Architecture student quits degree course to sew totebags full time

Ms Grace Kwan
Ms Grace KwanPHOTO: GIN TAY FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

It took Ms Grace Kwan  just a few days to sew 10 faux leather totebags and list them for sale on Carousell in December 2013.

But over the next few months, the 22- year-old avid seamstress spent so much time designing and making bags that last October she pulled out of an architecture degree course to turn her sewing into a full-time business.

Said Ms Kwan: "I got too distracted. I started to spend more time sewing than doing my school work. I didn't want to be an architect, I would rather sew."

In February, she launched a website to sell her handmade bags but continued to sell them on Carousell too. "It is easy to sell on Carousell and I can reach a lot of people as the platform already has a bank of users," said Ms Kwan.

On average, she makes up to around $2,000 to $3,000 in a month and often has to turn away customers because there are more orders than she can handle.

She is currently revamping her website to make it more user-friendly and fine-tuning her business operations.

She said: "At first, I just wanted to sew and I had nobody to give my work to, so I put them up for sale. I like doing things with my hands and it just so happened that sewing has taken me somewhere."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 19, 2015, with the headline 'She quits architecture degree course to sew totebags full time'. Print Edition | Subscribe