To create a safe space for women to come together, open up and find themselves, this is how Sarah Lian plans each of her Supparetreats.
It’s been a long journey for actress, model, emcee and entrepreneur Sarah Lian to get to where she is today. It’s a journey that has traversed continents and spanned decades, all the while helping her grow, learn and flourish into the woman she is meant to be.
Through it all, she has one takeaway – she wouldn’t have made it without the support of friends, family and associates who were there for her every step of the way.
As she arrives at a place of peace and flow with what she has achieved and what she still has to look forward to, a stirring to give back arose and everything fell into place for her next big project, Supparetreat.
“We are creating a community for women to come and explore, connect more deeply with themselves and each other, and in doing so, not only strengthen their own light, but shine it brighter in their own homes, communities, and workplaces,” she tells of her project aimed at women from all walks of life. “True empowerment is unlocked when it compels an individual to do something and that’s how we want to affect change, from within.”
To create this safe space for women to come together, open up, learn from each other and most importantly, heal and find themselves, this is how Sarah plans each of her retreats.
How did the inspiration for Supparetreat come about?
"Supparetreat started as a company retreat for Suppagood Collective to hone skills and learn from each other, it slowly focused towards helping women feel empowered in various aspects of their life. As I started to see the incredible power of what a sisterhood can bring, I knew that the truth behind women supporting women wasn’t just a myth, I wanted to continue exploring this and now, seeing how this community has grown is a true testament of that."
Tell us about how you plan each Supparetreat in terms of the aesthetics.
"It’s important that each experience is authentic. We purposely strip things down to be more meaningful, no bells and whistles but replaced with heart and soul instead. We focus on the little touches, the special experiences that will be felt and remembered.The aesthetic is really dependent on the participants that come, as co-creation is an essential part of it."
How do you come up with the itinerary of the programme?
"My coaches and I build a program that takes these women on a journey from the moment they land to the moment they leave. Each experience, each workshop, each interaction is designed to open them deeper into their own truth allowing them to slowly unravel and shed some of their preconceived notions about themselves."
How do you ensure it is made for each and every woman?
"We are open to all women who come to our retreats, the only prerequisite is that they need to be a woman. We believe that all women no matter what age, race, religion will be able to gain insights from our experiences and community. In each event we have diverse groups of women who feel called to join. We are community focused,so everyone feels welcomed."
How do you know when each session is a success?
"I personally connect with all of them. Success isn’t really determined right away. Each retreat marks the planting of the seed, so it depends when and how the person uses it towards their benefit. Whether they choose to empower themselves, or their community, it will always be seen and felt. I know we’re doing a good thing because half of our community comes back to connect or to pursue other programs we have and we get more and more referrals from others. The community is growing organically and that’s the true sign of success for me. If we weren’t honest about what we were doing, we wouldn’t be able to grow in the way that we have."
What is your biggest reward from planning each retreat?
"My biggest reward is meeting the women and cultivating friendships and connection with all of them. We’re big huggers and we learn so many tools to be great listeners and better friends. It’s the women that I’m here for and a chance to see each person enlightened and more confident by the time they leave."
Why is the above mentioned reward so important to you?
"All of us are on our own journey where we learn, unlearn and relearn. Sometimes it feels so alone when you have to traverse your own mountain without a friend in sight. Participating in our retreats allows you to see other people persevere and learning about other stories becomes empowering and inspiring for yourself. When I’m able to see how women have unlocked their potential on their own, with their own strength (by tapping into the answers from within). That power is incredibly liberating and expansive, to be able to witness that transformation makes me feel like Supparetreat is contributing to helping the world will become a better place."
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Videography: Zac Lam
Art direction: Anson Siau
Shot on location at Colony at Star Boulevard