SPECIAL REPORT

The Youth of Today: Andrea Chong

by Zara Zhuang
Photography by Chino Sardea
12 Jul 2019

Ms. Andrea Chong, 27, is the founder of DC Creative and blogger at dreachong.com

These days, more than 300,000 Instagram users follow Ms. Andrea Chong’s every move at @dreachong, but when she first created her online presence as a blogger in 2013, “blogging was never a career option,” she recounts. “Back in my third or fourth year as a blogger, I thought by the time the next year comes, I’ll be irrelevant and then maybe it’s time for me to find another job.”

What's the biggest project coming up for you?
It would be the launch of our new website: We're not going to be dreachong.com anymore, we'll be DCedit.com. It'll be a more objective media platform that's not just centered on me — it's an extension of me but we'll have contributors with different perspectives, especially on fashion and beauty. You can call it a platform, like a community. It's supposed to be a website where girls can feel like, "Oh, I've been in a similar situation," and "Actually, I've gone through these problems before," and I feel this is the platform where they can go for all these articles to read.

How would you describe your role?
I am happy to be known as a digital influencer. That's what I am, and that's what I make my career out of. It's how you use the word "influencer," and hopefully we can change that with this media site. As a company we are trying to take steps to change the way people think about influencers. We did a firm trip last year to Cambodia to build a house, and we went with Operation Hope Foundation. Last year we partnered with NTUC Income Orange Aid, which provides courses, workshops and financial aid to underprivileged secondary and tertiary students, and over four weeks we taught them a bit more about photography and videography.

How would you define success? 
My definition of success has never been follower counts or likes. It's the pressure that I put on myself in terms of going this distance. As a boss, every year my definition of success changes. Two years ago, I thought about having an office and a team, and how that I've established a team, it's more than being an influencer. It's also about how to become a good boss and how to expand the business to grow outside of myself and impart knowledge to my team. These are business problems that are plaguing me right now, because when it comes to staff, they are not just your employees. Every day you're thinking about making them feel valued and making them feel there is a growth path in this company. And for that you have to grow the company, so it's a lot of business devlopment that I have to handle right now — it's more than being an influencer.

When you first started, did you ever imagine you would expand the business in this way?
No, for sure. I didn't even think about being a blogger; blogging was never a career option while I was studying. I did English in NTU, and I wanted to be a teacher. Blogging was just happenstance, and now I'm on my sixth or seventh year. 

What motivates you?
Fame has never attracted me so much, and I don't understand why people chase fame. For me, I chase success, I chase validation when it comes to my work. Even when I was starting, out, the validation that I sought was that my content and my photography was better, and it was pushing boundaries and it was different. It's always about how I can be better, and how my content can be better. 

 

How has growing up in this era shaped the way you approach the concept of what makes a career?
I think people are definitely more open to alternative career options; we are an options generation. Even when I am hiring, a lot of the applicants will tell me, "Can I get back to you?" "Can I think about this?" We are always thinking about where we should go every two years, and I also see merit in that, because you are finding your identity and it takes time. I think, for our generation, time is very precious.