Co-founder of Elementary Co., cool creative, Instagramming mum
Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore: How different or similar are you as a mother and an entrepreneur?
Charmaine Seah-Ong: I think that my role as a mother makes me a more caring person in the office. But then again, I’m the oldest of four siblings, so I guess it’s kind of built in me to mentor people, take care of them and look out for their best interests in the work place. That’s similar in the way that I view being a mother as well: Look out for my daughter and try to provide her with the best opportunities. But I also want both my team in the office and my family at home to have great experiences together.
HB: How would you describe your sense of style?
CS: It’s very relaxed and casual. I definitely enjoy dressing up but, never in an over-the-top or uncomfortable way. I won’t really sacrifice comfort for beauty, or fashion. Classic styles are more my thing and I buy items that I feel I can use over and over again, which is something that I think I picked up from my mum.
HB: What are your fashion “security blankets”?
CS: Personally, I find that I always fall back on chunky gold jewellery. So that’s like a security blanket of mine. If I’m wearing something as plain as a t-shirt or just jeans and sandals, I’ll always accessorise with a bigger, statement piece, usually gold.
HB: What would you take with you to a desert island?
CS: My great-grandmother’s ring. It was passed down from my great-grandmother to my mum because she wanted to keep it in the Seah side of the family. So by right, my mum should be giving this ring to my brother’s wife because I’m no longer a Seah. But she gave it to me and I really love it. It reminds me of my family, particularly the strong women in my family. So that’s something I would like to have with me.
HB: What makes a woman truly stylish?
CS: It’s a sense of timelessness; a woman who doesn’t need to follow trends in order to keep up with fashion. There’s also a sense of style to be found in simplicity, and that, to me, makes a stylish woman.
By Dana Koh and Pakkee Tan
Photographed by Gan
Styled by Windy Aulia
Hair/makeup: Grego, Amy Chow, Cindy Goh, Joy Tan/Indigo Artisans, Joanna Koh/Indigo Artisans
Photography assistants: Ang Jong Jye, Samsidi Baderi
Assistant stylist: Debby Kwong
Additional assistance: Tanya Anthony, Nayeun Kim