Nimble Insider | Lisa Teh
Nimble Insider | Lisa Teh
Lisa Teh is the immaculately stylish editor-in-chief of Couturing.com. We were lucky enough to chat with Lisa about her path from corporate law to running a successful one-stop online portal for fashion, beauty and lifestyle and working with some of the biggest and best names in the industry along the way.
Image from: @lisacouturing
Tell us a little bit about your background & journey to Couturing
I actually starting work in tax which seems crazy looking back now! About 4 years in, I realised that I was needing a creative outlet to keep me sane so I started a blog which focused on the business side of fashion. I met my business partner Thom at an event and we just clicked. He had his own blog at the time where he was doing beautiful editorials. We both shared the same frustrations about the industry and the drive to create something amazing so Couturing was born. It originally started as a fashion news portal with custom editorials then grew into covering beauty and lifestyle. About 8 months in we realised we couldn’t grow with just Thom and myself creating the content so we recruited a team of editors (most of which are still with us today!) and contributors and here we are 5 years later! For the first 4 years I was running the website in my spare time whilst working fulltime. It was hard work but I see where it is now and don’t regret a thing.
What inspired you to start Couturing?
It sounds clichéd but I really believe life is too short to do something you don’t love every day. I was never passionate about tax but always loved fashion so I thought why not start Couturing and see where it takes me. The industry has changed so much in 5 years and I’ve been really fortunate that I can work on Couturing fulltime now. I honestly sometimes can’t believe how lucky I am to be doing what I do!
Run us through a typical day in the life of Lisa
I struggle to switch off. My brain is always thinking about all the things I need to do, the emails I need to reply to, etc, so the minute I start to wake up, my mind kicks into gear and I find it hard to go back to sleep. I generally get up at around 6 – 6:30. I love to start the day with Barre class at 7am for an hour. If you haven’t done it before, you need to try it! It really lengthens your muscles and is amazing for your core. I try and do this 5 times a week as I’m not really a self-motivating exerciser so need someone to really push me! I then come home and get ready for work.
There is no typical work day for me. One day I could be on location shooting or filming, in client meetings, producing content, doing finances or networking. I love that variety as I think I would get too bored sitting at a desk all day! We’ve recently expanded into social media management and digital marketing which has allowed me to work with some of the most inspiring business people in Australia. I love working with all of our clients. Most of them have started their own businesses and are so passionate about what they do. To be around that positive energy all the time is so inspiring.
After work (when I’m not going home to continue more work!) I’m either at an event, hanging out with my partner, catching up with family or friends or watching bad TV. I’m a sucker for crime shows. There pretty much isn’t a crime show I won’t watch! I generally try to get to bed at around 11 or 12 every night.
What is the most important lesson you've learnt?
There are so many! The main one would have to be to do what you love. If you have something that you are passionate about then why not give it a go, you never know where it could lead. Don’t give yourself a plan B, don’t waste energy on that. Put all of your energy into plan A to give yourself the best chance of being successful.
My business partner Thom has also taught me to dream big. I’m definitely a conservative person by nature but he is always pushing us to do bigger and better things which has helped our business grow exponentially.
With a busy work schedule how do you find balance in your life?
I must admit I still struggle with finding that balance as I genuinely love what I do and I love our clients so I’m still trying to stop myself from being on my emails every waking hour! I have made exercise a priority which has been great for my health and general wellbeing as when you are busy, it’s easy to push that down your to-do list. I have amazing friends who always make the effort to organise to catch up with me which I need because I’m not very pro-active! My partner is also a fantastic support. He puts up with me being on my phone or laptop all the time, but always reminds me that sometimes it’s important to switch off and that it’s not essential that I be responding to emails at 11pm at night!
Do you have any tips for budding female writers who would love to have their own site?
Just start. I think so many people have great ideas, whether it’s to start their own site, a crazy business idea, whatever it is, but they often spend too long thinking of all the negatives and talk themselves out of doing something. I can honestly say from personal experience, you never know what can happen if you just start something. It could lead to nothing or it could lead to something amazing, but you’ll never know if you don’t give it a go.
And because we are big advocates of enjoying life and having everything in moderation – what is your guilty pleasure?
Definitely shopping! It’s terrible! I keep trying to tell my partner it’s an essential part of my job to constantly be buying new clothes but I think that excuse is wearing a bit thin!