Beauty Black Book

Cake Spade’s Zenn Eng Talks Business And Beauty In Her Daily Routine

The founder of the popular cake shop shares business advice for young women and empowering beauty essentials.

Cake Spade’s Zenn Eng Talks Business And Beauty In Her Daily Routine
Cake Spade's founder Zenn Eng

You’ve been running Cake Spade for nine years. As a young female business owner, what are you most proud of in your journey?

I’m proud of growing Cake Spade into a brand that Singaporean consumers love. The journey hasn’t been linear because of Covid-19. So, I appreciate my team, who have supported me throughout this journey. I am also very proud of how much they have learnt and how far they have come.

What spurred you to start the business?

It started 20 years ago when I baked my first cake at home – the Strawberry Tofu Cheesecake, which is now our best-selling item. From there, I became more passionate about baking and enrolled at a pastry school. Then I worked at Island Creamery and Shangri-la Hotel to further sharpen my skills.

During that time, I noticed that there weren’t any American-style cakes or cake shops here. I thought it would be great for me to fill that gap.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My day starts with meditation and setting small goals. Then I catch up on work texts and emails that require immediate attention.

Each day varies. I might meet my stakeholders, visit the store or both. When I go to the store, I speak to the team and discuss our upcoming campaigns, new products, and marketing strategies. I also do a lot of the tastings to ensure that the standard is consistent and to come up with new flavours.

After dinner, I resume work. There will always be something one can do to improve business. I also read or listen to podcasts during my spare time to gain knowledge in different areas beyond baking.

When do you find time in your busy schedule for your beauty routine?

When I wake up, before I go to bed, and before I leave for meetings. It’s important for me to psych myself up before I go about my day. People think that a beauty routine is frivolous. Personally, watching myself transform in the mirror is empowering. The process is also soothing and meditative to me.

Aside from this, I go for weekly massages at Natureland and a quarterly spa & facial treatment at Capella’s Auriga Spa. The space is beautiful and tranquil, and my experienced therapist has a deft touch.

What would you want young girls and women who hope to become businesswomen one day to know?

Running a business isn’t something you can read about or study for. You just need to do it. Having a plan helps, but you will have to fight loads of fires along the way.

You won’t have all the answers, so learn how to ask for help from the right people – because not everyone who wants to help can help. A second opinion often helps to provide clarity because often, your old biases can chain you.

Zenn’s Five Beauty Essentials

Crème de La Mer Moisturising Soft Cream, La Mer

Crème de La Mer Moisturising Soft Cream, La Mer

“This product keeps my skin well-nourished and hydrated. I like the healthy radiance it gives me on my off days, while also doing well as a makeup primer when I need to put it on.”

Dior Backstage Foundation in 1N, Dior Beauty

Dior Backstage Foundation, Dior Beauty

“This silky, long-lasting formula imparts a luminous finish, making me look like I clocked eight full hours of sleep even on days that I don’t.”

Blush in Torrid, NARS

Blush in Torrid, NARS

“This is a long-time favourite as the colour looks natural on my skin. Having it on also lifts my mood.”

Rouge Allure Ink Fusion in Rouge Particulier (846), Chanel Beauty

Rouge Allure Ink Fusion in Rouge Particulier (846), Chanel Beauty

“This deep and dramatic shade of red is magnetic. Putting it on makes me feel like I’m in full control of any situation that I’m thrown in, work or otherwise.”

Petite Cherie EDP, Goutal Paris

Petite Cherie EDP, Goutal Paris

“This is such a clean and classy scent. I’ll never leave home without spritzing this on first. It has juicy notes of peach and pear with touches of herbs and vanilla, which uplift me.”

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