Y21 Woman #12 / Yan Jing

Y21 Woman #12 / Yan Jing

About Yan Jing

At a very young age, it's been a lifelong dream of the free-spirited Yan Jing to own a cafe. She discovered her love for coffee making while she was studying in Melbourne.

The cultural influences of the local coffee scene and the craftsmanship inspired her to build her own cafe - House Downstairs.

Follow Yan Jing on Instagram, @housedownstairs

Yan Jing is wearing the Indiana Button Down Shirt and Kaia High-Waisted Shorts in Juniper Green

Y21: Why did you decide to start your own cafe?
Yan: It has always been at the back of my mind to start my own cafe. Covid, along with many uncertainties, some push from my friend (now a partner of the cafe), and a surge of irrationality, we somehow managed to put together a humble space. 

Y21: What does your typical day look like?
Yan: I generally start my day commuting to the cafe, setting up and preparing for operations. Calibrating coffee daily is something I look forward to, and is usually the highlight of my day - which can make or break the day. After closing the shop, I will either hop over to the gym opposite the cafe, or walk to Holland Village for a yoga class. My day ends off with a simple home cooked dinner by my mom, which I always enjoy as I can comfortably sit down and taste my food without any interruptions. 

Y21: What challenges do you face in your day-to-day life?
Yan: Being patient with my co-workers is something that I am still practicing on a daily basis. More realistically, it is the constant doubt if the business is sustainable. On a personal level, seeking a career in the F&B industry is constantly challenged by our environment norms and societal beliefs. 

Y21: Where do you look for creative inspiration?
Yan: Nothing in particular. However, I do believe in the 3Ps - Passion, practice, patience. In life or in honing a craft, I believe creativity is natural with a lot of practice.

Y21: What's your personal style?
Yan: Casual and simple. My favourite go-to outfit is a plain tee paired with jeans, long socks and sneakers. Though I am envious of fellow industry mates who can effortlessly pull off the hipster artsy look, I just look like a joke wearing a bucket hat. 

Y21: What makes you happy?
Yan: Being at home drinking a cup of filter coffee brewed without a specific recipe makes me really happy. Spending time with my parents, being able to eat together as a family is also something I hold closely to my heart.

Y21: What does freedom mean to you?
Yan: The physical and mental space to enjoy a little chaos.

Y21: Any tips on maintaining a healthy work life balance?
Yan: I could be the worst person to share tips on this since I have always believed that work is life. With our work taking up the majority of our lifetime, integrating both and not having a line separating work and life might work?

Y21: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Yan: Be water. Adapt swiftly and strive.

Y21:  Any tips for those who wish to start their own cafe?
Yan: Have a lot of savings or be prepared to live prudently. Honestly, no tips will be as valuable as solving problems and experiencing the start-up yourself. More importantly, try your best to enjoy the tedious process as much as possible. 

Photographer : Eugene Loo

Leave a comment