Style can transcend age. We have often heard about mothers and daughters sharing each other’s clothes or accessories. But what about those who band together to run their own fashion business?
For Adeline Lee and her mother, Wong Pooi Foong, it is a beautiful relationship indeed. The duo has put their creative minds together to launch an accessories brand. Their jewellery is sold online and on social media.
Named Art Of The Bead, it offers handcrafted pieces that can suit all personalities. According to Lee, this results from both of them having very different views when it comes to personal aesthetic.
“My mum has a very sophisticated style. Her creations are usually very intricate and time consuming to design," she explains. “I like to create those that are suited for the office or a night out – they tend to be minimalist and simple.”
Lee, 30, adds that it is her 62-year-old mother who taught her the craft. They launched Art Of The Bead at the end of last year, when Lee helped set up the business’ digital platform and social media account.
“I am a stranger to jewellery making, and I only started when this brand was founded. While I only have six months of experience, my mum has more than 30 years under her belt, ” Lee points out.
“My mum has always been creative. When she was a child, my grandfather bought her a set of beads and encouraged her to try her hand at crafting jewellery. However, she was always very busy looking after our family in the past.”
Art Of The Bead was born after Lee and her brother had grown up and subsequently moved out. Her mother then had more time to concentrate on her interest.
She adds that the two of them can usually complete three to five pieces a day if they are relatively simple. However if the beads are very small, or if there is a high level of skill needed, it takes up to two weeks for a single one.
While Lee is living in Kuala Lumpur, her mother resides in Ipoh. That however, does not stop them from being able to work effectively as a team. Having an open channel of communication is important.
“She will create her designs and courier them to me. However, we do have to put our minds together when it comes to creating a collection so there is a lot of collaboration involved," she relates.
“There has to be a deep level of trust as well – my mum doesn’t know how to use social media, so she will have to entrust the marketing side of the job to me. The best part of the job is that we get to become closer throughout this process.
Lee says running Art Of The Bead has really helped strengthened their mother-daughter relationship. They frequently brainstorm to come up with unique collections and to think of ways to captivate customers.
“But my mum is also like a friend to me, she gives me a free hand at creating my own designs. We think that this allows us to reach clientele from different age groups and different segments of society.”
She adds that her mother taught her how honesty and integrity is essential in life. When it comes to running a business, those traits can foster trust among customers – especially to do with the quality of products sold.
“Thank you mum, for providing me this opportunity to turn your passion into a business. I am very grateful to be able to work closely with you on something that means very much to you," Lee concludes.