Photo: Lynda Lye
Lynda Lye, SINGAPORE
Founder/Designer of littleoddforest™
Tucked in a quiet room within Lynda’s cozy residence lays a mini-showroom and workshop filled with the handcrafted creations of littleoddforest™. Some might see it as an imaginarium of odd wonder, while for others a cumulation of a lifetime worth of work. As a sole entrepreneur who built an entire business thread-by-thread and dollar-by-dollar, Lynda is no stranger to blood, sweat and tears.
Tell us about your brand and the idea behind it?
Founded in 2004, littleoddforest™ is a quirky, whimsical, independent lifestyle fashion accessories label, whose nature, fairy-tales and wanderlust-inspired creations include limited edition, one-of-a-kind quality handmade bags, purses, pouches, plush cushions and toys, home decor, wearables, and various other accessories including sleep eye masks, indoor footwear, baby goods and so much more. littleoddforest™ goods are all as honestly produced as much as I possibly can ensure; made with lots of love and in limited numbers, with many one-of-a-kind creations, both in my tiny Singapore home-based studio and our very own fair-wage labor workshop in The Philippines, which was set up almost 8 years ago. We are the anti-orthodoxy of big brands, shiny leather bags and all things flashy. Many things in our mass-produced world tend to be too de rigueur, slick and cold, and my wish is to make good quality and usable goods that are fun, quirky, odd, and colorful with personality. I make only what I like and my unbridled passion is in pervasive creativity — I will lay my hands on everything if I could!
Tell us about your previous working situation and did you have a background in design?
I’ve worked in both the United States and Singapore as a Graphic Designer after graduating from The School of Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications. Even while schooling in the Science stream, I’ve been making pencil cases, hand-sewn cards and soft toys for friends, with rave reviews, ever since my Mum gave me her very retro-looking vintage Singer sewing machine (it was part of her wedding dowry!) when I was 13, when we had to start our Home Economics classes in Secondary One. It came as no surprise to me when some of my favorite classes in art college in Chicago eventually turned out to be Fashion Accessories Design and Packaging Design, which I took for 2 semesters.
Sewing Machine from Lynda’s Mum
What is your favorite part in the process of designing accessories
I enjoy conceptualizing and prototyping because I can go wild with ideas while sketching, and then transforming that drawing into a raw working craft piece excites me, even when a particular idea doesn’t work out eventually (and this happens more often than not!).