Shinny, Founder of The Collective, describes how her passion project sparked a new cultural movement.

How did you start The Collective?

It was a happy accident. I was frustrated with the lack of creative-based activities in Brunei and asked an acquaintance to conduct a “Braid Bar” workshop to teach girls how to braid their hair. That process led to The Collective, a Bruneian creative arts community. Once the word got out, more people wanted to get involved. The whole culture movement has grown exponentially.

What’s next for The Collective?

We’re hosting three festivals in May as well as pop up dinners and “The Kindness Campaign” which is our charitable outreach program. There’s a lot in the pipeline that I can’t reveal yet!

What’s your forecast for the creative arts industry in Brunei?

It’s emerging. Right now, our goal is to increase interest and find ways to make the environment welcoming to startups and creative entrepreneurs. We’re on the right track. Even though we’re young and establishing our brand, I’ve seen a tangible shift in attitude. More and more people are appreciating creative arts.

Whether it’s in leaps or gradual, Progressive means continual growth and improvement in how you view and engage with the world. Follow your dreams. Be open to new and different. Don’t just wish for things to be better. Make them better.

Where do you see The Collective in five years?

I want to work with fellow creatives throughout the ASEAN region and build a presence that is competitive with the U.S. and Europe. To innovate and compete on a global level, we need fewer restrictions on creative expression. We need to stop copying and embrace our uniqueness. The market has room for everybody.

What is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration comes from entrepreneurs. I love determined people who stick to their guns and keep pushing forward. Jack Ma of is amazing. So is David Chang of Momofuku. And then there’s Oprah. Who doesn’t she inspire?

Have you always been interested in arts?

Always. Growing up, I was told to study business, which I did, right up to getting my MBA. I finally decided to listen to my heart and make a change. I quit my corporate job because I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing something that didn’t make me happy.
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or their IG: @thecollectiveartsevents