May 31, 2017 By Vicki

Our Spotlight on Connected Women

4 minutes Brew Life
5 Reasons Why You Aren't Getting The Right Clients
5 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting The Right Clients
Why You Need A Brand Guide for Your Business
Why You Need A Brand Guide for Your Business (a.k.a How To Make Your Life Easier)

Our founders were interviewed on Connected Women, an online content portal for business motivation & lifestyle inspiration.

Good design. Good work. Good business. For Vicki Lew, Co-Founder and Firestarter, and Gobbs Lim, Co-Founder and Creative Rainmaker, this is what matters – and what Brew Creative is all about. No fluff, no drama. Just awesome work all throughout. This is their story.

Their beginnings. Their dreams.

I dreamed of joining the NBA after watching the Harlem Globetrotters and I thought the colours, jersey, and merchandise of LA Lakers were really cool.

But seriously, I was inspired by my former boss when I was working in a boutique agency. She aspired to become an award-winning creative director in the advertising world – I’m glad to have inherited some creative flair with words.

My dad instilled in me a great work ethic – he runs a coffee shop, and dedicates his life to brewing the best for his customers, showing up on time every morning just so that his regulars get their cuppa in time for work.

I’m very blessed to have parents who support my talent and gave me the space to pursue whatever I wanted.

In primary school, classmates would say that they wanted to be a teacher, policeman, or pilot; but for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a lady boss. Boss of what, I didn’t know; but I wanted to have my own business.

Perhaps I was inspired by my dad, who owned a small business and paved his own way.

I was definitely not the academic sort; I liked to craft and make things – and I ended up in film school, which was perfect for me. A chance opportunity to learn how to create a website for my department ignited my interest in design – that would really be the pivotal career point for me. It’s been design ever since I started working, either freelance or as an employee.

I too was pretty lucky to have parents who never forced me to be this or that, and gave me the freedom to pursue my interests.

Wise Words To Those With Similar AspirationsA gift for our client Bettr Barista on their 5th anniversary

I would say: Give yourself a break. Keep your mind open and make sure you learn something new every day, and reach out to the right network. Regularly work on self-improvement.

I agree with Gobbs – always learning something new is really important, and actively networking is key. Asking for help and introductions or connections is important. In a nutshell, do little things that will lead you to your goal and you’ll get there. It’s not going to happen overnight.

I think for me and Gobbs, we were quite clear what we wanted to do as a career, and we were lucky to gravitate quite naturally into what we do now.

Learnings Throughout Their Journey

Realising that sometimes it’s not about how good you are but who you know that matters.

How valuable it is to be more honed in strategic thinking.


Gobbs Lim and Vicki Lew


What Keeps Them Going

Definitely, there are the low days when I’ve felt like throwing in the towel. But every time I see how our work can impact our clients’ businesses and staff morale, and that it’s more than just being about me and what I brew, my jaded soul easily bounces back to “Life is Brewtiful” the next morning! To me, running a business is character building and comes with a big bonus of learning new things with every new client. Make sure you have some clients and projects that you are aligned with, in terms of their causes, to ‘feed your soul.’

For us, we’re lucky to have creative partnerships with businesses with heart, like Unsung Heroes, Better Barista, and Cat Welfare Society. Surround yourself with a social circle (on and offline) that encourages your personal growth. In all circumstances, remember to “Stay Grateful. Stay Giving”. Count our blessings, we should!

Gosh, I’ve felt like just giving up so many times. But I don’t want to quit and regret it for the rest of my life. I’m also not one to give up easily.

I know we do good work, and are honest and transparent to our clients. We have a lot to offer business owners so their businesses can prosper – I worry about how to cut through all the noise that’s out there, like low-balling and poor work quality.

This also drives us to differentiate ourselves and educate people we meet about what we offer, so business owners get quality work at fair fees. Business owners need to stop taking on everything themselves. Ask for help! It’s not a sign of weakness; it’ s a smart move. Having a third party to come in to evaluate or problem solve is also a God-send. You can only see so much on your own – you’re bound to have blind spots.

We also need to have the discipline to stop working. It’s ironic – we started our own business so we can have more time flexibility!


Biggest Challenges

Lack of respect for designers’  time and expertise, requests for free mockups/pitches and speculative work before confirming a project – that’s essentially asking your designer to work for free. We’ve learnt to firmly and politely say no. We also make it a point to try to educate people about why we don’t do speculative work.


Greatest Life Lessons Learned

My greatest lesson is to take better care of my health – I used to stay up late working and I wasn’t in the best condition. I’m now more responsible for my own health, and I’m grateful for my gift and intend to make good of it. By being healthier, my head space is much clearer and my creativity flows better – to the benefit of our clients!

I’d say every time I’ve not listened to my gut instinct, it’s come to bite me in the butt. Women have the gift of the ‘spidey sense’, so I learnt that while I should evaluate evidence or proof presented, I should also rely and trust my instincts.


On Having Regrets

It’s better to have made mistakes from the course of taking action, than to have regrets from not having done anything. You failed, so what? Off it goes into the experience collection – just make sure to learn from the mistake and grow wiser.

Regrets? Maybe a little less ‘yolo’ and a lot more big picture planning in my younger days as an entrepreneur!


A Quote To Live By

I’m more a punster than a quote-r but I have one to stir the pot:

Don’t worry, no one dies from this.

In appropriate situations, of course!

I’ m not a quotes person either, but I like this mantra:

Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says ‘Oh, no! She’s up’.


This article was first published on Connected Women.

“I Don’t Want To Make Business Life Easier.”
(Said No One Ever.)
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