#1 She is absolutely hilarious
If you haven’t watched the livestreams that went viral, we highly suggest that you do because it is probably the smoothest (and funniest) sales pitch you will ever see.
Hokkien humour is widely understood and often used here. It sounds harsh and vulgar, but it is hilarious when used in the right place at the right time. And Lerine has nailed it on the head, without being too explicit or raunchy.
“You can hook your kuey png la wanton mee la whatever, you can hook ok?”
Who wouldn’t want a shirt that can do all that?
“Don’t see this plain plain 9 kor ($9) top no use, don’t see it buay chio. Can see?”
And only $9? What a steal.
Many also find her funny because she relates to her customers as a heartlander by using familiar terms such as Panadol pink, 7pm sky colour or Comfort taxi blue to describe colour. Even the situations or scenarios that she gives to explain the function of the item is something relatable, like struggling to tap your ez-link card when your hands are full of other stuff.
#2 She's authentic, and so are her livestreams
The way Lerine speaks is a combination of Hokkien (the dialect she grew up speaking), Mandarin and Singlish; but she switches easily between them. You can tell it’s not scripted; it really is just the way she talks! It adds that local flavour.
In an interview, Mark Lee told the media that Lerine reminded him of a younger Patricia Mok from 10 years ago.
“Her sense of humour is very natural. Some people annoy others when they speak Singlish. Unlike other people when they are talking about sex organs, she does not give others the feeling that she is crude or low-class. She is really funny and quick-witted, and it’s really amazing how she can switch here and there between English, Chinese and Hokkien.”
And we have to fully agree with what she says.
#3 She is a lao ban niang (lady boss)
Lerine has been hustling ever since she was young. When she wanted something, she would work for the money to get it. She picked up sales techniques through her experience of working at more than 10 stalls in Bugis Village and her confidence grew over time. Even after she got married at 21, she continued renting spots at flea markets or pushcarts at shopping malls to sell things during the weekend.
She eventually quit her weekday office job to focus on her online boutique when orders became too much to handle. Her longest live-streaming session lasted for eight hours, from 8pm to 4am, because customers were keen to view more items.
Now that’s what we call dedication and we wish her all the best in her business!
#4 She doesn't let the negativity get to her
With fame comes hate. Lerine has been no stranger to hate comments and criticism. She has received comments such as “wonder how her parents brought her up” and “her English really cannot make it, I wasted three minutes of my time watching”. Many also stereotype her to be an Ah Lian, the female equivalent of an Ah Beng. Ah Beng is a stereotype applied to a certain group of young Chinese men in Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore and Malaysia, who display common characteristics such as having dyed hair, wearing loud fashion and predominantly speaking Chinese.
But, she is still pushing on and not letting anything stop her, still receiving business propositions and even signing with Mark Lee’s artiste management company.
Talk about shushing the naysayers!