Thursday, October 22, 2009

Perfectionist is it a good thing?

I just came back after a long meeting with my contractors for our upcoming showroom. Sometimes I am amazed I get to meet really good vendors in a short time, even while busy planning for my level 1 showroom, I came across great Classics Interior Designer Firm - The Interior Library - true genius and quality workmanship in classics design. And it was basically a recommendation by Patrick, another honest and devoted sofa designer. So in this journey of planning for your own office space, I met great designers as well as good contractors. It was loads of work to do your own design, and I am convinced in future, I just hire a designer to do all the specs. But being a creative person myself, I just can't help doing all the research on my own.. job hazard.

And interestingly, one designer enjoys the chemistry with another. We all believe in value for money, but at the same time, we even hold steadfast to quality creations. I remember Moses teasing me, Hannah don't rush to confirm us, you need to be comfortable with us? I was asking him why he was so chilled out in not closing the deal, and the answer he gave was classic - That's because we know what we can do and we will do it well. Excellent, I chuckled, isn't that what we will say to our clients as well..

And eventually I paid the extra and confirmed Interior Library for the job. I know I may save more by getting my Carpenter to duplicate some of the designs.. but I am as crazy in getting the precision I want. So in the end, getting the right expert is the way to go.

So what have I learnt : Do your homework, but trust your heart. If you know someone who can do it, just let go and hand over the baton, and in return, you are pleasantly surprised to realise you are free from stress, and you can't wait to be wowed.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

3 weeks leading to Hannah's Birthday

This past 3 weeks was an eventful time. I got a chance to observe and personally coached by Colin Cowie, the Celebrity and Premier event planner from States to launch the opening of a hotel in Hong Kong. Colin Cowie is one planner whom I really respect and the short 1 week with him and team was an awesome experience and life changing moment for me. What touches me is in this 1 week journey, I was assured that whatever I have set my heart to do for my clients and my business in the past years were rightfully crafted and every process I have created was the right step to the business I have envisioned. You could almost hear from my heart beat crying out "Thank you, Thank You, Thank You Lord, You made all things beautiful in Your time". I really look forward for the day I will create an event with Colin, and I believe it will come.

I met up too with my ex-boss in HK who still amazes at the fact that I have become a wedding planner and how I have grown my business in the past 6 years. Someone who was so concern I chose the right path, and someone who has seen the hands of God in my life. Eventually he told his wife this "Hannah is one bold little woman, she has done things that always amazes me, and simply because the Lord that is in her, has shown her what He can do through her" Amen & Amen.
I also had a great time with my ex-brides in HK, and got to be introduced to a new potential couple from my ex-clients. So you can imagine, I came back from HK fully charged and refreshed. Then I headed back to being busy preparing all the concepts, mock ups for the food tasting, and every moment went by so fast, that 3 weeks have just passed by so quickly. I have literally forgotten my upcoming birthday, preparing a business trip that falls on my bday.. I am a workaholic :(

So we had a great wedding on 3 Oct at Raffles Hotel. My couple came today and gave us a box of Canele goodies with a little card..

Dear Hannah & Heaven's Gift Team,

We would like to thank you and your team for making our wedding such a memorable and beautiful day. When we first engaged your services, some people questioned us "if a wedding planner the right way to go?" We are so happy that we stayed with our convictions, Heaven's Gift delivered as what was promised. The Gazebo with the lanterns, the colour scheme of the rooms of the Casuarina suites looked absolutely fabulous. We both felt like we were the stars of a movie. The candy corner looked and tasted fantastic and the photo booth had people engaged and gave the guests' something that they had never experienced before. The confetti was.. well remained in the cone, unused.. and we are hoping that we can get a refund????!!! Joking aside, we have heard from our guests that they have never experienced such a fun wedding - P & G modern and chic wedding with a touch of blue is a blast.
Joseph, one of our groomsmen who has been to a number of Singaporean's weddings and that our wedding was the first for him that Caucasians and locals mixed so well and enjoyed themselves. Heaven's Gift - you have done it! Bringing cultures and people together, not an easy task... Thank you so much for making this the "best day of our lives" - Philip & Gladys Carrigan

You would have guessed I was so happy to read this. Yes, creating a pretty wedding is my passion, but making a wedding that my clients and guests have great fun at is my fulfillment. On my way back from KK to Singapore, I was pleasantly surprised with all the sms, facebook birthday messages from my friends and partners in the industry. Often you don't take your birthdays seriously, but a note from your loved ones and friends does carry much weight.
And today, I received another birthday greeting from Elena - my ex-designer who has gone to further her studies :

Dearest Hannah, Happy Belated Birthday!
Been wanting to say a big Thank You for all the opportunity that you've given me over the past few years. Still am not quite sure why did you believe that I could do something for the company when I did not have much to prove then...Thank You!
One thing that I'm always thankful for despite that I may not be as well-to-do as compared to my peers is that in the midst of working, I always had good bosses that are understanding, willing to take time to teach and give advice with regards to my career which really is a blessing. Especially so working at Heaven's Gift. Your belief in me has really spurred me to go beyond what I think I could have ever accomplished.
There was one day while I was at home organising my documents on the computer. I came across cards that I designed in the past and I felt embarrassed for a while. For me to think that those designs were marketable for weddings at that point of time! From that, I can say I have progressed and of course, it was not only just me, but us as we worked together, fine-tuning the cards and tweaking them into the final product.
I guess in the sense, Heaven's Gift is not just a gift for the couples that you plan weddings for but also a gift to me as an employee - a treasured opportunity to explore my creative potential and translate it into elements that are part of the day that mark the start of our couples' life as one and for me, each wedding a work of progress and accomplishment.
And on your birthday, I hope that Heaven's Gift continues to be a gift to you too and I'm sure that it will also be a gift to all that the company works with, be it the vendors, suppliers, clients, or employee :)
Happy Birthday once again, and Thank You! Elena.

I kinda stopped blogging.. due to my busy travel and planning schedules.. and yet I decided to pen down the 3 weeks' journey and all the pleasant greetings to remind myself, that the path I took to be a planner, a boss, an entrepreneur was God's gift to me. And on my birthday, I just want to say "Lord, thank you for everything, truly you will give beyond what one can imagine or comprehend".