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Where do you place your masks when you dine in at a restaurant?

Mask holders used to be popular but they can get a little troublesome to use. Many just put them on tables or stuff them in bags or pockets. Of course, there’s always the ubiquitous “just hook them around an elbow” method.

But to protect our health, we need to ensure that our ‘face armour’ is clean as well.

Two Singaporean women, Shu, 28, and her sister-in-law Faith, 23, noticed that people, especially children, kept dropping their masks on the floor when they were dining out.

So they decided to start their own business handcrafted selling mask chains. And in May, Beadiepop was formed.

Humble beginnings


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But Beadiepop isn’t your run-of-the-mill home handicraft business.

Shu (who declined to give her full name) and her husband came back to Singapore from Melbourne in February to live with their family, including his sister Faith. Around the same time, Faith had just graduated from her special-needs school and was looking for a job.

The sisters-in-law talked about it and realised that they had a common interest: Beads.

Shu loved playing with beads when she was younger and the artistic Faith has always been interested in bead crafting. This combined interest encouraged them to place their own artistic touches to their mask chains.

Faith crafts each piece of jewellery by hand. Aside from mask chains, the sisters also sell bracelets, rings and necklaces. Shu oversees the rest — including marketing, sales, research and development and inventory control.

Shu says that Faith, being on the spectrum, had initially struggled getting into the grind of the business.

“However, after we set clear instructions, for example, five green beads, then five red beads, we realised she was able to make masks chains at a much faster pace,” Shu explains to The Pride.


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Beadiepop’s designs come in different themes, from colourful mask chains with playful charms to more elegant ocean-inspired jewellery that would appeal to pearl lovers.

The importance of a workplace

One of the reasons for setting up Beadiepop was after graduating, Faith found it difficult to find a job environment that suited her needs.

“Faith has difficulty answering questions and speech in general. She is extremely sensitive to noise, lights, sounds and smell,” says Shu.

“Oftentimes, Faith will get scared when she notices that people are staring at her intently or avoiding her on purpose,” she adds.

What could sound or look ordinary to others may be extremely discomforting to her.

Shu says that companies that want to hire special-needs employees need to be understanding and use creative methods to bring out their fullest potential.

She encourages businesses to see a person with special needs as if they were their child: “Do everything in your capacity to make it work.”

It may require more effort, but the payoff is worth it. Hiring a person with special needs isn’t necessarily done out of charity; it’s about matching the proper skills in the right context.

Shu believes that people with special needs have certain abilities that stand out in certain situations. For example, after making three or four mask chains (of around 200 to 400 beads each), most would usually lose focus, feel bored or have to take a break. Not Faith though; Shu says she often finds her smiling and laughing while making the chains.

Special Needs Beadiepop
Image source: Faith

Beadiepop also handles custom orders. Says Shu: “I’d brief Faith with an illustrative sample or give her the idea and she would design the piece her way based on the customer’s requests.”

It’s only the beginning


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Even though Beadiepop is still only months-old, the two sisters-in-law are already looking to grow the business.

Faith, who is proficient in PowerPoint, is now learning how to use Adobe Illustrator to create animated cartoons. Shu says that it could be the next step — to have Faith create and sell illustrations online.

They hope to grow a strong following, branching out to other types of jewellery and ultimately work with other people with special needs.

Says Shu: “It would mean the world to us if companies and businesses in Singapore made it a point to hire, nurture and include adults with special needs into our workforce.”

You can support Faith and Shu by checking out their Instagram to purchase their jewellery.

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Top Image: beadiepop