Tell us a little about yourself,
Where do you live now, and how long have you been there?
We have lived in Singapore since January 2001. We moved to our current place just at the beginning of the Circuit Breaker last year.
What do you love about where you live now?
We all love the neighbourhood, mainly because lots of our good friends live in the same area, and our children’s friends too. So everyone is happy. A good place to entertain, even though that is limited at the moment.
Have you lived anywhere else?
In Singapore, we moved around quite a bit and have lived in very different places, such as a colonial Black and White and a flat on Sentosa and now in the buzzing Sixth Avenue area. Before Singapore, we lived in Hong Kong, New York and London.
How it all began
Where are you from originally?
The Netherlands. Born in Utrecht.
What was your reason for moving abroad in the first place?
My MSc studies and work experience abroad took me to London in the first place, which is where I met Iain, my husband. And together we started travelling the world.
I have since then worked for Gooch & Wagstaff in London, the Netherlands Convention Bureau in New York, the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency in Hong Kong, and then set up their office in Singapore too.
And then, I joined Gain Brands 5 years ago, which was founded by 2 of my partners Marianna Fossick and Michelle Fisher. Since then, many more special women (and some men..) have joined us!
Has 2020 Changed you?
If so, how? I already valued family time hugely, but it has become even more precious to me. We have four daughters, and only 1 of them is with us. The other three work and study in the UK, and we do not know when we will next see them.
We had not seen any other family since the beginning of last year when we just managed a trip to London for Amy’s 21st birthday.
Has 2020 changed the way you work?
Yes, it has. I do most of my work from home now, which I really like doing. It makes the meetings in the office even better to meet up with their colleagues. Gain Brands had to become more creative in the way how we do business, so we did many online events in 2020, but we are happy that slowly events are picking up again and we can meet our clients face to face.
How has being an expat changed you?
We have made some very special friendships in our years abroad, and we have widened our horizons and feel privileged, having been able to pass this experience to our children.
It would not surprise me if they end up working abroad at some stage.
What are you working on now?
For Gain Brands, we are constantly striving to find new ways of spreading the word of our extensive spirits portfolio. So, of course, we are proud to have launched SOUL SISTER SPIRITS Gin in May last year. Our very own first gin inspired by women and crafted in Singapore. Watch this space; more to follow soon!
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