Shireena Shroff Manchharam, Founder and Principal Consultant of Sheens coaches Image Consulting
Shireena Shroff Manchharam started her career in recruitment and soon realised that it was not always the smartest person in the room who got hired. “What made people stand out more was the ability to build connections, people skills, and great personalities.” This motivated her to set up Sheens Image Consulting in 2008, a platform for her to help people bridge the gap between how fabulous they were on paper, and their interpersonal and communication skills.
Taking the leap
Shireena Founded Sheens Image Consulting After Leaving the corporate world
Shireena first trained as an image consultant in Singapore and Hong Kong, and then became certified as a life coach. Her clients now include financial institutions like OCBC, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland. She also works with University MBA programs such as the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who was her very first client. “At that point of time, I did not have a corporate client, but I just walked in there with confidence and believed in myself.” Since then, Shireena has gained her clientele list mostly through word of mouth.
After a few years of working as a coach, Shireena felt a need to do something creative. She always had a dream to create her own label, and so House of Sheens, a retail bag label, was born. She started designing bags using beautiful and ethically sourced snake skin. Eventually, she opened a small showroom in Amoy Street and hosted many events with interesting themes such as a Vegan range of handbags. “The atmosphere was buzzing and it was so much fun, it was amazing.” The brand also partnered with educational institutions such as MDIS and Raffles College of Higher Education, to give opportunities to students to design their own creations, which was also very meaningful.
A Handbag from House of Sheens, Designed by Shireena
Knowing when to let go
Right before COVID happened, Shireena decided after seven years that she would give up on the bag label to focus on coaching. It was certainly a tough decision. “Shutting down House of Sheens and overcoming the stigma attached to “failure” was something that weighed heavily on me, but I soon realised that it was probably all in my own head, that I should avoid comparison with others and that no one’s opinions mattered but my own.” It turned out to be one of the best decisions she made, as the pandemic hit soon after, and she had much more time to focus on her coaching business. “I wanted to dedicate 100% of my efforts to my clients and take Sheens Image Consulting to the next level.” With the ongoing lockdowns, she was also able to work much more flexibly with remote meetings and conference calls.
Getting to Happy
During the stressful time over the pandemic, Shireena wanted to find a way to encourage her clients to practise mindfulness and gratitude. She came up with a simple solution – Getting to Happy, a trademarked set of 31 cards to encourage people to lead happier lives by making small changes to their routines.
The ideas are not rocket science, they include daily reminders for intentional living and mindfulness such as savouring gratitude, exercising, meditation, practicing kindness, and in one month this will lead to an increase in wellbeing. Shireena also uses these cards with her two children, now 7 and 11, and has recently just launched a Kids edition for Getting to Happy.
Getting to Happy Is a Set of 31 Cards to Find Bliss in the Little Things in Life
When asked if she believes that a woman can have it all, Shireena responded, “you can have it all, but it depends on what ‘all’ means to you.” For her, having it all meant being able to be there for her children while working on something she loves at the same time.
“Getting to Happy has changed me as a person, changed my family dynamics, and changed the lives of people around me. I consider myself lucky to be able to do this as compared to a job that someone hates.”
The Recently Launched Kids Edition for Getting to Happy
On helping others to find their passion and their “happy”, Shireena advises people to really map out their strengths and weaknesses, be authentic to who they are, and always search for the silver lining in every situation. My advice to young entrepreneurs who are looking to start something would be “don’t wait for the right time because there isn’t one, just do it now”.
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