Meet Rachel Teo, co-founder of Trehaus, Singapore’s first co-working facility complete with childminding and learning facilities. She loves being able to have a productive day in the office while watching her son engage in play based activities, “This also means that I will not miss out on any significant development milestones,” she adds.

Before Trehaus, Rachel was a marketing director for Microsoft Asia Pacific. Her marketing experience spans across the retail and technology sectors, having been part of Nokia South East Asia Pacific and distributor/retailer of international brands, RSH (Singapore).

Since becoming a mother, Rachel felt the importance of changing the landscape of work-life balance. Co-founding Trehaus was one part fulfilling a personal desire to be a present, working parent, and one part to help other parents achieve the much coveted work-life balance, no matter whether they are an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or a corporate employee.

“We offer the option of bringing your children to work at a conducive workspace, complete with child-minding assistance and play-based learning activities – so that while you build your career, your little ones can build their minds too,” says Rachel.

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Trehaus hopes to provide a space where parents can build their careers and businesses with the peace of mind of having their children close by. Rachel hopes that Trehaus is a start to educating employers and employees that a flexible work-life arrangement can be productive, efficient, and beneficial in the long run.

“There are so many of us who had to make the tough decision of leaving the workforce or struggle to be a business owner when we become a parent because the traditional work arrangements couldn’t support the need to fulfil family commitments.”

Serving as Co-Founder and CEO of Trehaus, Rachel currently oversees all operational and management aspects at Singapore’s first family-friendly co-working space.

The New Savvy: Tell us more about your business.

Rachel : Trehaus is Singapore’s first co-working space for working parents, equipped with adjoining child-minding and learning facility.

The New Savvy: What are the Unique Selling Points of Trehaus?

Rachel : Trehaus offers you the option of bringing your children to work at a conducive workspace, complete with child-minding assistance and play-based learning activities – so that while you build your career, your little ones can build their minds too.

The New Savvy: What do you love about your job?

Rachel : I love being able to have a productive day at the office while watching my son engage in play based activities. This also means that I will not miss out on any important developmental milestones.

I also love that the monotony of the day is often broken up with a baby’s contagious laughter.

The New Savvy: Can you name an incident at Trehaus that has had a tremendous impact on you? Why and how did this incident impact you?

Rachel : It’s hard to pinpoint one event. Starting Trehaus itself has had a tremendous (positive) impact in my life.


The New Savvy: Could you describe one of your typical workdays?

Rachel : My workday usually starts with a cup of coffee and clearing emails after dropping my son off at the TrehausKids Atelier.

I spend most of my time in meetings, either in team meetings or meeting partners and customers. I also spend time talking to members in our space.

In between meetings, I steal hugs and kisses from my son if he’s at the TrehausKids Atelier.

At 5 pm, we leave to go home together.

The New Savvy: What was one of your most defining moments in life?

Rachel : The most defining moment of my life was when I gave birth to my son, Lucas. Ever since having him, my priorities in life have changed. It’s no longer just about me. There’s now another human being that is so helpless and wholly dependent on me (and my husband).

The New Savvy: If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

Rachel : I would take more risks and be less afraid of the uncertainties in life. I would also travel more.

The New Savvy: What is your attitude and outlook towards personal finance? Has it changed through marriage, motherhood, and the leap from a cushy corporate job to entrepreneurship?

Rachel : I have always been conservative with my personal finances and have always felt the need to save for retirement. However, being married means that there is someone else who I can depend on to do this with me. Having a child means fewer savings for retirement.

 The New Savvy: What are the biggest obstacles to planning your portfolio?

Rachel : Time!

The New Savvy: How do you decide on what to do financially?

Rachel : I rely on my friend, Anna Haotanto, founder of the New Savvy to educate me.

The New Savvy: How do you think modern women can be more fulfilled in their lives?

Rachel : It depends on how she defines fulfilment as fulfilment for one person is different from another’s. It’s largely a state of mind.

The New Savvy: What is the biggest challenge facing women today?

Rachel : Pressure to feel that they need to have it all.

The New Savvy: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Rachel : I would travel the world. Literally. There are so many places in the world to see; I couldn’t just pick one.

The New Savvy: What do you do on your free time?

Rachel : I spend time with my son and chill out with my husband.

The New Savvy: Give us a parting quote!

Rachel : Life is a journey, not a destination.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).


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