Leong Kai Mei | Founder of The Love Witch
The 28-year-old businesswoman deals in a rare commodity – magic.
Leong Kai Mei, 28, Is the Proud Owner of The Love Witch, a Black Magic Store in Sim Lim Square
Singaporean businesswoman whose trade is in black magic
Speak of a magic shop, and the first thought is it sells magician capes and decks of cards or other magic tricks. Bambi’s store, however, specialises in witchcraft, also known as black magic. She offers services such as spells and tarot card readings and imports haunted dolls.
The Love Witch store is located in Sim Lim Square, a mall known for selling electronics and technology related items. The shopfront is anything but dark and scary as one might imagine. It is warmly lit and carpeted, and exudes that particular zen vibe that oftens comes with an indie bookstore or yoga studio.
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Sofya Segar, 36, is one of the tarot card readers who also doubles up as The Love Witch’s social media manager. It comes as no surprise, as she had years of experience holding a corporate gig managing social media channels for a fast moving consumer goods company.
Bambi said: “When I opened the store, I invited Sofya to offer her tarot card reading services here. I don’t take a commision, I just wanted her to have a physical storefront where she could do the readings. Little did we expect that business would pick up so quickly. Within 2 months, she realised she could afford financially to quit her corporate gig and work on this full time.”
The other tarot card reader, Ali Akbar, 38, is also working as a teachers aide for special needs children, and has great passion for both areas, Bambi said.
She added with pride: “I feel really happy that I can offer other magic practitioners a chance to support themselves financially and pursue their calling at the same time. Isn’t that what everyone wants?”
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Huge financial success online
She used to work as an English tuition teacher and also did some modelling work. It was only when she was older and met other like-minded folks did she accept this part of herself and delve deeper into “studying, reading books and learning about witchcraft”.
In 2019, as a tentative first step into monetizing her passion for witchcraft, she decided to list her tarot card reading services on Carousell. Within 2 months she made $10,000 from local customers.
“That was completely unexpected, but it showed me that people were interested in the various aspects of witchcraft, and there was a huge demand for what I do,” she said.
She moved on to Etsy, where she would consistently rake in $30,000 a month, and amassed almost a thousand 5-star reviews. At that point, she had clients from all over the world.
“I had a good run with Etsy, but it was really tiring as I was running the whole business on my own, and that included administrative work such as packing and shipping products. I eventually decided I wanted to focus more on the magic and pass the administrative work to someone else,” she said.
And so, Bambi decided one day to start the search for a shopfront, and within 2 months, The Love Witch was up and running, bringing in an impressive 6-digit revenue.
Scams, naysayers and other challenges
“When I first started out, many people thought I had cooked up a scam to cheat people,” she said.
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She also faced being stereotyped. She received comments about how she was just “a young girl” who could not be capable of financially supporting herself and lacked business sense. “They assumed I must have a wealthy boyfriend paying for my life,” she shared.
When Bambi opened her store, in particular during this economically-trying period amidst the pandemic, the naysayers finally realised her success as a business woman.
“At the end of the day, I just want to pursue my passion and help others live happier, more fulfilling lives. Witchcraft allows people to explore ancient spirituality cultures from all other the world – what’s wrong with that? If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything at all,” she said.