Instead of having a wedding outdoor shoot at an exotic locale, Joyce Lee chose to do hers somewhere much closer to her heart. In the photos, Lee and her husband are captured having a laugh perched on bumper cars or striking a pose next to popular fun fair rides.
For Lee, this was a natural choice. The sales and marketing manager of travelling amusement park, Uncle Ringo, after all, grew up surrounded by these very rides. “I’ve been immersed in it since I was born and it is a large part of my childhood. It made sense to capture a happy occasion in my life here,” she says.
For Lee, gaining access to the funfair was, well, a walk in the park. The leading, if not only, travelling amusement park was started by her father Lee Woon Chiang. Also known as Uncle Ringo, her father has been running the business for 34 years.
The young girl who had the privilege of unlimited rides at the funfair now plays a strategic role in the business. She left a cushy job as a risk consultant at an accounting firm to join her father’s business six years ago.
“I joined him at a time when there were many significant changes. Firstly, there was a change in safety regulations for amusement parks. Social media was changing how businesses were run and there were also several advancements in technology. We knew that if we didn’t keep up, we would be left behind,” Lee shares.
Upon joining the company, one of her first tasks was to expand the sales and operations team. This enabled her to cover more bases and operate at more than one site at any one time. She then converted the park’s traditional paper ticketing system to an electronic one, which made operations more seamless.
“With the system in place, cash is collected only at one point. Guests can just tap their cards and get on the rides. It also gives me valuable data such as the top performing booth or the one that needs a boost,” Lee explains. She also started a website and a Facebook account for the park, so it became easier for customers as well as corporate clients to find out more information on Uncle Ringo.
This has indeed improved the park’s visibility. These days it operates one or more travelling amusement parks every month. During the recent June school holidays, it operated at four different locations. In February 2016, Uncle Ringo was also a part of i light Marina Bay, which drew thousands of guests. The company also provides its services at private events across the island.
Of all this, Lee says the most memorable was when Uncle Ringo was invited to be a part of the SG50 National Day celebrations at Marina Bay, during which more than 20 rides — mostly from Europe or US — and booths were set up. “We were honoured to be a part of the event. We may not be as old as Singapore but we have been in business for more than 30 years. To be recognised for that was great,” she says.
When asked about the longevity of Uncle Ringo, Lee says: “Travelling amusement parks such as ours offer something different from what kids are into these days such as iPads or electronic games. It enables you to interact with your family, kids or friends. And everyone needs that.”
My favourite ride is…the bumper car. It is the only time I get to drive recklessly.
I get happy at Uncle Ringo…when I see customers enjoying themselves — parents having fun with their children or a boy winning a prize for his girlfriend.
A childhood memory I treasure… My dad kept two kiddie rides at home for me. I was 3 years old and would be on it for hours at a time.
The best advice from my dad is…to never let go of my dreams. Our dreams can come true if only we have the faith and courage to pursue them.
To me success…has no metrics. It is the constant pursuit of what others perceive to be difficult or impossible.