“Advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on,” says Sue Olivier, who is deeply passionate about the industry – and the company – she has devoted her working life to.
On the communications industry
“It’s the perfect industry for me. Not only does it match my personality and strengths, but I’ve also managed to find a match in the company I work for. It’s fast-moving, eclectic, challenging, interesting, and to do with brands – I love the idea of brand-building – and I get to work with really interesting and smart people.”
Having grown up near Johannesburg, Sue went into advertising immediately after graduating from Rand Afrikaans University (RAU). “At that time there were not many Afrikaners in the industry, so I managed a number of government department accounts and the Trust Bank before moving to larger glamour retail accounts.”
She came to Singapore 12 years ago, and when her role became more regional, moved to Sydney, where she worked on technology accounts for four years. “My role had started to transition into talent development, and I came back to Singapore with a dual role: partly Singapore, partly regional talent development.’
On her home
Sue has lived in her Costa Del Sol apartment since she returned to Singapore a couple of years ago, after a four-year stint in Sydney. The best thing about it is the amazing view and its light, modern and unfussy design. But why did a solo-flying woman need three bedrooms, I wonder.
“One for me, one for visitors – and one for shoes,” she replies, with what can only be described as a cackle. “My previous place was in Telok Blangah, which was fun in a heartlands kind of way. East Coast is less convenient, but here, you can really see the sea. I like to be able to watch the weather coming up, the ships moving, the planes coming in.
“And though Costa Del Sol is an enormous condo development, living here actually feels quite private; I never see my neighbours.” Sue bought all her furniture in Sydney; the Telok Blangah apartment came furnished.
“The couch used to be twice as long as it is now. It wouldn’t fit into the elevator here, so it had to be reconstructed. The movers, Unigroup, arranged it all; they were fantastic.
“I don’t have a décor plan, except for keeping the furniture neutral so that I can have colour on the walls; except for the vibey Ketna Patel chair, of course. I found the dining suite at Space, and the workbench is a real one: men always want to buy it off me.”
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