Mothers Who Inspire: Datin Winnie Loo, Founder of A Cut Above Group and Academy
May 19, 2014 | BY Calvin Chong
Between managing 300 staffs in 19 beauty salons, Datin Winnie Loo still manages to be the nurturing mother to her two children.
Following up the success story of Sufineh Mahmood in her role as a mother and founder of two companies, we turn to Datin Winnie Loo, founder of A Cut Above Group and Academy to find yet another inspiring success who runs her business with husband, Dato’ Richard Teo and children, Marcus and Hazel Teo.
Nurturing and guiding children can be a lifelong task even for Datin Winnie Loo, whose children are both in their twenties and despite that, she remains as who she was since 1988, a caring and loving mother who showers her children with love and guides them to the right path, no matter the trouble and worry.
In between her trip to Turkey and India, we manage to sit down with the supermum to talk about her current motherhood experience and what makes a woman perfect in every way.
Morning is my “me” time
For Datin Winnie Loo, morning has always been a personal time which she spends reading to nurture her spiritual being. As a devoted Christian, she spends at least an hour reading spiritual books like the Bible or a variety of motivational and devotional books.
Datin Winnie says, “I only start my beauty appointments at 12 PM everyday. I think we all need a lot of wisdom, in order to be successful in life. Reading these books helps me a lot in discovering the word of God and that is true wisdom.”
After her breakfast and reading, she moves out to her many appointments in one of her 19 salons depending on customer requests. From there, she also takes on media interviews and business meetings whenever she has the extra time – usually during tea break or before her appointments.
Being part of the lifestyle industry, attending social events is also part and parcel of her daily routine. Even on the day of our meeting, she has two events scheduled at night and that is considered a mild regular weekday for her.
While she seems to have very limited time with the family, Datin Winnie makes it a point to always have bonding sessions with them from arranging afterwork dinners, weekend activities to oversea vacations.
Datin Winnie says, "I think it’s important to have a balance between work and family, no matter how busy we are. For us, we have family trips at least two to three times year, on top of our work trips together."
The power of suggestion
Balancing maternal responsibilities while building a lifestyle empire is not an easy task and as a creative individual, Datin Winnie has a very different method in raising children.
Within the family, her husband, Dato’ Richard Teo is the strict parent due to his background in business management. He is the one who drills in discipline to the kids, while Datin Winnie serves as the suggestive voice to guide them to the right path.
Datin Winnie explains, “For this generation, you cannot instil fear to them, like how our parents were to us. For me personally, I encourage them to explore and use the power of suggestion to guide them to the right path.”
And this particular method proves to work for her as her son is developing a hair product line for the company, while the daughter will be joining Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in California for a fashion course, which will be a starting point for A Cut Above’s possible venture into fashion and accessories – all these under the guidance of the lady herself.
Datin Winnie is never one who forces her wishes upon others and perhaps that is why her children are both joining the family venture voluntarily – a feat known to be difficult to many parents.
She says, “It is okay if they’re not into cutting hair like me, but I hope that whatever they do, the find love for it along the way. No matter what happens to them, you need to always be by their side.”
Becoming the perfect woman
To many women, having a great career without relying on a man is the epitome of success, but Datin Winnie begs to differ. Even when she is a successful entrepreneur, she feels that being a career woman is not everything and for a woman to be complete, she needs to go through motherhood.
Datin Winnie sternly says, “You can have all you want in your career but a woman only becomes perfect and truly successful when she has given birth and gone through motherhood.”
It was when she had her firstborn and experienced first-hand what her mother had gone through in raising her that Datin Winnie Loo realised all she had then was not enough and being a mother completes her and makes her a better person.
On the final note, we ask her on how a woman can have it all from career, family to everything else in life and her answer is to have tolerance and love.
She says, “A woman can have it all if she has a loving heart and is committed to loving her family and the society. Do not be selfish and have a giving nature."
She laughs and continues, “There are times that you have to be submissive to your husband or children. You can’t always wear the pants in the family. So let your husband win sometimes and that’s how you can be the true winner!”
(Photos courtesy of Datin Winnie Loo)
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