The co-founder of conscious lifestyle platform The Closeteur tells us about beauty, business and walking the talk
Olivia Lee and her business partner Vivienne Wong make earth-consciousness look oh-so-cool. The pair founded The Closeteur, first as a retail business selling pre-loved fashion, with a magazine on the side. The magazine took off: now, this Hong Kong-based, interactive digital magazine promotes ways of living and dressing consciously, for men and for women. As well as a magazine, there is an online platform dedicated to the same cause, keeping the world informed about stylish sustainability.
“It was a natural and unplanned move, or ‘pivot’, as the start-up community like to say!” says Olivia of the shift into publishing. “I have a passion for sharing and curating stories to support the growing attention to conscious living, and it became increasingly apparent that I live the life and embrace the mindset of the brand’s target audience: those that enjoy all the good things in life (beauty, travel, wellbeing) and mindfully making changes that affect the environment. Our message is that everyone can make small changes and make a difference.”
For Olivia, The Closeteur came into being because“I can’t sit still,” she says. “I thought I would enjoy being a SAHM [stay-at-home mum], which is why I left my last job. But then I started jotting down all the things I wanted to learn and do. And now, as fate would have it, my work involves more than half the skills I wanted to pick up. And because it’s my own business, I also have the flexibility to work from home or work as I please, so I can still spend time with my family.”
that I would be wearing a lot of hats and taking on multiple roles. I try to see the humour in it, though: "I.T. trouble? Call I.T.! Wait, that's me!". Running a start-up (and a very lean one at that) takes a lot of time, patience and requires a lot of different personnel. A lot of it also involves learning it myself. Of course, having said that, there is also a time and a place when professional help is necessary! The best advice I can give women looking to start their own businesses is that nothing is too much of a stretch or unachievable; for every idea, everyone can, at a bare minimum, take the first step. Don't sit on what-ifs. It's not going to be easy, but it's also easier than you think to get started.
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss, and The Art of People: The 11 Simple Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want by Dave Kerpen.
that there is no balance: your priorities may shift by the hour, by the day, by the month, and it's all ok. I reflect on all that I've achieved at the end of each day and make a mental note to give more time to an area I may have ignored. I've only started taking this approach this year, so it's still not consistent. I might just write one line on something I'm grateful for, or that made me happy. It puts everything into perspective and reminds me of the good things when I'm having a bad day.
1. Don't fold; roll everything instead. It saves room and prevents wrinkles. 2. Use Nylon Travel storage bags to keep everything organised. 3. If I need to change into an outfit when I arrive, I put that into my carryon.
Longchamp Le Pliage bags in large and extra-large size (extension) in black and gray; La Prairie Eye & Lips Anti-aging Porter and Cellular hand cream; Illuminage Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask; any travel candle, preferably with a lid (I also like to collect matchboxes from hotels I stay in); and a notebook and pen.
a vintage Bulgari rose gold diamond Serpenti Tubogas wristwatch, Amur Lexi pants, Tom Dixon's Melt gold large round pendant system; Agustav's Book Rack; Dr Gross DrX's Spectralite Eyecare Pro; and Olivia Von Halle Silk Pajamas.
water is life (and marine biodiversity far outweighs that of land).
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim. It's beautifully written, like poetry, and accompanied by sweet illustrations. I like reading and rereading it. I find myself going back to specific chapters when I need clarity. I like to visualise the words and see how they affect my life. This book has brought me incredible calmness when I needed it the most.
beauty rollers; the stranger the better! I'm using the following meticulously on rotation; ReFa 3D Face Roller, Nurse Jamie Uplift Massage Beauty Roller and Beauty Bioscience Glopro micro-needle roller.
Stuart Weitzman Nudist heels (115mm high), and bodysuits by Wolford.
notebooks. I like to write things out as checklists, cross tasks off my list, and carry forward ones that I don't complete. I recently downloaded the Freedom app, as I find myself constantly touching my phone for news, to check social media for updates (there aren't any). Freedom stops me from using my phone and my computer, so I can concentrate.