Name of Recipient:
Ms. Carol Lim
Life is dynamic and vibrant. Cest La Vie Enterprise is the essence of what life has to offer. They bring “life” to the products you see on the shelves. Wondering how is that done? Cest La Vie works on developing a specially designed (Gift with Purchase) items through delicate selections so that it brings out the best of any product. Cliché as it may be, this is the stand-alone phenomenon that makes Cest La Vie unique in what they do.
Beginning their operations ten years ago, the company is a well-lauded GWP items producer. Founder Carol Lim explained that they are specialized in designing and producing customized GWP items for various commercial companies.
She said: “Cest La Vie is largely involved in personalizing complimentary gifts as every of our client’s products are different. Our specialty is developing the right product at the right price ensuring that a promotion campaign generates the required incremental volume. Our clients have a wide range of choices in selecting the gift materials, color, size right down to the type of zip they would want for their gift products.” It is therefore the ability to totally create a bespoke gift item that makes Cest La Vie stand out in the industry. It comes to no surprise that beauty heavyweights such as Amorepacific, L’Oreal and Shiseido are their regular clients.
In her early years, Carol started out working in the sales and marketing line. She mentioned that it has always been her dream to start her own business. Her quest to becoming an entrepreneur began when she first presented her business proposal in front of a panel from the Singapore National Employers Federation. She came in third in the SET Business Plan Competition in 2004 and was awarded with a $5000 start-up fund from HSBC.
She then used this to fund her very first business venture in the lingerie industry. However, being green in the business world back then, her journey was not smooth sailing and did not turn out the way she expected.
Carol was determined not to allow any hiccup to dampen her morale and spirit. Instead, she responded by starting up Cest La Vie Enterprise. She added: “Failure is my motivator; once I set my foot down; I am focused and I give my best in everything I do.”
Carol went at length to talk about the process of creating the perfect GWP item. She explained: “First, we will have a sample product from our clients to draft out a potential compatible gift item. After which, I will meet up with my clients to hear out their selection criteria while discussing my proposal with them. The GWP item process includes our client selecting the fabric material, color and design patterns. Once we finished customizing our GWP item, I will then follow up on their request to our factories and await the mock ups.” Cest La Vie also makes it a priority to quality control the production, upon receipt of the raw material at the factory, during & after production. They do their utmost to ensure client delivery timeline are met.
Carol emphasized that all her GWP items are unique because they are specially catered to both her clients and their customers. Since, different brands have different stories and identities. As such, their desired gift product must match their brand’s philosophy and vision. This is where her wealth of knowledge and experience in sales and marketing was put to the test.
While their forte lies in bags and pouches, Cest La Vie also produces folios, travel wallets, duffel bags, tote bags, and many more. Carol stated: “One of our success stories was our experience with a renowned Wine Company; they wanted a GWP item for their airport outlets that would best suit their customers who travels frequently enjoy their wine. I proposed a design of a hand carry duffel bag which was not only trendy, light-weight but also very handy and practical. Our client loved our product and truth be told, so did their customers. ”
Carol elaborated that she occupies a niche area in the market partly because of the Singaporean culture. She mentioned that Singaporeans tend to have a “gift culture”, where people would purchase a product that comes with a promotion gift. As such, many companies tend to pay a lot of attention to the types of gift items that they distribute to the shelves. This is where her company comes in to help them with the process.
Planning ahead for the future, Cest La Vie looks to add on an online base customization site where her company can get in touch with her customers.
In addition, the company has thoughts on starting up their own in-house brand. Akin to their mission statement, Cest La Vie is a brand that seeks to constantly improve, embrace new ideas and gain new grounds in the market.
When asked about her take on entrepreneurship, Carol said: “Entrepreneurship journey is a game. There are elements of winning and losing, rewards and consequences. Do not be afraid to lose. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Stand up at the spot where you fall. Embrace winning with grace.”
Despite her busy schedule, Carol does not forget to give back to society. She recently distributed most of her surplus stocks to an orphanage in Myanmar. “Many of the children there don’t even have a bag to go to school. I knew I had to help them” said Carol.
With unwavering passion, Carol does not believe in the binary between work and life; she derives her passion from her work. It is little wonder that Cest La Vie Enterprise is the success that it is today, as the company believes in constant pursuit of excellence to create new milestone in their business.
1093 Lower Delta Road #07-18
JTC Corporation S(169204)
T| 6270 0018
F| 6270 0288