Last Friday, 30th May 2014 was probably another normal Friday night for most of us, but not for Sara Shantelle Lim. In celebration of her 27th birthday, Sara had thrown a birthday bash worth $40,000, and the best thing about it? Everything for free, or in bloggers’ term, sponsored.
While her extravagant birthday party got many netizens slamming the luxury blogger of www.sgsisters.com, and many shaking their heads in disapproval, we managed to sneak a little interview with Sara Shantelle to dig out certain insights and misconceptions from her vantage point.
The Influencer Media interview with Sara Shantelle Lim
1) How was your party last Friday night?
My party last Friday night was absolutely fantastic. All my dearest family members and close friends came to celebrate the biggest day of my life. Everyone was dressed in Candylicious Neon colours and they were out there to impress! We had a lot of fun catching up, taking lots of photos, winning lucky draw prizes from my very generous sponsors, and we even had a private donation drive to my favourite children charity organization. The night was purposeful and my sponsors were really happy that I did a great publicity exposure for them. Much later into the night, I dropped by club – Fenix Room, I was surprised by my childhood friend, Benjamin Yap, and Massive Collective Group, they bought me a Cristal Champagne to celebrate my special day. I’m really thankful for such lovely friends.
2) Can you share with us some highlights of your Birthday Party?
I think the highlight of my party was my really awesome 5kg, 20cm, 3 tier birthday cake, made by another outstanding entrepreneur, Delcie Lam. She owns her own shop called, Delcie’s Dessert and Cakes, which specializes in healthy cakes, with no eggs and no dairy. It was custom-made and it looked very “Candylicious”. I loved it! Candylicious Singapore also sponsored me a candy buffet table that made this whole party really fun, colourful and happy. Another exciting highlight was ORRO Private Collection located at Pacific Plaza sponsored me 3 diamond rings for my “best dressed ladies”, hence my girl friends, really dressed up to the night.
3) How would you define a successful birthday Party? Do you think your party was successful?
I think a successful party is when everyone is happy. My family and friends who came, were enjoying themselves, they were networking and making lots of new friends. My sponsors were worried at first when The New Paper came out, but after Yahoo! News cleared the air, my sponsors were even happier than usual. They had twice the effects of mass publicity, everyone in Singapore was talking about them. They were very proud by the way, I’ve handled the situation calmly and wisely. A lot of my sponsors, congratulated me and said that they will continue to support me in my future endeavors. I was the happiest girl on earth. My luxury blog went viral.
4) What was the most memorable gift received at your Birthday Party?
My most memorable gift was an empty perfume bottle from a “Counterstrike” childhood friend. Apparently, I’m suppose to go back to the perfume shop with this empty bottle, to hand pick and craft out a fragrant that I personally like. I found that very creative and thoughtful. It is something very fun to me. Thank you Nicholas Tan.
5) Can you share with us your reaction after reading the front page article on New Paper?
Before the article was released on 30 May 2014, I already knew that it would be a front page news the day before. I also already knew that the reporter is going to say that I’ve name-dropped my very high-profile friend, to create unnecessary drama, due to her probing telephone interview on 29 May 2014. Hence, on 29 May 2014 night, before I slept, I’ve decided to make it clear on my blog, what was the actual press release that I’ve send to all the newspapers. With that proof, the reporter who has mis-reported the news, again and again, actually re-edited her online report a couple of times. She finally stated that I’ve named all my sponsors, not just one friend, in particular. A lot of my blog readers, family and friends, found her to be very unprofessional and unscrupulous – just so to get her personal newspaper article to be on front page cover of The New Paper.
It is quite a disappointment to know how there are some “rare handful” of reporters out there to spoil and ruin the image of those journalist who are actually credible on the Singapore’s national newspapers. I was delighted on the night on 29 May 2014, as Yahoo! News Singapore, did a proper professional VIDEO Interview with me to clear the toxic air. I was very impressed with Yahoo! News, as they asked their questions in a very professional manner, with no proper objectives and most importantly, no hidden agenda.
I was not surprised, and I was prepared to see myself on front page news. In fact, I was really excited, as I knew that this controversy would actually make me go viral online. Just that day itself, I’ve had 30,000 viewerships on my luxury blog – www.sgsisters.com, which is considerably new in the bloggers’ society. My elder sister, Lora Christelle Lim and I have only started this luxury blog in January 2013. I prayed hard on 29 May 2014, and asked God for wisdom to guide me through this whole publicity stunt. He had answered my prayers by giving me a brilliant idea on how to change their whole bad publicity to something which in the end was useful to me in my career. After tackling this whole incident calmly and wisely, the world now, knows that I’m actually a very charity person who is proud to be a social entrepreneur in Singapore. Since young, I’ve always been a very business-minded person, I am very much a “thinker” than a “feeler”. Hence, I was not affected emotionally.
Definition of Tabloid from Google:
A newspaper of small format giving the news in condensed form, usually with illustrated, often sensational material.
7) How do you honestly feel about people calling you “shameless”?
I don’t really feel much about people calling me “shameless”, as this was purely a publicity stunt. It is the word “shameless” that have caught the attention of everyone to go to my luxury blog. Today, I already have quite a few businesses who wants to advertise on my blog. I take this whole controversy as a blessing in disguise.
8) Do you think bad publicity is good publicity?
I think a few of my friends have explained to me that, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Because all publicity is a good marketing exposure, and this was exactly what I was hoping for.
9) What, in your opinion, is one important quality of being a blogger?
I think that the most important quality in a blogger is, “being calm”. When you are under the limelight, it is extremely normal for people to talk about you. It is normal human nature, that most people only love to talk about negative instead of positive things. Hence, it is important to take it with good faith, that when people eventually read your blog, they will know what kind of person you truly are, from your writing and daily lifestyle. Well, that’s how the saying goes, ” No News, means Good News” – that’s because people only want to talk about bad news. Hilarious isn’t it?
10) Is there a particular blogger in Singapore whom you look up to?
Honestly, I don’t have the time to read blogs, as I am currently running 7 businesses and working on another 3 new ventures. My daily schedule is really tight, running from one meeting or event to another. On my free time, I like to catch up with close friends instead of spending time in front of the computer. But if I would have to name one blogger, I would say that I’m really impressed by how much Wendy aka Xia Xue, can earn, just by being a full time blogger.
11) Can you share with us your future plans, now that you have celebrated your 27th birthday?
I plan to focus on my luxury blog for the next 2 months, as I am currently flooded with quite a lot of businesses who wants to advertise with me. I am also planning to launch a new book, on how a normal ex-stewardess like me, is able to be a successful social entrepreneur of Singapore today. So please stay tuned and follow me on my blog, this book is going to be epic!
Writer: Leong Chee Sheng