Rachel Lim (Singapore Entrepreneur)

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Rachel Lim
Rachel Lim Love Bonito.jpg
Born21 May 1987
EducationGCE Advanced Level
Alma materMeridian Junior College
Spouse(s)Leonard Lee (m. 2016)

Rachel Lim (born 21 May 1987) is a Singaporean entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and chief brand officer of the home-grown fashion label, Love, Bonito.[1] In 2016, she was the only Singaporean featured on the Forbes Asia ‘30 Under 30’ list in the retail and e-commerce sector.[2] As of September 2020, she has over 111,000 followers on Instagram.



Rachel Lim was born on 21 May 1987 to parents who worked as a shipbroker and a secretary.[3] She is the second-born of three children with two brothers, Benaiah and Sam.[4][5] Rachel started her business by selling her pre-loved clothes to generate income for her family, as her father lost his job due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.[3]

Personal life

Rachel and her husband pictured in 2016. Photo credit to Nicolethen Studio/ The Wedding Scoop.

Rachel Lim is married to Leonard Lee, an interior designer.[6] They tied the knot in 2016 at a seaside wedding in Uluwatu, Bali after dating for three years.[7] At the time of writing (September 2020), Rachel is currently expecting her first child due in December 2020.[8]


Rachel Lim is an alumnus of Meridian Junior College.[4] After which, she was an undergraduate student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) where she was bonded to the Ministry of Education (MOE) on a teaching scholarship. However, she  dropped out eight months before the end of her studies to pursue developing Love, Bonito full-time as the brand had started to gain momentum.[3][9] In an interview with CNBC, she elaborated on this particular decision:

“It was a very deliberate decision to choose to focus on the business then, I knew we had to strike while the iron was hot. And if the business were to fail, back then, I was still young enough to go back to school.”[9]

Co-founder of Love, Bonito

The co-founders, Rachel Lim and Viola Tan (right).

Rachel started Love, Bonito (then called BonitoChico) as an online business in 2006 with her friends, Viola and Velda Tan.[10] Ever since re-branding the business in 2010, Rachel is Love, Bonito's chief brand officer.[11] In an interview with Channel News Asia, Rachel shared the message that she wanted to imbue in women through her brand, saying:

“As a real woman creating for other real women, I understand that when you look good, you feel good. There’s an immense psychological effect - you stand taller, you speak a little louder, I want to focus on this and put all our resources into helping women discover who they are and be confident by dressing well and dressing right.”[12]

Over the years, Rachel has organised female-centric community events celebrating International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day with various educational institutions.[13][14] As of September 2020, Love, Bonito has over 275,000 followers on its Instagram page and 231,000 likes on Facebook.

Early beginnings as BonitoChico

Together with the sisters, Viola and Velda, Rachel launched the blog shop, BonitoChico in 2006. The trio initially used their business to supplement their household incomes as both their families had been affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis.[4] With the profits that they made from selling their used clothes, the co-founders bought clothes from Bangkok and Hong Kong to sell on their platform. In 2009, BonitoChico won the best blog shop award at the 2009 Asia-Pacific Nuffnang Blog Awards, an event dedicated to recognising notable blogs in the Asia-Pacific region.[15]

Rebranding into Love, Bonito

In 2010, Rachel, Viola and Velda rebranded BonitoChico into Love, Bonito and launched it as a business with their own line of clothing designs.[4] They opted to design clothes suited for Asian women, who had trouble finding sizes from international brands as they had different proportions from Western women.[3] In 2013, co-founder Velda Tan left the business to pursue her separate interests.[4]

Store expansion

Rachel Lim pictured in one of her stores. Photo from Prestige.

Love, Bonito opened its first brick and mortar store in June 2015 at the Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[16] The business has since expanded to brick and mortar stores located across Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia.[3] As of September 2020, Love Bonito has the most physical presence in Indonesia with nine stores, followed by Malaysia with seven stores and Singapore with four stores.[17]

Singapore stores

The interior of the Love, Bonito outlet at VivoCity. Photo from 8Days.

In November 2018, Love, Bonito opened its first and flagship store at 313@Somerset.[14] The store incorporated a minimalist design, with a “pink room” specially designed for customers to take photos for their social media platforms as well as a double fitting room for friends to try on clothes together.[18][19] The following is a timeline of Love, Bonito's store expansion in Singapore.

Year Country Location Refs.
2020 Singapore VivoCity [20]
2019 Funan Mall [21]
2018 Jem [22]
313@Somerset [18]

Love, Bonito opened its second store at Jem in December 2018[22] followed by its largest store at Funan Mall in July 2019. The Funan Mall outlet is outfitted with an augmented reality (AR) walkway and a community space for events and workshops.[21] Most recently in September 2020, Love, Bonito opened its fourth store in Singapore at VivoCity. The store is more family-oriented in design as compared to the other stores, with a kids’ collection and expanded walkways for prams.[20]

Mentorship & public speaking

Rachel Lim speaking at a 2019 event presented by Love, Bonito. Photo from Prestige.

Besides heading the operations for Love, Bonito, Rachel Lim has also participated as a guest speaker at both local and international events.[23] Most recently in December 2019, she appeared as a guest speaker at a TEDx Talks event held at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, where she spoke about what success meant to her:

“Success to me is really discovering who you are... all of us are created with a very unique and special purpose in life. All of us are gifted with different abilities. Success has different routes and is different for everyone. Success is not just about earning your first million, your tenth million, or living in the largest house. Because what good is it for a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul? In this journey, I hope that you take the time to discover, embrace and accept all of yourself, and at the end of the day you’re meant to be unique and different, and that’s how you’re meant to succeed.”[24]

Rachel has also spoken at workshops and events organised by Love, Bonito such as the 'DO IT LIKE A #WERKINGWOMAN' event in March 2019.[10]

Asia Retail Leaders Conference (2019) - Speaker

In November 2019, Rachel was a speaker at the Asia Retail Leaders Conference, an event organised by Singapore Management University (SMU) for retailers to acquire knowledge on how best to tailor their businesses for the future.[25]

Great Women of Our Time Forum (2019) - Panelist

In September 2019, Rachel appeared as a panelist at the Great Women of Our Time Forum held by Women’s Weekly. The event was attended by Women’s Weekly subscribers and allowed them to gain insight from female innovators and entrepreneurs.[26]

The Future is Female (2017) - Speaker

Rachel was invited to speak at The Future is Female conference in April 2017 alongside other female figures such Huang Shao Ning (former co-founder of JobCentral) and Vivianna Low (vice president of NTUC Income).[27] The event was a finance and lifestyle conference where women could learn from the speakers on how to manage their finances and stand out in traditionally male-dominated industries.[28]

Kaplan Diploma Graduation Ceremony (2017) - Guest speaker

In 2017, Rachel was a special guest speaker at Kaplan Singapore’s Diploma Graduation Ceremony.[29]

Her World Young Women Achiever Forum (2016) - Panelist

In March 2016, Rachel was one of the panelists on an all-female panel for the Her World Young Woman Achiever Forum, an event targeted at working women to inspire them to achieve their aspirations and provide social networking opportunities.[30]

References/ Citations

  1. Tong, Elizabeth. “Online retailer Love, Bonito opens first flagship store”. Yahoo! News. November 3, 2017. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  2. Meet The 30 Under 30: Retail & E-Commerce”. Forbes. n.d. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Wong, Kim Hoh. “Clothed in confidence: Love, Bonito's Rachel Lim wants to help women embrace their true potential”. The Straits Times. September 9, 2019. Accessed on 8 September 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Zachariah, Natasha Ann. “Making the leap from blogshop to fashion store”. The Straits Times. June 8, 2015. Accessed on 8 September 2020.
  5. ms_rach. Instagram. March 16, 2020. Accessed on 9 September 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9y4qYDnA2c/
  6. ms_rach. Instagram. August 2, 2020. Accessed on 8 September 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/p/CDY1wXwnFR2/
  7. Nurjuwita, Dewi. “Love, Bonito’s Rachel Lim On Marriage, Love And Her Wedding Plans”. HerWorld. August 8, 2016. Accessed on 8 September 2020.
  8. Yahoo Lifestyle SEA. “Love, Bonito CEO Rachel Lim is pregnant with her first child”. Yahoo! News. July 9, 2020. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Gilchrist, Karen. “She dropped out of college to build a multimillion-dollar business — but she wouldn’t recommend it”. CNBC. March 4, 2020. Accessed on 8 September 2020.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Cheng, Fontain. "Startup Life: Rachel Lim, Co-Founder of Women’s Fashion Brand Love, Bonito". Prestige. July 30, 2019. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  11. Tong, Elizabeth. “Online retailer Love, Bonito opens first flagship store”. Yahoo! News. November 3, 2017. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  12. Empowering Women Through Fashion”. Channel News Asia. 2019. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  13. Love, Bonito”. Eventbrite. n.d. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ourparentingworld. “Exclusive Interview with Rachel Lim Co-founder of Love, Bonito”. Our Parenting World. September 21, 2019. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  15. Nuffnang Community Team. “Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards (NAPBAS)”. Nuffnang. November 9, 2009. Accessed on 8 September 2020.
  16. Claudet, Isabel. “Love, Bonito Finally Unveils First-Ever Flagship Store in Malaysia”. Lipstiq. June 18, 2015. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  17. "Come hang with us". Love, Bonito. Accessed on 14 September 2020.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Tan, Celine. “5 Things To Know About The New Love, Bonito Flagship Store”. 8 Days. November 3, 2017. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  19. Love, Bonito opens 313@Somerset flagship”. Inside Retail Asia. November 6, 2017. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Tan, Celine. “Love, Bonito Opens Its Fourth Store At VivoCity, And It’s The Most Family-Friendly One Yet”. TODAYonline. September 3, 2020. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  21. 21.0 21.1 SG Staff. “An AR walkway, infinity mirror room and more at Love, Bonito’s largest store yet”. SG Magazine Online. July 2, 2019. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Tan, Celine. “Is Love, Bonito's Second Store at Jem Worth The Journey To The West?”. 8 Days. December 8, 2018. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  23. Her World Singapore. “Rachel Lim talks about her fears, her role model and what's on her bucket list”. YouTube. June 7, 2016. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  24. TEDx Talks. “The Greatest Accomplishment In Life | Rachel Lim | TEDxYouth@NgeeAnnPolytechnic”. YouTube. January 9, 2020. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  25. ARLC 2019”. Singapore Management University. n.d. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  26. Molok, Natalya. “Rachel Lim, Maddy Barber And More Reveal Their Secrets On How To Be Happy & Successful In Life”. Women’s Weekly. September 17, 2019. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  27. Speakers”. The New Savvy. n.d. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  28. About”. The New Savvy. n.d. Accessed on 9 September 2020.
  29. Kaplan Singapore. Facebook. October 7, 2017. Accessed on 9 September 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/KaplanSingapore/photos/a.184853378191424/1689340394409374/?type=3&theater
  30. Young Woman Achiever Forum 2016”. Her World. n.d. Accessed on 9 September 2020.