Holly. 26. Student.
There was a time when Jersey Shore was all the rage and the world’s obsession with pseudo-reality television was fuelled largely by MTV.
That was also the time most Singaporeans were introduced to the most disarmingly charming and down-to-earth VJs to ever grace our televisions. Holly Wolverton (Holly Grabarek back then).
Our little adventure started at Rochester on a late Sunday afternoon (perhaps the warmest one in recent history). Holly and her grandmother were having tea at the Hong Kong Café. They had just gone to church and were gracious enough to spend an afternoon with me.
While we didn’t stay too long at Rochester, we spoke over some coffee before moving on down to Sentosa Cove, and here is how it all went down.
Who is Holly?
Holly is interested, and all about new. New possibilities, new challenges, new situations. But I try to integrate new into my current state and temper a balance between working towards a goal whilst staying open.
I’m also moody. (laughs)
What keeps you busy these days?
I’m in school, I’m doing a course in merchandising & product development. But I want to get into styling. I think I’ll get an internship when I get back to LA.
Any plans to come back to Singapore?
I thought I had but I’m not so sure, maybe in the long run, but not right now. Like, I’m learning life through people around me and it’s so free. It’s conversational, casual and not done up and put together. I really appreciate that. I also want to do styling and there’s where it’s at.
But here’s where they need you!
They really need me? (laughs) Maybe I’ll get some experience there first and then they’ll really need me.
What if Trump wins?
Then maybe I’ll come back.
Tell us more about your style.
I think it’s very exciting, I love trying new things and finding new looks with my exciting clothes. Believe or not I absolutely love colour.
But you’re in all black.
I have’t been doing my laundry, that’s why. But I’m obsessed with a multitude of colour. I know you really can’t tell now. I also love skirts.
What’s your favourite piece in your wardrobe right now?
I have a dress that’s blue – it has floral prints. I never really liked floral until recently but I’m very specific with prints. Like amongst the sea of florals, I’ll find one print that I like. It has to be something that really stands out. It’s a whole new world, because I used to always wear black.
What’s your beauty routine like?
I just use a bit of concealer and a bit of powder, then I use this rose-coloured blusher and eyeliner. That’s it! Sometimes I feel like I should put in more effort but it works and if it’s not broken why fix it?
I don’t mean to be rude, but what happened to your forehead?
I did a fashion show for a friend, and they cut my bangs really short. So I was trying to fix it back home, using a straightening iron to try and correct it in some way, but I burnt myself.
Oh Holly. Anyway, what happened after you left MTV?
I wanted to study and see what that would look be like. But growing up in Asia, I hated studying! What is it about Asia that made it so difficult? Like going over to LA, it’s more like you’re just there to learn and the grades become irrelevant. You’re just going there to be a more well-informed person. I studied sociology for two years prior to this, and I had good grades and not because I studied but because I was just interested in humanity and social structure.
You seem quite taken by LA, do you still identify as a Singaporean?
I’m Singaporean. I just feel like I need to venture out to find new ideas, new ways of interacting with what’s around me, because previously this was all I knew.
What else do you do in your free time?
I do guided meditation. I have this app on my phone called meditations, and I love it so much! I’ve been doing this for three years and have not regretted it since.
So, is this a morning routine?
Either every morning or night! I feel like it gives me some time to center myself before I go into the world and over there, the world is a crazy place. I wake up at 6 am every morning and I have a specific routine. I do a gratitude list of ten things I’m grateful for, five constants and five new things. And it can be really simple, like sleeping really well, good coffee, anything, y’know?
I don’t. But I should give it a shot.
VJ, reluctant celebrity, IT girl, student – it barely matters. Holly transitions each phase of her life with insurmountable grace whilst still maintaining the quintessential essence of the girl we can’t help but adore.
Could we do anything but?
I don’t think so.
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