Sharlene Lim, “My love for Italy”: interview with the ReebonzLive streaming anchor

“Sometimes it happens in everyday life that something attracts our attention in a special way. It may be the elegance of an object, the delicacy of a gesture; without almost realizing it, we are captivated, enchanted; and we desire to know more. In this case it was the passion that struck us. The one that Sharlene Lim puts into her live streaming broadcasts. During the edition of Mipel that just took place, we were literally overwhelmed by her energy. What does Sharlene do? She sells fashion items from Italian manufacturers, live for a Singaporean channel. Her infectious enthusiasm is what prompted us to ask her a few questions to get to know her better and learn more about her business.”

Sharlene Lim

Sharlene Lim at the latest edition of Mipel

Sharlene, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Singapore. Twenty years ago, as a tourist, I came to Italy and fell in love with the country, so much so that a few years later I went back and lived there for seven years. With Covid I had to return to my country to be near family, but as soon as I had the chance, with the emergency over, I rushed back here!
I am a host for the ReebonzLive channel of the company LiveCommerce Entertainment, which offers live entertainment and shopping programs on Facebook and Instagram, and broadcasts from Italy and Europe. In my live broadcasts I try to communicate the best of fashion, lifestyle and European places I visit to those who follow me live every day.

Do you like your work?
I would not define it as “work.” I like to call this activity “love.” Love for Italy and its excellence, and love for the people who follow me every day. It is not about the number of followers. You develop a connection, a relationship, an interaction. The public participates, with the many comments that appear during the live broadcast, asking me for specific advice and trusting me with purchases.

How did your collaboration with ReebonzLive begin?
I got the idea for these live broadcasts last year, around July. I did my research and found out that there were similar channels in Malaysia and in China.
But fashion in China is different from what we are used to, it is frenetic. The customer does not stop to ask what the product is that they are buying, where it comes from, who is the producer, how and what it is made of. Fashion in China is a dragon hungry for new things.
There, products are sold by showing them, without even explaining them. There is a lack of passion, and a lack of information. For me, it is not like that.

Did you start out of passion or did you feel the necessity to fill those gaps?

It had come from the Covid era. In Singapore everything was closed, a nightmare.” “I was there for 20 months, a pleasant time despite not working, but in July, seeing these channels, these live feeds, I felt like trying. Although I consider myself a private person (on my personal Instagram profile I have just 50 followers, only close acquaintances), I proposed it to my boss. In my opinion, there was a lack of a channel where the host really understood the products they were selling and communicated them with the love I mentioned earlier.

At the base, it takes passion.

Exactly. The client needs to have an experience, and you as a presenter need to be able to provide this. Having lived in Florence, I feel half Italian and half Asian, embodying the marriage of two worlds. I have focused on my love for Italy and its products of excellence. I try to convey that, in my live broadcasts, to make the audience feel they are in the ‘Bel Paese’ (Beautiful Country), frequently using Italian expressions or words like “allora” (and then,) or “prezzo” (price). People enjoy it, feel at home, and stay connected throughout the live broadcast – we are talking about three to four hours. I have even had friends and clients apologize for not being able to attend the afternoon live streaming. I am impressed by these gestures because they give an understanding of how much I have entered into their lives, how much they consider me part of their lives. This is a pleasure and an honor for me, and sometimes I wonder how this is possible. This, too, is love.

It is fundamental to instil a good amount of trust.
I am a very straightforward and transparent person. I only sell what I like and I do it with honesty, passion and drive. I could not sell anything that I am not convinced of completely. I ask to lower the price when the product is not totally in line with my taste; I would not be able to promote it otherwise. I sell inexpensive items but also handbags for three to four thousand euros, which people buy just because they see it on me, without even the possibility of touching the pieces. Honesty is at the base, and with Italian products everything is much easier.

What do you like about Italy?

Everything. The atmosphere you breathe, the food, the people, the culture, history, and naturally, the fashion. The excellence in the care taken in products and their workmanship. Italy, for this, is the only country of its kind in the world. In the near future I would like to do a program in which I accompany ten Reebonz clients from Singapore around Tuscany for about ten days, to my favorite places, breakfasts, Florentine steaks and leather shops.

We say goodbye to Sharlene Lim, while reflecting on how much people from distant cultures and countries are able to appreciate and speak about Italian products of excellence with passion and energy. Sometimes, they are even better than the
Italians themselves.