Lee Mei Ling, 32, mum to Donna Low, 3 and Toby Low, 1
Becoming a mother does not mean sacrificing style or art. In fact, it can notch these up a level by bringing to focus a whole new previously (read: pre- parenthood) undiscovered territory – design for the little people. Case in point: Lee Mei Ling, who was inspired by her two children to carve a nook just for kids in the shop space of light that she calls S U P E R M A M A, “where everyone can grow older and younger at the same time”.
Here, a wooden mobile with chalkboard stems that you can scribble sweet nothings to baby on hovers over an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. On the open shelves are children’s books that go beyond reading material duty; these are sculptural pages that pop up, fold out, and move around to draw the viewer in to interact with the story. There are whimsical finds like dinosaur footprint slippers made just for walking on sand, a wooden bean, bowl, and chopstick set to help children master the utensils while having fun, and plastic flashcards that you can layer to create a new story each time. Each item needs to be savoured and its aesthetics, inhaled.
Tucked on one level of a shophouse along Seah Street, the shop is regularly curated to ensure that every object within brings some level of epiphany to the viewer. Brass pens and paper bowls are exhibited next to foil plates and architectural cut-outs, on tables that were specially commissioned look like – doors!
There are parent-child craft workshops being planned. In the meantime, if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for anyone between the ages of zero to 99, this is a really good place to start.
When it comes to style, what gets you going?
Simple and easy.
What’s your standard (i) working outfit; (ii) weekend outfit?
I dress simply at work; usually in a T-shirt and jeans. On weekends, I prefer to be in shorts because of the hot weather.
What do you never leave home without?
Which labels are always in your wardrobe?
Muji and Zara – for simple and light dressing.
What’s on your lust list right now?
A holiday! I want to go Seoul to experience the culture and the authentic Korean food!
What heirloom or legacy will you be leaving for your children to inherit?
The guts to live out our dreams.
What has been your greatest mum moment so far?
Nothing spectacular, but I feel great as a mum when I am able to comfort my children in a thunderstorm and give them the assurance of my love on a daily basis.
What life lessons do you want to teach your children?
Be true to yourself. This is a simple yet a hard to do thing.
What’s your hidden talent?
That I can write? Check out www.supermamashop.wordpress.com!
If you could bottle one of your favourite traits, what would it be and how would you market it?
I am just me, no pretense, no frills. You don’t have to worry about me putting on a mask when you talk to me. This is pretty hard to come by these days!
What is one of life’s greatest mysteries?
People tend to think that the grass is always greener on the other side; that others are leading better lives than we are. The truth is, we can be happy where we are as long as we choose to be.
What’s on constant rotation in your iPod/music player?
Lullatone! It was introduced to me by a friend and it is the ‘soundtrack’ for S U P E R M A M A! The melody is child-like yet soothing. You should check out their videos on youtube too!
What’s your favourite book to read with your kids?
My girl loves the big bad wolf, so it is Little Red Riding Hood or Three Little Pigs for now.
What’s an ideal family day?
I think we do what other families do – shopping and eating, but we always end up in places with large fields, such as Hort Park or Marina Barrage, where Donna runs around. We usually end off at a café with ice-cream, coffee and snacks.
How do you juggle motherhood and business?
I thank God for my extended family. My extended family consisting of parents, in-laws and siblings adore my two children and really take good care of them while I am at work. Without the strong family support, I wouldn’t have been able to juggle motherhood and business.
S U P E R M A M A is open daily from 1100 to 2100 at 30A Seah Street
++ Do you know any super mums – or are you one – whom we should feature? Let us know! Email [email protected]