Su-Lyn Tay

There are two things Tay Su-lyn enjoys in life: Food and fashion. And as luck would have it, she has professional experience in both fields. Co-founder of fashion label T-Bags, which she divested out of two and a half years ago, she now runs Violet Oon Singapore with younger brother Tay Yiming. The firm takes its name from their mother, a local culinary icon

It was the thought of losing their mother’s life’s work and legacy that prompted the siblings to revive the Violet Oon brand and turn it into a restaurant business. “It was a heritage we wanted to preserve. I was thinking: Imagine if my children don’t get to see or taste these [Peranakan] flavours [next time]!” exclaims Tay. The family will open its second outlet this November at the National Gallery Singapore. Plans to open overseas, in London, are also in the works.

Between juggling motherhood (she has three young children) and running Violet Oon Singapore, Tay’s days are hectic, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. “This business is really close to my heart,” she says. “I’m also doing it for my kids. I want to have something to pass down to them.”