It’s the quintessential entrepreneurial tale—faced with a problem she couldn’t find a solution to, she decided to solve it on her own. Vicky Tay, founder of The Better Company did just that. And all because she was irked by ugly tissue boxes.
“My husband and I were renovating our home and we were looking through mood boards and samples to visualise in our space. I must have looked real bothered ’cause he asked me what was wrong and I said,‘Everything... but nothing bugs me more than that’, pointing at a tissue box sitting on my kitchen counter that was covered in flowers and all sorts of colours. The Better Company was conceived right there and then,” she says.
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Unsurprisingly, the company’s first products were beautiful tissue boxes that take pride of place on your desk or table (we at Singapore Tatler especially adore the marble version). We speak to Vicky about design and the pet peeve she’s looking to address next.
How do you define good design?
There are many definitions but to sum it up, good design has to be not just about giving people what they want, but what they never knew they wanted. It has to be unpretentious, clever, minimal and above all, just beautiful. I know you can’t really define beauty; you know it when you see it and that’s the beauty of it!
Which designer, dead or alive, do you find to be most inspiring and why?
It’s hard for me to pick one but if I really have to choose the most inspiring it would be, in general, Scandinavian designers. The mix of their grounded sensibility and creative perspectives is very inspiring to me, not just in terms of design but towards life in general.
Colours or materials you’re obsessing over at the moment.
Blush, nudes, forest greens (separate and together!) and linen bedding.
Any other design “pet peeves” that The Better Company is working on?
Yes, quite a few actually. I would prefer not to say now as its under development, but it’s all along the same lines of making seemingly ordinary everyday items better.