updated 23 Jun 2013, 19:53
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Sun, Apr 07, 2013
ST Urban
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7 things in her bag: Celeste Chong
by Paige Lim

The weird, the wacky and the wonderful - Ms Celeste Chong has seen them all in her time as co-founder and marketing director of The Butter Factory.

"No outfit is ever too much or too strange for us," she says of the club's dress policy. Since it opened in 2006, the nightspot in One Fullerton has encouraged its patrons to dress without inhibitions.

It started a series of bi-monthly theme parties last November, with quirky themes such as Space Zoo and Expensive Trash. There are also parties to mark its anniversary every April and Halloween in October.

The Butter Factory turns seven this month. It was founded by Ms Chong; Ms Tay Eu-yen, its executive chairman; Mr Bobby Luo, the club's creative director; and Mr Ritz Lim, who runs his own hair salon.

Before that, Mr Luo, Mr Lim and Ms Chong worked together at another club while Ms Tay was a lawyer.

The club, says Ms Chong, 33, is always on the lookout for colourfully dressed individuals and will usually reward them with a VIP card for their creativity. The card gives them perks such as free entry to the club and discounts on drinks.

Still, she has not seen any outfit that can rival those worn by Mr Luo and Mr Lim. The duo are the faces of the club and are well-known for their wacky and flamboyant outfits, which they usually design themselves.

Ms Chong recalls one occasion when they turned up in super-sized versions of themselves, wearing oversized headgear with images of their faces. While the club welcomes all styles, you will likely be turned away if you show up in sloppy attire, such as slippers and bermudas.

For Ms Chong, comfort ranks high on her list - combat boots with a slight heel are her clubbing staple.

The Butter Factory started at Robertson Quay before moving to its current location at One Fullerton in 2009. It opened its first overseas club in Kuala Lumpur last August.

The idea of starting the club popped up over drinks with Ms Tay, who was her schoolmate in Raffles Girls' Secondary.

Two weeks later, they drew up a business plan and roped in their mutual friends, Mr Luo and Mr Lim. The club cost about $500,000 to set up.

While some brush her job off as all fun and games, Ms Chong, who is single, says she works 10 to 12 hours a day, sometimes on weekends too.

"My job is not all about drinking and partying. Many people don't know that I deal with administrative matters, manage external club-related projects and conceptualise events," she says.

No surprise then that clubbing is the last thing she would do in her free time. "When I'm off duty, all I want is to sit on my couch and watch television. Clubs remind me too much of my work."


This British leathergoods brand is expensive but I got this at a steal. My close friend, who used to work at Smythson in Britain, got this for me at 70 per cent off its usual price.


Our stylist used these House Of Holland sunglasses in a photoshoot for our club magazine. I liked them so much I bought a pair for myself. I like its unique shape.


I love this case from American website,, which sells iPhone cases. It gives me a better grip.


I cannot travel without my Sony Vaio laptop. I'm working every day so I need it to reply to e-mail, even when I'm on leave.


I've tried a few perfumes but they didn't sit well with my sensitive nose. This one doesn't make me sneeze.


I bought this Agnes b. card holder from Hong Kong recently. I tend to forget my name cards so I put them together with my house keys.


My friend and I import these mint capsules from Australia. We have the exclusive distribution rights in Singapore. They have a very strong peppermint taste and should be swallowed with water. I usually take one or two after meals to keep my breath fresh.

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