Emil Chew was born in Singapore in 1966. After finishing school she trained as a hairdresser in London.
In 1988 Elim founded 77th Street and it has since revolutionised the streetwear fashion scene in Singapore. 77th Street now has thirteen stores in Singapore. In 2004, 77th Street became Singapore’s first retailer to set up a shopping mall in The People’s Republic of China with a 400,000 square foot underground shopping complex at Xidan Cultural Centre in Beijing. Elim’s other business ventures include Ethics Apparel menswear.
Elim lends her expertise, experience and time to various youth organisations in Singapore. She founded The Young Entrepreneur Mastery (TYEM) with partner Adrian Lim to inculcate entrepreneurial skills in young people, the Get A Life membership program which offers benefits and privileges in fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, education, sports and arts to its 77,500 members. In 2004 she launched a book for youth titled, My Voice, featuring 77 real life experiences written by youth from all walks of life. All proceeds from My Voice go toward the funding of life skills, entrepreneurial and creative skills workshops run by TYEM.
With Elim’s sharp business acumen, 77th Street became the first fashion retailer to win the prestigious Singapore Promising Brand Award – Most Distinctive Brand in 2004. Her personal accolades include receiving the Young Woman Achiever Award. and Leadership and Mentoring Award 2003, the Mont Blanc Businesswomen Award in 2002 and being named Most Promising Woman Entrepreneur by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) in 2001.
Today Elim lives mainly in Singapore and is actively involved in her church. She cites Pastor Kong Hee as the biggest influence in her life, for sharing with her biblical principles that have guided her in her professional and personal lives.