Terry Jacobson, Founder + CEO of AllSense, Oo La Lab, TopMiddleBase and nena
“Being an entrepreneur can be an all-in thing,” says Terry Jacobson, whose business track record speaks for itself. His four – count ’em, four – Singapore-based companies all focus on the personal side of scent. As judge Tiffany Okumu remarks, “From bootstrapping the business to growing to 20 staff strong and achieving high-profile deals is quite the accomplishment!” One example: Terry’s first big client was ION Orchard – he customised the fragrance that wafts around the mall.
Holding passports from South Africa and Australia, Terry lived in countries around the globe before settling in Singapore almost 10 years ago. Back in Johannesburg, he started an e-zine focused on youth lifestyle. How does he explain the turn from online media to the fragrance industry? “There is no connection! I just chased ideas that interested me,” confesses Terry, whose Oo La Lab brand offers everything from perfumery kits and candles to workshops in Singapore and Dubai, where it also has a foothold. What interests him now? “Namely, educating and entertaining people with the power of fragrances – and the important role it plays in our mood, memory and emotion.”
Terry says he enjoys spending quality time with his three boys as well as “gardening, getting lost in our tropical wilderness, yoga and coffee – oh, and cricket”. And he shares these words of wisdom with would-be entrepreneurs: “Focus on your passions and let them guide you. Try things.”
Read more about Terry’s world of scent here.
Started in 2017 by The Finder, the Expatpreneur Awards are intended to honour hard-working, successful, community-minded foreign-born business owners in Singapore. All winners must exhibit how their businesses help people “live well in Singapore” – The Finder’s own mission. This year, marks the fifth annual awards. Find out more here.
By Isabel Wibowo