Melinda Looi: Fashioning Family Into The Fabric Of Work-Life Balance
For the fashion designer, creativity knows no bounds even more when carving out the joyful moments of motherhood.
Designer extraordinaire and style icon Melinda Looi seems to have the world at her feet – indeed she does, with a flourishing career and a beautiful bond with her family of four children. There’s no denying that Melinda is one of the exceptional women who takes motherhood and running her eponymous label in graceful stride: she’s an esteemed presence at events while still making time to bond with her children almost every other day.
Although Melinda admits to feeling guilty for not being able to spend more time with her family, she’s found a way to make the best out of her situation. “You will never know what is the best for the children, so I told myself to just enjoy being a mother and to do my best!” was here parental words of wisdom.
Bonding with her children means doing the simple things – food hunts, watching movies, road trips – mandatory singing and dancing along the way. “We have a family ritual of having friends over, cooking for them or eating at a new restaurant. My children travel well so we try to have many trips, and we do art together too,” explains Melinda, on extending her creative habits unto her children.
As a tribute to Mother’s Day, we find out the secret to Melinda’s success in fashioning and merging the two passions of her life – motherhood and a fashion career.
On how motherhood influences her creatively
“I have learned a lot about children and I can easily design and make sure my clients’ children are comfortable in clothes I made for them. I understood better as well on the best fabrics for kidswear.”
Her secret to juggling a fashion career and the kids
“Having a great husband cum business partner like Dirk (Luebbert) helps tremendously and of course a supportive and responsible team, who allow me more flexibility with my time and work. I can plan the children's activities during work or off work and try to be home earlier for them. Running my my own business also allows me to bring my children to work as I love to spend every second possible with them. I am a lucky lady.”
The little tweaks for quality family life
“Think of fun stuff to do, activities that are out of the box. Instead of thinking of activities that may inspire the kids, the best is to just go with the flow. Spend every second and every day by doing simple stuff together whether cooking, making crafts, watching silly YouTube videos and just being together.”
Her advice to pursue a career and motherhood together
"Be strong, strong to understand the guilt you might face as a working mother. Learn to let go sometimes... that doesn’t mean you don’t love your child the moment you step into work and let someone else help you take care of your child. You need to find your own time to do things you like. When you pursue your dream, your child will also feel the same positive energy you bring home.”
How she carves out me-time
“When I’m on a trip without my family that’s when the me-time turns on. My children and I are so used to traveling often that they can get by without having to Skype me for long stretches of time. They’ve gotten used to being away from their parents, and their independency has built since. You could say that makes me-time easier? Anything can make me happy as long as my friends and family are happy... that’s enough!"
Go ahead, pamper mum this weekend at the 5 invigorating spas in KL.