Setting Up Shop: Rae Yun, Oh Happy Fry

Her Instagram feed @theramengirl documents a life of colour, slick design, good food and fun with her son. Here, Rae Yun talks life in Singapore and running online shop Oh Happy Fry…

Rae, 32, lives with her partner and their son JJ, 19 months, in Singapore. They run Oh Happy Fry  – an online children’s shop…

(This interview was originally published in November 2015).

Can you describe your home to us?
We live in a tiny 1980s two-bedroom flat. When you’re living in a small space, it’s not simply about buying less baby gear but more importantly, buying the right baby gear.

When and why did you set up Oh Happy Fry?
I knew I wanted to have the freedom to work from home so that I could be with my son. At least for the first few years. I also wanted to pursue something that pushed my boundaries.

There was so much creative frustration brewing and it soon became what is now this little shop. I wrote a simple business plan when I was pregnant and went ahead with it during my maternity leave. I knew that if I failed I could always get a job working for someone else.

I used to juggle a full-time marketing job and running Oh Happy Fry on a part-time basis. My husband would help me pack orders at night when the baby went to bed. But I quit my job at the beginning of 2015 to concentrate on this full time.

happy fry 2

Can you tell us about the products you sell?
We carry a carefully selected collection of international and independent designers: clothes, furniture, toys, homeware.

Who are your customers, and where do they live?
Mostly mothers from around the world! When we first started, we catered mostly to Singapore residents but we have since grown and now ship worldwide – Dubai, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, United States.

Who looks after your son while you work?
I work from home. But I also have someone to help out if I need to do work.

I’m still struggling to find a balance and I’m not afraid to say that I’m not there yet. I don’t have a schedule so I manage work around family life. I do the best I can

What does an average day look like for your family?
Everyday is a bit different but my day usually starts at about 7.30am when my boy wakes up. He’s our human alarm clock. I will then reply to emails while my helper or husband gets our son ready.

We will have breakfast together or go to the nearby market to shop for fresh produce. I like to cook so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen too. After lunch, my boy will have his afternoon nap while I get some work done. Sometimes we will head to a nearby park to play and stretch our legs.

My son goes to sleep before 9pm and I get back to work. I usually go to sleep after midnight because there’s so much to do.

What’s it like having a child in Singapore?
Overall, Singapore is very child-friendly, safe, clean and diverse. There are many indoor playgrounds, green parks, stroller-friendly pavements and spacious malls. But Singapore has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world because the cost of raising a child here is too high.

Do you successfully juggle mum life with work life?
It’s an ongoing tussle. I’m still struggling to find a balance and I’m not afraid to say that I’m not there yet. I don’t have a schedule so I manage work around family life. I do the best I can.

Do you have any advice for other working mums?
Be proud of your juggling abilities and try not to sweat the little things.

Oh Happy Fry
Oh Happy Fry on Instagram
Rae on Instagram