Name of Recipient:
Ms. Melinda Chew
Art is a transferrable medium. Many of the attributes across the various art forms are universal. For example, a theatre practitioner may be well versed in architecture and design, as the eye for visuals is important when it comes to the overall picture of the theatre production.
Zen Landscape Pte Ltd is one company that has artistic roots. Ms. Melinda Chew, a former dancer and choreographer, has put her eye for visuals to good use, transferring her expertise from dance choreography over to the landscaping arts instead. Specializing in designing, building, and maintaining of indoor and outdoor gardens, Zen Landscape aims to accentuate the artistry in landscape art. For example, if a customer is looking for something unique for their gardens, Ms. Chew and Zen Landscape are committed to help them achieve their goals. “For me, landscaping is not just a simple job. It is a fine piece of art, which needs constant refinement to maintain its beauty.”
Since a long time ago, Ms. Chew had wanted to establish her own business; her father is a successful entrepreneur himself, and she felt the urge to try doing business herself. A Certified Practising Horticulturist, Ms. Chew regarded the art form as an extension of choreography, the only difference being the elements that were used to compose. “The landscape is like a canvas. Certain rhythms will create certain designs. I like nature personally, and I love to see plants and flowers grow. It forms a nice balance in my life.”
Although Ms. Chew had another company named Tailong, she decided to set up Zen Landscape as a subsidiary company, focused on the business of landscaping arts. However, there were still a few hurdles to cross. Firstly, the environment of the industry was tough. Ms. Chew elaborated, “Most Singaporeans like to work indoors. So it was difficult for us to get enough manpower. For many years, even now, we have had much fluctuation in terms of manpower. The recent government restrictions on foreigners also posed a challenge for us as well.” Only in 2005 did Zen Landscape begin to find their footing in the industry, finally establishing a foundation the company could build on.
But, the creditability and quality of Zen Landscape eventually came through. After many years of operations, Zen Landscape received recognition two years ago when they received the LIAS (Landscape Industry Association (Singapore)) Excellence Award 2011, and were given a chance to exhibit their works in the Singapore Garden Festival 2012. They also won an award for the festival that year, and this new burst of publicity helped to drive business. Customers now know how to look for them, and referrals also begin to boost their sales. In addition, their work on roof gardens was also featured in The Straits Times, as well as in the prominent magazine, Home & Decor. This propelled the business into greater prominence, and Ms. Chew, till today, is very proud of these achievements and the hard work it took to achieve them.
For Ms. Chew, “Dedication to serve, and provide value added service are very important for being an entrepreneur, more important than just simply making money.” Moreover, Ms. Chew believes that every entrepreneur should build a business with an aim to make it self-sufficient. “For me personally, I prefer to take on a more consultancy role. Like an Artistic Director,” she added jovially.
Looking ahead to the future, Ms. Chew already has plans in store for Zen Landscape. “Ideally, in five years’ time, we would like to be a household name.” Ms. Chew then continues, “We plan to take on regional projects, as well as getting more full-time staff to expand our team.”
With an impressive portfolio, her commitment to her work, and years of experience accumulated, Ms. Chew is well poised to lead Zen Landscape into the brightest period of its history. We have no doubt that they will do just that, and to become a prominent name in the industry for years to come.
1 Pearl Bank #04-08 S(169016)
T| 6323 0281
F| 6323 0271