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FIELD-TESTED     FREEDOM TO WORK     LESSONS     #THEMATTERWAY     MAKING     #WAYSTOWEARASCARF     MATTERCITIES

Freedom To Work: Charmaine Seah

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Freedom To Work is a series featuring powerful women who go against the grain by pursuing their creative interests in a culture of tradition and conventionality. We reached out to 4 people in our #MATTERtribe recognized for their confident, vibrant styles, and uncanny ability to mix pieces in surprising combinations. They chose their favourites from our collection and got ready for work and play.

An integral component of our mission here is working with artisans who carry the skills of the generations before them. It is in this partnership that we hope they find their freedom to work; to continue the narrative of their heritage and sustain the craft of their community. 

In the same light, we selected these women because in a culture of tradition and conventionality, they go against the grain by pursuing their creative interests and we want to celebrate their Freedom To Work. Each of them share insights into their own lives and work experience as they pave the way for their own legacies to flourish.

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Charmaine Seah does many things and she does them well, she is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at Elementary Co, wife, mother, and through and through fashion icon. When we first met Charmaine, her passionate and embracing disposition immediately made us feel at ease around her, the way you do when you are with a friend. She carries elegance and it was emanated in the way she approached everything with great meticulousness. It was in the way she neatly packed her jewelry individually in ziplock bags, how she brought more than enough shoes (just in case), and the way she poised herself as she placed the finishing touches on each of her outfits, whether it was in the detail of a pair of pearl earrings or the addition of a bold red lip. Particulars that would naturally go unnoticed by many, yet remained significant to her. We sat down with her as she shared with us about the trajectories in her life that led her to pursue her dream job.

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Eclectic Grace | Compliment the playful prints of the Lounge Lunghi + Mountain Spirit with a fitted blue knit top. Wear your favourite black heels and a polished red clutch to add a refined touch.

It requires 15 artisan employment days to create the Lounge Lunghi + Mountain Spirit.

What is the best career advice you would offer to someone who wants to pursue their dream job?

My dad has worked in the same company for 37 years and a piece of advice he shared with me is that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. This has influenced me significantly and it’s valuable words that I share with my brother as well. It’s what anchors me, and it’s a reminder to devote myself fully to all that I do. Pouring passion into all that you do makes a difference, I truly believe that.

People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

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Modern Disco | Do as the arrow motifs do in your Sideswept Dhoti + Zalya and sharpen your look with a simple top, longline vest, and decadent pearl earrings. Interrupt the white with a loud clutch and a pair of statement shoes.

It takes 10 artisan employment days to create the Sideswept Dhoti + Zalya. 

What was your first job?

I went to Temasek Poly for design and during my time there I was a part time waitress at an Italian Restaurant. My main motivation then was just to earn enough money so I could go shopping and clubbing. However, it quickly unravelled to be an exceptional experience for me. I loved going into work because the environment was always welcoming and bustling with energy. I could eat good food, chat with the customers, my bosses were supportive, and working at there shaped my view of what an ideal work culture should look like. I also used to work at Universal Studios for 5 years and loved how much joy it brought me.

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Smart Sophistication | Accent your All Day Jumpsuit + Kirana with bold details: in your lipstick, stilettos and even earrings. Go beyond that and flatter the black and red themes with a gold chain bracelet.

The All Day Jumpsuit + Kirana is created within 10 artisan employment days.

What is your dream job?

I have it now! I started a business with my brother, my best friend, and my husband. A lot of people disagree with this, you know how the saying goes “don’t mix business and pleasure”, but I stand by our decision still. I’m proud of what we do and I believe that we have good chemistry, mixing business with pleasure is the very core of why we work well together. If I didn’t venture into starting my own business, then I would have gone back to what I loved and worked at theme parks.