“In Singapore, only 6.1 percent of children who should be using child-safety restraints are using child-safety restraints,” says Elise, who acknowledges that this startling statistic is due to the fact that fewer people here own cars than even in cities like New York or London. “But, just because you don’t own a car doesn’t make your child miraculously immune to the laws of physics.”
Such a firm belief in facts comes naturally to Elise, who moved to Singapore four years ago with her husband, Alex – a fellow engineer and Australian. However, it was a series of frustrating, emotional experiences that spurred Elise to found Taxi Baby in 2016. “I had one too many meltdowns at a taxi stand, trying to secure a car seat into a cab for my then-newborn son,” says its Managing Director Elise, whose son is now 3 and has a new infant brother. “Mountains of research later, I found that a clip was needed, but not sold anywhere in Singapore.”
So, she asked her mother-in-law to ship over a bundle of the clips from Australia for herself and her mum friends. Then, their mum friends wanted the clips, too, and Elise decided to import them – and Taxi Baby was born. Since then, she’s vetted countless products – to meet her “high moral hurdle” – and initiated important community programmes with the likes of Uber, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the Automobile Association of Singapore. Her primary goal: to bring children’s safety restraints to Singapore and Southeast Asia, so “parents don’t have to sacrifice their mobility for their children’s safety” while riding in moving vehicles and planes.
In determining this year’s Most Innovative Award, our Expatpreneur Awards judges commended Elise on her role in raising awareness about car seat laws in Singapore. “I love to hear when people say, ‘Oh, I’ve just found your website, because the taxi laws have changed, and the Uber drivers won’t accept me, unless I have a car seat’ – because the laws haven’t changed since 2011,” says Elise. “What has changed is people’s awareness of the law.”
See more from Elise at the video, below.
About The Finder Expatpreneur Awards
In 2017, The Finder debuted its first-ever Expatpreneur Awards to honour foreign-born entrepreneurs running successful expat-owned businesses in or from Singapore. This 2018, a new batch of 23 Expatpreneur Awardees have been unveiled! All of them have one thing in common: Their brands help people “live well in Singapore” – The Finder’s core mission. (Find out more about the Expatpreneur Awards judge who coined the term “expat-preneur” in 2015 while you’re here!)
By Sara Lyle Bow, The Finder Issue 292
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