Women We Know #21 - Karman Tse
Karman Tse is a journalist-turned-digital-media-entrepreneur. The founder of Wear Oh Where has never known life to be conventional or predictable. To the 38-year-old, staying curious, listening, and keeping her eyes and mind open to ideas and changes are key to creating and living. One of her biggest passions — other than tennis, fashion and anything French — is having intimate conversations with women who inspire her, and capturing some of their most honest and authentic moments through her camera lens. To be able to call that work, and tell these amazing stories through the website — in the hope that her words would inspire and empower even just one person to take action, take the first leap towards her dream, to live her best life — is, surely, nothing short of a dream come true.
This month we're lucky to have a chat with Karman about her views in life, work and fashion.
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wear Oh Where, a lifestyle and fashion website that offers a glimpse into the lives of inspiring women — trailblazers, leaders and tastemakers of their industry — through their work, wardrobes, wisdom and more.
What is your definition of success?
I think it’s important to know and understand yourself — who you are, what you want, how you’d like to live, and to keep re-discovering because we’re always changing and evolving. Once you have a clear vision of that, you Option A, B, C-to-Z the crap out of it and make it happen. There will be ups and downs, there may be detours, and there will be naysayers, but in the process, you’ll learn and you’ll grow to become a better and better version of you; you will be acquainted with new people and experiences that’ll help and elevate you; and you will pick up an extremely valuable skill along the way: The power to drown out the noise of what everyone wants, and listen to your own instincts instead. And when you look into the mirror and honestly like what you see, with no unkind judgement whatsoever, I think that’s a kind of success worth celebrating, too.
If you weren’t working in the job you are in now, what would you be doing instead?
I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. I have joked about it with my friends that if things don't work out, I'll move to Paris and sell coffee, haha. But I love what we’re creating at Wear Oh Where — the website has grown from a little-known passion project that I started in my little apartment to a place where people now come to read and get tips and inspiration from our stories of game-changing women like kikki.K’s founder Kristina Karlsson and Singapore’s own #Girlboss Rachel Lim. It’s been amazing so far. But we’re still a fledgling company and we have so much more to achieve and offer in the digital media landscape, so I'll be here for a while, giving it 200 per cent — there’s no room to contemplate what-if's.
What is your ideal holiday?
Paris. Always a good idea, non? I spent three weeks there on my own in 2014, café-hopping, watching people, watching tennis, getting lost, finding myself… Those were some of my happiest days yet. That, or exploring an entirely new city with my camera and a notebook. Just chilling at a spa resort is cool, too.
What or who are your style influences?
These days, Kate Moss, the Olsens, Emily Weiss, Olivia Palermo. Faye Wong when I was younger. And Parisian women, always.
What three values are most important to you?
Authenticity, determination and compassion.
What is one thing on your bucket list?
Speak French fluently.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I prefer to live in the moment and focus on the now. It’s the actions you take today that shape your future.
Is there a song lyric or a quote you live by?
Oh wow, so many. Inspirational quotes/lyrics are like coffee — you need a good, strong one to kick start the day every morning.
“My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.” — Coco Chanel
“Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.” — Samantha Power
“You live you learn… You cry you learn; You lose you learn.” — Alanis Morisette
“Never complain, never explain.” — Kate Moss