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The Industry's Most Influential Twosomes: Creative Power Couples

Live together, play together and, yes, work together. Three talented Singapore-based couples tell Female how doing all three has made them more creative.

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The Branding Gurus

Who The arty duo of Michelle Au, 37, and husband Alex Lim, 35

What they do Au co-founded Tofu in 2011 as its creative director. The outfit handles branding, advertising and design projects for companies such as Adidas, hair salon Kizuki+Lim, Matt’s The Chocolate Shop and Scotts Square. Lim is a senior creative at the firm and heads one of the firm’s key accounts.   

How they met The two started as colleagues at a former design studio and were introduced by mutual friends. They’ve been together for six years now and have two-year-old girl.

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A clever mobile installation for the launch of home-grown menswear brand Sundays

Do couples who work together speak, look and behave alike? Possibly when it comes to work ethics and fashion sense. Other than that, they are quite different. Notes Lim: “I find that the longer you know each other, the more you notice the differences.”

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Giving Matt’s The Chocolate Shop its tongue-in-cheek branding

How they feed off each other’s creativity Lim is more tuned in to fashion and pop culture, while Au prefers illustrations and product designs. These are complementary and they each take turns leading the project, depending if the brief matches their forte. “Creativity is essentially an output of curated shared experiences, whether individually or as a team,” says Au. Their most recent baby: the Temporium pop-up in Dunlop Street earlier this year, which housed a store, gallery and diner. “Outside of work, it’s our daughter’s birthday party themes,” jokes Lim.

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The Temporium was a pop-up in Little India

How to ensure no one side is dominant in the creative zone It’s a non-issue, they say, because they each have their own strengths. As Lim puts it: “I’m more creative in strategic problem solving, being more resourceful and when it comes to spontaneity. Michelle’s the one with the bigger imagination.”

This article was originally published in Female August 2014.