Do you want your work to mean something?

Updated: Mar 25

Do you want it to make an impact on other people’s lives?

You’re not alone. Raena Lim, the COO and co-founder of Style Theory, is out for the same thing.

Raena is keeping her eyes open

Her “yearning for impactful work” is what led her to leave the corporate world and establish Style Theory – “Southeast Asia’s largest fashion rental service that offers women the opportunity to build their infinite wardrobe in an affordable, convenient and sustainable manner”.

Founded in Singapore in 2016 and launched in Indonesia a year later, Style Theory boasts over 40,000 high-quality designer apparel and over 2,000 designer bags for its 200,000 users (and counting).

One of the goals, according to Raena, is to “end today’s buy-and-throw-away culture”. Another is to make renting an instinctive thing to do.

“Success for us is about getting consumers to see clothing rental as a part of their lifestyle,” she says.

“We want to change the mindset and perception around buying and renting, so that sharing clothes is the norm as we shift towards sustainable living.

“The ultimate goal is to reach the point where going to a store to buy something is not the first thing on people’s minds when thinking about getting a new outfit,” she continues.

“Instead, we want people to feel that renting is equivalent – if not better – than buying.”

The elements of “impactful work”

In Raena’s experience and in Style Theory’s case, they include the following:

#1 A quote that always inspires

“I live by this excerpt from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded’,” she states.

#2 A treat to pick you up

“Building a startup is a gruelling journey – everything that can go wrong will go wrong, and it can be mentally and physically taxing. On difficult days, I eat chocolate ice cream and remind myself of the progress we’ve made over the past three years.”

Or how about renting a designer bag?

#3 Healthy reminders

“We’ve built a great team, made at least 10,000 people’s lives better, and as a result, have made a significant leap towards a better future. It’s extremely humbling to have been trusted enough to make such an impact at this age.”

#4 Riding the wave

“My journey into entrepreneurship was smooth, but there was definitely a learning curve,” Raena recalls.

“I come from business and finance backgrounds, and entering a different industry meant we had to learn everything from the ground up to understand how the fashion industry works. We had to know the nitty gritty details in order to build a business.

“Building a new business from scratch and sustaining momentum is an extremely difficult task that requires the right motivation, and it has taught me the importance of not being afraid to experiment boldly and to develop grit,” she adds.

#5 The right people

“There are a thousand things to consider for every single decision, which can be rather daunting. But I’m grateful for having a solid support network of mentors to provide invaluable advice, as well as (co-founder) Chris (Halim), who is on this journey with me.”

So you want meaningful work of your own?

We may have different jobs and career paths, but it’s still good to listen to someone else’s point of view as it could give us the push we need. Let’s follow Raena’s example as she shares five tips for creating an impact in and through one’s work, and for every day. Why not try them today? 😊

#1 Identify your passion

“This is my first tip when it comes to work. When you’re passionate about and invested in a cause, you are naturally driven to pursue it, despite whatever obstacles may come your way.”

#2 Never be afraid to come up with bold, experimental ideas

“That’s innovation in the making. At Style Theory, we’re always nurturing creativity – and it’s through this culture that we’ve come up with some of our best innovations. Even the most unrefined idea can be polished into something groundbreaking, which leads me to the next tip...”

#3 Solve problems

“To truly make an impact at work, you have to be a creative problem-solver instead of being just a run-of-the-mill order-taker.”

Lead the way

#4 Create good habits

“Your habits alone lay the groundwork for how successful and efficient your daily life will be, and setting a daily rhythm for yourself helps you keep the momentum going.”

#5 Do your own part in reducing your carbon footprint

“As a company, we’re doing the best we can to persuade women to start living sustainably, but there are many things you can do at a personal level to make a positive impact on the environment. It’s not only right that we protect the planet we live on, but it’s fulfilling to be fighting for a global cause every day.”

Good luck! 😊 (And don’t forget to consider renting pieces instead. You’ll love the variety, and looking good will lift your mood.)

For more on Style Theory, check them out on Facebook and Instagram: @styletheorysg.