Waistlab's founder Alif Adam wants to help women be confident

Kim Kardashian became the talk of the town in her all-black costume at the Met Gala 2021. TL;DR, she was covered head-to-toe in a Balenciaga ensemble, complete with a balaclava that covered her entire head (yes, face and eyes included), sans a ponytail. In case you missed it, here’s an Instagram post of her in the watercooler-chat-of-the-week attire.

Whether you were intrigued or drew a few laughs over her outfit, what caught my eye was her defined waist amidst her curvy silhouette. Upon some sleuthing, I discovered that she has been using waist trainers for years to help achieve her figure. So, I was delighted to find Waistlab, a homegrown brand specialising in waist trainers and shapewear that has been helping women, and men, in this area in the last four years. What’s even better, the brand has recently opened an expansive 609 square feet boutique in Bugis to support the community to practise self-love and self-care.

After all, not all of us have an ergonomic chair in our home office. Wish to maintain a better posture? Perhaps the waist trainer can help address this.

What’s a waist trainer?

Waistlab waist trainers. PHOTO: Shopee
Waistlab waist trainers. PHOTO: Shopee

In a nutshell, waist trainers are essentially high compression body sculpting wear that utilises thermal activity in our core to slim the waistline. Waist trainers also help maintain a better posture and curb over-eating. Wear it on a day-to-day basis or while engaging in workouts like weight training and jogging.

But does compression wear have a place in Singapore’s searing heat? Nothing is left to chance in terms of their three-layered construction system, which comprises latex, spandex, and cotton. Its innermost cotton lining has moisture-wicking properties that help reduce skin irritation. An additional spandex panel behind the hook and eye prevents friction with each movement while keeping it bunch-free.

As a brand that champions body neutrality, their waist trainers come in 11 different sizes, catering to women of all shapes, sizes and goals. Waistlab’s signature Classic 9" Waist Trainer, S$85, is designed for ladies with shorter torsos, instead of the conventional 11-inch ones that our taller Western counterparts wear. Thanks to this small detail, you can sit comfortably without being forced to sit too upright or face the common problem of it digging into the pelvic region.

Made with comfort and durability in mind, Waistlab’s waist trainers last up to two years if worn every day. The brand currently boasts 10 products that range from underwear, body sculpting garments to waist trainers.

Yahoo Life SEA chats with Waistlab’s founder, Alif Adam

Yahoo Life SEA got up close and personal with Waistlab’s founder, Alif Adam, 26. He sheds light on his entrepreneurial journey, Waistlab's vision to help women be comfortable in their skin and tips on achieving mental wellness amidst the pandemic.

Waistlab founder Alif Adam. PHOTO: Waistlab
Waistlab founder Alif Adam. PHOTO: Waistlab

Yahoo Life SEA: Waistlab is a brand that champions body neutrality and seeks to help ladies on their self-care journey. What does body neutrality mean to you, and how does Waistlab achieve this vision?

At Waistlab, we embrace women in all shapes, sizes, colours. Waistlab’s products were not developed as weight loss products but designed to help women (and even men) feel good about themselves with better posture, and create healthier lifestyles and habits that sometimes lead to weight loss and a healthier physique. We hope to bring together a community who believes in investing in themselves, practising self-care, good lifestyle habits, and be confident in their own skin.

How do you juggle your heavy work commitment as well as carve out time for your loved ones and yourself?

No one is ever too busy for anything. It’s all about priorities and managing your time well. Four years of running a business have taught me the importance of making time for non-work related activities. I always make time for friends and family as they remind me why I do what I do. I also play the violin as it inspires my creativity, which helps towards Waistlab’s marketing campaigns. As part of self-care, my team and I are firm believers in exercising. I run and visit the gym several times a week. At the same time, my team and I also have open discussions about mental health.

You have been expelled twice from junior college, but you persevered and graduated from Polytechnic with a successful business model. Can you share with us your learnings from this experience?

I've learnt not to regret any of my failures and not be afraid to fail again. It is important to fail fast and learn faster. Many of the successful people I've met throughout my career have had major failures in their lives, but what makes them successful is what they do with it. I happen to be one of the lucky ones who used failing as a big motivation. On top of that, I think it is imperative for us to do what we genuinely love. When something doesn't work out, I believe it is just a diversion towards something meant for us, and for me, entrepreneurship.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your entrepreneurial journey so far?

Embracing diversity in Waistlab is something that I am truly proud of. My educational journey has inspired me to focus on vocational talents in my company and bring some change to the industry. I keep my team lean and multi-talented. My current team and I communicate and work in a non-hierarchical environment where all our voices can be heard and ideas equally considered. Meeting different people is also something that I enjoy, and I feel fortunate to have this opportunity. It is nice to know that my passion for making a difference in someone's life can indeed come to life. It's been very fulfilling running Waistlab, and I am very excited to witness more transformations within our community that we proudly call the Women of Waistlab or #WOWs.

Any words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I have realised that having high self-awareness and empathy can help catapult us in the right direction. Being self-aware can help us navigate through our problems, be it in business or personal relationships. Empathy also helps us understand what our consumers are looking for, which is essentially what Waistlab is at its core.

Not one to sit on his laurels, Alif already have plans to expand the current waist trainer collection. Waistlab has just made headway into the Malaysian market and is looking to expand beyond Indonesia and the Philippines.

In commemoration of the launch of their first boutique, Waistlab is giving customers a Classic 9 Pouch, worth $10, with every purchase of a Classic 9 Waist Trainer till the end of October. But that's not all; the first 300 ladies will also receive a $10 voucher to offset their next purchase with a minimum spend of $100 made in-store.

Make a date at https://waistlab.co/products/fitting-appointment for a no-obligations consultation.

Location: 13A Bali Lane, 189849

Opening Hours:

11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday,

11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. from Friday to Saturday. Closed on Mondays.

Waistlab's trainers are available at waistlab.co and Shopee.

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