While MoMo twins Leia and Lauren may be the social media stars, Amber Yong is the multi-tasking super mum behind them.
Amber wearing our Classic Strappy Heels at Lloyd's Inn Singapore
Behind every great man is a great woman; and behind every cool kid is an inspiring parent. Amber Yong scores on both counts. A wife, mum and entrepreneur, she is the creative force at the heart of the “Leia + Lauren” brand. Amber says: “I’m a big believer in my dreams. But that said, I take proactive steps to try my best to realise them.”
Accidentally found fame on social media
Leia and Lauren were born in 2015, eight weeks premature after a challenging pregnancy. The adorable duo—identical twins who shared the same amniotic sac with separate umbilical cords—were possibly Singapore’s youngest social media stars. “Most people know about fraternal twins but monoamniotic twins are much rarer, the statistics are 1 in 10,000,” says Amber. While she began the Leia+ Lauren Instagram account with husband Peter to simply document and share the twins’ growth with their families, the trials, tribulations and joys of their first 100 days resonated with a like-minded community of parents. Soon posts were going viral, interview requests were coming in from international media like the Daily Mail and BBC (then eight-months, they were the youngest ever guests to appear on BBC’s Live show), and their account had racked up over 260,000 followers within 10 months.
As seen on Amber, Leia & Lauren: Adult and Kids Pleated Foldable Ballet Flats
“Initially, it was the premmie and momo angle that people found fascinating, then we started to develop the lifestyle aspect and take them travelling,” shares Amber. Leia and Lauren were pictured on a black sand beach in Iceland at five months, under the blooming cherry blossom trees in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Goyen National Garden at nine months, and against the backdrop of Maldives aquamarine waters one month short of their first birthday. The family’s enviable trips gained traction and inspired other young parents to do the same. “There is this fear among parents about taking their kids abroad when they are too young. I’m a firm believer in taking the first step. It’s going to happen some day, so just do it now!” Her secret to that – planning everything down to the very last detail, including having medication and emergency numbers on standby on both their phones for any situation that might arise.
Mum turned entrepreneur
Close to two years later, Leia and Lauren are still trend setting and can even boast of a fashion label with their names on it. “At some point, I realised that our followers were interested in what they wear. It is my creative outlet. I wanted to make unique clothes for them, and other people seem to want to buy them too,” laughs Amber. The looks are quintessentially Leia and Lauren: quirky, playful and irresistibly cute. The label’s three annual capsule collections have ranged from the Veggie collection with carrot, leek and butternut squash prints inspired by food made into purees for toddlers, to the Sloth collection with rompers that take kids from playtime to bedtime.
As seen on Leia & Lauren at Lloyd's Inn Singapore: Gold Baby Crystal Pom Flats
So what’s Amber’s secret to having it all? “I don’t think anyone can have it all” is her sensible response. “That makes it sound so easy. I was definitely not born into a life of privilege. I know what I want in life and work very hard towards it. Some of it happens out of the blue like Leia and Lauren’s popularity on Instagram and we just make the best out of it, but it doesn’t mean that no work needs to be done to sustain it. There is still so much for me to learn and do. Throughout my life, I just aspire to learn.”
Juggling multiple roles
Indeed, the mummy of two has a voracious appetite for learning. Despite managing the LeiaLauren Instagram account and fashion label, she’s also juggling her full-time marketing day job. “I think it all boils down to time management,” quips Amber, “I’m the master of time management. One thing I have to do, I have to plan my day everyday so I stay on top of my tasks and it allows me to do all that I need.”
Wise words from the wonder woman – surely something all of us can learn from! We can’t wait to see more of this jet-setter’s adventures and what her lovely twins will be up to.
AMBER’S TRAVEL DO’S & DON’TS
1. Opt for a cabin-sized stroller:
“The Mimosa Cabin City stroller has been a life saver for me. The size means you can push your kids right to the point of boarding the plane, and with one button, you can compress everything with one hand.”
2. Separate essentials:
“I always hand carry a day’s worth of the kids’ supplies in case our check-in luggage goes missing.”
3. Feed babies during take-off:
“This is the best time for nursing as it equalises the air pressure in their ears.”
4. Time flights:
“Coincide flight timings with sleep timings where possible.”
Keep up with Amber’s travels on @emberyong.