Introducing the Coverage July’s Pick – Carrie Lee, a 31-year-old mother of 3, hailing from the heart of Kuala Lumpur and is the former champion of Miss Chinese Cosmos in Hong Kong back in 2004.
Currently living with her family in Laman Bayu, this model turned entrepreneur does not plan to step on the brakes just yet, as she has set her eyes on achieving even much more for the years to come.
Being a tomboy back in the days, Carrie was extremely active in sports such as badminton, swimming and soccer. She even represented Federal Territory in handball, however, soon after had to call it quits as her mom was worried that practices and tournaments would affect her studies. “Mom was also worried that I was starting to look more like a man,” Carrie said jokingly.
Coming from a poor family background, living in a flat, she had been through many life struggles while growing up. But this did not break her fighting spirit from pursuing her dreams.
From the age of sixteen Carrie had step foot into modelling, hence why she couldn’t have the opportunity of doing normal activities as a teenager. She even had to let go of the opportunity to study in Paris, under a full scholarship programme in interior design.
She even further stated that she felt lucky to have not gone with the scholarship programme if not, “I would be still working to pay back the scholarship!”
Despite her fate – she is a strong believer in it by the way – landed her in another role in life, she was able to express herself as a designer with the re-modelling of her current home. The concept and ideas for each floor were meticulously prepared by her. Picture and material selection were all put together by Carrie. She even took the liberty to customize a few of the home decorations.
It took her around a year to finish up the house. With a low voice she said, “This was only a warm up session.” According to Carrie, her dream house would be on a 20,000 square feet, with a swimming pool for her kids to play and a garden to keep her mom busy.
Though she prefers living on the outskirts, she now prioritizes on her working requirements and her family members needs to stay in the city.
Carrie started of working as a freelance promoter handing out flyers and so on, till when she was approached and encouraged to join castings and auditions.
By the age of just seventeen, this beautiful young mom, managed to score big ads with brands like Eversoft, Sony and Pepsi. In 2003, she won the title Miss Malaysia Tourism and even represented Miss Tourism International, which she was in the Top 15.
Fired up by her first attempt in pageant, in 2004, she represented Malaysia in the Miss Chinese Cosmos Hong Kong. She became the victor of the beauty pageant, despite facing difficulties as she kept on stumbling upon her words in Chinese.
This was the turning point in her life, as she learned about etiquette and things that were very different from her previous tomboy life. But she still claims to be lucky, because that year their theme for the pageant was related to sports. Thus, this made her strongly believe in fate and timing.
“The right things will come to you at the right time,” she quoted.
When she was 20, though many doubted her skills in business, Carrie started an event company, White Fairy Event Sdn Bhd. She was frequent by responses like these, “Oh you must be privileged to be a beauty queen!”, “You just have to be a beautiful lady to approach sponsors,” and even “Frankly, we initially wanted to reject you, we just wanted to see how you look”
As she believes in giving back to the people, her company focuses a lot on charity events and concerts. But she isn’t limited to just that as the company also organizers award nights and etc. From formerly, earning the title Miss Chinese Cosmos, she even started to organize Miss Malaysia Chinese Cosmos 2005-2006.
Back in 2010, Carrie opened up a sports centre in Puchong called White Fairy Sports Sdn Bhd which provides recreational facilities, mainly badminton and futsal.
It was also a coincidence that the land of which the sports centre was built, belonged to the disabled society and after 18 years of renting while building its structures, Carrie donated it back to them as their homestay.
When we asked her, what was her inspiration back then to start up and run all her business that she owns, her reply made us all in daze for a moment.
” I was purely inspired by innocent thoughts just like wanting to share knowledge and even forgetting about the management and financial part of it.”
She added on, ” I just innocently took out from my savings of the advertisement gigs that I earned back in the days to start up my event company in Hartamas, I even got cheated initially.”
“I just wanted to bring back everything that I have learnt from China to Malaysia, to share with Malaysians.”
At the age of 26, she even opened a boutique, White Fairy Lee. This inspiring entrepreneur, was often based in Hong Kong for business, however due to workload and circumstances, it made her question her motherhood which finally lead to her decision to come back to Malaysia and expand out her abilities.
Now she makes sure she has time for her kids, even if it’s just taking them to school and accompanying them during play time.
Juggling between her responsibilities as a mother and dazzling businesswoman, Carrie expanded her business and started of Carries Collection, a nail salon and the Le Carrie series.
A beauty skilled with business know-hows, is definitely a magnet for competitors. But Carrie proves to herself and the rest of us that she isn’t easily fazed by them.
As for someone like her, who relates life experiences closely with her business, Carrie values each of her competitors and even invites them for her beauty pageants. She even works closely with them.
“Many people think of others as competitors, but never do they realize that you can actually collaborate with them”
“I am very open with them. Probably its because I am very confident with myself and my sponsors in whatever that I do,” she said.
For someone, with her wise thinking, she does realize that if they were to leave her, it would probably be due to the fact that she is lacking something, and this pushes her to try even harder, to reach that level or even surpass it in the process.
Carrie sincerely wishes that Malaysia would be more recognized for their pageants with higher standards and of a certain quality.She firmly believes with the right sources, she will one day, with the help of others as well, be able to set up a beauty pageant society which allows young girls to choose what they really want and in the process even allowing organizers and sponsors to freely keep in touch with one another on this platform.
She also believes that no woman is ugly, ” You just have to do whatever it takes to look pretty, do workouts, do spa, choose the right products,” she stated.
People need to be groomed, people need education.
Believe it or not, she used to have stage fright and very much was lacking in many areas, but she persevere through it all and with the help the pageant she was able to see how much it can help to transform a person in terms of confidence and etc, thus why she is able to pull off all her efforts with the best possible outcomes.
When we asked her, are there any other future missions that she has targeted?
With a beaming smile, she said she would love to unite all the beauty pageants at a venue, possibly like a stadium, where it can support up to about 10,000 spectators. Since, there isn’t any of such event, as of yet.
She also plans to explore and expand her brands out of the country and probably on the side live her dream as an interior designer.
Now, we just got to wonder, how does this visionary lady make things happen? What fuels her inspiration?
Her answer was really simple and sweet. Her first daughter, which she had when she was just 22, made her pursue her dreams and to make it all possible at a faster rate. She was and still is really determined to make sure that her daughters to have a good life.
Carrie was generous with us and our readers as she shared what were/are the three most important lessons learnt along the way that lead to her success.
“Never give up, just go for it and make sure you are determined to pull all the way through.”
“If you believe you can then you can. Think positively.”
“Always remember your background and family as it helps to move you forward.”
And her personal secret behind her success is to be hardworking while having a healthy lifestyle.
Carrie leaves us off with a note of how to know if you are a successful person :
You are successful as long as the person is satisfied with your achievements. Satisfaction is the utmost important key in life.