Sereni & Shentel

 

‘Be seen or go home’  – it’s Sereni Linggi & Shentel Lee’s design philosophy which has landed their head-turning headbands a spot in Gossip Girl’s 15th episode in season 5, at no less than the bachelorette of the character that placed headbands back in everyone’s radar  – Blair Waldorf. Sereni & Shentel as their headband line is aptly called are inspired creations that are truly works of art. Every piece is a show-stopper and has a statement to make, but all in the name of fun as reflected by the quirky designs, choice of colorful ribbons, and abundance of sparkly jewels. And best friends Sereni & Shentel, who are both pregnant now (how cute is that!), are two girls that are certainly brimming with much color and sparkle too. In this interview I had with them, you’ll get to know more about the girls behind the brand, how it all started and the role my dear country Philippines played, plus the work that they are doing which is making women from Malaysia to New York (regardless of age), headband crazy.

 

 

Describe a typical day.

Shentel: Both of us start our days working on our full time jobs. Sereni is a Mall Manager at Green Heights Mall and I’m a Graphic Deisgner. We meet up for a working lunch to talk about S&S then we head up to our workshop to work on all kinds of things like new collections, collaborations, production quality as well as checking on smaller things like customer orders, wholesale enquires, and special requests. We spend a lot of time going through the many emails we get daily and try to clear them all by the end of the day together.

Favorite music?

Sereni: Right now anything Christmas related. We started playing Christmas carols in the workshop on the 1st of November!

Brands you are lusting over now?

Shentel: We are both pregnant right now so we are pretty much lusting over every brand as we can’t fit into regular clothes at the moment. Maternity wear isn’t the most exciting. We both love Kate Spade, Anya Hindmarch, Christian Louboutin, Alice McCall, Collette Dinnigan and Chanel.

How did Sereni & Shentel start?

Sereni: We both share the love for handmade items, and we decided one weekend to make some headbands for a Lady Gaga concert that we were going to attend in Singapore back in August 2009. The reaction that we received from the concert crowd was overwhelming. We were bombarded by photographers and was taken by all the Singaporeans asking us where we got our headbands. Shentel even made it into the newspapers the next day for the headband that we made. It wasn’t until we had the opportunity to create hair accessories for a Tatler Shoot in the Philippines when we really started to get serious. Sereni got to meet hair guru Kim Robinson at the shoot and after his praise for the range we decided that we would start a small online store to showcase our designs.

Do you wear headbands everyday, what’s your favorite piece?

Shentel: There are some days you just don’t feel like wearing a headband. We are not always wearing one but we are constantly thinking about them. If we are going out to an event you will never catch us without one. Getting dressed up isn’t complete without a headband. Sereni’s favorite would have to be our Mini Bunny Ears and mine would have to be Mini Zamunda.

What are your interests outside of designing for attention-grabbing headbands?

Sereni: We are both work-a-holics. Our only interest right now is work but this will all change once our babies are born!

What are you most proud about in your product? 

Shentel: We are most proud of the fact that all our headbands are all handmade in Kuching, Borneo by a group of extremely talented artisans who love making headbands as much as we do.

In your experience in the business, when did you know you finally made it?

Sereni: For us it was when our headbands made it to the US TV show Gossip Girl. Seeing our headbands in New York city was a really AHA moment for us.

What’s next for Sereni & Shentel? 

Shentel: We have so many amazing new collections but the biggest thing will be the launching of our new website in 2013.

Advice for other local talents.

S&S: Dream big, think big, be original and you will go far.

Where are your regular haunts in Malaysia?

Sereni: We practically live in Four Points by Sheraton Kuching as that is where our workshop is based. They make an excellent Club Sandwich which we eat nearly three times a week. When we are in KL you will see us eating at Bens, grabbing macarons from TWG, having Yum Cha at Shanghai and doing our supermarket shopping at B.I.G. We love shopping at the Garden’s as well as Bangsar.

Any secret talent?

Shentel: Sereni can play pretty much any tune on her casio mini keyboard and I can play the harpsichord.

 

 

Went over the collection online and what a disneyland of headbands! These are what caught my eye – one for those days when you just want something bright and simple, a black one as a perfect topping for any LDB, and of course another for those days when you just want to turn heads.

Head on over to Sereni & Shentel and see what catches your fancy. Sereni & Shentel is also available through stockists in Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.

 

Be fierce,

 

Jakeena 🙂

 

Image credits: Sereni & Shentel, Michelle Yong (amazing fashion photography!)