Meet Me

IN SINGAPORE WITH BEATRICE TAN


Meet Beatrice 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 delicacies.


What was the impetus behind your initial foray into fashion blogging?

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 thankful for.

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?

The 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 within.

What has this experience taught you as an entrepreneur?

The experience 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 times.

What were some challenges you faced when entering the fashion industry?

Firstly, I 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 team.

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 markets better.

How did you discover Monica Vinader? What are some of your favourite pieces and how would you style them?

I discovered 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 jewellery?

Definitely layering, and this is why I adore Monica Vinader's jewellery. They are so easy to layer to create different styling for various occasions.

If you could engrave anything on your Monica Vinader piece, what would it be and why?

I would 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 too.

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 delicacies.

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 like?

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. Perfecto.

SHOP BEATRICE'S LOOK

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