Elaine is a creative soul with a soft spot for all things beautiful and romantic. She was managing a small advertising agency for three years when she decided to venture out to run her own wedding consultancy in 2004. Four years later, she launched the wedding portal, Extraordinary Weddings; this was followed by Celebrate, the first online wedding magazine in Singapore.
The enterprising woman has just expanded her business with new foray into baby and craft businesses this year. She started "Celebrate With Love", an online store selling bespoke baby gift sets, as well as offering craft workshops for kids and adults.
Elaine works when her son is in school and stops when he is home. But putting family first doesn’t mean lowering her standards for this dedicated Mumpreneur. As one client attests, “Elaine is the epitome of a successful contemporary woman who balances her professional, personal and family commitments without compromising the quality of one for the other”.
Elaine is a firm believer in the importance of education for children and has a strong interest in women’s issues, including self-esteem, work-life balance and life purpose. She has always thought about helping vulnerable women and kids one day. The Collective Effort now offers her the perfect platform to put thoughts into actions.
Joanna Portilla, PBM
Joanna is the Chairman of the People’s Association (PA) Women’s Integration Network (WIN) Council since 2008. She is also the Treasurer for PA’s Active Ageing Council (AAC), Chairman of Ang Mo Kio GRC Women’s Executive Committee (WEC) and a licenced marriage solemniser, just to name a few of the many titles and positions she holds.
Coming from a family of active volunteers, Joanna is no stranger to volunteerism. She remembers how as a 9-year-old girl, she would follow her dad on fundraising drives such as collecting old newspapers and clothing, and organising charity events like concerts. In school, she had been frequently involved in community work like visits to orphanages and nursing homes.
For more than 20 years, she has been contributing tirelessly to the community, taking on different portfolios with the grassroots, non-government organisations and non-profit organisations, focusing on helping women and their families, and senior citizens who are financially challenged. She also mentors two girls from low income families under the Groom-A-Child-to-Excel (GRACE) Mentorship Programme where she nurtures them through various enrichment programmes and community events and referred them for financial assistance.
In recognition of her many contributions, Joanna was awarded the Public Service Medal by the President of Singapore in 2011. In the same year, she also won the Excellent Chairman award by WIN for her role as Chairman of WEC, having shown exemplary and outstanding leadership qualities in leading and motivating her team, as well as organising meaningful events and engagements that have benefitted the community. In addition, she was nominated as one of the 100 Most Inspiring Women who had made a difference in the lives of others.
Accolades aside, Joanna is truly a woman with a passion to serve. It has always been her dream to start a social enterprise and create a sustainable business model to help disadvantaged women who need flexible work arrangements to get back to work to help with family finances. Through The Collective Effort, she can now achieve that.