Managing a business, coming up with new designs plus blogging at the same time is no easy task. But no matter how busy Beatrice Tan is, the local entrepreneur never fails to find time to catch up with her mum Cherine Chia.
“We can spend hours talking in our rooms every week,” she says. “We’ve been very close since I was a kid and she’s not just my mum; she’s also my mentor and friend.”
Contrary to the chirpy and fun-loving woman that we see today, Tan grew up as a quiet girl. “When Beatrice was still a kid, she was very quiet and shy,” shares Chia. “That’s why I’ve never expected her to become a blogger and start her own fashion label.”
Despite being reserved, Tan has never made her mum worry or caused any major upsets when she was growing up. “I remember when she was three years old, my husband and I applied for leave to accompany her to her first day at the child care centre,” says Chia.
“We thought she would cry but she turned out to be completely fine. She even consoled the rest of the crying kids in her class. So within half an hour, I left her at the school and went straight back to work.”
It took a television competition for Tan to open up and share the other side of her to her friends. “In the past, I used to be a quiet person and I don’t usually talk to strangers much,” she confesses. "But because of the Channel U competition that I participated in during my poly days, I’ve learned to be more confident. It helped me to be more comfortable in front of others, as well as in front of the cameras.”
To celebrate Mother’s Day in May, we at Her World Plus have decided to invite three pairs of mothers and daughters for a special #throwback shoot. The idea is to recreate memorable childhood photos.
For this particular shoot, we also took the chance to find out what are Tan’s goals for her fashion label Klarra, her plans on how Klarra can stay competitive in the digital age, as well as the most important lesson that her mum has taught her. Scroll down to find out more!
On how she usually celebrates Mother’s Day
“I’ll usually go out for a nice meal with the whole family. Before that, my sister and I will think of a surprise venue and we won’t tell my parents until the actual day.”
On her relationship with her mum
“We talk about everything from beauty to personal problems, which is why we don’t have any secrets hidden from each other. I like that she’s very objective and reasonable at the same time.
If I’ve done something wrong or well, she’ll let me know. She’s always been very fair to me during my growing up years and I can always trust her to give me the most truthful feedback.
She also knows all my friends. Because of that, she’s even joined us for some of our vacations. I remember once, I wasn’t free to go on a trip with my friends so in the end, my parents travelled with them instead.”
On her switch from banking to overseeing her own business
“I feel very thankful for what I’m doing now. I’m enjoying it tremendously and when I wake up everyday, I feel happy because I’m doing what I love. I also enjoy working with my team.
Growing up, I never thought I was going to blog or create my own label. These came gradually over the years and I’m very grateful for these changes. That’s why I always remind myself not to take things for granted and to never stop learning.”
On the one most important lesson from her mum
“I can get stressed out at times and get sleepless nights so she’ll tell me to take care of my health and manage my stress. Most importantly, she reminds me to always enjoy what I do, try my best and learn from my mistakes.”
On her goals for her fashion label Klarra
“Klarra’s progression has been quite gradual and steady, and we’re happy with that. Besides growing the business, we also want to concentrate more on collaborations and expand our presence both locally and regionally.”
On how Klarra stays competitive in the digital age
“We’ll want to continue our focus on product development, meaning we’ll always explore new technologies and fabrics that are available in the market. We also want to build our relationships with our customers.
That's why we have an in-house members programme called ‘Klarra Insiders’. It’s a community of fans and top shoppers who get invites to our events. Through these engagements, we often get feedback from them on how to improve our products. Ultimately, we want to also focus on building better products for them.”
On the inspiration behind Klarra’s collections
“Besides trends, we think a lot about nature, travelling, lifestyle and what’s happening in the world. Klarra’s clothes shouldn’t just look good, they should also fit into the lifestyles of the wearers.
For example, we need to understand what the customers do daily, their jobs, the weather conditions...from there, we work our way to the final designs.”
On her future plans for Klarra
“Since we started out in Singapore, we've focused a lot on the local market initially. The label is now also available in Indonesia and Malaysia so getting the Asian fit right is crucial for us.
The next step is to extend our product line and design for the other markets too, including designing for other body sizes. Ultimately, we’ll want to make our products suitable for as many women as possible.”
On Klarra’s first pop-up
“We’re having our first standalone pop-up showroom in end May. We’ve partnered with a local tea brand and bakery for this. So, when guests enter, they can enjoy food and beverage while shopping for exclusive fashion and lifestyle products at this pop-up space.”
Creative direction: Hayden Ng
Photography: Vernon Wong
Makeup / hair: Christine Lim using YSL Beauty and Redken