It all started with a simple movement three years ago that would change the way we think about fashion sustainability and consumption today. Thanks to the #WomenOfStyleTheory community, we have now sowed the seeds for a new fashion movement in Singapore and Indonesia with thousands of women sharing an Infinite Wardrobe and the experience of unlimited fashion freedom.
The Women Who series highlights the inspiring subscribers in our community with a story to tell. To kickstart the series, we met with an amazing woman who blurs the lines between being an illustrator and a textile designer and creating a name for herself in the art, lifestyle, and fashion world.
Meet: Teresa Lim
Hi Teresa, thank you for finding time in your busy schedule! We’re inspired by your career and beautiful artwork. In a nutshell, how would you describe your career to someone who isn’t familiar with the arts?
I draw, and I sew!
What is your personal design philosophy?
I think whatever you create must have an element of you. There are so many creatives out there, it’s important to put in an element of yourself in your work, to set yourself apart. There’s no point creating something that doesn’t embody who you are.
Was crafting and working in design always your calling?
After graduating from junior college, I realised I didn’t actually like to study. My notes were always filled with drawings on the side. After graduating from LASALLE College of the Arts, where I studied fashion, I didn’t really know what to do, I just wanted to do something I love, which is either music or art related. That’s when I started exploring embroidery. If I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, I’ll probably be pursuing a career in music!
Women Who Craft: You’re a successful, self-made illustrator and embroidery artist. What’s your take on ‘crafting’ as a passion-made-career and how much of the passion is part of your life?
It’s a great thing to have a job that you enjoy, and I’m happy to have that. I like being able to create new things everyday. It’s what keeps me going. For anyone who wants to pursue a passion-made career, I would definitely recommend it.
What was the inspiration behind your business and handle @teeteeheehee?
When Instagram first came out, I need a username I could remember easily so I won’t forget how to log in. My friends call me Tee, or Teetee, so they just suggested ‘teeteeheehee’ which is easy to remember, so that’s been my Instagram handle ever since I was in junior college.
Your career definitely isn’t a conventional 9-to-5 job. How did your parents first react when you told them you wanted to pursue art as a career?
They had their doubts – they told me that I can’t earn money from this, that I should get a proper full-time job and do this on the side instead. But I’m stubborn, so when someone tells me I can’t do something, I’ll want to do it even more.
Stubbornness seems to be an important ingredient for success.
What is a regular work week like for you?
Besides my regular work, I also teach music. I’ve been teaching since I was 18, actually. I’ve seen the kids I teach grow from young, and I really enjoy interacting with them. Music is a very big part of my life. I need both music and design in my life, and they rely on each other to function.
You’ve worked with several international clients like Netflix, Gucci, Singapore Airlines and such. What are your favourite projects?
Oh, I can’t choose any favourites. I always put 100% of me in every project, so they’re all my favourite.
What is it like to be in a modern female today, especially as an artist-entrepreneur?
As a female in the creative line, it works in my favour because I’m able to express myself more, plus I work by myself. Honestly when it comes to art, I don’t really see a difference in gender – anyone can be inspired and empowered by their craft, not just females.
Where do you find motivation in your personal life?
I think the fact that we only have a limited amount of time in this world is very grounding and it makes me want to accomplish as much as I can in my lifetime.
Not knowing how much time I have left in this world makes me want to do more and learn more.
We know you love to read too! What are you currently reading?
I’m currently on Brief Answers To The Big Questions by Stephen Hawking. It’s really interesting! I like understanding how the world works and how people work, and I enjoy accumulating as much knowledge as I can through reading.
People complain they don’t have time to read. What are your thoughts about that, and how do you manage to find to read?
Honestly there’s so much time to read! Everyone is given 24 hours in a day, it’s just a matter of prioritising your time. You can read on the bus, or while drinking a cup of coffee. In fact, you probably just need 20 minutes to finish a chapter of a book. If you need to find time to read, then maybe you don’t really want to read.
Which are the top 5 books you’d recommend our #WomenOfStyleTheory subscribers?
The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari, and Freya by Anthony Quinn. They’re all non-fiction titles, except Freya.
As a subscriber of Style Theory Apparel, what are some of your favourite hits about our service?
I like that I don’t have to do the laundry or ironing, and that I can try as many clothes as I like before deciding to buy. Style Theory also allows me to be more experimental with my style.
I can rent pieces I usually wouldn’t wear or buy, which helps me discover what I like and what I don’t like.
How do you describe your personal style?
I definitely look for comfort first when it comes to clothes, so I like more baggy styles. I look to Japanese magazines like Fudge and Ginza for inspiration because their style is very relatable, and I like the simple but unconventional styling. It’s right up my alley.
What’s your personal mantra?
YOLO (you only live once) – it’s cringey but it’s true!
Any advice for those considering a niche career in design/craft?
Put yourself into whatever you do. Your work needs to have a part of you in order to have soul, especially if you’re in the design field. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself as well. If you want to start something, just do it! Sometimes people spend too much time planning and over-thinking that they end up never doing what they wanted to do. Just do it first, and deal with the rest later.
Rent Teresa’s picks from the Infinite Wardrobe:
Know more amazing women like Teresa with stories to share? Drop us an email and share your nomination!