“Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession.”
These words by motivational speaker and author Gabrielle Bernstein rings exceptionally true for 29-year old Sandra Faustina Lee, founder and owner of Free Movement Dance SG.
Her company not only offers intricate tailoring services, they also follow through the entire process for dancers: from classes to stage makeup on performance day.
We had with Lee to have a chat about the struggles of being a female entrepreneur and how technology has helped her to juggle the different roles she plays in the company.
Tell us about yourself and what you do at Free Movement Dance SG.
Free Movement Dance SG offers dance solutions such as dance costumes tailoring services, home dance studio solutions, dance makeup or stage makeup, dance classes for beginners, and recycling past season costumes. We have been solving problems that dancers faced since 2014, and it has been a wonderful and beautiful journey meeting dancers from Singapore and beyond.
As for myself, I started dancing since I was seven after watching The Nutcracker on TV, and never stopped dancing then. After university I was contemplating how I should continue to pursue dance, then I decided to open a retail shop at Somerset. A few years later, Free Movement was more of a side project while I was teaching dance full-time and running a cafe. My husband, Ashley Liew, was really the one who pushed me to chase my dreams for Free Movement Dance SG.
Free Movement originally began as a tailoring business: what other areas of dance does Free Movement cover now?
Free Movement Dance SG has since introduced many other concepts: we now have our home dance studio solutions, dance classes, stage makeup and also a brand new concept called Free Movement Afterstage whereby we rent and resell past season dance costumes. We love the idea of sustainability and we are taking a big step towards that!
Free Movement is now six years old. Tell us more about some of the struggles you faced throughout the years.
Being a female entrepreneur is difficult, and sometimes I do feel that it is tougher on us than male entrepreneurs in certain aspects. There are times when male suppliers or customers tend to want to dominate the conversation and push their way through. I’ve even had a bunch of male customers wanting to invade my privacy and corner me just so that I would accede to their request as well.
I am thankful that we have such a safe environment in Singapore where I can stand for my rights and speak up to defend myself. As a woman, I think that we need to learn how to protect ourselves, speak up, and not give in especially when circumstances seem to be going against us.
How is tailoring for dancers different from other forms of tailoring?
Fabrics used for tailoring dance costumes is very different from fabrics used to tailor suits or gowns. Firstly, we work with stretch fabrics such as spandex, stretch mesh, stretch lace, which requires special sewing machine setups and techniques.
Even laundering and cleaning dancewear is different from dry-cleaning other apparel. Here at Free Movement, we offer laundering services for dancewear as well.
Not only are you the founder of Free Movement, you also create your own content on Youtube while continuing your work as a tailor in the company. How do you think technology helps with juggling so many roles in your life?
I crave for efficiency and solutions that solve my needs in running the business. Having technological solutions that allow me to become more creative for Free Movement Dance and our customers is definitely something I would invest in.
After having a go with the Huawei P40, which is the feature you enjoy using the most?
I enjoy using the camera the most! I am absolutely in love with its 4K ability and am still very amazed at the built-in beauty function. I can’t wait to continue exploring the Huawei P40 more and to film more dance class videos, DIY sewing and dance makeup YouTube tutorials with it.
For more information about the Huawei P40 Series, visit their website here.