We talk to the homegrown designer and founder of Onlewo – a brand that draws inspiration from places and cultures in Singapore, transforming them into vintage inspired fabrics and upholstery.
1 What gets you out of the bed in the morning?
The smell of coffee and my dogs. They will be eagerly waiting for their morning treats from my breakfast table – and I can’t bear to make them wait (laughs).
2 What’s the best way to fall asleep?
I like a glass of wine, and soothing, slow jazz of some sort from Chet Baker or Miles Davis.
3 Name your favourite pet (past or present) and why you love it.
It has to be Titus. He is a Jack Russell, and is over 18 years old. He melts the hearts of everyone he meets with his charm.
4 Sky, ocean, mountains or animals. Of these four things, which are you drawn to, and why?
The ocean, for the sense of beauty of life and its fragility. It makes me cherish the good times, be grateful and celebrate beauty through my work.
5 Describe your fondest memory as a child.
My childhood was one of my happiest times and my memories of it are what I draw inspiration from. The fondest times were when I visited my cousins’ kampong houses during school breaks. We hung out plucking rambutans, playing masak-masak with whatever we could find from nature, and played on the beach during high tide.
6 Name one cause you support and why.
Our Singapore Specials. My partner and I adopted two dogs, and recently contributed full proceeds from work to Guide Dogs Singapore. Dogs are truly our best friends. They make us better people and inspire compassion.
7 Name one design style that you never want to see again.
I am quite open to all styles. What matters more are the people that own it, who they are, and whether or not they are the kind of people I want to hang out with.
8 Describe your personal design style.
Elegant, original and inspirational.
9 What would your last meal on earth be?
My idea of comfort food. Porridge, two sunny-side-up eggs in dark sauce, and stirfried vegetables with chicken.
10 What’s the last picture you took with your mobile device?
text YOUNG LIM photography VEE CHIN assisted by PHYLLICIA WANG art direction LIM YI LING