Hi, I am Elaine. I am born and raised in Singapore but had spent most of my life living in the US, primarily in New York, then San Francisco before moving back to Singapore. I have a high level of curiosity and never stop questioning why. Learning and researching is what keeps me awake at night.
During my college days, as a student leader, I organized and attended many school functions. Realizing very quickly that all the dresses I liked, I couldn't afford. I thought to myself, if I could sew an apron, I could make my own dresses.
After college, I pursued my career as a Technical Designer in the apparel industry. I loved my job. I was able to directly impact the development of any piece of garment that I touched, ensuring that it not only looks good, but it serves its purpose and function. I got really good at what I do but felt that I need to share that knowledge to impact more products. Better products also meant products are more sustainable. (And that was what I thought at that time. I'll leave my thoughts on another article :) )
Taking on leadership roles, led me to an epiphany, its no longer products that I touch, but people. Many designers were much better designers than me to begin with and I could see so much potential in them. By coaching, mentoring, and empowering them, the results were even better than I could ever had imagined.
Through the years living in United States, I had made many attempts to move back to Singapore to be with my family, however that would mean giving up my career and what I loved doing, I hesitated until Aug 2019 after seeing how frail my father was in a picture.
Moving back to Singapore, I began to see so many opportunities around me. I thought about opening a coffee shop and started working in a cafe. I thought e-commerce could be fun and started designing t-shirts to sell online. Covid came, there were no sales. I took classes in digital marketing in hopes to help small businesses get on their feet but realized I am not cut-out for it but I learnt many things like SEO, SEM, SMM, Data Analytics etc.
I thought there must be something out there for me that I can do to gel my love in design, eagerness solve problems and leadership to make a greater impact. I found UX. Since we were all on lock-down during Covid, I had plenty of time, so I started taking UX classes online, I couldn't stop, I stayed up late at night learning and I enjoyed every bit of it.
Everything from discovering a problem through empathy, collaborating with teams, and applying design thinking methodology to solve the problem was not a new concept to me. It was just repackaged in a discipline called UX. I used to develop consumer products, new work processes to improve efficiencies and now, I could do it for digital products as well.