From left: (On Siena) Crystal pavé Sparkling Dance necklace, $199, Swarovski. Dress, H&M. (On May) Pavé Generation Pierced earrings, $299 (as a set with necklace); pavé and stones Gray necklace, $199; crystal pavé Gray Layered necklace, $299; steel and crystal Crystalline Oval watch, $649, Swarovski. Ring, Choy’s own. Dress, H&M. (On Leala) Blue stone and crystal pavé Sparkling Dance necklace, $199, Swarovski. Dress, Leala’s own. (On Choy) Pavé and stones Gray necklace, $199; rose gold-plated metal and crystal pavé Graceful necklace, $199; rose-gold plated metal and crystal pavé Gray ring, $179; rose gold-plated metal and crystal pavé Gray ring, $199, Swarovski. Dress, H&M. May and Choy are Beam Artistes.



Twins passing on beautiful values they inherited from their mother to their children

How important a role has your sister played in your evolution as a mother?

Choy: May is the ultimate mum — not only is she raising kind, compassionate and smart little ladies, her patience and determination to make every situation a memorable one, be it everyday milestones or big birthday parties, is truly admirable. I look up to her, and have confided in her ever since Dylan was born.

May: Choy is one devoted auntie (and one of the best babysitters), who has played a key role in my kids’ formative years. Whenever I was exhausted when they were younger, she stepped in and took care of them; and she gives such substance to them by relating to them on a very intellectual and emotional level from the start — she was recently at the British Museum, and called my daughter to discuss art and history.

What values from your mother are you passing down to your kids?

May: Both our grandmother and mother are smart, stunning women who never focused or complained about looks. Because they were confident and stayed true to themselves, we are too; and we want to pass down this positive message to our children.

Choy: Our grandma instilled in us a Hokkien saying that means, “Beauty won’t matter if you don’t have a brain”. We also want our kids to have the same urgency to help others and the strong family values they brought us up with — family over everything.

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1 & 4. Crystal pavé and metal Sparkling Dance necklace and earrings set, $299; 2. Rose gold-plated metal and crystal pavé Gray ring, $199; 3. Lovely Crystals Mini Watch, $899; Swarovski

Are there traits of yours that you already see in your kids?

Both: Leala and Siena have inherited our warped sense of humour — so much so our father calls them May and Choy 2.0! They play the same pranks we did as children, and laugh at the same things we do.

Choy: Besides Dylan looking just like me, he’s so much like his dad, even at this age. He is incredibly determined — if he wants it, he’ll do what it takes to get it.

NEXT UP: Aarika Lee and Kevin Lester talk about nurturing love and creativity >>

From left: (On Zola) Dark red stone and crystal pavé Sparkling Dance necklace, $199, Swarovski. Dress, H&M. (On Kevin) Leather and crystal Express Braided bracelet, $320; steel, leather and crystal Express bracelet, $210, Swarovski. Jacket, COS. Shirt, H&M. Cap; jeans, Kevin’s own. (On Aarika) Rose gold-plated metal and crystal Attract Pear Pierced earring set, $129; Crystal pavé Sparkling Dance necklace, $199; crystal Crystaldust cuffs, $149 each; crystal Crystaldust Double bangles, $189 each, Swarovski. Dungaree, Kate Spade. Top, H&M. Turban; ring, Aarika’s own. (On Ari) Top, H&M



Modern parents nurturing love and creativity, hand-in-hand

Kevin, what are five ways to describe Aarika as a mother?

Kevin: She’s selfless, never failing to put our kids first before anything else; super brave, in the way she fearlessly manages her different roles in life and how she manages the two (who can be a real handful) when she takes them out alone. She’s always fun — you’ll find her painting and bouncing around the Art Zoo with them — but disciplined. People think because we’re creative that we have alternative parenting techniques, but Aarika is a very hands-on mum who knows how to lay down the rules and instill important values. Lastly, she’s inspiring. She’s a role model not just to our kids but to others who happen to glimpse our lives through social media, and always express genuine admiration about her to me.


How have both of you evolved as parents?

Aarika: I was pretty strict in the beginning, because I wanted to drill certain rules into them: Manners, respect and etiquette are very important in our household. And for the first year of Zola’s life, we would rush home, or to the hospital for the smallest things. Then we realised children are a lot tougher and smarter than we think, and will take after us if we set the right example. So we loosened the reins and it’s reflected in how chill our second born, Ari, is.

Kevin: It’s like when you become a parent, suddenly there are four mirrors around you to make you question, “Is this me?” You become a different person after kids, and it’s up to you to make sacrifices, deal with situations sensitively, and become more patient overall.

1. Crystal pavé Sparkling Dance Round Pierced earrings, $179; 2. Crystal pavé Sparkling Dance necklaces, $199 each; 3. Blue and white stone and rhodium-plated metal Subtle bracelet, $179; 4. Rose gold-tone steel and crystal Crystalline Pure watch, $799; 5. Purple crystal Crystaldust Heart cuff, $149; Swarovski

What are some of your traits you already see in your kids?

Kevin: Let’s just say, I’m a fan of Ari’s style — the kid sure knows how to sport a snapback. As for Zola, I admit, people have said we both love attention (and being announced as we enter a room).

Aarika: Besides being compassionate, giving and very talkative… they’re actually really creative and fearless with expressing themselves. We started nurturing Zola’s love for painting after she displayed great interest in it — something that started because of both her grandmothers, who always let her rip on mahjong paper. And we love to turn on the music and watch them dance. It really shows who they are, no holds barred. Their current jams are “Finesse” and “Perm” by Bruno Mars.

Photography: Gan. Styling: Gracia Phang. Makeup and hair: Grego using Laura Mercier and
La Biosthetique Paris at Glamour Salon System. Producer: Dana Koh. Fashion interns: Tiffany Tan and Abielle Yeo