(Wikipedia) ‘An Expatriate (often shortened to Expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).
This blog aims to discover people who are adventurers like me, venturing out in a new place to call home and creating memories. I have previously lived with my parents and siblings in the Saudi Arabia when I was in high school. I have enjoyed and cherished my memories in the beautiful Sandbox I once called my home. Now, I am in a new adventure with my husband and sons here in Singapore.
I am featuring Expats in different countries every two weeks to share their experiences and adventures with you and me.
I met our featured expat at a #BlogMeetSg event. Toni Chan is a successful owner/founder of August Society, a swim wear line. She is gorgeously pregnant when I met her in the event. I am happy that we get to be up-close and personal with Toni about her expat life and more about August Society.
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are originally from?
Photo Credit: Natasha Shuttleworth
I was born in Hong Kong but moved to Canada when I was three years old, so would say I’m originally from both. I’m the founder and creative director / designer of August Society.
2. What made you move to Singapore? How long have you been here?
I came here to complete my MBA and ended up staying to work. Eight years later I’m still here!
3. What do you miss about your home country?
Aside from family and friends, I miss seasons. I don’t miss the snow and -20 degree winters, but I miss the changes in seasons and the fashion that goes with it (boots and leather jackets most of all.)
4. What are the wonderful discoveries and things you like about in Singapore?
The food is great, as there are so many options for local and international cuisine. It’s also a great base for discovering other cool places in SE Asia. I also love how fast and efficient everything is here.
5. What are the 3 tips you can give to fellow expats in Singapore or those you planning to move here?
a. There will be things like rent, cars and wine that are ridiculously expensive in Singapore compared to back home. But then there are things like massages, hawker chicken rice, and flights to Bali that are so cheap you’ll be splurging on them all the time. Just accept that this is the way it is.
b. It’s so easy just to stay in the bubble of the expat community, especially if there are tons of people here from your home country. Make an effort to make Singaporean friends too, they can show you aspects of the island you would never see otherwise.
c. You will never get used to the heat. Pack appropriately, it really is 30 degrees every single day, and you will sweat. A lot.
6. The LITTLE MISS HONEY community gets inspired through travel, food and books. Can you tell us your current FAVORITE TRAVEL SPOT, current FAVORITE FOOD/RESTAURANT DISCOVERIES & current FAVORITE BOOK?
Travel spot – aside from my husband, travel is my one great love so it’s impossible for me to pick just one favourite spot. There are different places for different things – for example food (Japan), art & architecture (Paris), shopping (Hong Kong), beach (French Polynesia) or adventure (Machu Picchu, Peru).
Restaurants – this one’s an oldie, but a friend only recently introduced me to New Ubin Seafood. Can you believe a seafood place can also serve up an amazing angus ribeye steak?
Book – I just finished Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I was hesitant to read it when it first came out as I thought she was trying to turn corporate women into hard-core, aggressive feminists, but it’s actually very well written and entertaining. She has a lot of very practical advice for both men and women at all stages of their careers and it’s a fascinating glimpse into the life of a very influential person.
7. Where do you get your inspirations? Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired a lot by travel. The places I have been really do influence a lot of my swimwear designs and prints, though I like to take what I see and recreate them in a different way.
8. Can tell us about your swimwear line, August Society? What makes it special from all the other swimwears other there?
All of our tops and bottoms are mix and match, which allows for endless possibilities – whether you’re feeling flirty, active or modest, we have the cut to suit your mood. I create all of our bold, whimsical and classic prints to ensure a timelessly stylish yet one-of- a-kind look (you will not see our prints anywhere else). We’ve started using top quality Italian-made fabric, which contains XtraLife Lycra to help retain its shape, it is ultra chlorine resistant, sun creams & oil resistant and has excellent UV protection. It’s also made from recycled materials reinforcing our commitment to sustainability – this means waste plastic (that would have been dumped in a landfill, or worse, the ocean) is repurposed into fibres and made into the polyester or nylon for our swimsuits.
Here are some photos from the August Society photo shoot:
9. Can you share with us three of your favorite August Society swimwear in your collection?
I love the Maldives Wrap One-Piece because it is glamourous yet sexy at the same time. I also love our new Tropicana print pieces, as the tropical floral design is just fun. Our Santorini Monokini is a great alternative to a bikini but more daring than a traditional one-piece with its sexy cut-outs.
(Editor note: We are also in love with the Tropicana Print Swim Suits)
10. Give us tips in how to pick the perfect and flattering bathing suit.
It’s all about confidence. Comfort is key – find a suit that fits well, you feel covered and you’re not constantly pulling and adjusting. It’s important to find the right cut that gives you enough support on the top and bottom. Picking a quality swimsuit made of long-lasting materials, such as Xtra Life Lycra, is helpful as it offers enough support and makes sure that your swimsuit doesn’t stretch out after a few wears and washes.
10.Lastly, can you share with what is your inspirational mantra in life?
Life’s short – stop trying to meet other people’s expectations and live it for yourself!
Thank you Toni for bringing August Society to Singapore! We will definitely check out your website/showroom if we are heading off to the beach or resort very soon.
To get hold of the timeless pieces in August Society, check out their website at www.augustsociety.com or you can visit their showroom:
16A Haji Lane, Singapore, 189209
Tel: +65 6816 9980
Open for drop-ins: Tuesdays – Fridays 1pm – 6pm
If you are an expat or know any expats who are interested to be featured, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.”