Brooke Lim (Sugaresque)
Brooke Lim Ke Xin (born in 2003) is a Singaporean entrepreneur and influencer best known for having founded the tuition centre, Classicle Club. The success of her business venture has been featured by several local media outlets, which she started after graduating from junior college at 18 years old.
|Education||GCE ‘A’ Levels|
|Alma mater||Raffles Junior College|
From 2022 to 2023, Brooke was involved in plagiarism scandals on 2 occasions. In November 2022, local tutor Denise Soong was accused of plagiarising the graphic materials and welfare benefits provided by Brooke. Soon after in April 2023, a TikTok user (@sugaresqueessay) posted a video exposing Brooke for plagiarising the novel Wintergirls in a long-form blog post.
Personal life & family
After graduating from Raffles Junior College in 2021, Brooke Lim decided to take a gap year to pursue her entrepreneurial ambitions. In an interview with Rice Media, she shared that her parents were supportive of this move and it only took “one or two dinner conversations” to convince them.
Brooke had also revealed that she had been accepted to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Influencer (2018 to Present)
From 2021, Brooke Lim began actively creating content on social media sites like Instagram and TikTok. She often posts content with a motivational message or daily inspiration, such as “what I learned from JC” and “what I spend in a day” clips.
“Content creation is like a job at the office with the benefit of getting to meet new people and attend events. It has added a new layer to how I view the world. I can share fresh insights with my students. On a more superficial level, I get cool stuff. So I like to give freebies to my students.”
In the past, she has also been active on her ex-partner’s TikTok account, simpesque. After the couple broke up in early 2023, he took to the platform to refute allegations that Brooke had cheated on him.
Classicle Club (2021 to Present)
After completing her GCE ‘A’ Levels examination in 2021, Brooke began providing private tuition for General Paper (GP). Thereafter, she committed to the job full-time, deciding to take a gap year in the process.
Initially, the business largely relied on “word of mouth, referrals and social media to grow its customer base from one to a hundred.In 2022, as her venture continued to expand, she gathered a team and set up the tuition centre, Classicle Club. The tuition centre was also able to quickly gain traction due to the marketing of its classes and welfare, including complementary pastries, escape room trips, and graduation parties.
“Sometimes, people can be very hurtful and say ‘she’s just 19’. And like every other teen, I struggle with overthinking and catastrophising, and experience a lot of imposter syndrome…But the high points are when everyone comes together and I see the community I have built, or when a student does well and tells me which part of the experience helped them do well.”
Starting a tuition business at 19
In 2023, Brooke Lim and her business, Classicle Club were featured on 2 of Singapore’s most prominent news outlets, CNA and The Straits Times. It was even reported that she managed to earn a profit of S$300,000 in the second half of 2022.
Tutor Denise Soong accused of plagiarising Brooke Lim (2022)
In November 2022, the tuition centre, a TikTok user posted a clip accusing Puzzle Edu Studio for plagiarising Classicle Club’s concepts and ideas. As of May 2023, the TikTok that she uploaded has since been taken down. The user went by the handle, @elliebanana and alleged that the Studio:
- Plagiarised the copy and design of Classicle Club’s logo for its own.
- Copied Brooke Lim’s idea of having a cinema trip for student welfare.
- Copied the Classicle Club’s “free online learning” concept, which included free learning materials and quizzes on its official website.
On 13 November 2023, local influencer and founder of Puzzle Edu Studio, Denise Soong took to TikTok to address these allegations and either denied them or claimed that the similarities were unintentional.
Accused of plagiarising the novel, Wintergirls (2023)
In April 2023, Brooke Lim was again embroiled in plagiarism allegations, but against her this time. An anonymous TikTok user who claimed to be a student posted a TikTok exposing Brooke for plagiarising the novel Wintergirls in a long-form blog post. Following that, several other local TikTok users came up and accused Brooke of separate cases of plagiarism. Most prominently, the user @gejiabao gained attention amidst this issue, after she began consistently posting such claims. gejiabao is also a fellow GP tutor and claims that Brooke “got inspired by a lot of [her] content”.
For the initial allegations, Brooke has since stepped up to address them, apologising for her actions and clarifying that it was not part of her academic materials. She also mentioned that she received death threats as a result of this incident.
“I take full responsibility for my recent mistake of plagiarising a segment in a personal blog post written in a personal capacity…The essay was not for profit, academic assignment or publication, and I apologise to my followers, students, readers and the authors of the works I plagiarised from. I have since taken down the essay and am open to any suggestions on how to make things right.”
As for the series of allegations from gejiabao, Brooke and many netizens began discrediting the TikToker’s statements, as they found that the evidence drawn up was “vague” or “not concrete”.
References / Citations
- Classicle Club. “Classicle Club | Leading Tuition Centre in Singapore”.Classicle Club. n.d. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- Tan, Annie. “Meet 4 teens who used Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn to launch their pursuits: Bagels, General Paper tuition, songwriting”.CNA. February 27, 2023. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- Yeo, Stephanie. “Gen Z bosses: Her tuition agency pulled in a six-figure profit in six months”.The Straits Times. April 8, 2023. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- Quek, Hykel. “This Is How TikTok Influencer, Brooke Lim, Is Shaking Up The Tuition Industry in Singapore”.Rice Media. December 21, 2022. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- Foo, Nicole. “Tutor Accused Of Copying Singapore Influencer’s Business Concepts On 8 Nov”.MSNews. November 21, 2022. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- Yeo, Stephanie. “TikTok influencer and tutor Brooke Lim apologises for plagiarism in blog essay”.The Straits Times. April 26, 2023. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- sugaresqueessay. “sugaresqueessay”.TikTok. April 19, 2023. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- Business Insider Singapore/Malaysia. “Singapore TikTokker confesses to plagiarising eating-disorder essay: ‘I am so sorry’”.South China Morning Post. April 26, 2023. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- sugaresque. “sugaresque”.TikTok. n.d. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- sugaresque. “sugaresque”.Instagram. n.d. Accessed 27 April 2023.
- simpesque. “simpesque”.TikTok. n.d. Accessed 2 May 2023.
- simpesque. “simpesque”.TikTok. March 13, 2023. Accessed 2 May 2023.
- gejiabao. “gejiabao”.TikTok. April 21, 2023. Accessed 2 May 2023.