She has a physical office in Chinatown where she worked out of for 15 years but the moment she heard of Trehaus, she was all for bringing her five-year-old and three-year-old along with her to Trehaus to work.
Seah Kui Luan, also known by all of us as Luan, first came to Trehaus because of her second child, Ming. Her family doesn’t have domestic help and is largely reliant on her parents (and her husband’s) to take care of her kids, and so there came a week when she needed help with Ming because both sets of grandparents weren’t available. Preschool was as per usual for her older son, Kai, but there was no one who could watch after Ming. Her husband’s work arrangement was such that he wasn’t able to bring Ming to work, and so she had to look for a place that could support this need.
“I used to bring Ming to my office in Chinatown but Ming was just behaving poorly there and making everyone in the office very unproductive. She’ll demand a lot of attention,” Luan shares. “We have a big team but then I realised I am the only mother amongst all of them,” she adds, explaining that there are non-parents and singles in the office who might not understand that there would be days where she would have to BYOK (bring your own kid).
“Now that I’ve found Trehaus, I come on days I need quiet time to finish my work. The office is getting a bit crowded and noisy now with more designers, illustrators, motion graphic artists and production people in our team,” Luan continues.
“And I come when I don’t get any help for the kids and need them to be engaged while I get some work done.”
Luan is the co-founder and Creative Director of Coup Communications, and is a creative professional with over 15 years of experience writing, illustrating, animating and producing. From TVCs and print ads to new media videos and motion graphics, she has created them all to suit the needs of her clients, and spends her working hours illustrating and overseeing the creative direction of many projects which include all kinds of ATL advertising, from TVCs and radio scripts to copywriting, headlines and taglines. Her company also produces documentaries and films, and has produced two award-winning documentary films, Cowboys in Paradise and Menstrual Man.
After 15 years in the industry, business is largely through word of mouth, and even then referrals by itself keep her team and her busy, working through shoots and projects round the clock.
” I don’t even have a typical day. Sometimes I’m on shoot all day, some days I spend the whole day eating lunch with clients,” she quips. “The enjoyable thing about my job is the part where there isn’t actually a typical day for me. Every day is different so there isn’t a set of routine – which I really enjoy. I like the change.”
“What I get is a whole new learning experience. Because different types of clients lets you try out different things and every job is different, you have different objectives and outcomes for the different jobs you take on. Nothing is really repeated,” Luan adds. “It’s fun.”
But with two kids in tow, it sometimes changes her sporadic rhythm for working. With needing to juggle work and caring for her kids albeit even with help from her parents and her husband’s parents, it sometimes require an extended support system to make everything work.
“I think that it’s amazing that Trehaus exists. It completely helps me that I can bring my children to work sometimes because I think it’s a situation people face now,” Luan remarks. “We don’t have a helper so my kids are either dropped off at my parents or one of us will have to bring them with us.”
“It’s a lot harder for my husband to do that, and that’s why I need Trehaus on days where there’s no school and on days the grandparents are away or unable to help.”
“I’m also considering moving everyone in my team here,” Luan adds. “It’ll be useful for me because there’s a lot of team stuff going on that requires me to be present, and the main reason is that I can have my kids around where I work!”