I Am: A Portrait Series - Beatrice Tan
"We have our own freedom to make choices, make good decisions and not bound to conform to what the society thinks – but based on how we want to define ourselves."
Beatrice Tan, founder and creative director of local clothing label KLARRA, used to work in the finance industry and created the brand when she realised the need for quality, unique and modern outfits amongst women she met during her time in the corporate world. Combined with the years of experience in various avenues of the fashion industry, it sparked a new drive and dedication within herself — to create her own products that are meaningful, add value to the lives of others, and ultimately bringing out the best in women, from within.
What does Humility mean to you?
To me, Humility means that we are aware that we can always be a better version of ourselves, where learning never stops, and constantly seeking to grow. It also means to me that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to admit mistakes (but make the effort to improve from there) and be willing to listen and be accepting of others’ perspectives.
Besides that, I believe that everyone shines in their own time. I believe in quiet confidence, and that there is no need to shout out on little successes or milestones achieved as these are goals we set for ourselves and not for external validations – rather, to celebrate and keep them as a memory knowing that we are putting in the due effort aimed at making a difference in people’s lives. Also, it’s important to use these lessons learned or experiences gained to share and help others. We might achieve a desired goal or result, but the key is how to sustain it in the long run. Hence, I remind myself to enjoy the journey, appreciate the little things, be grateful for people and life and make the best out of every day.
What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
Women’s empowerment means that we have our own freedom to make choices, make good decisions and not bound to conform to what the society thinks – but based on how we want to define ourselves. It also means to me as women, we are as capable and strong as the men - yet having emotions and sensitivity that will help us to thrive like others along with some kindness and compassion.
What keeps you motivated and driven?
Knowing that what I’m doing can directly impact our community (our customers and also in the company) and make a difference in a way or another in their lives. Also, I believe in teamwork and that KLARRA would be a place where passionate individuals can come together, learn from one another, maximize their potential and create things and experiences that will add value/be meaningful to customers. We hear and take into consideration our customers’ feedback and aim to challenge our creativity to innovate products and experiences to fulfil their needs and for them to enjoy. With that said, it gives me great purpose and meaning to grow the business – for the internal community (the team) and also for the external community (our customers).
Who has been the biggest influence to you?
My mother. She has always challenged me in every way and she is very impartial and gives me objective feedback. She has taught me how to be appreciative and also, to not judge without any basis and to not take things for granted. She also reminds me to look inwards always when it comes to conflict or problems, reflect on ourselves and never blame – it’s in our control to make decisions or take actions to prevent issues.
What are some values you live by?
Fairness, respect, authenticity, loyalty, honesty and a sense of responsibility.
Why did you start this business?
The realisation of the need for quality, unique and modern outfits of amongst the women I've met during my time at the bank (during my first job after graduation) and that clothes can actually empower an individual. Combined with the years I spent blogging and the experiences in the fashion industry, that inspired me to want to do something meaningful. I wanted to create my own products that add value to the lives of others, bring out the best in women and empower them from within.
What do you hope to achieve with your business?
I definitely hope to expand the business to have more people around the world to enjoy the products created in-house by a team of creatives and to use fashion to empower them.
What is your idea of success?
My idea of success is leading a meaningful and purposeful life - knowing that we make the best out of those years – for self and others.
What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Stay true to ourselves and don’t be afraid of dreaming, overcoming and achieving. And one more thing – if you're waiting until your're ready, know that now is good. Now, is as good a time as any.
Beatrice wears our Shoulder Detailing Knit Top in Black, and our Checkered Tailored Dress in Black.
Photography: Rachel Loh from Bare Creatives
Hair and Make-up: Meredith Koh