Shot by @aria_pole_photography
Tell us more about yourself
Thank you Phoenix Collective for this opportunity to share my thoughts. I truly appreciate it!
I am Mandy and currently in my prime. I have been pole dancing for close to 3 years and it has brought me one of the greatest joys in life.
On the work front, I lead communications and change management initiatives in one of the financial institutions in Singapore. I am also one of the squad leaders for a Diversity & Inclusion Chapter within my workplace. Recently, I’ve joined Diva Pole Academy’s amazing Instructor team - something that I can’t stop pinching my cheeks over!
Outside of work, I am a wife, daughter, friend, fur-mom / treats dispenser. My dog and rabbit, both adopted from local shelters, absolutely have me twirled around their paws.
Tell us more about your business in an elevator pitch
When I’m not working / pole-ing / choreographing / teaching, you’ll find me crocheting for Makyo Poleknits. Makyo is a small IG business that my friends and I started. While I introduced them to the world of pole dancing, they taught me the joys of crocheting. I won’t forget the day when one of them animatedly suggested, “-GASP- we should crochet our own heel protectors!” and that was when a lightbulb switched on in our heads. Makyo was born and we hand-make platform protectors from scratch.
There simply isn’t any other business that has done this before. We’ve R&D-ed our Heel Huggies over and over again. Even today we are still trying to figure out new ways to make them better.
Why did you choose to do this?
Makyo is a combination of both my passions - pole dancing and crocheting. While I mentioned how the former is my escapade, crocheting is my form of meditation. When I’m engrossed in the forming of stitches, my mind becomes silent for just a few moments and I have my thoughts to myself; creative thoughts that I do not have the luxury of honing and building when I’m caught up in my day job.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Definitely my partners and their creative ideas! ^^
How do you see your business impacting other women?
This year’s IWD theme is ‘Break the Bias’, and that is something a lot of us in the pole community are already doing / trying to do. We are constantly trying to #BreaktheBias or social stigma when it comes to pole dancing. It is imperative to note that this impacts not only women, but men too, or anyone for that matter.
How do you think you can uplift the community?
Makyo celebrates this by staying true to our core identity, remaining respectful and supportive of our customers and non. We acknowledge that we are part of this concentrated community in the local scene and we embrace the same needs and goals. We make platform protectors that are well thought out, because we use them ourselves in our classes. Our Brand Promise is that we’ll always be available to help.
Do you collaborate with other women? If so, how and why? If not, is that something you'll consider exploring in the near future?
Makyo has been really lucky to be part of past collaborations, and we are on the lookout to be part of more in the future. We are always happy to add value to the community through our craft. In late 2021, Rebelle had a massive anniversary celebration and we were so excited to be able to collaborate with them. (Congrats again, Van!)
We’ve also been in talks with Phoenix Collective - thanks again PC team for being so open and collaborative.
Any wise words for other women looking to venture into running a business?
Find your ikigai. While that is something I preach, I am on a learning journey myself. Because, who isn’t? Finding your ikigai will enable you to seek the drive you need to start a business. Poco a poco - small steps, big changes.
What is Ikigai? It is a Japanese concept where 'Iki' refers to life and 'gai' refers to value or worth. Simply put, Ikigai is your reason for living.
That being said, entrepreneurship is sometimes overly romanticized. If starting a new business is not your thing, that is also completely okay. We do what makes us content, in our own little ways of serving the community and the people around us.
You can find Makyo Poleknits on Instagram @Makyo.Poleknits