#THGMalmaisonSalonSessions – Rachel Lim of Love, Bonito on Watches & Entrepreneurship

Interviews • 22 Mar 2016

#THGMalmaisonSalonSessions – Rachel Lim of Love, Bonito on Watches & Entrepreneurship

Why time’s not up for watches: style icon Rachel Lim says watches have replaced handbags as the most important accessory for a woman.

Rachel Lim wearing Cartier Santos 100

Rachel Lim at Malmaison, wearing her new favourite Cartier Santos 100

Tell us a little about your very first watch purchase.
I always wanted to own a Rolex. Growing up, I saw my parents wearing them and I guess that’s where it all started. To me, it’s the ultimate classic; a timepiece that will never go out of style. My very first watch purchase was of course, a Rolex. It was a couple of years ago when my online shop Love, Bonito was really taking off – I worked particularly hard that year and saved enough to buy my very first milestone gift. I wanted something edgy and not too feminine – a piece that brings character to an outfit, and the Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II fits the bill.

You chose Malmaison at The Hour Glass to buy your very first watch, what’s so special about this place?
I was initially referred by a friend to come to The Hour Glass. We visited the Malmaison outlet and I was so impressed by the personalised service that we eventually built a relationship with one of the salespeople there. The space is large, yet still feels private and intimate. I think that’s what makes browsing there a real pleasure.

We hear that the Cartier Santos 100 from the shoot is a watch you’ve been keeping an eye out for. Why do you like it and for what occasion would you be buying it for?
To me, a Cartier watch is a signature and classic timepiece that makes a statement. I’m particularly fond of the rectangular face as well and oh gosh, this purchase would probably be for my next milestone – a personal one – when I become a mother! The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak that I got to be photographed in is also truly a head turner. I love that it is elegant yet not too dainty.

Rachel Lim wearing Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Rachel Lim wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

How did you develop an interest in watches?
Like many women, I wasn’t initially that into watches. My fiancé really changed my perspective – he gets really excited by them and that’s when I started noticing the make, the design, the details of a watch. As I grow older, I believe that the most important accessory is a watch, even more so than a handbag!

As a recognised businesswoman, co-founding one of Singapore’s most successful homegrown online retailer Love, Bonito, what is the best career advice you could give to a budding entrepreneur?
You need to know that it’s a hard journey – be prepared for days when you’ll fall, and you’d better be able to pick yourself up, learn and reflect along the way. Remember not to give up, because your next breakthrough is just around the corner.

It’s been 6 years since you started Love,Bonito with your co-founder Viola Tan. At any point, did you have a moment where you wanted to give it all up?
The past two years at Love,Bonito were especially hard, and I really started to reflect on my journey. I needed to dig deeper, to find out the real meaning of what I was doing. What I realised was that the brand has a pull beyond just the clothes; there’s a deeply emotional side to it too. We’ve been receiving “fan mail,” and that’s when it hit me – beyond style advice, they were asking us really personal questions on career and relationship issues. We discovered that Love,Bonito is actually a vehicle to reach out to women and make a difference to them. That’s how we came up with our new tagline: “Empowering confidence through style”.

What was the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during the 6 years you’ve been in business?
That everyone has different strengths. You should know yourself, and work with people that compliment your skillsets. As an entrepreneur, I used to try and do everything, even things that I am genuinely not good at, like accounting. As our business has grown, I realise that I’m not meant to do it all, that’s the whole point of having a team! Today we have 45 amazing people working with us. My role is to have them believe in the brand and what we stand for, help them discover their strengths and potential and give them a platform to shine.

Tags: hour glass hour glass singapore hublot the hour glass

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