Tory Burch





Stella’s effervescent sense of style is aptly captured in her outfit, and even her hair. “My style ranges from daily casual and basics to clothes that are comfortable, fluid, quirky and have a slightly offbeat element,” she says. “A friend once commented that I have an “asymmetrical style”, so I guess that might just sum up my style and personality. Normality bores me!” Stella is definitely anything but boring, and it’s this innate sense of curiosity that helps her in her work. “I love to discover small and niche shops, learn about new initiatives in a city, find new music, etc. I’m never held back by anything,” she says. “I have slept on a beach like a homeless person, driven from Paris to Bilbao, trekked for an hour through a forest to attend a music festival in Scotland, and I’ve taken a local bus to a ‘paradise beach’ in Mexico to watch an amazing sunset, only to realise that I didn’t have any public transport back to town!” Stella is one of the founders of Shophouse & Co., a placemaking company that develops and builds communities, and she gets to work with a myriad of different people in her work, from creatives, to corporates, to contractors. “Together, we can make things happen,” she says. “Work is never work when you are inspired by the various people you meet, and when you are learning everyday. In fact, I have to tell myself to slow down, because I don’t think my heart can take the adrenalin rush!” Stella’s not about to stop anytime soon, however. “Being able to effect change, working with independent creatives, small firms and the community, and to see collaborations take place, that really drives me.” She does acknowledge that some time off once in a while is crucial, however. “There are definitely some sacrifices. The difficulty is in telling yourself to stop working when you are at home, or travelling or hanging out with friends, because you are constantly ‘switched on’,” she says. “I was also inspired by a carpet seller that I met in Istanbul, who closes his shop for 2.5 months for the winter break. He stops work and spends quality time with himself, family, and friends. We’ve been trying to adopt a mini ‘time out’ period after each project ends.” Ever the explorer, Stella adopts a similar belief between work and life. “Take every job that you are working on as an opportunity to learn,” she says. “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

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