Denise Lim of Singapore worked as an engineer early on in her career. And while things were going well for her, she came to the realization that engineering was not her passion. Fast forward to the present day, and Lim is running her own business. Brownice is the first dairy-free, vegan ice cream brand in Singapore. A dessert fan since she was a kid, Lim began making her own sweet treats, which she initially sold at a friend’s store and weekend markets.
In an interview, Lim stated that she began whipping up dairy-free ice cream after meeting people who were lactose intolerant. Additionally, she wanted to provide a healthier option as most desserts are loaded with sugar, fat, artificial ingredients, or all three.
One incident that had a profound impact on Lim, though, was encountering a lactose intolerant child who had never tried ice cream before. After seeing the child enjoy her dairy-free concoction, Lim became even more motivated to create additional flavors and other vegan desserts.
During the first few months of Brownice, Lim concentrated on improving her products and not so much on the marketing. “I was so into ice cream making, I focused all my energy into perfecting the ice cream. That was a big lesson for me,” Lim said about neglecting business planning and branding.
Fortunately, she had friends who helped her out in that department, doing everything from promoting her products and collecting customer feedback. Lim has since gotten better at running a business. “This journey has certainly honed my skills in business management… Every day, I learn something new.”
When asked about the driving forces behind her success, Lim cites three things: love, passion, and excitement. She adds that she looks forward to going to work daily and embraces the challenge of showing people how healthy desserts can also be delicious.