As one of the names on Forbes’ “30 under 30 Asia” list in 2016, Rachel Lim, founder of Love, Bonito, creates her own deﬁnition of success.
She and her friends, Viola and Velda Tan, launched a blogshop a decade ago when they were mere teenagers, to sell imported clothing at a time when e-commerce was still ﬁnding its legs in Singapore. Just four years later, they’d developed Love, Bonito into one of the most recognisable home-grown fashion labels. The brand focused on providing clothes for Asian women who had difficulty ﬁnding the right ﬁt and cut with international sizes of clothing – a smart move that satisﬁed the needs of many customers.
“We sought to ﬁll the gap in the market for trendy, well-made and well-ﬁtting pieces that wouldn’t burn a hole in our pockets,” says Rachel. She says that she sees herself as an “everyday woman” who understands the struggles women face, not just in ﬁnding the right ﬁt of clothes but also in juggling multiple commitments.
Managing a rapidly expanding business for a little more than a decade has taught her major life lessons. These include discovering her own path, moving on from setbacks, and creating her own deﬁnition of success.
“Over the years, I’ve learnt that being a strong woman – not merely a successful one – is about understanding who you are and who you are meant to be, without comparing yourself to others,” she muses. “In this day and age, where everyone is showing off their highlight reel on social media, it’s important to remember that we are all different, and we all have different paths to take.”
Despite contending with cut-throat competition in the currently ﬂourishing e-commerce industry, Rachel continues to keep Love, Bonito fresh and updated. From venturing into the international market with its growing e-commerce presence to opening two physical stores – the ﬂagship outlet at 313@Somerset in 2017 and the second at Jem in late 2018 – the company has leapt from one milestone to another, slowly but steadily sealing its position of prominence in the retail scene.
Despite the brand’s meteoric rise to become a multimillion-dollar business, Rachel prefers not to deﬁne success by numbers.
“I think success is a journey, not a destination,” she says. “It is knowing who you are, ﬁnding your purpose, and staying true to your path. I personally am still on this journey of discovering and embracing myself, and becoming the best version of myself.”
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Photography Veronica Tay Art Direction Alex Goh & Shan Styling Evon Chng, Assisted By Hiro Ye Xuan Hair Jimmy Yap/Kenaris Salon Makeup Benedict Choo Rachel's Jacket, Shirt & Pants Hugo
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