Passion – it’s a word that’s rather hard to define, yet it’s a force behind so much of our lives. That’s certainly the case for the 158 inspiring Singapore brands and designers awarded with the Made With Passion mark this year. This national initiative honours the many facets of passion, dedication and creativity behind each of them. From now until 9 November, you can check out some of these Singapore brands at the Made With Passion showcase at Design Orchard, an integrated retail and incubation space in the heart of Orchard Road that aims to groom local designers in the lifestyle and fashion industries.
Here, we’re thrilled to get up close and personal with the founders of three Made With Passion brands. Let’s find out how they define passion and translate it into their creations!
Sabrinagoh – defining passion as a fuel and guiding light
“I define passion as the driving force that ignites my creativity and fuels my dedication in the world of fashion. It’s the unwavering love for designing and creating unique pieces that define my journey and keep me inspired daily,” says Sabrina Goh of her eponymous contemporary fashion brand, founded in 2009.
Since her early days of secondary school, Sabrina had dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Hours of flipping through fashion magazines further inspired her to wholeheartedly pursue her passion. She studied fashion design at LASALLE College of the Arts, working hard to master the art of garment design, with the goal of bringing her dreams to life.
Sabrina calls her collections, some currently on show at Design Orchard, “a true labour of love, meticulously crafted with unwavering passion.” It takes three to six months of rigorous testing and fine-tuning for design concepts to arrive on the store shelves. “This exhaustive process reflects our deep-seated love for fashion. We aim to instil a sense of individuality and confidence in all who embrace our creations.”
Today, Sabrina continues to nurture her passion by staying curious and finding diverse beauty in everyday life and the amazing people she collaborates with. “Exploring new ideas, finding inspiration in the world around us, and working in a team truly fuels my creative fire.”
Binary Style – finding passion in perseverance
One of our favourite homegrown brands for gorgeous silk scarves, Binary Style was founded by sisters and architects-turned-designers Santhi and Sari Tunas. Their definition of passion trails back to the antique Chinese cupboard in their late grandmother’s bedroom. “She kept her best batik clothes and her kebaya collection in that cupboard,” they say. “Our grandmother loved fashion; for her, dressing up well was a way to start her day right. We’re so inspired to see how fashion can make others happy!”
Starting their journey as a single-product brand – selling only scarves – wasn’t easy. But Santhi and Sari highlight the importance of perseverance and improvisation. They also keep their inspirations and creativity flowing when they’re around fellow happy creatives and meeting customers who appreciate their work. Humbled to now be on show at Design Orchard as a Made With Passion brand, the sisters call this a result of “following an invisible path and continuously reminding ourselves that we are on the right way. Just because the path is hard, it doesn’t mean we are on the wrong path.”
Fawn Labs – prioritising simplicity, self-care and slowing down
“Passion is innate. It’s not something that can be taught or forced. It can be the driving force for both good and bad,” says Hann Chia, founder of slow beauty and sustainability brand Fawn Labs. “When directed towards a positive cause, passion alone brings about greater resilience and the constant need to improve.”
Hann called upon that resilience when she experienced a health scare a decade ago while working in finance and investment. Upon recovery, she decided to overhaul her life. She slowed down, simplified her life, and prioritised herself. This included adopting self-care rituals and habits she practises to this day to keep her mind and body healthy. She also became a certified formulator and founded Fawn Labs, a sustainability-focused Made With Passion brand available at Design Orchard. “Our ethos is reflected in our products from their formulations to how they can be use in simple rituals to create a more mindful and intentional approach to life. I approach our products and packaging designs with an intentional circularity in mind.”
Of course, building a Made With Passion brand with persistency and consistency is no easy feat. Passion, Hann says, continues to play a vital role in keeping her focused on the goal in a disciplined and structured manner. “It’s what propels me to overcome obstacles and manage disappointments or curve balls thrown by others during my journey.”