S03E04: Jayce Tham, Chief Businesswoman of CreativesAtWork Pte Ltd., Singapore

I’m quite glad that I started this [business] with my sister. At least you know that this particular business partner always has your back. If we make a lot of money, then that’s good for us. But [even] if we don’t really make a lot of money, we will still stick together, so it’s always helpful to know that there is someone you can trust and that has your back.

Jayce Tham

In this episode, I spoke to Jayce Tham who is Chief Businesswoman of CreativesAtWork Pte Ltd based in Singapore. 

jayce tham creativesatwork singapore
Jayce’s favourite quote is from Lao Tzu – “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. 

Jayce co-founded CreativesAtWork with her sister, Fanny, in 2012 and the two sisters couldn’t be more different! Jayce spent years in the corporate world while Fanny was in the creative industry. 

Fanny was a freelance producer for a couple of years after her employer closed down. As she and her ex-colleagues were suddenly left jobless, they banded together to pitch clients. The size of her freelancer pool grew and soon projects were coming in. But they also faced several organisational challenges and this is where Jayce quit her job and stepped in. Using her business development skills, she helped these freelancers solve the business side of things. 

CreativesatWork is a media agency that brings together creative freelancers and project owners by matching them to project owners or taking charge of both parties by managing the creative project. 

For people who really want to learn more about themselves, a great way to do it is through setting up your own company and being self-employed.

Freelancing is one of the fastest-growing career paths for young professionals because today’s Millennials and Generation Z don’t want to be like their parents who work for a company for life. They see themselves as global citizens and want freedom and choices hence freelancing full-time sans borders is a liberating option. 

Yet their biggest challenge could be the business development side (although Jayce does say that some freelancers are very business-savvy) and this is where CreativesatWork steps in. 

They help bring the network and contacts to the freelancers while ensuring employers or project owners get the deliverables they need.

Jayce remarked that for the past 9 years they’ve been focused on Singapore projects but she is now looking to expand her reach to other Southeast Asian countries. After all, their aim is to connect the best creative talents and bring to fruition the creative project whether it is a short film, documentary, video campaign, audio composition, advertising or more.

Jayce says they offer a complete solution for every creative media project — from corporate branding and graphic design, to video production and post-production, photography and talents.

As with most business owners, Jayce shies away from talking about herself and letting her work and business take centre stage. Yet in this interview, we dug into her lessons, reflection and passion for creative work. She admits that creative work can be exciting but it can also be highly frustrating! (As I am in the web development industry, I understand perfectly what Jayce was saying.) 

I feel that I have been moving very fast in a way. So the Singapore Circuit Breaker time actually made me realize that actually sometimes I don’t have to move that fast. And if sometimes I just sit back and wait for a while more, the things will actually continue. It will move by itself. If you move too far ahead of other people, you create that tension and people are asking – what are you rushing for? 

She said she didn’t know if Seth Godin’s book “This Is Marketing” was her favourite book but she was reading it when we were recording this episode. 

She said she met many amazing people that inspired her in her life. She cites Gary Vee, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Sheryl Sandberg as her role models and inspiration. 

She’s most proud that through her company, she is able to help to push for a higher level of professionalism in the Singaporean freelance industry. 

In this episode, she talks about: 

  • What she wished she had known 9 years ago when she first started her media agency 
  • How she and her sister navigate that tricky, slippery slope of being siblings who are in business together (and yes, they talk about business when they’re not supposed to) 
  • Why she would never go back to the corporate world 
  • The importance of working for others if your dream is to become your own boss eventually 
  • How she looked at clients’ work in the early years versus how she looks at the work now
  • Her most important piece of advice for herself (and for you) and she said she wished she learnt this sooner and saved herself all the pain and frustration 
  • The unpopular, contrarian opinion of dealing with difficult clients 
  • How Covid helped her start a new habit that she’s proud of 
  • What she is looking for in terms of regional creative work (and one that you can be part of, yes, YOU) 
  • How she has come to view her work with freelancers and what else she is offering to them 
  • The hardest part about working on your own initiatives 
  • Project management, clients from hell and also freelancers from hell!

Connect with her: https://sg.linkedin.com/in/jaycetham

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