Fashion

This Young Entrep Refuses to Let ADHD Get Between Her and Her Dreams

Find out how the owner of Pulseras by Kim started her biz!
IMAGE Kim Tiam Lee | https://www.instagram.com/pulserasbykim/

Back in the day, when you are diagnosed with an anxiety problem or any form of mental illness, people tend to form their opinions, which includes not being capable enough to handle your own business, let alone juggling school and work. But Kim Tiam Lee begs to differ. Now an architect, licensed real estate broker, entrepreneur, and a jewelry maker, Kim proves that nothing should stop you from pursuing your dreams—even ADHD.

How it started. "I was on my final year of Architecture school, working on my thesis and coped with the stress by hand making jewelry."

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Kickoff. "Starting up Pulseras by Kim actually felt very gradual. I started posting my creations on my personal Facebook account and interestingly enough got inquiries from friends. I started by just charging them for the materials and ended up making and posting designs more frequently. From there, I made social media accounts for my brand and eventually learned more about brand identity, product photography, website development, and eventually going into partnering with stockists to create a physical presence of my online brand."

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Why Pulseras by Kim? "I’ve always loved making accessories ever since I got those bead sets as a child. My creative knack for things, passion for anything handmade, and Architecture background had a huge influence on my decision."

Young entrepreneur. "Being a young entrepreneur is both hard and not at the same time. I absolutely love being my own girl boss, but sometimes all the ideas, plans, schedules, and tasks can get overwhelming. Since I have ADHD, it can get intensely exciting doing everything at once, but at the same time I also get anxious. I have my parents to thank for guiding me in dealing with my anxiety by organizing the list of things I have to do via a simple tool: a checklist and taking time to meditate, and plan ahead."

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Aesthetic. "Minimalist. Classic, clean, simple and straight to the point. I’ve always been a minimalist whether in architecture, styling, or my jewelry."

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Choosing the look. "It was more on applying my personal style, basically what I look for in a product. My brand mainly focuses on simple lines, symmetrical shapes, and positivity by channeling power words on certain pieces. They’re every day pieces that can perfectly match any outfit."

Drawing Inspiration. "I draw a lot of my inspiration from my background as an architect. Architecture encompasses so much of the Arts and Sciences that it can be applicable to so much in life and I believe that I’ve found that connection through jewelry. Making sure the fit is right, measuring the proportion of the chain to the pendants, creating different lengths to emphasize a certain neckline. The art is in the details."

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Flying solo. "I own the brand, but recently I’ve been taking in helping hands for production and sales to be able to focus more on the design and direction of the brand. Plus I still have a day job so it’s ideal to delegate certain tasks."

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Little challenges.  "Owning your own business means every decision would solely be coming from you, so you have to accept the consequences of these decisions, good or bad you just take everything with a grain of salt. At the start, sourcing was tough, I started Pulseras by creating costume jewelry, so the material wasn’t so great, the metal’s coating eventually faded, the clasps would always get stuck, and quality control was bad since in my mind the materials had to be cheap so I could make a profit. But making a sale wasn’t making me happy, knowing that the products that I was making was temporary. So I decided to turn things around and source higher quality materials that may cost more (meaning I have to charge more), but it was something I could be proud of. Plus, it makes me feel better knowing that my brand is not contributing to the waste build up of fast fashion and consumerism."

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Staying original. "The three main things that I believe are unique to my brand are:

Material. I’ve searched far and wide for a material that can be worn daily, is hypoallergenic, won’t turn your skin green and at a reasonable price range. That material is gold filled, meaning that the gold content in it is greater than just being plated so you can bathe with your jewelry. You can even wet it on the beach without worrying that it will fade or get ruined.

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Size inclusivity.Women (and men) come in all shapes and size and I believe that jewelry should be, too. So every piece can be customized to fit your preferred size—from the necklaces to the bracelets and rings. Plus there’s no additional cost for that.

DIY Bar. Pop-ups are always fun because I get to interact with so many people and make their dream jewelry piece come true! You can choose from charms and gemstones, have a word, or name hand stamped unto a pendant to create a truly unique piece."

What's next? "Plans for this year is to expand to more stockist partners. We currently have five namely, Hey Kessy at UP Town Center, Hey Kessy at Alabang Town Center, Common Room at Katipunan, Craft Central at SM North Edsa and Kendo Creative at the Cubao Expo. I’m planning to add more as soon as the existing ones are running smoothly.

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I also want to create more workshops and build a community. I’m currently teaching hand stamped jewelry making. I want to create more classes and diversify DIY because there’s just a special bond when you teach students in a workshop and I love helping someone find his/her creative niche. I would also love to join more pop-ups too and hopefully get the opportunity to put up my own shop in the next few years!"

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Entrepreneurial philosophy.

Collaboration over competition. Build each other up, get to know and partner with different brands, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve with an awesome community.

To young budding entrepreneurs. "Find something you like doing even when it’s 3 am in the morning and you still have class/ work the next day and just give it a shot. Sharing is so easy nowadays because of social media, use that platform, your platform to create and share. As a teenager/ young adult, don’t stress about the money, make something that you find useful or amazing and simply build on that."

Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!

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About the author
Janelle Yau
Fashion and Beauty Assistant
The Rebecca Bloomwood of Manila. I spend half of my time obsessing about the latest fashion craze, and the other half overthinking and over-analyzing just about anything under the sun. When I’m not busy as a bee playing with fifty shades of pink lippies, you can probably catch me swiping my plastic for yet another pair of shiny, pointed gold flats.
VIEW OTHER ARTICLES FROM Janelle

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Ivah Ely 7 hours ago

Forget Me Not: A forgotten entry in Tokyo

Watching well-made films often fuel the desire for adventure and excitement in our own lives. Like many in their youth, I've felt that childlike feeling of seeing myself as the main character in my own movie. The genres often change with time and it goes from comedy to tragedy really quick. I used to think that if I closed my eyes for too long, I'd miss the best parts. That if I close my eyes then I'd be covering the lens to the camera in my mind. But I also believed that I could dream about what I see again when I lay my head to sleep at nights or that I can re-watch all my memories after I die. But now that I'm older reality has a tighter grasp on my throat as I trudge my rocky road to adulthood. My memory is failing me. I write this entry for that reason. Because I am scared to forget. I was emotionally and mentally worn. I didn't know it at the time but I desperately needed that feeling of childlikeness again.

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Senior high school came with so much unnecessary pain and pressure that I didn't realize I was gasping for air. I always sat by the window to stare out during class as the voice of my teacher became background noise that faded into my daydreams. Before I knew it, I was packing a small backpack in the middle of the semester on a cold November evening to go on a trip to Tokyo. This time it wasn't a dream and it felt as if time stood still.

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While my friends and classmates were back home in their classrooms going on with their lives and schoolwork, I on the other hand was two-thousand miles away in a foreign land with a foreign language where my basic knowledge was not enough for me to survive on my own. Like passing through the Torii gate which the Japanese believe brings humans into the land of the spirits, I was in a new world. The breeze felt like a cold nip at the tip of my nose as autumn was nearing winter but I've never breathed in air fresher. I was welcomed into a small and warm Japanese home with lovely little folded cranes on a humble dinner table.

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My aunt who was far lovelier and even more vibrant than the colors on the delicately folded cranes was there to welcome me as well. The paper cranes weren't the only things she prepared for my one-week stay. On a little pink card, she had my name along with my Tokyo address handwritten in Japanese for our rides on the bus & bullet train; and in case I get lost. She also prepared a small pink pouch with cute yellow elephants on it. The pouch was filled with coins of different amounts. The coins were for me to spend freely on drinks and snacks in vending machines. It was all more than enough since beforehand she already prepared us 2 weeks' worth of snacks for my 1-week stay. On top of all that she prepared winter clothes since I traveled light and she insisted that I wear the pink parka that she brought before I came over. I find it funny that she still thinks I like pink but it's still just like the good old days. She's still one of the most thoughtful people I know. My aunt is a missionary in Japan and has always been like a mother and a friend to me. I sobbed like a baby in front of a thousand-member congregation on the day my family and I sent her off. A few years later, with my father being our Church's missions pastor, I was given the opportunity to travel to Tokyo and see her. Seeing her again was bittersweet. It's sweet since she raised me and is a big part of who I am and my interests today. But bitter because it hits you like a ton of bricks when you notice someone you love is has gotten older or weaker. Don't we all feel that at some point with our parents and guardians? On my father's side of the family, we have issues of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Dementia. It's hard to pretend that it doesn't hurt that after years of being with my grandma, she doesn't know who I am. As for my dad, on top of having Parkinson's he is starting to show early signs of dementia too. It's scary how quickly one can forget decades worth of memories. I wonder if I may go through that as well one day.

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At the time these thoughts were overshadowed by the magical Disneyland rides and digital museums, sights like Mt. Fuji as well as traditional and Modern Japanese Architecture, pictures we took at the iconic Hachiko shrine, and Shibuya crosswalk, and even the small oddities of Harajuku fashion and merchandise. I took as many pictures every chance I could get. I wrote in my digital journal with plans to make a picture journal when I get back home. Japan was quite the story to tell that I believe rekindled my childlike spirit. Before we knew it, the week ended and I was packing once again. This time my luggage was more than twice as heavy and the destination this time was home. I dreaded leaving Japan but I dreaded leaving my aunt more. I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to her at the airport due to my not knowing that she was only allowed to see me off until a certain point. I cried on the flight back while holding a giant Donald duck stuffed toy as I just imagined her going to her small Tokyo home alone. I also cried since soon I'd have to face reality once again. After hours of travel I found myself back home in the all too familiar Baguio. But I was in distress. It wasn't because my lungs were starting to forget what clean air felt like or that I'm missing the life I've lived for the past week. But I was in distress because I couldn't find my phone. Why was that the biggest problem in the world to me at the time? It was because of the pictures and notes that were lost with it. All the pictures I took and the notes of the smallest details were a blurry mess amidst the panic in my brain. I never posted anything because I wanted to live in the time there and not worry about anything back home or anyone knowing what I've been up to. But what haunts me is that I don't remember a single one of the pictures I took. I was so sure that I'd be able to go over them when I get back home. I don't want to forget. It's been 550 days and it still bothers me. It's been 550 days and it's only now that I realize the lesson of this story as I write this.

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As scary as it is to forget memories, we have to understand when we have to hold on to something and when it's okay to forget. I tried for weeks to somehow recover the pictures on iCloud but to no avail. We may not be able to fix the mistakes of the past or avoid misfortune that is out of our hands but what we can do is to move forward and make more memories that are worth remembering. Treasure the beautiful moments and the lessons from the terrible times. Cherish them and fight to keep these memories on the surface. If you find that difficult to do then strive to tell your stories to others. Because in the times that we forget, then we have others will remember our legacy. We can't be sure about what happens next though we can plan all we want. Often life doesn't have spoilers and may have a plot twist around the corner. As for me, I may never find those photos again but I made it a goal to one day come back to Tokyo and make more memories. That is a promise that I won't forget.

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The Art of Doing Nothing

We have been confined with the worldview about the idea of success; thus, the word “productivity” has been diverted into a different meaning. We labeled the level of our success by identifying the weight of the works we’ve done – believing that the busier you are, the more productive you’ll be. But little did we know that this kind of mindset is a pitfall, ending up in a trap and restricting us to do more of what we can.

Every person has their own way of planning on how to get productive. One of the tips mentioned by Prosalendis was the “2 Hour Hermit Mode” where you just need to stay quiet for two hours to learn and reflect. Within the 2-Hour Hermit Mode, you need to completely shut down outside distractions and try to do nothing, this will help you to have a peace of mind and a quiet time. Focus. This word may be cliché, having a shallow meaning, but the reality is, focusing on one thing is one of the hardest things to do. Some people may have mistakenly understood “doing nothing” as unproductive, but this is actually a form of taking a break. I usually do this 2-Hour Hermit every time I am loaded with tons of deadlines. Just try to sit in the corner of a coffee shop and try to discover new things or just go to a place where you find yourself comfort and peace.

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The art of doing nothing makes you appreciate the beauty of the mundane things - you get to witness how the leaves sway on their own branches, you get to see the unappreciated smiles of the people, you get to hear the sound of the birds giving you lullabies. You will never have the time to focus if you are too disturbed with a lot of things. Give yourself a rest from thinking about all the work you need to do. Don’t get distracted and give yourself the freedom of unfolding new things. The power of focusing and art of doing nothing will help you to do things you don’t normally do, and maybe start to love the things you once hated. Trace your progress. We don’t know how productive we are unless we trace our activities. I have a journal where I can write the things I have done, and the things I wasn’t able to accomplish. This helps me to track and jot down the things I failed to do within the day.

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You are able to take a break and have a rest by doing outside the boundary of the tons of work you have. You will also be surprised that you have done so many things when you’re listing the things you’ve accomplished. This will not just give you the satisfaction but you will also be grateful for what you have done for the past twenty-four hours. You just need a minute to reminisce what you have done while enjoying the silence in the process. Small daily acts can be a solution to achieve our long-term goals. We’re always bombarded with distractions and piled up work, but nothing can beat the idea of staying on track and not feeling lost. By doing this, we will always be reminded why we started to commit on the things that we want to do. After all, what makes us love what we do is knowing why we started it in the first place. The problem with us is that we are too busy achieving, losing the time to see the colors of the ordinary. We are blinded with the idea that success comes with great productivity. We always think that we are defined by how much work we exerted, and not appreciating the effort we’ve given. The fact is you are already successful in acknowledging that you have done something, and nothing.

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