Today's Zahara Warrior is a loving mother, a supportive wife to her all-star footballer hubby, oh and not to mention, a successful entrepreneur to a FEW businesses. This go-getter is no stranger in this part of town, it's none other than the great, Norfasarie (@norfasarie).
She first gained popularity with her stunning looks and charismatic charm on Singapore’s television and music scene some time ago. Did you know she was a cabin crew member for Singapore Airlines before that? Talk about multi-talented!
Today, she’s juggling more now than ever. Between running her successful Spa by Norfasarie, being an attentive parent to all three of her wonderful kids and being matriarch of her family, she still has time to collaborate on massive projects. Always striving towards achieving her dreams.
It was a pleasure chatting with Norfasarie on the phone. It was a pleasure chatting with Norfasarie on the phone. She was so sweet and sincere with her answers. Read on to find out what Zahara discussed with Norfasarie in our exclusive interview as part of our 2018 International Women’s Week Zahara Warrior feature!
Zahara: What makes a strong woman?
Someone who works really hard, who knows how to sacrifice, who are willing to put other people first before themselves. Someone who’s tough. They don’t let other people beat them down.
Zahara: Who is a strong woman you look up to?
I don’t have a particular person that I look up to. For me, a strong woman comes from all walks of life. Every single day, someone will inspire me. It can be someone by the roadside or even someone that I know through a friend who could have a problem.
Sometimes, it can be my customer. She could be taking care of a family member who is terminally ill. So, that’s something that inspires me everyday.
If I feel like I have a problem, or that my problem is too big, I look at the challenges other women face, and my problems become very small. I get that people think that I am strong as a Mummy to Moza, but, I don’t feel that when I look at them because I feel that whatever they are going through is much more greater; and that inspires me!
It makes me think that if they can do it, why can’t I? They keep me pushing myself to achieve better things.
Zahara: You are a very influential public figure but not only that, you are a mother of 3 beautiful kids, a wife to a very talented sportsman and also an entrepreneur to two businesses. Where do you find the time to get everything you need done?
It’s very tough, there are low times when I tell myself “You know, I should just be a tai-tai. Go for hi-tea or coffee with my friends…”[laughs] I don’t have that. Once in awhile, I catch up with my friends but to me now, my priorities are my family and my businesses.
How do I balance it? It’s very tough, but the only thing I can vouch is that I don’t bring back work. If I’m working, I should be concentrated and focused.
I want to be known as a mother first, then an entrepreneur. My investments in business, can probably be money and a little bit of time; but the investment in my children is something that is lifelong, and it doesn’t cost that much money but, it costs a lot of time.
If I miss that time, or that moment in their lives… They will probably remember it forever. So, I think that’s very, very important. I send and fetch my children to and from school, so in the morning when I drive them to school, they will tell me stories. I need to spend this precious time with them.
I usually always take work out of the house. Otherwise, once they are asleep, if I really need to reply emails, then I will probably do it at maybe 1 or 2am. I try to get everyone in bed and then that’s where my work starts.
Zahara: I understand that your Spa business had a major overlap with your first pregnancy. What did you learn from that experience?
Well, I first started Spa by Norfasarie on the 1st of April 2011. Moza was born 14 days after that. 14th of April 2011. Sometimes, I can be hard on myself. I think this is very normal that a lot of mothers are facing this feeling that they are not good enough for their children.
Trust me, it’s all in the mind and over the years I have learnt not to be too hard on myself. Sometimes there are things that I need to let go, I have to let go.
Zahara: It’s been an incredible and enlightening journey watching you raise sweet Moza. What would you say your relationship with your daughter has taught you?
When I was pregnant with Muaz, I was really hoping he was going to be a boy. I just wanted to keep that feeling that Moza was going to be the only girl in the family, so that she doesn’t start comparing herself to her older sister or a younger sister…
So now that she’s the only girl in the family, she’s always telling me “Mummy, I want a baby girl”. Maybe she just wants someone to play with… But I really want her to be the only daughter. She's the only princess in our eyes! Of course, being the only princess, my husband definitely pampers her.
Being the only girl as well, she would always tell me: “Mummy, you are my bff. My best friend forever.”. So my bond with her is actually very strong, in fact not just with her, with my other children as well.
(With her) it’s different. It’s a special kind of bond because she will have to go through another phase of her life involving feelings and all that, so it’s very important to me to have that beautiful bond with her. As she grows up, I don’t want her to keep it to herself. Sometimes, I can see that she’s uncomfortable so I always remind her “ You can tell Mummy anything. I’m not going to scold you.”
I just want her to be open with me with anything and everything. Even if she has a boyfriend in the future! It’s the trust.
Zahara: What has been the most challenging part no one tells you about being a full time mother and running a business?
There's many challenges. When running a business you have the freedom of time. You can actually control and schedule timing. But at the same time, your business has demands which you have to meet.
Being a mother as well, there are demands that I have to meet. Sometimes, some demands are not met. It can be business demands, or as a mother.
It can be small things like my son’s first football match. I will probably have to miss it because I have to be away. It might not mean lot to him or other people if I miss it, but to me it’s a big deal. I would feel bad. So that is one of the challenges.
I also feel that 24 hours in a day is too short of a time! I have too many things to get done and I get frustrated when it’s not done or when the day is ending!
Zahara: What advice would you give to women and girls who aspire to start their own businesses?
I think being your own boss… You think “Oh! I’m being the Girl Boss!”. You think you’re your own boss, you do things on your own time… but you have to understand the concept that there are a lot of things going on in the backend.
It’s not just driving a good car, or carrying good handbags, or that you can travel… There is actually a lot of hard work. You need to be resilient. You don’t - because of certain hiccups, or if things don’t go your way, or any issues in business, just give up.
You have to learn how to let go and separate your emotions. Especially, us girl bosses. Learn how to separate your emotions between business, professionally, and being a woman.
You shouldn’t think, “Why is this person doing this to me?" Or, "why is my customer being this way? Oh! My business is not going to work!”. I think being a Girl Boss or a woman, you tend to get attached to things emotionally. When you create something, it becomes your baby.
Then one day you think “Oh no, my business is not going to work” etc - that is all emotional. So instead of being emotionally attached to the business, you should actually separate it and strategize it.
Think: “How do I get back up?”. Don’t brood over it, don’t find fault with your customers or other people. Do your own self-reflection and strategize yourself. At the end of the day, it’s your hard work, it’s your pot of gold, whether you are willing to go down and climb that ladder up again.
Like I said, always go back to strategizing. When you strategize, do it within a 5 year target. Not just open up a company and just “see how it goes”. There’s no plan.
There’s the saying, “fail to plan, plan to fail”. So it’s very important to have a plan, say in 5 years time, this is where my company should be. In 5 years time, I want to go regional. In 5 years time, I want to go global. You work towards it. I think 5 years is quite reasonable instead of 2, that’s a bit too fast.
So all of these are important to bare in mind when you want to start up a business.
Zahara: You have a wonderful marriage, an amazing family, and a couple of businesses! Do you have any other dreams you hope to accomplish?
Well, for now, I’m in the midst of setting up skinspa at Haji Lane and launching my skincare line. It’s something that I’ve always dreamed about.
Zahara: What change would you like to see in this world?
It’s quite personal (actually). Besides women empowerment... It’s a trending thing, everybody wants to see women in power. However, for myself, it would be the wearing of the hijab in my country.
When I travelled to London, or other European countries, I see the sales people working in Chanel, and all those good brands wearing the hijab. I don’t see the point where if you are the frontliner, you shouldn’t wear the hijab.
That is something I’m hoping we can change one day.
Zahara: If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Definitely, if I could pick one super power, I’d be the time traveller! I don’t want money! I just need more time! Slow down… that’s what I need!
Zahara: What should every woman try at least once in her life?
You should try to at least achieve one dream in your life and never make excuses like “no, this is unachievable.”
Zahara: Complete this sentence: A beautiful woman is someone who….
Is beautiful inside out.
We hope you enjoyed this piece as much as we did talking to the legendary Norfasarie herself. We are too excited for her upcoming skinspa and skincare line and we will be sure to hop on it once it is out! In the time being, you can check her Spa by Norfasarie out here: http://www.spabynorfasarie.com/ and make a booking while you're at it!
It’s clear to see that time seems to be an hurdle to leap for Norfasarie. Otherwise, she is blazing a hot trail of accomplishments behind her. We can only guess what her next moves will be and you know we will be keeping a close watch!
That’s it! 5 days of Zahara Warrior fun have come to an end. We hope you have stuck around to learn more from these genuine and empowered ladies, who also believe in feminine power and working hard in all you do.
They have definitely imparted strong lessons for us to heed, to hopefully set us in the right direction for the betterment of our future. Happy International Women’s Week from all of us at Zahara!
Till next time you keep fighting on!
Comments will be approved before showing up.