade. It’s just the way it is! (laughs)
E: I cut my husband’s hair a couple of weeks ago with some repurposed tools, which provided much laughter.
What’s a hairstyle you would never ever try?
T: I’ve always wanted to chop off my long hair but everyone insists it’ll be a disaster, even my hairdresser…
E: I honestly think I’m quite game for anything!
At a time when our usual routines and fashion sense have been momentarily locked away, we wanted to gift our SOTY winners something that’ll come in handy in these unprecedented circumstances. We reached out to Minor Miracles, who kindly sent Theresa and Eunice a mask set each—consisting of a colourful hand-sewn cloth mask and a pouch—ideal for a quick and stylish grocery run.
Share with us a little more about a cause you’ve been supporting (or hope to raise more awareness of) during this period.
T: A cause I feel strongly about and have been supporting is helping our migrant workers during this time of need by donating here. They helped to build the Singapore we know today and we essentially wouldn’t have all these beautiful buildings, homes, and hotels without them—and I hope we can all come out stronger after this pandemic as one.
E: These are unprecedented times, so let’s be kinder to everyone around us and ourselves. I try to reach out to my colleagues and friends, church friends, friends who live alone, friends living in overseas, etc. I also love to send little surprise gifts and food to my friends.
Eunice, you shared with us that you’ve been experimenting with stitching your own masks lately—what prompted this?
E: I have always loved sewing for friends—there is something special about receiving a handmade gift. I was reading that we should conserve surgical masks for healthcare workers and use sustainable masks instead, so I decided to sew my own masks.
And Theresa—how do you think your dress sense has changed since the Circuit Breaker period started?
T: Oh, my dress sense was thrown out of the window once CB started. My daily getup is now me bare-faced and in home clothes or activewear. I reckon I can throw away all my make up products and fancy clothes. My team now has no choice but to see me in this state—I may or may not feel sorry for them. (laughs).
With this change, the three WFH must-have items on your desk are:
T: Water, laptop and speakers. And notebook. Well, that comes up to four.
Though we still have a little while to go before we can head out to dine at our favourite restaurants, the Shentonista team attempted to recreate the same experience indoors for Theresa & Eunice with the help of Plentyfull Bakery & Deli, who sent over a mouthwatering spread for a leisurely lunch break.
Is there a dish/meal near your workplace that you’ve been craving these days?
T: Chicken breast brown rice bowl at Kipos—I used to have that every week.
E: 109 Yong Tau Foo at Circular Road. I miss the kind and friendly staff there, and digging into a comforting bowl of yong tau foo with my Kindle in front of me.
What are you most excited to go out and eat once the Circuit Breaker period comes to an end?
T: A nice Japanese meal would be lovely.
E: Korean BBQ with my good friend, Rachel. Our nearly two decades long friendship recently evolved to a mutual appreciation for Korean dramas and food.
After a nourishing meal with a hearty dose of soulful conversation, Theresa and Eunice ended off the day with an energising virtual class of their choice from Freedom Yoga. Before we called it a wrap, we had some final questions about habits they’ve maintained and broken, including their daily fitness routine.
It can be hard to establish a new fitness routine, especially when you’re staying home. How has your usual workout routine been affected?
T: I’ve always been a fitness enthusiast— I (try to) work out everyday, probably even more than I did prior to Circuit Breaker. Working out at home has given me the option of trying out different studios or genres that I might not have tried in-studio. I generally set a daily fitness routine and stick to it—then it just becomes pretty second nature.
Since there’s no hassle of having to travel, I can roll out of my bed at 845AM to attend a 9AM class, or do a workout at 6PM and have dinner at 7PM. I’m loving the convenience and accessibility, and staying active has also really helped in keeping me mentally, emotionally and physically sane. That being said, I do have my lazy days from time to time, and I take breaks whenever my body needs it.
E: Surprisingly, I found myself back in the exercise groove thanks to this Circuit Breaker. It’s become a part of my daily routine, and makes sure I remain productive and occupied. It includes a combination of learning new skills, working on creative projects, and spending time virtually with the community around me.
Tell us more about the new habits you’ve formed during your time at home.
T: Now that I have the luxury of time, I’m reading more, which I hope to be able to keep up with. I’ve also been dabbling in new languages and trying out artistic things like painting and embroidery (for which I realise I absolutely have no talent)…It’s been a humbling experience (laughs).
E: I picked up cursive handwriting, and hope to improve on my penmanship even after the Circuit Breaker. My mum will be so pleased as she always lamented about my handwriting.
On the flip side, is there a habit from your previous daily routine that you no longer do anymore?
T: Snacks were always so easily accessible in the office. You’ll be surprised to see the amount of snacks, both healthy and unhealthy, we had as a fitness company—but I’m not complaining. I quit the habit to snack at home simply because I’m lazy to walk to the kitchen.
E: I quit my coffee addiction. I will still take a cup occasionally, but I’m no longer guzzling coffee.
Lastly, share with us something you’ve learnt about yourself during the Circuit Breaker.
T: My true introverted self is actually starting to really like this isolation and quiet time. I reckon I may be alright with going out much less after CB ends as well.
E: All beginnings are difficult.
Theresa and Eunice also received a staycation package from Oasia Hotels & Residences, something they can look forward to enjoying once the better days come around. Thank you to all of our sponsors and partners for your generous gifts, and for creating a wonderful day indoors for Theresa and Eunice!