Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New wine skin is birthing forth...

Can't imagine myself having the time to blog during office hours, and in reality I am doing it right now. I feel really good about it. Just finished a setup for a corporate cocktail event, and I was talking to one of my staff : Did we have everything arranged as planned, I am feeling very relaxed, or did we miss out something?? And as always, our confident Eleanor always replied : No Hannah, everything is in tact, we are ready to go..

And tomorrow will be another spectacular gala... in the same period, while we are busy with these 2 events, we decided to do our spring cleaning... sounds crazy, yes we are .. 2 days of packing into boxes, and half a day of fumigation, but within a day, we rearranged our library, our filing, our shelving again. In the midst of projects deliverables, we managed to do much housekeeping. I am so very proud of my gals. Somehow I knew they all have grown up, and they have taken ownership of their roles as planners and designers.
I looked back, for the past 1 month, I
have witnessed ourselves being chilled, steadfast in the midst of crazy project timeline and deliverables.. I thought for a while, what has happened to us, did we miss out something... Just like in Chennai, my team was so ready in every stage of the construction and transformations. Against crazy timelines, surrounded by the mass of raw materials and limited resources, we actually had a great time working with the local team, and there was a sense of inner peace which we have rediscovered in the midst of working against all odds..and today, the Lord reminded me something : You have always prayed for favour and transformation, and I am answering your prayers.Yes, the team is still the same team as in the past years.. but the heart has been renewed. As planners and designers, we know we need to be precise in perfecting the concept, but we have also discovered over the years, the works of our hands will only be perfected with the works of the Almighty. He provides us the favour, the impossibilities to do the possible. Just like He has always
provide us the perfect weather... an element I always marvel - the right time to rain, the right time to shine.. even the perfect breeze that you sometimes do not ask for.. We have learnt to work hard, as well as have fun...
Lord, thank you for everything.. let the next 2 years to be the years of empowerment beyond our imagination and beyond our asking.. Above all, to You be all glory...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Spring Cleaning & Happy Father's Day!!!

Yesterday was hilarious, my entire team had a dramatic office spring cleaning experience, we threw away many many past copies of wedding stationeries, old magazines and raw materials (we really have accumulated so much materials). Next we have our office fumigated literally for 4 hrs to drive away any possibility of pests... and soon we will have all our cabinets organised once again to be ready for our 8th year of operations.

As our level 2 office was fumigated, we ended up sitting at level 1 showroom on the rug & sofa to continue our work. I can't wait to finish the unloading and packing of materials, 7 years of past materials, there are so much to clean up. Yet at the same time in our cozy corner, myself and team were kinda enjoying rolling up the beads, cutting the ribbons for next week's wedding...Somehow, this whole spring cleaning is a good exercise, I looked through some of the past works and designs and saw how we have evolved. I started as a planner who loves floral arrangement and handicraft to now a company that loves concepts and enjoys designing sets. I still miss those intricate handwork, and maybe this is why we are still designing our own wedding stationery.. We have grown and evolved.. but somethings within us still have not changed - as we were chatting briefly what inspired us to be in this job, we came to a conclusion : there's a part in us just really love weddings and be a helper in weddings.. and being ladies, we still love to roll up our sleeve and do the girlish thing - sewing, tying, and packing can sometimes be therapeutic haha...

After part 1 of spring cleaning, I have a good dinner with family celebrating Father's Day.. We had Taiwanese porridge at Oasis.. munching the
good old dishes with sweet potato porridge brought back much memories - the good old times, and finally ended the night with my family for a movie - KungFu Panda 2. Pastor was right, our family and the people around us are God's sent, God's gift from Heaven. They make us who we are. No matter how different we are, how time has changed us, our family will always be God's tools to mold us, to shape us. Thank God for all our parents, and particularly today, for our fathers. Thank you all daddies out there, you help us to catch a glimpse of who our Heavenly Father is. Happy Father's Day...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Learning to laugh it off....

We just got back from India, and for past 3 months, we were either flying for overseas projects every week or we were busying preparing for events , and only these 2 weeks, we managed to have some time in the office for the day to day work. In the midst of our preparation for another upcoming events, I received a nasty and uncalled email today from a publisher in Bali, being angry with us for not responding to his emailed requests to us to advertise with their magazines.

I couldn't help but went back tonight and dug up all the emails he has sent to me specifically. First email from him, our company name was spelt wrongly - Heaven's Gift suddenly became Heaven's Gate, and a lengthy email of all the praises he had for our company and what we do. Following email was an email of the magazine distribution and circulation. And before we took time to even wonder the origin of the communications linkage, the same person gave us a thrashing of what he thought of me and my faith I professed in my blog.

Words were unkind - "Sadly, the faith you passionately preach online, it seems, doesn't extend to reciprocity of simple courtesies" and " I find your methods and practices disturbing, galling, and apologetically rude. Considering everyone I've met speaks highly of you, I trust I've just encountered an aberrant side of you. I wish you nothing but the best though I would have severe reservations about referring anyone to your services." And I looked back, all we did not do was we did not respond to his sales calls. In my final email, I decided to thank him for his kind words, and simply mentioned we would not foresee any possible partnership in the coming future.

I hesitated to post this new entry, but I eventually decided I would be as real to my readers, in what I have gone through as an entrepreneur even in our normal day to day business matters. What would you have done if you were in my shoes? Imagine a publisher wanting your business, speaks highly of you in one email, then next because you have not responded promptly to his sales calls, he sent you a final email of what he thinks of you... Is this the new tactics of sales calls? Is this the way a managing director of publication will react to your potential clients ? Where has the old, sincere professional way of selling gone to?

Everyone of us works hard to sell our services or our products. Regardless how many times we do a sales call, we must always remember it is part of a sales job. I remembered when I was a sales person, I was always taught : customers are not obligated to respond to us, it is our job as sales person to keep trying and persevere to make someone believe in our products. No matter what their response is, we have no rights to scream or call them names to get their attention.

If I am not affected by this uncalled email from the publisher, I would be lying. I am affected because someone who does not know me well, has judged my faith unprofessionally. Interestingly, last night my leader was reminding me, Hannah whatever you do, people will always have something to say, be it good or bad. What is most important is you live life clear to your conscience, and honest before God. And yes, not every day is filled with happy occurrence, but every day is a day you can choose to be happy. Learn to laugh it off, the Almighty One is the best judge that will weigh all words and actions.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Entering into the 8th year....

Time really flies, and half a year will soon pass, and I have just entered into the 8th year of Heaven's Gift. This morning, while I was listening to Pastor preaching, I was reminded I needed to continue to blog my journey again and serve as a reminder to myself how the Lord has been faithful in my business journey and personal walk... I have not be consistent in my blogging, shame on me...

Before I begin to blog again, I asked myself, "Hannah, why do you blog" and "what do you really want to leave for the readers to remember"... "is
blogging for them or for yourself.. ??" Finally I concluded, it is first for myself - to record the journey I have taken as an entrepreneur, a visionary and me being a woman, and at the same time, it is my short story unfold for others.. Pastor once asked me, what is the legacy you would leave for your next generation.. and my answer is : My testimony of His faithfulness in the midst of my humanity... Blogging was never meant for business publicity, hence you would realise you hardly see any inspiration boards about my wedding ideas. Instead, it is filled with my thoughts and journey I have gone through as a business woman and as an individual. And I intend to keep it that way, it is a window where the readers can begin to see the real Hannah behind all the creations.
2011 is a very special year to me, because other than the fact that Senior Pastor declared that it is a year of empowerment, I heard specifically from the Lord, that it would be a year I cross borders to create events and touch lives, and it would also be a year that He will surprise me with a gift I thought He has forgotten about providing me. Interestingly, before 2011 was dawned, I have had no idea nor seen any visible possibilities of how the above could happen. We did not have any overseas deal then, and at that time, I was somewhat tired of working so hard, and having to deal with some of my personal struggles.

6 months have passed in 2011, and looking back, God's words are pure, and every word of His is true and steadfast. In Feb 2011, I did not have any weddings from April onwards, and I assumed that maybe this was a year I could rest. And when March 2011 came to a close, we closed 5 deals, and 2 overseas project for 2011- Chennai & Bali. Chennai's experience was a straining 3 months of conceptualising and detailing, but the final outcome was a true blessing. My team has witnessed how the Lord enabled our mind to be quickened and be creative in the shortest turnaround time. The meticulous side of us was even stretched and sharpened, we have never thought we would ever detailed platings down to the cutleries and equipments used for every 60 items of food used in an event. Now looking back, I am very proud of my team, everyone is a gift from God. Everyone had a great time and experience in Chennai, a project I am now thankful...

And during this period, Penang & Cheju opportunities were opened, and I saw a new wave of new clients that came into our lives. Clients that are so loving to each other, clients that believe in our professionalism and precision, clients that have become lifelong friends after the events.
And this is the very reason I entered into weddings, and do what I do. Beyond profits and dollars, I want to be passionate to touch lives. I don't profess I could help the world, but my heart is to see life in different light, and be touched in the midst of serving others, and in return be a blessing to others. And in the midst of all my works and creations, I hope to discover the meaning of true love and steadfast faith. May this post mark a renewed expression of blogging and journalling ...