Here at Choo Yilin, exquisite jade jewellery coupled with impeccable lighting and beautiful styling is a given – after all, storytelling through jade jewellery is what we pride ourselves in. But beyond that lies our deeper belief in the constant pursuit of betterment, an ethos underpinned in our work and processes.
At the very heart of our brand is to live a life of passion and purpose. At Choo Yilin, we believe that all women are strong in their own right and the only thing that ought to be challenged is the way the world perceives this strength.
Women who never take failure lying down; who consciously make decisions that push them out of their comfort zone; who are constantly pursuing personal development and betterment – these are the woman we are celebrating for Choo Yilin’s Empowered Everyday Women series, starting off with sports and animal enthusiast, Marie Choo.
Nutshells and one-liners aren’t quite Marie’s thing as this lady has proven herself to be a shapeshifter of sorts as she navigates through disparate industries with ease – and above all, overflows with aplomb and poise. Currently a part-time lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts, she spends a majority of her time teaching, at the gym, or fulfilling her own personal running schedule. All this on top of her Animal Behaviourist work that she juggles primarily on the weekends. If this didn’t seem enough, Marie also boasts years of experience in the fashion industry, heading Marketing and Communications for FJ Benjamin, before she struck out on her own and founded Alchemy Consultancy – an agency specializing in public relations, events, and marketing for luxury, fashion, and lifestyle brands.
Seemingly equipped with the Midas touch, everything Marie dabbled in turned to a dazzling gold. She revealed that, “Mediocrity is not something I take on very well”, and that is clearly exemplified in her various pursuits. At FJ Benjamin, Marie spearheaded the launches of GAP and La Senza in Singapore, pulling off fashion events and parties complete with circus performances and the like.
Her pursuit of knowledge and excellence also shows up in her love for dogs. When she first got her Shetland Sheepdog named Butter years ago, she realised she was “absolutely clueless” about caring for a pet. With a fierce passion, she dedicated herself to learning about animal behavior. Before she knew it, she was a certified Dog Behaviorist, spending her weekends at dog shelters rehabilitating and rehoming strays.
Helming a successful consultancy whilst championing animal welfare, Marie was every bit the poster woman for success. However, she revealed that life is never quite the rosy picture that one often hopes to paint.
“I loved being at the helm of my own PR agency but it was undoubtedly very stressful at the same. I had also come to realize that I had changed tremendously over the years and eventually began to feel a lot like an actress at work because I had to sell luxury and the high-life. It was a very big difference compared to the charity work I was leaning towards doing then. The disconnect and dissonance was incredibly resounding. It drove a deep wedge within me and I started running then as a way of meditation to clear my mind. It eventually gave me the courage to close the company down and follow my heart,” Marie recounted.
In June 2015, she closed down Alchemy, her labour of love for eight years.
Today, Marie is busy training for her upcoming new feat — conquering the TransLantau Ultra Trail Race, an event she is participating in to raise funds for the animal shelter, Save our Street Dogs (SoSD). The 50km race in Hong Kong comprises of 5 climbs for a cumulative elevation gain of 2,300 meters. Even for an avid marathoner like Marie, the extreme difficulty of the off-road event is expected to challenge her endurance to the limits.
The newly accredited physical trainer shows no signs of slowing, be it in her charity work for animal welfare, love for fashion, or newfound passion for fitness as she hopes to be a certified nutritionist in the near future.
Deeply humble yet self-assured, Marie’s very being is a testament of Becoming. She runs through her Life’s marathon slowly but surely – appreciating the beautiful views, getting stronger after every stumbling block, and improving with every mile.
Marie will be attempting her first Ultra Trail Race to raise awareness and funds for rescue dogs. You can find out more about SoSD and Marie's fundraising efforts here.