Stella, award-winning jewellery designer turned homemaker, met her husband Henry when she was 19, and it was love at first sight.
“We were both infatuated with each other when we met, although nothing happened until a few months later,” she recalls. “We were at a party and Henry offered to send me home, then took the opportunity to ask me to be his girlfriend. That was 32 years ago, and we just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in the Maldives!”
Likewise, her son Maverick, director of Business Development and Venture Capital for his family’s hedge fund business, experienced a few milestones at 19, including moving from Singapore to California for university, which was the first time he had been away from his friends and family. That was also the year he got his first car, a Mercedes CLA250. And then there’s the matter of the Beverly Hills town house that his father had bought him. Although Maverick did not live in it, he rented it out and learned how to manage his father’s other US properties along the way. “Doing all that was significant to me because it meant that I was no longer a child, that I had become an adult in my parents’ eyes,” he says.
Maverick: My initial plan was to work for my dad after graduation, either in his hedge fund or doing business development. But after seeing how exciting it is in Silicon Valley, I decided to work at a start-up first before joining the family business.
Stella: Right after college, I found my forte in jewellery design and wanted to have my own store to showcase my designs. I was in my 20s when I became the first Singaporean to win the Diamonds International Awards for my jewellery design.
Maverick: Nothing major, as I believe everything happens for a reason.
Stella: I would have worked towards building a better relationship with my mother and offered her more of a listening ear. She passed on eight years ago and I miss her so much. I was a mischievous teen, and if I could turn back time, I’d make the effort to be more obedient and patient.
Maverick: A Cartier Love bracelet my mum bought for me, a present for getting into the University of California, Berkeley. I still wear it today.
Stella: A head shawl from the now-defunct Printemps department store in Singapore. I copied how Madonna wore it in one of her music videos. I love it so much that I kept it to this day. It brings back fond memories of walking down Orchard Road and attending “functions” – as parties were called then.