Behind Ninth Gallery is founder and director Eve Lim. With a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Mathematics, Eve initially got her start in financial risk consultancy before taking the road less travelled and opening Ninth Gallery. No stranger to taking a hands-on approach when it comes to running her business—from sourcing to shipping—there’s no task too small for her!
Q: Was establishing a stationery and lifestyle store always part of your plan, or did it just come to you out of a whim?
A: Ninth Gallery was an idea I had in mind for the longest time. While I was studying in Missouri, I lived on Ninth Street, where my concept of Ninth Gallery truly came together. When I returned to Malaysia and worked in the finance industry, it was at the back of my mind. Starting this business was something I had always wanted to do, and I love the constant challenges posed by being my own boss.
Q: What drew you to the allure of specially designed items that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional?
A: Ninth Gallery was founded upon the idea of brewing life’s aesthetics. I believe that it is important to take arts and culture and infuse it into our daily lives through beautiful, pragmatic objects that enrich one’s life in a positive way.
Q: Has your background in economics helped you in any way with running Ninth Gallery?
A: Entering the industry with a business mindset and a background in economics allows me to be more realistic about my expectations for the Ninth Gallery. Because of my background, I feel I am able to strategise my goals and passions and materialise my vision for Ninth Gallery within a realistic structure.
Q: What inspired you to make the transition from financial risk consultancy to being in the designer lifestyle products business?
A: I have always kept the Ninth Gallery concept in my head just waiting for the right time to do it. Because I had grown up in Taipei before moving to Penang in my childhood, I had been exposed to the concept of lifestyle stores since an early age and I have always wanted to run one of my own.
Q: Owning your own business can be physically and mentally exhausting at times. Do you ever question your decision to run your own store?
A: Yes. Everybody will question their decision to run their own store. You always ask yourself “why am I doing this?” and “how can I do it better?” and “where do we want to be?” And, you always have to adjust your goals as new opportunities are always just across the way.
Q: What have you been most grateful for since starting this endeavour?
A: I am grateful to live a life where I feel more like a well-rounded person. I love the challenges of running my own business and the freedom to dictate my own visions.