Tan, an entrepreneur who left the world of banking to become a
fashion designer. Discover her journey to establishing fashion
label KLARRA, her life as a blogger and her must-have Singapore
What was the impetus behind your initial foray into
I started my
blog in 2009 with the intention of keeping in touch with my friends
when we were all leaving to different schools. I shared everything
about my life; my day-to-day activities in school, my part-time
jobs, adventures, my favourite food places and travel. As we were
required to dress in our own clothes for school, I started becoming
more interested in fashion and so took photos and shared my daily
outfits. Gradually, I started to receive comments asking me about
the source of the clothes and that was when I realised that the
community of readers enjoyed my fashion posts. That made me felt
very motivated to share more fashion content with them and since
then, fashion became quite a big part of my life and I began to
work with different home-grown and international brands which I'm
You started out with a career in the competitive finance
industry. What inspired you to leave your banking job to start your
own fashion label, KLARRA?
realisation of the need for quality, unique and modern outfits of
amongst the women I've met during my time at the bank and that
clothes can actually empower the individual. Combined with the
years I spent blogging and the experiences in the fashion industry,
that inspired me to want to do something meaningful. I wanted to
create my own products that add value to the lives of others, bring
out the best in women through and empower them from
What has this experience taught you as an
has taught me about time management, people management and using
creativity to solve problem. It has also taught me that we are in
control of our own journey, and that anything is possible with good
planning and hard work. Not forgetting, the importance of having
tenacity and being resilience, especially during tough
What were some challenges you faced when entering the
didn't study fashion - I was a business finance major - hence the
technicalities of creating a product was something very new to me.
Secondly, I did not have any experience working in a fashion
company and I was clueless about how to go about developing my
What are some words of advice you would give to people
aspiring to grow their own labels?
I would say
good planning and find the right time to launch it. Having a decent
wardrobe is a basic need but getting new designs to your wardrobe
is not exactly a necessity. The economy climate plays a big part in
people's need to shop.
Who are some of your favourite home-grown fashion
designers or personalities you take inspiration from?
As I aim to
create unique, original and exclusive products to the customers
living in our little red dot, I actually get inspirations from the
international influencers instead to make sure I bring in something
different to the local market. Some designers and personalities I
like include: Victoria Beckham, Rosie Assoulin or style bloggers
such as Gary Pepper Girl. I eventually want KLARRA to expand out of
the local market in the future and getting inspiration and insights
from international brands would help me to understand the other
How did you discover Monica Vinader? What are some of
your favourite pieces and how would you style them?
Monica Vinader through one of my best girlfriends as she is a huge
fan of the brand! She was wearing them and I took a liking to what
I saw - the pieces were very classy. I love minimal pieces and some
of my favourites would be the Baja Deco Thin Cuff, Riva Mini Circle
Bracelet and Linear Bead Chain Friendship bracelet. These are very
versatile in terms of occasions - I could easily wear each of
these, or all, for a weekend smart/casual brunch or to attend a
more formal function such as a wedding luncheon.
What tips do you have when it comes to styling
layering, and this is why I adore Monica Vinader's jewellery. They
are so easy to layer to create different styling for various
If you could engrave anything on your Monica Vinader
piece, what would it be and why?
perhaps engrave my birth date or a meaningful word, such as
'Gratitude'. That engraving would remind me to be thankful for what
I have in life, allowing me to truly appreciate the people around
me and the things happening in my life. I believe it would pull me
back to the ground during difficult times, keeping me focused and
positive. Engraving my birth date will serve the same purpose
What are some of your jewellery picks to obtain a
feminine minimalist look with stacking and layering?
There are too
many too choose from! If I were to pick a few bracelets, they would
namely be the Signature Thin bangle, Baja Deco ID bracelet, Siren
Fine Chain Bracelet and for rings; the Skinny Eternity ring, the
Baja ring and Siren Small Stacking ring. These are definitely the
accessories that would easily with anything and can be layered in
so many ways.
Where are your favourite places to go in Singapore when
seeking creativity and inspiration?
Nature, a good
cup of coffee and well-designed spacious grounds allow me to gather
more inner peace and stimulate my creativity. Dempsey is a pretty
nice area, surrounded by nice cafes and nature. Some of my
favourite places would be P.S Café at Dempsey, One Fullerton or
Raffles Place area and Neil Road or China Town area.
Tell us some of your must-have local
This is tough
because there are too many to name! A few I could think of right
now will be, Chee Kueh, Black carrot cake, Satays, Nasi Lemak,
prata and Mee Tai Mak noodles soup.
What would your perfect Sunday date in Singapore be
That would be
waking up early for a morning walk, freshen up at home, head to a
café afterwards for a good lunch, get a good cup of coffee after
lunch and spend an hour or two reading at the café.