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FIELDTESTED | RACHEL TEO, MUMMY, ENTREPRENEUR AND CO-FOUNDER OF TREHAUS

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Co-founding Trehaus was fulfilling a personal desire to be a present, working parent, and to help other parents achieve the much coveted work-life balance, no matter whether they are an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or an employee from corporate offices with a flexible work scheme. 

What is the story behind Trehaus?
At the birth of my son, I was left with the choice of being a stay at home mom or leaving her child with a complete stranger. Feeling as if I have no choice, I realise that every mom out there must be facing this same difficult situation. I wanted to be the best possible parent for my child yet still be productive, even though our current environment is not catered for that. So I decided to do something about it.

Trehaus is just a proof of concept, that is it possible to be working, to be productive and at the same time have your child beside you. The name represent the spirit that the space is trying to achieve. Tre means 3, building a third space that separates from the two usual social environment; home and work place. Haus is House in German.

Trehaus was built on the idea of the Kumpung (village in malay) spirit. When I grew up, my mother could also rely on the neighbours to look after me, so much that we had a gate built between the two of our houses. In today’s society, we all live in a shoe box, busy and unfamiliar with the people around us. However being a parent and having people around you is very important, like the saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” and we are doing exactly that.

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What’s one motto you want your children to live by?
Life is a journey, not a destination. To enjoy the journey of growing up, experience thing and travelling the world. I don’t want them to grow up rushing from one point to another and forget to truly enjoy that is before them.

What practical advice would you give someone who is contemplating to leave his or her comfortable job to seek something more?
Exploring an alternative career is a great idea, but it’s always good to make sure you have your safety net in place. You have a plan B, a support system and something to fall back on. Make sure that your financials are in order and that your family is not dependent on you.

5 things you cannot leave the house without.
There’s only 2 things - my mobile phone and my wallet. Everything else I can make do without. 

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We are inspired by Rachel’s love for family and entrepreneurial spirit, and are proud to have her as a Fieldtester, a group of inspiring friends that regularly test MATTER products in their workplace and trails to help us improve durability and design. Beth wears The Sideswept Dhoti + Trikora, Size 1 and The Boxy Crop + Brushstroke Rouge.