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About Moms

About Siti

 

Siti is a mother of 5 kids and wife to a loving husband. She spends most of her time managing the household, from doing the laundry to cooking delectable meals for her children when they get back from school. When she’s not being the boss of the house, she’s busy coming up with designs and making coasters.

The job market hasn’t been kind to Siti, as most jobs require their employees to commit to strict hours. But Siti’s utmost priority when looking for a job is its flexible hours since she has to take care of her children once they come home from school. 

Currently, Siti is supported by her Social Service Office (SSO) and her kids receive the MOE Financial Scheme (FAS). The SSO helps to pay some of Siti’s grocery expenses and money for her family’s rental flat. Meanwhile, FAS aids with her kids’ expenses from books, uniforms and others. However, this is not enough as these schemes need to be renewed and their approval can take up to 1 month. In the meantime, Siti and her husband have to pay for their outstanding bills.

Siti is also supported by TOUCH’s Project 1,2,3! (P123!) which addresses the underlying motivational issues affecting the ability of individuals from low-income families to seek and sustain employment. Her children are also receiving tuition and academic support from TOUCH Young Arrows (TYA).TYA is a weekly programme for children from lower-income families, which comprises tuition/academic coaching and values-driven activities.

With Myrtle, Siti is able to work from home with a peace of mind since hours are flexible and a portion of sales supplements her household’s income. Here is Siti’s story, and her Myrtle journey thus far.

 Siti's Interview

Q: What is Myrtle to you? 

A: Actually I enjoy doing these coasters, because we can make our own designs. I didn’t believe that I was capable of doing all this but I show my husband, then he’s very proud. My husband supports me doing this and sometimes he shows me YouTube videos of different resin designs.  

Q: What’s the most enjoyable part about making coasters/trinkets? 

A: I like coming up with my own designs and I love to see when the coasters are pretty nice, like there’s no dust or dents. Like wow this one really can make it.  

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced while creating these products? 

A: Sometimes I try to make more, but when I make more I have to rush. Then when I rush, the glue will be stuck and make me stressed. Like alamak, the glue stuck so I can’t manage to cover the other two. So I have to wait for a few hours to wait for them.  

Q: Why did you decide to work with Myrtle? How are you finding it so far?

A: I love to work with Myrtle because it’s flexible timing, and as a mother we can work at home, and my kids won’t disturb because they’re at school. So I can do this job to upgrade myself, and at least I know how to do this thing. At first I thought that it was glass, you know. I am very proud lah, when I do this one and the design is nice. 

 Q: What are you grateful for in your life? 

A: I’m very grateful to have five kids, they can listen to us, they understand regarding our family and they’re not very fussy. Yeah, I also taught them the situation that our family is in, like although we have a small house, but we must have a happy family. A small house doesn’t mean that we are a broken family. I teach them like that lah. Whatever happens family comes first and whatever it is, you must always help your family and be good to your family. 

 Q: Do you have any words for our readers? 

A: We love to work and make these coasters, thanks for teaching us and giving us the opportunity to learn about making coasters. Especially for us mothers who have trouble finding work outside. We really appreciate it lah.

 

About Pearl

Our second featured Myrtle mom in our “About Moms” series is Pearl! Meet Pearl, makeup-lover, craft lover, and most important of all, loving mother. She is one of the many being hard hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of employment. We talked to Pearl to find out more about her motivations and reflections on her Myrtle journey, as well as any struggles she’s met along the way.

Pearl's Interview

Q: What is Myrtle to you?

A: Myrtle was first introduced to me by [my TOUCH social worker] actually. Through him only because he knows that I was having very much difficulties in getting a job and all my issues at home, a lot of things so that’s why he introduced me to Myrtle, that’s why I joined. I learned a lot of things from Jia Hui, she’s the main person who taught us things. Everything was very new for me as well. I’ve heard about it but to do it is different actually.

Q: How is it like from when you didn’t know how to do until now? 

A: It was a bit difficult for me because of the bubbles, and I had difficulties. I couldn’t see properly the bubbles, I mean a couple of times, I tried my best. The bubbles are very small. 

Q: What was the most enjoyable part of doing these coasters and trinkets? 

A: The most satisfying part is when they come out very beautiful. That is very satisfying. 

Q: When you say come out beautiful, do you mean the design or that there are no bubbles? 

A: The best part is when don’t have any bubbles. I will be most happy when the bubbles can’t be seen, or no dust. 

Q: What other challenges did you face while creating these products, apart from the difficulties with the bubbles? 

A: Yeah, the flowers. After I know what’s the problem, I waited at least 3 hours, 4 hours after the resin set. That time was very fast, within one or two hours we actually do the second layer. So after that for the second layer, I wait for a bit longer. And the side bubbles, which I can’t see that part, that was one of the most tough parts. Like you see “Oh, so nice” then suddenly when you take it out “Alamak, the side all got bubbles.”

Q: Why did you decide to work with Myrtle at the start? 

A: Most of the time when I work, I do a lot of hands-on. Sitting down is a bit difficult for me, because I do have back problems, some fingers problems from my previous jobs, where I had to carry heavy things and my health took a very big toll on me. But I love doing things like crafting, that’s why I took on Myrtle, so that’s where I learn to do [resin], was a good start for me as well. 

Q: How do you schedule when to make the Myrtle coasters? 

A: For me, most probably in the evening. Because morning sometimes, I have a lot of things to do. Or morning whenever I wake up, wasn’t my best time to do, sometimes there are swelling in my fingers and so I take a lot of time in the morning. Then in the evening I will do the coasters and all that. Or maybe in the late afternoon. 

Q: What are you grateful for in your life? 

A: First thing to be grateful for is that you wake up each day. And then  to do things for my loved ones, especially because I also have kids. It’s not easy, right, yeah but somehow we are still going through each day. 

Q: Do you have any words for our readers? 

A: Their motivation and their support for all these keeps us going. So that’s another form of the biggest motivation from those who read and buy our coasters from you guys. I think from that, there will be another path for us.