IWD2024 Online Feature Series - Sewing New Paths: Linda Kuan's Mission to Empower Women and the Senior Community

Mar 8, 2024
Asia Market Entry
IWD2024 Online Feature Series - Sewing New Paths: Linda Kuan's Mission to Empower Women and the Senior Community

This International Women's Day 2024, the team at Asia Market Entry reached out to the women in our network who are leaders in their various fields, ranging from AI to wine education. Linda Kuan is Founder at Sewing Hearts, a homegrown project that empowers disadvantaged seniors through a personalised tailoring experience. Read on for her journey and her unique interpretation of the #IWD2024 Theme of Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.

As the founder of Sewing Hearts, Linda Kuan has cultivated a space where women of all ages and backgrounds come together to uplift themselves while making a tangible difference in the lives of others. In response to this year’s IWD theme: Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress, Linda passionately states, "Our volunteers... are given an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged in the community. This provides them with a sense of personal fulfillment and empowerment."

Challenging Stereotypes Through Sewing

At Sewing Hearts, Linda challenges traditional gender stereotypes surrounding domestic skills like sewing. She emphasises that through participation in the initiative, women demonstrate the value of sewing as a meaningful and impactful endeavor. "It challenges the stereotypes that sewing is mainly a domestic skill," Linda remarks. By empowering women through skill-building and community service, Sewing Hearts redefines the perception of traditionally female activities.

Empowerment Across Generations

Through Sewing Hearts, Linda not only empowers seniors but also influences a new generation of volunteers. By providing seniors with tailored clothing and opportunities for social engagement, Linda enhances their sense of pride and self-esteem. Additionally, volunteers experience empowerment through choice as they assist seniors in customising their outfits. Linda explains, "Seniors get to 'customise' their own outfits through choosing colors and designs. This gives them a sense of autonomy as they can have clothes that represent their own personal style."

Navigating Challenges in Leadership

Drawing from her extensive experience in various tech companies, Linda recognises the challenges women face in the corporate world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. She highlights the struggle for women to secure leadership roles and assert their voices in male-dominated industries. "Women struggle to get a seat at the table," Linda asserts, noting the persistent underrepresentation of women in leadership positions.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Despite her modesty, Linda's work at Sewing Hearts leaves an indelible impact on the next generation of women. While she humbly describes herself as "just an old lady... trying to make a difference in the community," Linda's dedication to empowerment resonates deeply. Through her actions, she hopes to inspire women to pursue their dreams and embrace their power to effect change.

Accelerating Progress Starts from Living Your Own Life

Influenced by the altruism of Princess Diana, Linda embodies compassion, empathy, and confidence in her endeavours. Her advice to her younger self reflects a life lived with purpose and self-assurance. "Live your life the way you want to, not how others want you to," she advises, encapsulating the essence of empowerment and agency.

In celebrating Linda Kuan's remarkable contributions, International Women's Day 2024 reminds us of the transformative power of investing in women. Through initiatives like Sewing Hearts, Linda exemplifies how empowering women accelerates progress and fosters positive change in communities worldwide.