Tackling the pervasive problem of body-image dissatisfaction

Roslyn Teng & Robin Lim, Co founders- Made Real

Roslyn and Robin co-founded Made Real at the age of 19. Roslyn and Robin grew up together. They have been friends for over 10 years when they founded Made Real. Building a successful career comes with a price in form of fast paced lifestyle and unhealthy diet. Made Real believes that staying healthy is not only a physical task, it’s also mental and spiritual.

Inspired by personal struggles with body-image, Robin and Roslyn founded what was then known as Project Made Real to tackle the pervasive problem of body-image dissatisfaction in society. What started as an awareness campaign transformed into an actual business.

Robin believes the best learning occurs outside of one’s comfort zone, that one should never be afraid of pushing boundaries. She’s excitable, optimistic and driven, never one to shy away from challenges or risk. An avid supporter of diversity in entrepreneurship, she hopes to be an inspiration for young founders in Singapore.

Roslyn is a studious scholarship-holder turned entrepreneur with dogged persistence. She is interested in the intersection between food, nutrition, and tech. Specifically, she is passionate about behaviour change in the context of healthy living, and innovations in alternative proteins. Robin & Roslyn have worked together for over 3 years and have gone through many challenges and triumphs by each other’s side. Their personalities and skill sets are incredibly complementary.

Team ABT brings out some more interesting facets from their journey in this interview.

How did you come up with the unique idea of Made Real & what is its reach so far?
Made Real started originally as a community of people who came to together to lend support to those who have suffered or were victims of an eating disorder. Overtime our community grew and we needed a more sustainable way of spreading our message. The name came about because we saw our movement as one that was bringing light to eating disorders as a real issue that real people faced. We also wanted to provide real solutions, through promoting proper nutrition and balanced diets. That’s how we slowly developed to be a modern-day healthy snack brand, because we wanted to offer our community wholesome and natural products.

Made Real has grown very much organically since it was first founded. We’ve always believed that if we delivered a good product, and solved an actual problem for our customers, the growth would come naturally.

Who is your inspiration and why?
We have had many mentors throughout our start up journey and many of them   served as great inspirations. Not only were they there to guide us, but they also were our early supporters. And that is critical for any founder.

During the early days of Made Real, what all challenges did you both face and how did you overcome it?
One challenge would definitely be the lack of a strong business network to tap into, as first time entrepreneurs. However, this is challenge can be overcome by putting ourselves out there, to go out of our way to meet people and ask for help.

How does Made Real create a niche in the market?
We believe that we do so by building a brand that people love and can relate to.  Our supporters know that they are getting the best products out there in the market. We hope to further this niche in the market as a brand that understands its customers and is able to put out innovative products that meetsa diversity of nutritional needs.

If you were to do one thing differently what would that be?
Something we struggled a lot with was insecurity over our age, what if people don’t take us seriously. Above that being a female. We were young girls in a male dominated field (entrepreneurship). We used to tell people that we had all the odds against us; however we soon realized that that was a matter of mindset. We will only be limited if we let these stereotypes define us. Breaking away from those stereotypes and conventions really helped us to push ourselves further and aim for higher goals. It also helped us to bounce back faster from mistakes because we had no excuse to feel sorry about our failures. Instead we focused on learning from them and growing into the people we wanted to be. One thing we would do differently is to not have such fears in our early days.

What’s your future road map?
We believe that Made Real is so much more than just a healthy snack company. That’s how we started, we sell healthy snacks, but we are so much more. We want to be the company that changes the way people get and live healthy. And we see that we can do this with technology.