Mary Soltysiak – Founder and Director of Estilo & Co

Mary Soltysiak’s Creative Side Led Her To Start Estilo & Co Events.

What’s your story? 
Born in the Philippines, migrated to Australia in 1999 and moved to Singapore 5 years ago. I have always been determined, creative and very entrepreneurial. I always find myself setting up businesses whilst having a corporate career. In Sydney, I established a boutique concept store for supporting up and coming fashion designers. Now, I am a businesswoman who transitioned from the corporate world to entrepreneurship as the Founder and Director of Estilo & Co Events, a creative event styling, lifestyle and design company. It was my daughter’s first birthday party that I went (slightly) overboard with my event planning and have executed quite an elaborate “World Traveller” theme party. It has sparked my interest to develop my creative side and ventured into event styling. I maintain my links in the corporate world via the women’s group I formed which supports women’s development and leadership.

What excites you most about your industry?
Limitless imagination and creativity! The aspect of creating a different experience for people that is memorable and stunning at the same time! Meeting like-minded creative people and collaborating to design something unique. It’s quite rewarding when your industry peers think that you’re doing an amazing job.

What is your connection to Asia?
I’m both a Filipino and Australian citizen, and now a permanent resident of Singapore. In my previous corporate roles, I have traveled to several Asian countries.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. It’s a business-friendly and efficient country. It’s a young nation with exciting opportunities to tap into. Businesses are very collaborative. I incorporated my business early this year and yet, the number of connections I established, from clients, suppliers/vendors and other businesses has been tremendous.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Throughout my corporate career, I’ve had the privilege of having great mentors, however at a very young age, this advice stuck with me from my mother: “Dream big, aim high but expect little” – this guided me to always think big, but learned early on to manage expectations and disappointments.

Who inspires you?
My parents and my husband. I lost my parents years ago, but they’re with me daily through my values, character and the entrepreneurial skills that I employ on a daily basis. My husband for his love, support, kindness, wit and strong business sense.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That you can start a business with a $10 idea! A couple of years ago, I came into possession of some easel stands. Instead of just having them lying around at home, I thought to rent them out for events at a mere $10 each. One time, I rented out one stand for a wedding event and delivered the item myself to this amazing venue for a wedding. I was instantly fascinated by the place as it’s such a beautiful spot for a garden wedding in Singapore. Two years on, who would have known that I’d be taking over the lease of that same venue for my event styling business! I have learned that you can start something out of a small idea and build it with passion and hard work, and in business, sometimes opportunities come in the most unexpected ways – so grab it and take a chance!

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I value all the lessons learned from previous mistakes and experiences. I believe that there’s always a reason for such experiences (however undesirable they were ) to prepare you for something much greater and better in life. Unpleasant past experiences made me more decisive now – especially with people I associate and surround myself with. I only let people in who add positivity, fun and value into my life. I learned to walk away immediately from things that don’t make sense. 

How do you unwind?
At times, I find it difficult to switch off or slow down as I’m constantly coming up with ideas and always planning for the next event. Cuddling up and chatting with my 3-year old daughter; conversation until late night over a glass of wine, a date-night or playing golf with my husband are the best means for me to relax.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Boracay, Philippines. For white sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife. It’s a complete package for beach destinations – captivating beaches, lots of sports and relaxation activities, amazing nightlife and restaurant choices, with very warm and friendly people!

Everyone in business should read this book:
“The Art of Thinking Clearly” by Rolf Dobelli

Shameless plug for your business:
Celebrate special life’s moments with Estilo & Co! Estilo & Co is a creative stylist in event theming. We curate events and parties from luxe picnics and delightful teepee tent parties, to elegant and gorgeous weddings. We style memorable experiences, each event designed with meticulous and stunning details. Our picnic themes and signature picnic tents are unlike anything you’ve seen before in Singapore – it’s uniquely Estilo & Co.

Watch this space for exciting news of our new event venue to be launched soon!

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To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.

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