Monday, December 29, 2008
So this is why, as i turned 39 yesterday, i'm writing down my thoughts and recollecting past failures and successes, trying to recapture the energy and zest that seem to be eluding me the past few years in the midst of personal tribulations and continuously economic slowdowns. I know I can pull through out of this maze yet again, but somehow, I've been out of focus way too long. I need to get out from this fiasco. I need to be fully back standing on my feet. It all depends on me now. Yes, on my own small shoulders..
Do I still want this? Do I still have the dream? Do I still have the goals? Do I still have the focus? Do I still have the support? I'm just feeling tired of all the stress..
But somehow that doesn't sound right. I've failed and survived all the financial hardships. I've failed and survived all the personal tribulations. I've admitted to negligence and overcame my poor health regimes. I should be in tip-top conditions to face another decade of life. But why am I still not feeling on top of the world??? Why am I thinking of giving the past 10 valuable years of my life away??? What kind of life do I hope to have now anyway??
Sharing my inner thoughts and publicly declaring my inner turmoils is my last resort towards finding myself yet again. This complacency doesn't make me feel good at all. I should still be running around and getting excited about new challenges. Where is my zest? Where is my tenacity? Where is my dream? Where is my motivation? Where is my strength??
I will go to sleep tonight hoping to get some clear answers and directions. If I didn't know how to swim ten years ago, yet I survived the currents.. then I should be ready for some serious swimming competitions now. If I started the business from scratch ten years ago, yet survived the hurdles, hiccups, bumps and various other distractions.. then I should be wise & strong enough to overcome new obstacles..
I hope to re-discover my simple dream tonight..
february 06, 2003..
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
As I turned 36, I started to have all sorts of ailments which were not life-threatening, but managed to drag me down physically and mentally. The various western-trained doctors that I saw dismissed most of my complaints as simply lack of sleep, lack of exercise, lack of this and lack of that. It seemed that my body was lacking in almost everything except the lack of stress!! Their only advices were for me to exercise and rest well.. but how could I begin to do all that when almost all parts of my body were in some kind of pain or another?? I was also looking very haggard. Was I getting old before my age??!!
Another doctor, after patiently listening to all my woes, smilingly suggested the use of anti-depressant.. but hey??!! I was not about to be associated with any of those!! Somehow it gave the impression of me being manic-depressive, or mentally-unstable. That was not flattering at all..
Hence, my journey into the world of alternative medications started. These alternative/eastern/traditional medical practitioners seemed to have, in my mind, a better understanding of my body systems. Their diagnoses of my ailments were more 'compassionate' and sounded more pleasant!! And yes, instead of just telling me to start exercising, or have a complete rest, or just pop-up the pills.. with their bare hands, they physically exercise-rest-perk my body up while I was completely lying down whilst dozzing off!! What a treatment!!! ;)
Henceforth.. reflexology, shiatsu, chiropractic, acupuncture and overall body massages became my regular 3x weekly treatments for the next one year, and continues less regularly even now. Expensive treatments that took a while to see the results, but now I'm more in touch with the workings of my body systems. Biologically, my vocabularies now alternate with words like toxins, free radicals, energy-points, energy-flows, de-hydrations, and a host of others..
Exercising and resting slowly became easier and regular. Morning brisk walking 3x a week took over the extra sleep that I used to have after sending off my children to school every morning. Gardening became a daily leisure activity instead of a chore. Newspaper readings took a purposely longer time to finish. Iced coffee or iced cappucinos were slowly replaced by plain warm water. Condensed milk was slowly substituted with Anlene mixed with milo. Food supplements such as Beta-carotene, ACE, EPA, alfalfa, lecithin, multi-vitamins & minerals and noni juices became my regular diets..
It took my body approximately two years to recover back to its youthful glory. Why took such a long time?? My reasoning would be that old habits die hard. Whatever system breakdowns in my body happened mostly due to my inability or my failure to maintain and sustain those systems properly. For the first 36 years of my life, my body was always taken for granted to be able to survive anything without me having to do anything else. Therefore, to recover back to proper working systems would definitely need some time..
After all the pamperings and re-allignment of priorities from 'career-family-health' to 'family-career-health' to 'health-health-health'.. and as my body was continuously getting perked-up.. my mind on the other hand was increasingly getting complacent!!! I was probably enjoying my stress-free and improved lifestyle too much to be bothered about the growth of my business. Oh yes, the fact that hubby's construction business was booming and continues to expand up to this day, contributed so much to this complacency..
I started telling hubby and myself, probably it was time for one of us to concentrate fully on the family development. Having 2 business pressures in one household was probably not healthy for us in the long run. I started telling friends that I was thinking of retiring before I turn 40. I started justifying my decision over and over again by having countless discussions with hubby, friends and mostly, my inner self..
But what happens after 40? Will I be just sitting around doing family activities? Will I not be bored stiff talking only about past experiences? Wouldn't giving it all up be another failure? Or do I just need new ventures to pursue? Or new directions to focus on?
february 05, 2003..
Sunday, December 14, 2008
1. my ceramic items are breakable-items.. i was worried that many breakages, despite careful & safe packaging on my side plus insurance coverage, may give me plenty of negative feedbacks from my ebay buyers, therefore affecting future sales, not forgetting dampening my spirits..
2. i was under the impression that my buyers would expect to get their purchased items as soon as possible, hence i spent a lot of time comparing courier-charges and discovered that adding the delivery charges had made the cost of my ceramic products 3-4times more expensive!! i myself would not want to purchase my own products.. :(
3. i'm not familiar with auctions and the bidding processes practiced in ebay or elsewhere, and i was more keen in listing my ceramic items under fixed-prices but wasn't sure whether that could highlight my products very well, and thus was under the impression that i'd still need to auction off my items every now and then.. within some unfamiliar processes that i'd still need to explore..
4. my initial interest in ebay was to straight away set up an ebay-store and list up and showcase all my many ceramic handcrafted products designed over the past 15 years.. but i discovered that before i could do that, i'd have to firstly accumulate a certain number of positive feedbacks from my buyers.. and with above-listed issues still hanging in my head, my spirits were further dampened..
5. ebay has this feedback system whereby each successful transaction is allowed a feedback/comment from both buyer and seller.. either negative or positive comment will be made known to other ebay-ers as well, therefore these feedbacks/comments carry a certain weight to the reputation of both buyers and sellers.. i was worried that because of issues 1 & 2 above (breakables & expensive courier-charges), added with me fumbling through issue 3 (auction-processes) would eventually end up with plenty of negative feedbacks on my record (reputation as an ebay-seller).. thus would reduce my chances of opening an ebay-store..
there you go.. out of my head finally.. easier now to decide: to pursue or not to pursue?? time for my coffee break, huh??.. will continue later, roger and out..
Friday, December 12, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
i've thought of opening an ebay-store since 2004.. i've blogged and brainstormed my ebay-hiccups a number of times since i started blogging.. i've even attended an ebay tutorial seminar last week..
and the past 1-2 years due to my non-progress with ebay, i've even created 2 online-stores which are now in their finalising processes.. why should i now bother re-attempting opening an ebay-store..??
my eyes were caught by ebay-seller-starter-kit's tagline: sell where the world goes shopping.. and as i was sharing my ebay-selling-tutorials with darling hubby after reaching home, i likened my 2 online stores as little shops with very limited customers in bukit beruntung.. whereas a store in ebay is like having a shop in busy & prominent KLCC..
now, does that mean being in ebay i'd not need to advertise/promote my store at all..??
i've considered blogging as one of the ways that i'd promote my little non-ebay online-stores.. i've even read and studied ways that i could attract more readers/visitors to my blog.. i've purchased and subscribed to popular money-making blogs both locally and beyond.. all these investments i made in pursuit of making business life easier for me..
but as i read more and more, i've made this discovery.. starting an ebay-business or any other online-business is actually very much the same as starting any conventional business, you'd still need to put a lot of effort, time and money for the first 2-5 years.. but definitely of course, with the business being on the net reaching the whole wide world, your online store/s would grow so much faster than those conventional shops..
with that in mind, let's re-look at my previous failed ebay-attempts, here and here.. i'm also reminded of irfan-khairi's 36-tips which i'd re-publish here..
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Now thank God, I'm a much, much better wife and mother. Those difficult years have made us grown closer and more sensitive towards one another. I no longer take things for granted in my marriage and children up-bringing. To me, the wife/mother now holds the main key to the overall happiness of the family unit..
As I re-arranged my personal life back to good order, my business continued to survive on slower phases. 1997 downturn reduced demands for almost all products & services, including mine. Suddenly it was much cheaper & more business-savvier for my clients & customers to import similar items from neighbouring countries. Continuing taking my products was eventually an obligation on their part due to my previous support & commitment to them..
Their business revamping exercises to survive the downturn, which continued till september 11 and somehow continues till today, have meant that various product overhauls have had to be undertaken by us. We've had to re-position our products to different markets, and continued doing the trials & errors all over again. Internal problems like staffing and lack of resources were always the norm. It seemed the tests, challenges and stress were never ending..
So how far can I take these? How mentally strong am I really?? My earlier priorities of 'career-family-health' which were later re-arranged to 'family-career-health' was suddenly turning upside down as i reach 36 years of age. My health, which I had taken for granted to be in excellent working condition all these years, suddenly became the topmost priority..
STRESS or de-stressing suddenly became my latest obsession..
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
i've decided to pursue it-savviness since 2001/2002, but only decided to put it firmly embedded in my head as my yearly goals since the past 3years.. putting and listing everything down has always worked for me eversince i could remember, and these lists would be my guiding forces for the rest of the year/s.. being sanguine and always spurred by emotions and gut-feelings, i've repeatedly found that the lists have successfully kept me sane and in-focus despite the many turnings, off-beaten and unplanned tracks that i had taken along the way..
before it-savviness became a big part of my vocabulary, listing down my goals would always involve multi-coloured pens/highlighters, plenty of papers and some quiet corners of a cozy cafe.. the same multi-coloured pens/highlighters, plenty of papers and some quiet corners of a cozy cafe would also be the most important participants to any brainstorming sessions between me, myself, my soul and my mind..
as i regularly streamline my business over the years to reduce my headaches and body-aches, and settle down to simple needs and wants.. my multicoloured pens/highlighters are slowly replaced by only one black felt-pen.. my plenty of papers (which by the way, would sometimes include tissue-papers) would be taken over by half a cm thick notebook.. and my quiet corners of some cozy cafes have been upgraded to wi-fi providers..
such is the way to go now.. and i upgraded my mobile to 3G so that i can sms, mms and browse even when i'm gardening.. proceeded with a laptop so that i could do some 'serious' work wherever i rest my hat on.. a digicam to capture my product images and anything that i fancy to share with the world.. a gmail address instead of streamyx so that i'm less-proned to virus-attacks and better organized with my emails.. picasa web-albums instead of photo attachments.. google documents instead of bulky files..
and along the way i discovered blogging and make new web-friends..
and how does a photo of my purse and reading glasses relate to all these..??
despite the hefty financial investments on it-savviness, the outcomes have been enormous.. despite my frustrations dealing with any technical complications, overcoming them have been liberating considering 'my age'.. despite the longer-than-expected years spent researching, browsing and learning this new-age technologies, i'm now considered way above my it-peers..
and what else have i paid to be it-savvier than the rest of my peers..?? after 44 years of blissful perfect eyesights, i am now for the first time in my life.. be-spectacled.. :(
these are all that i need most of the times these days to get me on the go and fully productive and working.. i'd transfer all these 'necessary-for-my-survival' items all over my soho to enjoy different seating/working environments, or onto my car for a short drive to clear my head at some of my favourite coffee-jaunts, or drag it along to my other destinations just in case there'd be a few hours in-between my chores/errands/appointments for some quality work to be done..
Friday, November 21, 2008
as you can see, i've 2 slide-shows currently showing in my blog for all to see.. the first slide shows my factory's latest production/s that may or may not have been included in my existing (5) websites.. and the second slide shows all, well mostly all, the plants and interesting textures in my beruntung-garden sanctuary..
it's half past ten at night, i'm typing in the dark infront of the tv accompanying my young son watching his spongebob squarepants.. and i think i'm mumbling my words and sentences here.. my mind is all jumbled up with different things to do.. my eyesights are blurry and my hands & shoulders still sore from yesterday's life-changing 'operation'..
aahh yes, i've also created a blog for my schoolmates.. g'nite, g'nite..
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
just admit it to yourself that blogging does really take a chunk off your time..
i haven't been updating my blog the past 3 months on purpose.. i wanted to focus on completing my 2 selling websites, but as it has turned out, so many other things have kept cropping up for my attention that my work-focuses have gone hay-wires all over again..!!! :(
i purposely put up the photos of my ceramic items all over the place in my last blog-post so that i would not lose focus.. i've been looking at these photos the past 3 months in-between my other chores, errands and little projects to keep me in the right frame of working-mind.. i've been brushing off my yearnings to reflect & write down my thoughts on those other issues happening in my life the past 3 months so that i could finally complete what i've started approx. one year ago: kualalumpur-gifts.com and malaysia-gifts.com
but alas, after 3 months of ogling at the photos.. yeah, you've guess it right.. both are still not finalised!!! i'm very angry at myself here, aarrrggghh... can you see & feel it..??
you see, once both websites are finalised, my commitments and fardu-kipayahs to my long-term production staff will be taken care of almost automatically without my regular operational interventions.. and haven't i reasoned this with myself before many times already......?????
once both websites are in good working conditions, i'd only need to market, promote, link, advertise and blog about them to generate traffic and sales.. work for me would be very much more blissful, eh??
blogging then shouldn't be just taking chunks off my time.. blogging then should be time very well-spent..
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
yeah, yeah, yeah... i'm back sorting through my 40 e-shopping items yet again!!
these items were originally included in my first website back in 2004, but my then website designer never told me that he knew nuts about setting up a selling website online!! he only knew how to design an informative website but when it came to the complexities of creating a selling website that includes a shopping cart and/or connection to a payment counter, he was then still crawling and kneeling...
i should have been told then... or did i refuse to comprehend what he was saying between the lines?? maybe he did try his best to accommodate my requests within his limited knowledge, time-frame and budget??
when i finally did try myself to hook up my e-shopping list to a payment counter, the payment counter wasn't able to do so without some technical systems integrations being done to complement the two websites, mine and theirs.. my web-designer then suggested i should create a totally separate website to do online selling..
this issue has been dragging on for many years already, despite me blogging rigorously sorting my cluttered head back in mid-2007.. i should now start putting the blame wholly on me!! yeah, yeah, yeah.. sanguine me may have purposely avoided dealing with this issue because 40 items would involve a lot of technical data-transfers that could go on for days..!! i gave up on ebay-listing because of the same reasons, did i not?? data-transfers bore me clueless..
and instead, this sanguine & passionate me has chosen to keep dealing with only matters that warmed her heart and pleased her soul.. sorting through technical data to get monetary rewards via selling her products automatically online to the whole wide world had been pushed again and again to the back burners.. that's it, till now!!!
i purchased malaysia-gifts and the shopping cart system way back in february this year during the finalisation of kualalumpur-gifts, and a few weeks later i became the french-maid in my castle.. my 3-months house-arrest has made both websites incubated longer than earlier anticipated, and the coming hariraya in october should be just the right time to 'reveal' them again, huh??? between now and then i should be able to sort through all 40 items, spruce-up both websites and do some promotions, huh?? i now have approx. 2 months.. should be more than enough, right rosmah??? just in time to promote them in another ke-factory sale, yes?? another hariraya sale, yes??
Monday, August 4, 2008
so i started writing and blogging about my business, my then lack of IT-savviness and the technical problems i encountered in setting up my internet business.. not realizing that internet business or making money online are such strong keywords that could attract attention to my blogsite..
i started to have visitors and commentators in my blog in less than a month of passionately writing away to ease my confusions.. i was elated that some people had found my writings interesting, or maybe somewhat entertaining.. so i continued my cyber brainstorming-sessions rigorously for two months half-motivated by these commentaries..
but my main motivator for spending hours on end blogging during those earliest two months was still purely to clear my cluttered head of technical issues that had been bugging me for years.. after having established an internet presence through the setting up of my first website in 2004, and then re-directing my energy & production resources into my second website a few years later, i was still unable to pursue making sales automatically online.. and that really bugged me coz selling automatically online would definitely make my life easier & simpler..
i've blogged about why i blog a few times before, and why do i blog about it again now?? maybe i just want to go back to the basics that matter.. selling automatically online through my websites..
various hiccups and distractions have come & gone the past one year that i've been a blogger.. and that includes the 5-month hiatus immediately after the hijacks of my websites by unsavoury net-parties.. and the 3-months house-arrest that left me mentally-blocked and physically drained out to think about selling anything at all..
i must find my way back to those basics that matter now.. i must start selling automatically online.. yes!!!!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
it's been exhausting shopping, preparing and anticipating... but now that all the official dinners are over, i feel much more relaxed eventhough the actual award presentation is still yet to be completed.. hubby says it's some time before puasa, but as long as i know already what i'm going to be wearing that day, i'm ok with any day/date..
who says shopping is every girl's best friend?? my girl-friends huda and azu may totally embrace this statement, and maybe sherry and zana too.. but i have always been shopping-with-a-purpose type of girl.. shirts/baby-Ts/no-frill-blouses are my regular fashion-styles..black/brown/earth-tones are my colour staples.. subdued yet rugged/funky appearances are my close acquaintances.. with chunky pendants/earings/bracelets as my only loud advertisers..
upgrading eh, changing my styles to suit certain protocols and fit certain societal norms are stressful on me.. no wonder my vertigos have kept lurking around to attack me the past 1 week in-between both weekend functions..
okay, okay, no more shopping for me.. but ooppss, hariraya is coming soon...????!!! oh well, let me just rest for a while and enjoy this snapshot of this new acquaintance in my new environment..
Monday, July 21, 2008
Endurance tests came in various forms from various directions. Limited resources, weak cashflows, late payments, late deliveries, technical breakdowns, staffing problems, product rejections and the like were regular tests on a monthly basis. These taught me to be more prudent, always making full use of existing resources, always trying to make-do, always improvising, always coming up with simpler & cheaper ways of doing things. But at the same time, always trying not to compromise on the standards that I've set myself to...
Endurance tests on my personal life, however, were more damaging and required much more mental energy. Being weekend wife to dear hubby who was also running and expanding his construction business the same time I was developing my own business identity, meant that pent-up angers and frustrations were common exchanges between us for a while. I failed to be a loving wife and an understanding friend during those turbulent years..
Morning sickness that went on for seven months during my second pregnancy, and an extended long leave after birth that left my business and workers basically unsupervised, put a big dent into the business coffers. I failed to manage my cashflows miserably. The incomes of the first four years were gone to sustain the next two years of inactivity on my part...
The revelation of the existence of a possible third party in my long-distance marriage immediately after I delivered my 2nd child, meant that most of my energy & resources in retaliation to that, were misdirected to wasted causes. I failed to follow my head and think rationally. Instead I became too emotionally-wrought and refused to listen between the lines. I refused to admit that I could be misjudging the whole situation. I failed to be a good listener to my husband. My marriage suffered along with my business..
My children were also not spared from my frustrations. I was both mother & father for most of their weekdays, and with helpers that kept coming & going, I eventually had to bear most of the child-rearing duties and housekeeping chores on my own. On many occassions during the 7 & a half years of weekday-single-parenting, I failed to be loving, considerate and understanding towards my 2 daughters..
A little essay written by my then 4 years old daughter who is now 6, described me as some kind of a wicked stepmother who was always scolding them around. I was dumbfounded reading it...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
more like random thots in my head, but i want to immitate my favourite doc, dr. M.. so there!! ;))
1. have started producing the pyramid teapots again, eventhough their downpayment hasn't been cleared.. update 21 july: payment cleared, casting and blue glazing completed, darkbrown glaze arriving, expected delivery 28 july, to invoice before delivery..
2. have accepted 40% deposit for the e-shop items, but haven't advised my production team as yet.. update 21 july: casting commencing, check existing stocks/boxes/acryllic/metallic colours?, clear glaze?, expected delivery 4-6weeks..
3. have received verbal confirmation of 12,000 greenkaca handmade tiles, but still haven't figured out how to complete them in 4 weeks.. update 21 july: to meet up with mark, to get 2 additional workers, start tiling?, check clear glaze/greenkaca/etc..
4. have made the expensive mug-sample, but still haven't shared the outcome with the client.. update 21 july: client loves it, quoting and haggling price & delivery schedule, may reduce mug-size..
5. have told rosalind my old friend cum furniture designer that i can do her difficult order, but still clueless of how.. update 21 july: i'm still clueless..
6. have told her colleague duncan that i can do his ceramic eggs, but still haven't furnished formal quotation.. update 21 july: i'm still hopeless..
7. have been pursued relentlessly the past week for my spa-items, but avoiding their endless non-committal inquiries.. update 21 july: i should start looking at this..
8. i'm cluttered and hopeless sometimes, i know.. update 21 july: i'm less cluttered, yaayy..!!
teh tarik with me, anyone...???? ;)
update 21 july: yeah, yeah, yeah.. i'm sorting out my head and my work here today.. in between running around being superwife and supermum in my not so superbody!! thank God for the internet, smses and mmses, or else this no longer superwoman would just give up running this business!! ;)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
i've been planning to move all these items into another website that focus solely on online-selling, but before all that can finally happen with me being the IT-novice and all.. any direct bulk-purchasings are most welcome!! i'm definitely happier moving my handmade ceramic handicrafted products in bulk, yaayy...
Monday, July 14, 2008
So that's how my ceramic design & manufacturing business was started. By co-incidence!!
I had to come up with product samples, therefore I had to turn my kitchen table into a design workshop. I had to prepare invoices for products sold bearing my brandname, therefore I had to formally register a business. I had to run around promoting my designs, therefore I had to come up with credible marketing plans. I had to produce accordingly to quality standards, therefore I had to open a factory and supervise it myself..
I had totally zero experience in design let alone ceramic design, or marketing, or ceramic production, or human resources, but the desire to proudly claim 'that's my brandname' was enough force to spur me on to overcome all obstacle that seemed to keep hurtling at me during those formative years. That was the power of my simple dream...
I survived the challenges, expanded in knowledge and grew in thinking. Without planning, I suddenly have a business that was expanding and making new inroads in the local ceramic handicraft industry. Who would have thought that an urban planner could manufacture better ceramic designs than those hard-core technically-trained ceramists? Who would have thought that playing with dirty clay could be more professionally satisfying than planning the layouts and developments of new townships? Who would have thought that the once-very-timid-and-shy girl could pull it off well? Who would have thought that jumping into the river could make you a much better swimmer?
I was proud of myself. But not too proud as to let it go to my head. I was always criticising my 'unplanned' achievements. I was always looking for better things to do next. My dreams were getting bigger, less idealistic and more real and achievable. But I was starting to ignore all the important little details that make and sustain the business. By around the fouth year, starting a business was no longer the big challenge. Sustaining and growing the business were the real endurance tests...
friday january 24, 2003 10:35pm...
Why talk about failures when you want to achieve something? Shouldn't we be talking about success stories to motivate us to go that extra mile towards achieving our goals? Why should we bother reading about any ventures or undertakings that failed?
Success never comes easy. It requires hardwork, perserverance and patience. It doesn't just fall onto your lap. That's why you need to be realistic about your journey towards it. There'd be various hurdles, hiccups. bumps and distractions along the way. You just have to be prepared mentally. Do not give up easily. You will fail, you will succeed, you will fail again, you will succeed yet again. Just keep telling yourself to hold on. Don't give up so soon.
That's why we should talk about failures..
Monday January 27, 2003 12:21pm...
I have a business that's still surviving after ten years in operation. It's a small business. Enough to sustain my monthly overheads that include a factory, a showroom and a home office. It's small but it's all mine. That's what important...
So why do I keep talking about failures?? Why shouldn't I just look and move ahead?? Why keep looking back??
It's just that after ten years of valuable experiences no amount of money can buy, and after all the wisdom & strength that I've derived from my countless trials, mistakes and little successes, I suddenly find myself thinking of giving it all up...
Why?? That's the most frequently-asked question from dear husband, friends & families and whoever I've been feeling like pouring my heart to lately...
My dear better-half has been my tower of strength, the motivator and recent mentor whenever things didn't turned out as well as planned. He's my most rocky shoulders to cry on. He's been 100% supportive in whatever I've wanted to do for the past ten years in business, and the past 20 years of us knowing each other. He's the one to survive all my ups & downs, my temper tantrums, my angers and frustrations. He's also the one to share my jubilations, excitements, achievements and satisfactions...
My friends & families have been the ones watching from a distant; recovering from their initial shocks & dismays of finding their friend/sister/daughter suddenly quit good-paying professional job to play with clay and do arts & crafts from scratch; and later on admiring and supporting my courage to do what my heart desired; wishing now that they have the same guts and tenacity to follow their own unfulfilled dreams...
I was 29 and dreamt of having my own brandname that is internationally distributed. It did not matter what product as long as it could bear my name or identity or signature. I was an idealistic dreamer. A foolish romantic at heart. No calculated risks were involved. I just jumped into the river. And basically taught myself to swim...
Having a business was never in my vocabulary. I just wanted to play around with colours & patterns and put my signature brandname on the finished product. That was all that I wanted and dreamt of. I was so naive not to think that having a brandname would also mean having to run a business which manages that brandname. Huh???
Thursday, July 10, 2008
my 39th birthday would just be a few weeks away in february.. my accidental business venture would turn 10 years old about that same time.. and i was confused, tired, lost, tormented, feeling like a failure and thinking of giving it all up..
so i started writing down my predicaments on my pc.. one issue after another was poured out and analysed.. the writings were originally meant for my own consumption and understandings.. but by just a click of the button, i'd let a weekly lifestyle publication editor had a peek into my predicaments..
was i crying for help?? or was i hoping to get their attention to my so-so writing skills?? being a contributive writer to some respected weekly magazines had always been one of my 'secret' dreams anyway, mmm...
so there i was writing intensely, rigorously and passionately.. within the period of 12 days.. in 7 separate emails.. forwarded to and shared with firstname.lastname@example.org...
these were the 1st and 2nd emails.. followed by the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th.. and finally the 7th email..
i did get an interested reply from nuance, but of course after all issues had been poured out from my cluttered head, i felt so much clearer in mind and better in outlook that i never bothered to pursue their interests in publishing my 'articles'..
now fast forward 5 years to the present time.. as i struggle yet and yet again to find back my motivation and focus to continue pursuing my accidental business, i've found myself looking back for those 'articles' to guide me back towards my goals..
now that i blog, i therefore publish these 'articles' myself for the consumption of the masses.. ;)
i was then feeling like a failure for thinking of giving it all up, therefore i titled my articles 'why talk about failures?'...
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
we're a small ceramic manufacturing set-up, specialising in handcrafted/handpainted details not many big set-ups would be interested in. we've wanted to grow bigger of course, but as time passed by we've been proven again and again that there are many beautiful aspects of keeping things simple and small..
one thing for sure, i'd have less headaches!! ;)
ceramic mugs are such sought-after souvenir items that many companies especially from china, mass-produce and export them on very regular basis. these mugs would come in standard sizes and shapes and customers are always expected to order them in certain minimum quantities, usually 1000pc and above or depending on surplus/stationary stocks that the distributors need to dispose off...
mass-produced mugs that are exported/distributed widely are actually half-finished mugs (ceramic term: bisquewares).. once the customers have decided on the size, shape, colour/finishing, and the inclusion of any printed logos/inscriptions and so forth, only the second and third parts (the less messier parts) of the production processes commence.. most malaysian mug-suppliers are actually importing ready-made bisquewares from china at very cheap costs and completing the next 2 stages of finishing works (glaze-colouring and decal-printing) in their local warehouse/factories.. and would sell these mugs at or below rm5 per piece..
our ceramic handrafted mugs on the other hand, are custom-made.. every step of the way.. almost 100% labour-intensive.. tender loving care at every stage of production.. individually handcrafted to look similar but yet not the same..
so that's why our mugs are more expensive.. ;)
Thursday, July 3, 2008
sure i luuurrrvvee working from the comforts of home.. but not being able to leave my kids behind and venture out alone to do whatever was necessary, be it work-related or otherwise, had given me some kind of 'mental block'.. a mental block that wouldn't go away until i stop and do something about it...
maybe i should get a new haircut? do some facial treatments? buy new clothes & pants? re-visit my acupuncturist? have long lunches with friends? do my 2hr body massages? attend the 'alleycats' concert?? re-start my yoga stretches? kroak my lungs out with my girl-friends??
or i can just simply spend some quite time alone sorting out my mind in some wifi-provided cafes nearby.. brainstorming with me and myself could work wonders... it has never failed before to help me get back into focus...
one iced cappucino please?? and a glass of warm water too...
Monday, June 23, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
i've been procastinating big time, aarrgghh..!!
i'm still my husband's french-maid-of-honour.. but it's been 10 weeks already and the new maid is still not arriving any time soon. always the optimistic believing there're blessings in disguises in whatever hardships coming my way, i'm now: a better cook (3 dishes in less than an hour), a more efficient housekeeper (daily chores done by 11am), a less spender (no more trips out of bb-town), a more fit-ter woman above 40 (stronger arms due to daily upstretch to dry up my laundry), a more observant mother (my 12yr old girl actually still needs more baby-ish playtime with me), a more tolerant mother ('accepting' the constant mess made by my 5yr old boy coz he 'promised' to clean up by himself afterwards), a less tolerant cat-lover (no cats playing/lazying inside the house to reduce furry-mess), blah, blah, blah..
now that i've listed them down, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives huh?? but oh my.. how i wish i can just disappear for a while.. and enjoy some pampering body massages or something!! 3hr karaoke, eh kroaking-session with my girl-friends would be very nice and most welcome too!!!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
just prior to this, we were already designing and supplying these little pieces of handmade tiles to a few clients, and decided that making tiles were much more exciting and convenient than making ceramic vases and such bulky items!!
these beruntung tiles only came in 2x2" sizes, and portrayed 6 different geometrical motives as shown in the photo.. i'd have preferred that these motives were arranged in an adhoc manner, but my interior site-supervisor at that time (azizan, my brother-in-law!) specified to the tiler/s to arrange them nicely like this.. oh well, as long as it looks nice.. beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, right..?? ;)
these tiles can be found in our toilet walls, kitchen backdrop and pool edges.. dear hubby was grinning ear to ear for having these tiles supplied free-of-charge, hence, didn't mind having them all over the house!!
more details of beruntung tiles in our website http://www.handmadeceramictiles.com/ , but in this posting i'd just like to point out that the green-coloured material highlighting the geometric motives were actually melted glass.. crushed glass pieces from my empty green noni juice bottles!! when we ran out of noni bottles, we used 7-up bottles!! a unique way to re-cycle, huh...??
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
i blog to increase my google ranking, therefore drive more traffic to my site, therefore get more exposure for my ceramic products.., right? hence the title above..
these ceramic vases were designed and produced so that the smallest vase can go inside the bigger vase, and both can fit inside the biggest of them all.. therefore reduce packing volume/materials and hopefully reduce delivery costs!!
design finishes used a combination of fired and non-fired colouring techniques.. the pucuk paku motives were carved then glazed before firing, the background embossed droplets were made when clayforms were still wet and soft, whilst the
antique black&copper finishings were done after baking was completed..
i experimented with plenty of design techniques to showcase my doodles and sketches, and after so many years of playing around with colours, patterns and textures.. the above finishes have become my most preferred choices, and as some of my customers have said.. my products' most distinguished character/s..
i've constantly strived to make running my business easier by simplifying and streamlining everything, including production.. my production team now only needs to know certain keywords to understand what i want to be hand-produced without me having to explain so much like i used to do..
this design collection is called Pucuk Crackles..
for more of such items, please visit www.keceramics.com
Friday, May 9, 2008
i'm no supporter of any political party, but i'm passionate about respecting your elders.. i'm constantly reminded of my own 74-yr old father still recuperating from stroke for the past (nearly) 2 years..
i posted a comment in dr. M's blog 2 hours ago re. ex-gratia payments to judges, my first ever 'communication' with him after decades admiring and looking up to him from afar.. and since then i've been going back and forth checking on further comments from other readers, but none was yet to be published after mine..
considering his previous postings attracted hundreds of comments, today's posting is stopping at comment number 31?? it's been 2 and a half hours now without follow-ups, maybe more comments coming soon..?
with the lack of follow-up comments after mine, i was 'forced' to re-read and re-read my own posting until my eyes bleed.. my nose blocked.. and now headaches developing..
how could the present leaders simply forget his many contributions the past 22 years, and instead pick on one issue after another just to embarrass and belittle him?? instead of enjoying his long overdue retirement like our fathers, dr. M is still fighting for malaysians..
my heart goes out to him.. teary eyes, red nose and all...