Monday January 27, 2003, 2:35pm..
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...