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From No Job Opportunities to Seven Figures

In a world where job opportunities can seem elusive, Serene Lim's journey from being told there were 'no job opportunities' in her area to raking in seven figures with her bubble tea business is nothing short of extraordinary.

Hailing from Melbourne, this 28-year-old entrepreneur's story is a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and seizing unexpected opportunities.

A Sip of Inspiration

It all began with a sip. Serene Lim was inspired to launch her business, Cup 49, after witnessing the explosive popularity of bubble tea in Australia. The allure of the tea-based drink had swept across the nation, with exotic flavours and mesmerising tapioca pearls capturing the taste buds of young and old alike.

Initially starting as just a side hustle, while she was in her first job as a nutrition student, Cup 49 quickly gained momentum.

Serene recalls the moment of inspiration vividly. She had been researching and counting the average number of plastic cups, lids, bags, and straws used by typical bubble tea shops, and it struck her like a bolt of lightning.

The realisation that her venture could be the '49th cup' in this growing trend, a cup that was not disposable but reusable, gave birth to the brand's iconic name, Cup 49.

The Birth of Cup 49

Cup 49 was officially launched in September 2019, and it didn't take long for it to become a seven-figure business. Serene's dedication to eco-friendliness became the hallmark of her brand.

What’s more, in a stunning feat of entrepreneurship, Serene's best month saw her raking in a staggering £91,472.

This remarkable success enabled her to leave her job and fully commit to her burgeoning business empire, proving the naysayers wrong who had doubted the viability of her unconventional venture.

Bubble Tea to Nail Stickers

But Serene's entrepreneurial spirit didn't stop at bubble tea. She remained ever-vigilant for new opportunities and gaps in the market. It was during one of her frequent travels that she stumbled upon a little-known technology in the world of nail care.

She was introduced to nail stickers that adhered seamlessly to the natural nail shape and were cured under a UV lamp. This revolutionary product offered a salon-worthy manicure experience from the comfort of one's home.

Gellae's Remarkable Success

Serene decided to bring this game-changing innovation to her area, recognising the desire of people to maintain well-groomed nails without the hassle and expense of salon visits, especially amidst the rising cost of living.

Therefore, impressively, in November 2022, she founded her second business in the form of DIY nail stickers. With an initial investment of just £2,500 from her first business, Serene launched Gellae, and the results were astounding, with her best month bringing in £79,000.

Notably, Gellae's nail sticker kits start at £26 and include a UV lamp, alcohol wipes, a nail file, cuticle stick, and two or more sticker designs, with each sticker sheet containing 20 individual stickers and costs £13.

Interestingly, Gellae's uniqueness lies in its ability to perfectly mould to one's nail shape, and it even doubles as a deterrent to nail-biting.

Proving the Doubters Wrong

Despite being told by university lecturers that her field of nutrition had no job opportunities in Australia, Serene Lim remained resolute in her pursuit of success.

Her entrepreneurial journey stands as a testament to her determination and willingness to defy odds. She embodies the spirit of innovation and resilience that defines true entrepreneurs.

How Can Social Media Platforms Be Useful Tools for This Entrepreneur?

Leveraging the dynamic landscape of social media platforms and the engaging world of podcasts can be a game-changer for Serene Lim's entrepreneurial ventures.

These tools offer Serene the means to build brand recognition, connect intimately with her customer base, market her products efficiently, collaborate with influencers, disseminate educational content, gather valuable feedback, and maintain transparency.

On social media, she can visually showcase her sustainable products, foster a sense of community, and tap into paid advertising. In the podcast sphere, she can share her inspiring journey, align with influential voices, and educate her audience on entrepreneurship and sustainability.

Ultimately, the combined power of social media and podcasts can help Serene amplify her success story, connect with her target audience on a deeper level, and solidify her status as a trailblazing entrepreneur in the realms of food and beauty.


Serene Lim's journey from a world of limited job opportunities to becoming a seven-figure business mogul is nothing short of inspiring. With Cup 49 and Gellae, she has not only reshaped her own destiny but also enriched the lives of her customers.

Her story is a reminder that when passion, innovation, and perseverance collide, success knows no bounds. What’s more, Serene's entrepreneurial spirit has not only put her on the map but has also made her an inspiring role model for anyone daring to dream beyond the limitations placed on them.

Finally, her story will continue to serve as a beacon of hope and a testament to the boundless possibilities that can emerge from pursuing one's passions.

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Article written by Dylan Moore

Dylan, originaly from Turkey, discovered his passion for programming and podcasting online. Him and his team later founded PodApp, a user-friendly platform designed to make podcasting accessible to everyone. Read more