In this day and age, Singaporean creatives find it difficult to be able to find jobs, projects and other freelance positions to sustain their craft in the industry. Unlike conventional job portals that make it easier for one to lock down a 9-5 job, there hasn’t been anything in the market that really supported the flourishing creative scene, until now.
Brandon Lim, Founder of FUSSY (also known as our boss), is working on PROJECT SHOP, a platform established upon the values of building a strong and inclusive creative community. As revolutionary as it sounds, we decided to sit down and ask him a couple of questions to find out more about his latest conquest.
About Brandon — And how he came about to live the art of design.
“I always liked drawing and art classes. My grades were relatively good for Art in Secondary School, but not so much others, even topped the level once. I guess that’s how things really started. Moved on to study Interior Architecture & Design in Temasek Polytechnic where I was first introduced to design. But I never had the patience for how long it took to get a project done and always knew I wanted to get a job over at JUICE Magazine, so I moved on to get a Ba. in Design (Communication Design) over at SIM-RMIT. I worked for 2-3 years in Branding, Graphic and Client Servicing roles, but never really stayed in a job for more than a year. I did manage to land my dream job at JUICE during that time though, and it was the best working experience ever since it was three of my favourite things in the world, music, design and magazines."
"Never satisfied with what I was doing in 9-5’s, I started exploring options even before actually diving into a whole journey of what people term now as entrepreneurship. I’ve always bought stuff online, not found in Singapore, from Kickstarter and various sources. So I thought I could write about curated products, bring them into Singapore and sell them, going by The Fussy Curator, back in 2015. It was doing well but still, I wasn’t satisfied. So I started paying more attention to the local creative community and realised a lot more could be done for us in terms of content and opportunities. That’s when FUSSY started doing Features of local creatives about what they do and giving more recognition to their work. I knew I wanted to carry on this route and decided to pursue more towards this direction. Thankfully, I managed to get a startup grant for my plans and could work on actually realising the plans.
But a lot of ideas didn’t work out as I wasn’t doing proper market research about what creatives needed. It was always what I thought we needed. So i met up with creatives, offered them coffee for their time on finding out what they really felt was lacking for them, and for the community. Since then, I started working on what is soon to be Project Shop.”
To get the ball rolling, we asked him to describe what Project Shop is about, in 1 sentence.
“Project Shop is a creative platform for designers and creatives to showcase their portfolios and engage in freelance projects/temporary jobs.”
When asked about what inspired the conceptualisation of Project Shop, he identified his band as a bridge between clients and creatives.
“I’ve always been engaging in freelance projects. But it was always through referrals only. There was no platform for me to constantly seek out freelance opportunities. And while working full time, I realised many companies were actually trying to find us, but they didn’t know how! Their industries were just not related to design at all and all they could do was ask friends or friends of friends if they knew any designers. So we hear a lot of “Eh, you know any designers?”. That’s when I thought, if we’re both looking for each other, why isn’t there a platform to bridge us together?”
The term “Project Shop” isn’t something you’d hear every day. Where and how did Brandon come up with the name, you’d ask?
“The name Project Shop came about after many reiterations of names and logos for the concept of this. There were many embarrassing names before Project Shop and I shan’t name them. But the whole idea of this is to really allow designers and creatives to engage in available projects, in a way shopping for projects as they would need to see which project fits with their availability, style and rates. Thus, the name Project Shop.”
Companies and 21st century start-ups usually… start up and shut down within the first year or two. But Brandon’s got a passion and he’s willing to see it through.
“Since FUSSY, I’ve been doing this for about 3-4 years now, and with Project Shop, I see it filling the market gap between Clients and Creatives, working to become the creative platform for designers and creatives. In the next 5 years, we’ll really be focused towards the creative community, working with FUSSY on building an ecosystem where us, creatives, can grow and thrive together. Not just locally, but regionally.”
Project Shop has the great potential to mutually benefit clients and creatives in the industry, more than just a mere job portal, and Brandon hopes for the best out of it all.
“I hope it really provides an efficient reach for both clients and creatives. That when using it, and after using it, they realise this was what was missing in the creative industry. That it provides an avenue for creatives to get that extra income. That it provides clients with unlimited resources to creative portfolios that will suit their creative needs. That it will help not just the creative industry thrive, but other industries that will need creative and design work done for their projects, thrive as well.”
We also asked Brandon a question we ask all our creatives: What’s the best creative skill that you would put on sale about yourself?
“Definitely designing for magazines or like annual reports and I like to think I'm relatively good at it. That’s probably why my dream job back then was to be at JUICE designing their magazine layouts day in day out. Cause I actually buy magazines and have a ton at home to see their layouts, content, imagery used, tone of communication, size of the magazine etc. Some of them aren’t even opened yet and I should probably stop indulging in it. But you know how some people just can’t stop buying books? That’s me, in magazine form.”
Finally, for all you young aspiring creatives out there, eager and ready to set foot into the industry, Brandon’s got a (lengthy) piece of advice for you.
“Gary Vaynerchuk says this best, self-awareness. The sooner you know what you’re good at and what you’re not, the more you can win in this game called life.
Like for me, I’d say I’m a generalist, I like doing multiple things because i get bored quite easily, especially of routine stuff. That’s probably why being in a fixed role, in a 9-5 wasn’t exactly ideal for me. Although the irony is that I’m quite bad at multi-tasking (my team will probably agree quite a lot on this hahh), so i can only focus on what I’m currently doing, and only once it’s done, I’ll move on to another. I don’t want to excel in anything, cause i want to know everything. That’s probably why I’m doing Project Shop and FUSSY as well, and at the same time, and as if that’s not enough, I’m also freelancing on the sides, still.
But if you’re a creative who excels in one area, go for it. Be the best there is, make a mark of yourself, be unique, be you. Make sure to upkeep your personal brand. If you just want to be creative, and do not want to handle the business side of things, find someone to help (not take charge of) you in that area so that you can focus on excelling in your craft, and still get help or be mindful of surviving, monetary wise.
Exist. I learned this the hard way. When I kept my career separate from my personal life, things were not moving, at all. Once i realised i had to actually put myself out there that hey, this is what I’m doing, this is who I am, that’s when i started getting a bit more movement. That’s when my own personal brand had to be out, my socials had to be more engaging, I had to stop thinking social media is fake and curated, cause even if it is, that’s how people are interacting with one another nowadays, and that’s not going to change, ever. Social is, social. Exist everywhere. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Behance, and of course, Project Shop.”
Project Shop Version 2.0 is underway and will be ready for launch this coming Friday, 29th June 2018, so make sure you stick around to witness something revolutionary coming your way!
Let us send you a notification when the site is launched by visiting our notification page.
Years of Experience
In it already. Working for something that will support creatives like myself, while freelancing on the sides.
Minimalist, purposeful and functional
One thing you want people to know about you
I'm (not so) secretly into horoscopes and the science behind why you are who you are.
I'm FUSSY about everything. That's also why the business name is FUSSY. There's bound to be something that isn't right about something, and I'd hope for it to change, if not, I'll make the change myself.