Fun, childlike, creative, Brenda and her team at Lovorth run their company with a type of innocence that almost defies business convention. You only have to meet Brenda once to realise she’s all heart, and that her socially driven media and events company was set up in a passionate pursuit to “advocate love and worth” through powerful and creative stories and events.
Lovorth is made up of the playful and energetic trio, Brenda Er, the “Painted Lady”, Melvin Er the “Big Brother” and the “Unsung Hero,” Eileen Chong. Since setting up last year they’ve have gained huge traction, creating something of an empathy movement in Singapore, inspiring advocates, action and change through their storytelling and community outreach.
Among their successes include developing a socially driven documentary series called “12 days of Christmas” where they visited and filmed twelve needy families over twelve days to fulfill their Christmas wish-list. They posted the video series on their Facebook page and volunteers and donations flooded in. Over the twelve days, from the help from the public, they arranged everything from new mattresses, hot meals and spectacles to clearing out bed bugs and visitations to elder people’s homes.
“We just wanted to do something socially powerful. There’s this energy between us where we want to burst out and tell the world we’re awesome, advocating love and worth empowering people to live their life to the fullest.”
There’s something irresistible about the trio – aside from their grounded, down to earth approach, their work ethic and commitment to social good, they each carry a subtle influence. As Simon Sinek put it in his Ted Talk “How inspiring leaders create action,” they’re a group powered by the most powerful thing of all, the “Why” – the Why their work is relevant, why it’s important, why it’s worth doing and why people should care about it. They enrol people into their vision by living every part of it, in and outside of their work.
“It takes courage to be to share the “why” and be specific enough to “go there” for people to get to know the real you. But businesses with a heart can never lie. When you know your ‘Why’ and reason for doing things, you have conviction and a sense of truth and purpose. There’s beauty in truth. Sticking to the ‘Why’ will create a ripple effect beyond what you can imagine. When you know your ‘Why’, you carry it with you everywhere, at work, with your family, friends, and children.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Brenda founded Lovorth as a way to address a gap in her own life. Just as Athena was founded out of a desire for community, Brenda founded Lovorth out of a desire for meaning, strength and a sense of self-worth.
“I created the company because I wanted to create an environment where people could feel worthy of themselves, loving themselves and each other. I grew up thinking I wasn’t good enough – so I just wanted to advocate that.”
Lovorth’s latest project is their “I forgive” campaign – to illustrate that forgiveness, no matter the circumstance, is possible and transformational.
It may seem that words like “love”, “worth” and “forgiveness” are almost too intangible and conceptual to embody, but the trio manage to get their message out loud and clear. Through visual storytelling and inspiriting connection, Brenda and her team use filmmaking as a way to represent real people and real stories through the Lovorth perspective.
Driving the “I forgive” campaign is Brenda’s documentary The Painted Ladies, which covers 5 women’s personal and confessional journey to forgiveness. It’s a perspective of inspiration and empowerment and overwhelming vulnerability.
Brenda Er, the painted lady behind the painted ladies
-Photo by Jasmine Teh photography
Through her work, Brenda seeks to become the advocate for forgiveness, bringing to light a subject that is often misunderstood and disregarded. The idea of forgiveness can be difficult; it’s a word open to debate and interpretation – what some people may think is forgivable, other may not. But to Brenda, forgiveness always comes back to choice; that when we’re committed to the power of choice, we can always forgive.
“Some people think forgiveness is about the other person but it’s really for ourselves. It’s about letting go of the hope that past will be different; it’s not about agreeing to what happened but accepting and acknowledging that it happened.”
Brenda’s journey with The Painted Ladies hasn’t been easy one. As she films, she shares the range of emotions as the Painted Ladies go through it. She shares their pain and fear; she cries with them and feels exposed with them. There’s a rawness and nakedness to the documentary; and with it all, the risk of facing judgements and rejection. The documentary is a testament to Brenda’s conviction to her cause – it’s a leap of faith and trust in the audience and their ability to empathise, connect, care and love.
“It’s scary but at the end of each shoot, it’s a step forward. I become more inspired, more loving. The deeper I get in the project the more committed I get, the more grounded and the clearer I get about what I want to do in life.”
Brenda herself is featured in her documentary. After experiencing sexual abuse as a child, and finding the power and liberation in forgiveness, Brenda has become something of a forgiveness evangelist, hoping to set people free through the transformation of choice and compassion.
It’s a privilege to have Brenda as an Athena Executive Club member. She brings heart, authenticity and purpose to meetings and we look forward to watching her network her way to award winning filmmaker success, changing lives in epic ways along the way.
Meet Brenda and other exceptional business women at our next Athena event