If art can be wearable, we’re certainly seeing it at Trehaus.
On Mae Kwan White and Amelia Rose White, that is.
This mother-daughter pair are fashionistas and totally gorgeous in their own right. Always in creative prints and vibrant colours, you can always count on Mae and Amelia to add sunshine and pretty hues of colours when they enter the doors of Trehaus – complete with their radiant smiles.
We caught up with Mae this month, who is the owner and designer behind MASE, an art-inspired fashion and lifestyle brand that promotes a colourful way of living, to find out how she gets productive at work with Amelia in tow since settling in Singapore. Mae is an accomplished architect turned interior designer who indulged her entrepeneurial streak after a vacation in Bali in 2013 with MASE Fashion Accessories, MASE lifestyle and MASE Interiors. Mae’s designs are characterised by her signature bold and vibrant prints which are composed by story-telling, matched with colour therapeutic methods, allowing one to be self-expressive and creative with the way one dresses and decorates one’s home.
7 Questions for Mae
How did you hear of Trehaus?
I attended the Super Women Congress earlier this year. One of the speakers, Tjin Lee, mentioned her new business venture Trehaus which aids parents who wish to continue to pursue their own careers whilst staying involved with their kids. I booked a tour the next day and decided to sign up for the monthly drop-off package just to make sure Amelia liked the Kids Atelier before I committed further. With the aid of the helpful and attentive staff at Trehaus, it didn’t take long for Amelia to settle in, so I then signed up for the Work + Play package a few months later.
How has your experience at Trehaus been so far?
Having only lived in Singapore for just under a year, Trehaus has helped me to regain my work-life balance. When we first arrived in Singapore, my main focus was to continue to stay involved in my child’s development. Amelia is quite an active child, hence working from home was no longer an option since she was demanding more of my attention everyday. I ended up having to work after Amelia had gone to bed which worked well for a short while but soon my body started to suffer so that was when I knew I had to find an alternative option.
I feel so lucky to have found Trehaus – not only can I meet like-minded people, the most important thing is that I know Amelia is in good hands! She loves participating in all the activities at the Kids Atelier. It’s like we are part of a “work + play” community where both of us receive adequate support from our peers. It’s a very positive environment to be in.
What’s your typical day like coming to work with Amelia?
We usually have breakfast at home then head off to Trehaus where Amelia joins her friends at the Kids Atelier and I settle down in the Sanctuary for a full day’s work. Lunch time is either home cooked food or take-outs from local eateries. Since the office is so centrally located, it means it’s easy for me to pop out for client meetings or site visits in the afternoon whilst Amelia takes her nap. We usually head home around 5pm unless there’s yoga on the terrace or TGIF gatherings in the pantry where I get to socialise with other co-workers and Amelia gets an extra hour of free play at the Atelier.
Why did you decide to bring Amelia to work with you? How has the transition been for you so far?
I’ve always been fully involved in raising Amelia, I simply do not want to miss anything! Since my business is gradually expanding, it means there’s a significant increase in my workload especially when I’m preparing to continue my interior design business in Singapore. Trehaus offers the work and play option for parents who are exactly in my situation – a hands-on parent who has a career path they want to continue to fulfil. I’ve found a healthy work-life balance for myself and well-balanced routine for Amelia.
Do you see any changes in Amelia over the past three months, in terms of her growth and development? Has being in the Atelier helped Amelia in any way?
Since Amelia started going to Kids Atelier, she has become more comfortable with interacting with other kids and is learning how to share. She’s always been a chatterbox, so it’s good that she’s finally got friends she can communicate with.
Has being in this space done anything for your business?
Trehaus has allowed me to be more focused on my work during the day which means I get to wind down and enjoy the evenings with my husband. I feel a lot more productive these days although I still prefer to get most of my creative work done in my home studio.
Any words of advice for a mother like you who would like to bring an active toddler to work?
Trehaus is a great place to get your child ready for preschool by slowly giving them the freedom and independence that they need in order to become a confident individual!
Having graduated in architecture and music in London, Mae has developed a strong vision of merging art forms to create an artistic language that can fully express her ideas and beliefs. MASE came to fruition in 2013 when the idea emerged during Mae’s meditation in Bali. A series of art prints were composed soon after the enlightened vacation that has proven to be a new design direction which brings boundless creativity in Mae’s work. Mae is also doting mother to Amelia who is a bundle of energy and enjoys playing at the TrehausKids Atelier while Mae works at the coworking space at Trehaus.