How I’m Making It is a weekly series in which Tatler speaks to influential individuals about their unique journeys and what keeps them going.
“I want to show you something. Do you see these dried pieces of Jesmonite that are leftover? We crumble them and put them into the jars for the next group to use. Nothing goes to waste here,” said Joyce Lim. She is the founder of modern and sustainable lifestyle brand Chokmah and she mentioned this as we concluded a peaceful hour at her cosy space in Funan mall.
We were participating in one of Chokmah’s most popular workshops, the Terrazzo Collection Pill-Shaped Tray workshop, and had just enjoyed the creative process of colour mixing, casting and sanding Jesmonite trays of our own with Lim and her colleagues.
“Jesmonite is a really eco-friendly material. We recycle, recast and upcycle everything we use here. In fact, we have our Broken Made Whole collection that is specifically designed with sustainability in mind,” Lim said as she walked us through her shop after the session.
“The collection was actually inspired by my own life funnily enough. Each broken piece represents the challenges and obstacles in my life but when you take these broken pieces, with the right support and hands, what’s broken can be made useful and beautiful and new,” Lim shared with a smile.
True enough, there could not be a better analogy to describe the journey that Lim has been on. From becoming an air stewardess to overcoming two miscarriages to finally becoming a mum, and now, a financially-independent entrepreneur, Lim’s journey has been nothing short of spectacular and this is her story.
Lim started out her career in interior design. Fresh out of Laselle College of the Arts, Lim joined the industry with much vigour.
“I got to work with colours and designs while interacting with people and designing their homes. It was really fun,” Lim said. When she made the decision to leave that life to become a flight attendant, it was a surprising one mainly because it was not her own choice.
“To be honest, it was my mother who wanted me to be an air stewardess and out of obedience, I just wanted to fulfil her wish even though I was not confident in how I physically looked,” explained Lim. “Slowly I learned how to become more confident and decided to give it a try. I did enjoy it in the beginning because I got to interact with different people and learned about different cultures. However I quickly realised that I prefer working in the arts,” she shared.
After a while, Lim decided that this was not the path for her and that’s when she decided to go back to school though what she chose to study was certainly unexpected.