How would it feel to wake up in a different city each morning? That’s a question our girl, Jemma Wei can answer. At just 23 years of age, the vivacious young talent has made a dent in the Singapore media and arts space as a lifestyle and travel blogger, published writer and online TV host.
Needless to say, we’re always curious to hear about what Jemma’s up to. The stylish jetsetter was recently seen cavorting with fellow instagram stars Nellie Lim and Amanda Wong in Abu Dhabi. We fish out all the juicy deets.
Hi Jemimah! You are one the biggest influencers in Singapore and a role model to many. How do you feel about this?
I don’t think of myself as a role model, but I do recognise that being in the public space and knowing that there are many younger girls (and boys) out there with eyes on you comes with its own form of responsibility in terms of how you live your life and carry yourself on and offline.
We love your blog and follow you on Instagram and Snapchat, and we feel like we know you so well. Are there things we still don’t know about you?
Wow – thank you! I feel both stalked and flattered. I’m generally pretty open with my life, but of course there are bits that I share more than others. If you’re following me on snapchat you already know my most embarrassing moments of 2015, which is that the taiwanese movie Our Times made me cry violently 7 times in theatres, so…
Speaking of Instagram, how do you make it so compelling?
I like that you think it’s compelling. Obviously the witches charm I bought from the flea market three years ago has worked. I would recommend a sprinkle of straightforwardness, a dash of color, and a whole lot of self awareness.
We followed your recent trip to Abu Dhabi with Nellie. WOW, it was very Sex and the City! What took you there? Was it anything like you hoped for?
I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’ve never watched Sex and the City. We were there on campaign for Etihad Airways, and prior to that I had no true concept of what Abu Dhabi would be like beyond an expanse of desert and luxury. Going in with no expectations meant that everything blew me away, of course.
What was in your itinerary? What did you see, do, eat in Abu Dhabi?
That’s too much to cram into one interview question! The most memorable thing, I would suppose, is waking up in the middle of the desert, watching the first rays of light spill over golden sand. It’s not an activity per se, but it took my breath away. And alright, there was also me trying not to get thrown off a camel.
Food-wise I was introduced to and very taken by the traditional Arabic Mezze, where you’re served bread and many small plates of dip. Its supposed to be a starter, but after I had that I couldn’t eat anything else! It’s so good!
From one shopaholic to another, what’s the fashion + shopping scoop on Abu Dhabi? Could you name some of your favourite emerging fashion brands?
Honestly, I wasn’t there for the shopping so I really couldn’t name any emerging brands. I was there to experience the country, and contrary to public belief, you don’t find that in the inside of a shopping mall!
You posted amazing OOTDs in Abu Dhabi. Can you share with us your secrets to looking put together all the time —despite long-haul flights and weather changes?
I take my earlier words back – I guess this is something people may not know about me. I mind-map all my outfits when packing so I know what I’m bringing, what can be reworn and matched with something else, and if it’s a long trip, when laundry day is. I also factor in the weather report and forecast when doing this, so I know how many rainy day outfits to pack based on the chances of rain, etc. The more you know…
We never travel without our sunnies, sunblock, and digital maps (#MustHaves). What are yours?
Simple – my camera, my chargers, and my phone. Everything else is pretty dispensable or easily replaced.
In your own words, what type of traveler do you think you are?
I’m a really easy traveler. Despite my OCD when it comes to packing, when I’m in the city itself, anything goes. I’m pretty content to get lost alone and wander down streets all day, but I generally have a mental checklist of things I would potentially be interested to see. So if I see them while walking around, great, otherwise, it’s okay as well. I love hanging out with my friends when traveling but I also like meeting new people, which truth be told, doesn’t happen as often when you’re in a group. So solo travel is a big thing for me as well, though you dont hear about that as much because if you’re traveling alone your photos will inevitably suck and not get posted online. I mean.. there are only so many ways you can take a selfie!
Your favourite memory of the trip is…
Waking up for sunrise in the desert!
If you had an extra 24 hours in Abu Dhabi, how are you going to spend it?
I would probably spend it in the desert. I would have really liked to get to explore both the desert resort we were staying in, take a proper swim, and then take a walk around the surrounding desert areas at sunset. We were so focused on packing in our itinerary that we didn’t get much of a chance to really relax and explore on our own time.
Lastly, how are you spending New Year’s Eve?
On a plane.. back from New York. I’ll be back at the stroke of midnight!
Find out more about Jemma on her blog.
Images courtesy of Jemma Wei.
Christmas seems to cast a spell on everyone. Throughout December, the world gets blanketed in an atmosphere of warmth and cheer, and all we want to do is deck the halls with gold and glitter. Then there are brands like Stylodeco that shower our social media feeds with lust-worthy vignettes, sending us straight into a Christmas shopping bender.
Today, we introduce you to Helene Denaiffe, the founder of online marketplace — Stylodeco. She’s a self-starter who lunged into the entrepreneur arena with a desire to gather the world’s most stylish and affordable home furnishings into an online catalogue of chic.
Simply attuned to the pleasures of decorating and redecorating one’s home, Stylodeco helps home stylists in their quest for unique and affordable home furnishings. Filled with visual entrapments to rival your Pinterest feed, Stylodeco inspires even the laziest decorator with a thoughtfully curated selection of homewares and furniture. Once figments of pure fantasy for Asian homemakers, coveted European brands such as Bloomingville, House Doctor, Madam Stoltz and HK Living are now easily available to customers in Asia through Stylodeco’s webstore. From comfortable Scandi minimalism to tropical and even vintage, Stylodeco stays ahead of the curve with its always trendy and on-point wares.
We share Helene’s elegant approach to life, business and decorating for Christmas!
Could you tell us a bit about your backstory?
I grew up in France, mainly in Paris and its suburbs. I studied Japanese together with International Business at university and graduated with an MBA degree in “Luxury Brand Marketing and International Management”. I worked 12 years in Marketing and Communications for luxury brands such as Audemars Piguet and Michelin-starred Chef Alain Ducasse. We moved to Singapore 4 years ago.
What prompted you to start your own home décor business?
There were simultaneous events that made me start my own business. First of all, I was missing my family. Having a full-time job in a small yet fast-growing company was very exciting but did not allow me to see my kids at night at all. I wanted to spend more time with them, which meant being able to manage my daily schedule as I wished. The ideal scenario was for me to be home to welcome them from school, help with homework, take a day off when they are on holiday and do some family activities together. The only way for me to spend more time with them was to start my own business.
I had just reached 35 and felt I had accumulated enough experience to launch a business on my own. I did not have to think long; I knew already what I wanted to do! I have always been passionate about home styling.
When we arrived in Singapore four years ago, there weren’t many options for stylish home furnishings available. Try as I might, I could not find my favorite European brands — the ones I used to buy back in Paris. Moreover, all I could find were mostly very expensive. It was then that the idea started — to offer a selection of trendy and unique home décor accessories at reasonable prices. The price was, and still is a key factor to me. I usually price my products exact to how they’re priced in Europe. Because I am online and my infrastructure costs are low, Stylodeco’s offering is really competitive and unique.
What were the challenges?
We are based in Singapore and opening a store here is challenging. Rental prices are so high and I did not know back then whether my business would work or not. I was not ready to take that risk. So I decided to go online. But then again, the online business being very new in Singapore, getting a name out there in the web isn’t easy. The main challenge is to shout out Stylodeco’s concept as much as we can to get even more awareness. Travelshopa and other media are helping a lot!
Best moment of your career so far?
I am very lucky to have had so many ‘best moments’ during my career (‘career’…doesn’t it sound like I’m an old lady…)! There isn’t any ‘best moment’ in particular, just a lot of nice memories, especially when I was into F&B, working with chefs in Paris and Singapore.
What has been the biggest lesson so far?
Launching my own business was definitely a good choice!
What does a typical day of work involve for you?
I start working at 8:30am and end my day around 7pm. Packing online orders, updating the webshop, creating communications content for social media, writing blog posts, sourcing new products, dealing with freight forwarders, uploading products, doing fairs and events, shooting products, paying invoices, meeting people, helping my kids with their homework… It’s still a one-woman show so there’s a lot to do! And I enjoy it.
What are you currently working on and what are you looking forward to in the near future?
This coming year, the main target is to dramatically expand the online offer. We will continue to carry a wide range of international brands while bringing in more successful Singapore-based brands. Indeed, a few successful local businesses have joined or will be joining the e-shop in the coming months. We should be able to offer a selection of more than 5,000 products before the end of 2016. And thanks to this wide selection, I hope we can reach out to many more people in Singapore and Southeast Asia (Stylodeco ships throughout Asia from Australia to Japan). There are one or two side projects I am working on as well, but it is too early to share them with you. We’re looking at exciting times ahead for sure!
Where do you see Stylodeco in 5 years and is a physical store on the cards?
A physical store might be a next step indeed. It is not on the cards right now though. In 5 years, I want Stylodeco to be the one-stop shop for effortless chic home décor and furniture in Singapore, offering shipping throughout Asia.
How would you describe your style when it comes to interiors and home décor?
My style is effortlessly chic, casual yet elegant. I love welcoming homes where family and friends build lasting memories. I also veer towards good-quality materials, minimalist lines and chic details while mixing different styles.
Where do you turn to for creative inspiration?
Print and online magazines, successful European e-shops, travels and Pinterest.
Which Stylodeco products can we find in your home?
The bamboo couch by Tine K Home, the Eclipse lamp by Objekto and the vintage star light by Fresh & Vintage. As well as a few vases and candle holders, not forgetting a few dining accessories.
What are your tips for decorating on a budget?
What I like when decorating my home is mixing styles and budgets. For example, I have found lovely and very affordable cushions to match my bamboo sofa. In our living room, the Eclipse lamp stands next to an old Chinese porcelain jar that we bought for nothing at a flea market 4 years ago. There are also things that we do ourselves — my husband and me — like this wooden cabinet we bought last year in Singapore. We spent hours chipping and painting it in a dark grey color. It was a lot of fun, and we now have a very unique piece of furniture at home to show for it.
Could you paint us a (mental) picture of how you would decorate your home for Christmas?
I’ll deck the tree in white, silver and gold Christmas ornaments. I’ll hang white and black paper stars from the ceiling, light candles and light garlands, and use tree branches that I’ll place in vases here and there.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
I love making desserts (I am a sweet tooth), reading and travelling.
Which other local creative people do you think are doing cool things?
The Children’s Showcase, Shiva Designs Bespoke and Make Room, to name only a few.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
If you don’t try, you’ll never know, so go for it!!
What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?
Travel the world, there’s so much to discover!
View Stylodeco’s collections online.
There’s lots of travel talk around this time of year. It seems like everyone is packing their latest getaway outfits and jet-setting to all kinds of exotic places.
For those travelling, we have nailed down the must-visit shopping precincts in Bali, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
If a vacation isn’t on the horizon, who says you can’t create a tropical holiday at home by transforming it with some staycation essentials! Laze away on a deck chair and do some online shopping perhaps!? Our latest Behind The Seams interview with rising star, Lautēm, showcases their to die for bags.
We will be taking a short break ourselves, and returning in 2 weeks with more shopping tips in more destinations.
Happy Summer, and happy shopping wherever you may be!
The Travelshopa Team
We all have different visions of a perfect weekend getaway. Whether you’re headed to a quick summer holiday by the calm waters of the ocean, a road trip with the girls or just joining in your kids’ playtime, a weekend getaway is the ultimate answer to your much-needed pick-me-up.
Packing for a weekend getaway can be challenging when you’d much prefer to take your whole wardrobe along with you! But not to worry, all you need are these versatile essentials. Start off with a silky mini dress that can also be used as a cover up over your bikini or a daytime outfit accompanied with a pair of shorts. Add a multi-coloured fouta that functions as a beach and picnic mat?! And finally, a pair of comfy espadrilles are a must, should you decide to go on a random shopping spree (you know it’s bound to happen!)
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As the middle of the year approaches, work, study and every day life is starting to feel a little dull. The perfect way to combat those mid year blues is to hop on a plane and head for the sun. What better way to rejuvenate than a beach vacation? Think, sun, sand, cocktails and best of all, an excuse to do a little shopping to create your summer holiday look.
Thinking about how to dress on a beach vacation is simple – pack light! You’ll be lounging by the seaside in your swimwear most of the time, right?! Still, a girl can never be too prepared – don’t leave home without these beach vacation essentials!
While you may have an old favourite travel bag that goes everywhere with you, ask yourself – is it beach appropriate? If its not, here are a couple of must have styles that can cater to any taste. From stripes, to pompoms, to tribal inspired looks, beach bags come in every style. Stick with a traditional carry all tote or go for one of this seasons key looks – a drawstring bucket bag. Not only is a beach bag a fashionable accessory but it is also super practical. Throw in a towel, cover up and some sunglasses and you’ll be able to easily transition from pool or ocean side chic to bar and sundowners ready.
Sunglasses and a Big Hat
Despite mirrored sunglasses previously being associated with unfashionable middle aged men and cyclists, they are really having a resurgence, and a very fashionable resurgence at that. Seen in very style and introduced by huge brands across the globe (one most notably being Singapore Fashion Week’s closing act Victoria Beckham), love them or hate them they seem to be here to stay (at least for the next season or so). Mirrored sunglasses are an item that add a bit of mystic and glam to any outfit. If you’re looking to go incognito, while remaining incredibly stylish, throw a floppy sun hat on top.
What is great about these two accessories is that as well as being sun safe, they come in so many styles and colours that they are guaranteed to flatter any face shape, outfit and taste.
Cover ups are probably the most crucial item when packing for your beach vacation. A great cover up can carry you from lunch by the pool to dinner at a nice restaurant all with a subtle change of accessories. A sheer or patterned maxi cover up, with a thigh high slit goes fantastically with beach hair. While a white Grecian or peasant inspired dress acts to perfectly show off your sun kissed skin. From halter neck to strapless to long sleeve mini dresses; beach cover ups literally exist in any style you desire, ready to be shaped perfectly for any occasion.
Resort wear is all about taking risks. If you look at any high fashion brand, they are not afraid to play around with colour and patterns when it comes to their beach wear looks. Try incorporating coral or cerulean blue into an outfit. This can be done subtly with shorts or more boldly with a some gorgeous swimwear. As far as patterns go, traditional stripes, polka dots or gingham, and aztec prints are always a hit.
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