Saturday, November 24, 2012

Taking care of ourselves...

Just came back from the hospital, and was really thankful that mum's surgery was smooth. Looking back despite the anxiety within that was accumulated for the past 1 month since the launch of Celebrate Heaven, I could only conclude : God has been gracious with us. While I was busy with the launch of our second brand, at the very same time, I was given news of the health conditions of our parents. Every checks, every updates happened so fast, that before I knew, the surgery was on, and now it was completed.

These past few days, going in and out of the hospital, I couldn't help but noticing somethings. There are many young doctors and health professionals. While they are busy taking care of the patients, I also have noticed : the doctors and nurses are working late, eating late, and looking unhealthy and tired as well. It is a common evident to notice that some were overweight.

And a voice within me reminded me : Hannah, that's the irony of life. While we are busy taking care of others, don't forget to take very good care of yourself. Otherwise, you can't fulfill the very role you are called to do. Yes, it's a wake up call. I believe this does not just apply for the health professionals, but for everyone of us, who work so hard to fulfill our clients' wishes, provide for our families and loved ones, let's not forget to take care of ourselves, so we can run further, do much and be happier professionals.

I am reminded of this quote by an unknown author :

As we focus so much on reaching out, helping and doing what's best for others that we completely forget about the person who needs us most. If you do nothing else today, remember to take extra special care of that person. That person is you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What makes Hannah tick?

So happy that today is a public holiday.. somehow the feeling of knowing that everyone is off, allows me to be rested and not fuss about what is required to follow up. Being a party and wedding planner, my constant job is to plan for others' and be in control of every detail. And when it comes to my own personal life, many would have thought I love to plan... and the truth is I rather not.

Today's shopping incident was a good example. I went to buy some shelvings for my room.. and usually in my job, I would have taken all measurements properly before any purchase. But somehow I didn't do that for my own room.. I went to buy all that I liked, and then when I got home, I realised one of the cabinet didn't fit into my room, so I ended up returning the cabinet. But instead of being upset, I ended up buying more accessories to decorate my place and I forgot about the concern of storage.
The entire shopping experience was therapeutic for me despite the going in and out of Ikea with long queues of cars and people awaiting. 

Within two hours, I repacked my room.. and I felt so good about it, even though my Dad couldn't tell much difference about the changes - But I do - it is making something new again.
I was thinking through why was I so satisfied tonight- what makes me tick? And I found my answers :

  1. The freedom to be myself, regardless of what others think?
  2. The freedom to create anything with my hands, despite I can be quite clumsy. 
  3. The freedom to love someone, even when the other party may not reciprocate. 
  4. The freedom to buy something without having to worry about the cost and consequences.  
  5. The joy of knowing that every choices I made, someone up there is taking charge of it, and in His time, He makes all things beautiful!
  6. The joy of embracing one truth : I am deeply loved and highly favoured! So be happy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Birth of Celebrate Heaven

One of my ex-brides was talking to me recently, "Hannah, you have not been updating your blog.. I am still waiting to read your next post." It's amazing my brides are truly my fans.
Yes, I have been so busy, this year is supposed to be a quiet year for us. I wanted to do less weddings but very unique projects, so I can also take time to review what I want to do next. In the month of May, I decided to take a long break to London & Paris, and spent some time alone, rethinking some of the steps I have made in my life - both personal and corporate.

And never in my life have I ever imagined I would start off a second brand, or expand my business after this trip. Those who know me well will know that my only dream is still to settle down and raise up a family, the very reason I have setup Heaven's Gift, and now ironically, the birth of a second brand - Celebrate Heaven takes place before my precious dream.

2013 will be my 10th years in Heaven's Gift, and looking ahead, I did ask myself one fundamental question : Am I happy with what I have accomplished in the last 10 years. I supposed this question has been answered. Physically and mentally, I am fortunate to have met some of the most amazing people in this industry, and at the same time, honoured to have been trusted by some of the most beautiful couples of ours, who took the plunge to give me the opportunity to do what I have set my heart to do i.e. to perfect my vision as a wedding planner, a party planner and now a special events planner. All the works you have seen in our website are reflections of our passion, our precision and our perfection. Spiritually and emotionally, I do dream to accomplish more.

Over the years, we have been privileged to serve some of the society and elite families, yet at the same time, I am always conscious of the other side of the world - the less fortunate, and the poor. Born from a poor family, I have learnt that some of the best moments in my life were time with my families, though little we have, we spent every effort to celebrate a moment. I remembered when I was young, my uncle and aunt - Vincent and Serene (whom I have respected much), used to fetch us in his small little car, awaiting to hear that my aunt would close a door to door sales. And in the car, we would be praying that the sales would be closed, so that we could go out for supper to celebrate. Those moments were precious.

When I was approached with a business idea and opportunity in June, I didn't want to just create another business idea, I want to spread a message - Celebrate life like the way you would celebrate in Heaven.
The name Celebrate Heaven was inspired in an unique setting. I have previously thought of a company name that reflects a bit of Heaven's Gift, and yet clearly illustrates what we do. There were many names considered : Party Heaven, Wedding Heaven, Chic Heaven, The Heaven etc etc.. and yet none felt right. I remembered it was the night instead of going home, I went to church prayer meeting and decided to just spent some moments not thinking about work. And a voice spoke right where I sat - Hannah, why didn't you consider the word "Celebrate, and called it Celebrate Heaven". I couldn't believe what I heard, so I started googling during the service, to check if the word was used or repeated anywhere in the world, all I found then was some worship songs and Christian messages. But the name Celebrate Heaven lingered in me. When I looked back, God knew exactly what best for us, He is God afterall. Celebrate Heaven is the perfect name for the second brand and clearly spells out the desires in my heart even before I could imagine or ponder further. To celebrate life like the way we would imagine in Heaven is what I hope everyone of us will do.

I remembered someone once reminded me when I was in the States : Hannah, as much as your pursue your perfection as a planner, remember, you can do what you do today, simply because you were released by your loved ones back home to be who you are today. So as much as you spend the time to fulfill your clients' dreams, spend as much time to create the beautiful moments for those you love back home. This was a life changing reminder that has stayed with me all these years. And that's the spirit of I want to share through Celebrate Heaven - to create the opportunity for every one of us to spend time with our families, people whom we love, making every celebration, be it small or big, a memory to stay for a lifetime.

So with Celebrate Heaven, we have brought some of the international labels and products we love and are creative tools for making celebrations stylish and unique. I really love every of our labels, they are inspirations for future party trends.

Seriously I do not know what the future will hold for us.. but I do know, I want to celebrate life as long as I live, and as much as I love. To God be the glory.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

My 3 weeks experience away from home..

It has been 3 weeks since I was back from Europe. My 3 weeks stay in London and Paris was my longest trip away from home since I started Heaven's Gift. But it is one that is filled with timely encounters, precious memories and awesome experiences and I am so glad that I have the time to be away. Thank God for my team who released me to do what I wanted to do.

We have had a great show in Tatler Wedding just 2 days before I left for the trip. Talking about Tatler Wedding show, do look out for the editorial on this. My first Tatler show, yet one that myself and team enjoyed every minute in the planning and the actual day of execution. Though it was a corporate social event, I personally felt it was to me an intimate friendship party - I get to enjoy the fun of the event, worked with people I newly discovered and certainly respected. It was a blast. Awesome! And I can't wait to create another Tatler Gala.

Before the trip, I was going through some soul searchings in my personal life, and some were painful, some were doubtful, some were uncertain. Yet, the busyness of Heaven's Gift does keep me going.  Often you realise busyness doesn't solve the concerns in life, it only shelves them aside. Now looking back the past 1 month, how the trip came about and the timing of all the events coinciding to one another within the trip, I can only conclude : God is sovereign, always good, nothing is ever coincidental. He knows what is best for me and He will path each step for me so precisely. All is good.

I stayed like a British resident, enjoyed the way an Asian's life would be in London. Got to enjoy the stay in simple local town council housing as well as unexpected luxurious penthouse in Westminister. Went to unplanned  trips to Bath &Versailles, and encountered some interesting occasions - The Passing of Olympics Torch and the 4 days Jubilee Celebrations. Met up new aspiring artists and inspired by their boldness and passion in their works, and visited many museums in a trip, and finally embraced the charm and ever-creative cities of London and Paris. It was a trip that allowed me to experience both simple living as well as indulgence living.

In conclusion, I relearn the following principles as an entrepreneur and as an individual, and I thought I should share with my readers my personal quotes and principles , may it bless your heart as it has certainly blessed my life.

  1. Never stop believing in yourself and what you dream to be. Your vision and faith marks your future ahead. And it will always be amazing!
  2. Let go concerns that block your heart to feel the wind of destiny that is coming your way.
  3. Sometimes what you see at current state is temporal, but what you believe within is eternal and powerful.
  4. Mix with people who are passionate, and who put feet into their dreams. They are your dream anchors, as well as your passion companions
  5. Whatever you do, expect pleasant surprises, these are what I called Divine Miracles created just for you!
  6. Don't be contented at your past achievements if you really want to be the pacesetter for extraordinary things. Passion pursues Perfection...
  7. Today's well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. So live well, play hard, and never stop loving. 
  8. Finally, you can plan all your life, but remember : Man plans, but ultimately God directs your path.
Yes, I love what I do... 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Preparation for this weekend Diamond Jubilee Celebration...

Today, I decided to revisit London places of interest like a tourist, alighted myself at Westminster Bridge Road, strolled along the River Thames, saw the Big Ben, the London eye, the various bridges... and walked past the different eateries.. and took a long walk to Buckingham Palace...  one thing was sure, everyone was excited in preparation of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebration which will begin from this weekend onwards for 4 days..

I pondered a while, if we would to celebrate our ex-minister mentor, Lee Kuan Yew's reign as our founder and leader for the last 50 plus years, will there be the same corporate and individual excitement in our land. I really hope it will..  He has built the Singapore today, and as I travel about in the world, I have to say Singaporeans ought to be really proud what He has done for us - a country that is so young and yet is so known in the world for who we are and what we can do.. 

Take a look at some of the interesting shots of the way the English has prepared for the upcoming celebration of their Queen.. they truly love and respect their queen, and I can't believe when I saw the people buying the cardboard statue of the queen to be placed in their parties, when the salesgirl was trying to see how to wrap the cardboard statue, the customer exclaimed : "Pls don't bend our queen, I want her to be in shape..." that's so funny..

Harrods presents a series of customised crowns for their Queen

Jelly bean crown - anyone wants to wear or try it?!

Decorations of Royal coloured flags

Lots of goodies for the Diamond Jubilee Party for you to choose.
I wish I can buy them all...

Her majesty favourite corgis...

Do you want to bring the Queen home??

The concert stage is in the process of setting up, 
to be ready for next Mon's performance..

Can't wait to see the event this weekend....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My beloved travelmate and first Bath experience...

Currently am in London, just returned from Bath, and I fall in love with Bath. It will not be the first and last time for me in Bath. I could imagine myself retiring in this place - so quaint, so much charm with history, and most of all, the people here make you really feel at home.This trip to Europe has been a long awaited one. It has been almost 12 years since I last returned to Europe.. and the feelings back here is special. Last night, I decided to blog about my journey these 2 weeks. I was really praying that these 2 weeks rest will be filled with inspirations, special encounters and blessed surprises.. and I will discover and learn new things, understand my course ahead.

Bath at a glance - The River

Oh I just love all their shops front, I wish Singapore shops are as such.
My favourite Thai restaurant - Ma Tai

Everyone should try Sally Lunn's buns

And I was blessed to have good resident mate, Char is one of the church worship youths I love and be comfortable with. I kept saying she's my youth, in fact she has already become a young adult. Finally she has graduated in her pursuit of fashion education, and I believe she will be a great fashion merchandiser and designer to come.  Residing at her place makes me discover the joy of being young adults, how they see things, how they understand the world around them.

I love high street fashion and local boutiques, and new things, so it was very natural for me to love shops along Knightbridge. And interestingly, Char brought me to discover the other side of London, which I would never have imagined - the Brick Lane market - a place where owners sells antiques and vintage items. Honestly, I never buy used items, simply I am always concern abt the owners who possessed these items before. and as I browsed through those items, I started to discover that there's so much history and heritage each item brings, and it changes my perspective. I was asked to step into the oldest bookstore in Bath with Char, and I was ashamed to be reminded how many old books I have thrown away in last 2 years in the midst of shifting.. and there are so much treasures in each of them...

Observing Char browsing thru the shelves of old books, and was thrilled when she found a needlework   book, I was happy to see my youths treasuring the old.. and embracing the past to discover the new she's pursuing..

When I woke up this morning, I saw one of Char's flat mates- Li Shan, preparing this for us.. and I was really touched. Thank you Lord for showing me the new perspective of the next generation. I am blessed.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What will your wedding be liked?

This month is so special, I have 3 weddings to attend, and all are industry friends. One at Bandung for a dear ex-staff of ours, another a hotelier director, and next will be a wedding buddy and partner whom we have grown together since the day we have both started our businesses. I look forward attending each one of them, as the emotions are very special.

Last night at the wedding, someone asked me : "So Hannah, what will your wedding be liked? Any dream wedding in mind? I think your wedding will be...." It is always very interesting to be asked of such questions. Everyone seems to think my wedding will be the wedding of the year... and only those who know me will truly know what's really in my heart.

Honestly, before I started the wedding business, I wished my wedding would be liken the old TV series - The Love Boat, where all our friends and ourselves could sail away for a few days to celebrate. In those days, I hated to wait for weddings to start, always wondered why guests were so late for weddings, so I told my family at my young age : when it is my wedding, we will sail away on time and no one should be late. That was why the Love Boat came to mind. Ya, I was that naive...

Today after been in this business in our 9th year of operations, my thinking becomes simple. What really matters is not the wedding details (as much as I am a planner who pays much attention to details), what matters is when I walk down the aisle, I am certain I am marrying the right man, one whom I think we could be soul mates and companions for the rest of our lives. I was always joking to my friends and those whom have asked me the questions about my wedding : yes, I must have 21 pairs of flowers girls and page boys walking down with me, it will be the longest bridal processional ever, because I want myself and my partner to be sure it is really the right decision, for it has been a long awaited journey for both of us....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't stop innovating...

We are entering into our 9th year in the wedding industry and now the special events industry. April is a month of inspirations and concept creations for us, and I really love this part of my job - to be able to brainstorm with my team on ideas, concepts and envisioning what we will be seeing in the next 6 months is an awesome experience.

It is filled with expectancy, but at the same time it is filled with faith stretching, if you understand what I meant. Simply because every special event is so unique, and the way we craft our guests' experience requires creative approaches, and a new level of excitement and expectations. 

I was just talking to a few partners of ours, and some are fully booked for the year, some are finding slow sales. And as a design and special events company, we have our low seasons as well. But whenever I look back the past 8 years of our works, those slow months often were the most exciting and inspiring months, because we are stretched to think beyond our means, beyond what we hear and see, beyond what we may even envision what is to come. 

The key principle is this : Never stop innovating, never stop thinking out of the box. The methods and creatives that work a year ago, may not work well this year.. so stretch to think beyond, and you will discover a new light. When you are busy with jobs, don't forget to take time to create new things. 

I am grateful that I have a team of colleagues who believe in me, and allow me to stretch them to think out  of the box how we see events. I always tell them : the world is HUGE, and the standards of the world is  beyond Singapore... so don't stop growing. When you think you are the best, and you have reached, it may be the time you are declining and stop exceling. Remember : competition spurs up innovation, and innovation sifts out competition. I dream of a day when I can get to do an event for Oprah Winfrey, one of the women I respected in the world. Someone who understood where she come from, never stop stretching herself, never give up creating for others. 

2012 - a year of governance, goodness and greatness... 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Passion + Diligence + Talent + Divine Provision = Masterpieces

Just came back from a meeting with client, tho I don't usually meet clients on a Sun. Attended service on Sat night, and I had the entire Sun all to myself, surprisingly, the meeting turned out to be an inspiring one. I really believe when your mind is at rest, or rather when you discipline yourself to rest, you give room for inspiration and creations. After the meeting, I walked into the Ode to Art and found my love again on Coplu's paintings. When I first saw his pieces 2 years ago at my client's place, there was a joy that oozed out from his works. I fell in love with his works immediately, and I told myself one day I would get his painting once I have my apartment, and today I almost plunged to purchase one hmmmm....

When I was young, I often wondered how an artist would survive in the real world. I used to discuss with my CFO, and calculate how much one must make to be sufficient. Art is a difficult form to be measured by price, yet despite that thought, it doesn't stop a true artist from believing in what he or she does. Having met many artists in my industry, I have finally concluded an equation:
Passion + Diligence + Talent + Divine Provision = Masterpieces. When one excels to create his expressions/works, he will certainly touch the heart of his audience. Everyone of us has our own world of audiences regardless whether we are aware of them or not. I used to think only people who knew me will read my blog, then I realised that there are
many strangers I have yet befriended who are actually reading my blog. Each of us will draw our own audiences, because human beings want to be connected, to seek a connection.

In a month's time, I am going away for my own retreat in Europe, and it has been a long awaited one for me. Despite having travelled much in my events, business trip is never the same as leisure trip, esp when you want to do nothing in the trip but just merely discovering the world around you. This time, I have weeks to myself.. how refreshing!

This year will be a very interesting year for HG, when I saw the projects on hand, I was reminded: God, you literally answered my prayers so specifically. I asked for projects that will be extraordinary, stories that are amazing to share, and ones that I will see a leap in our creations, but most of all, ones we will get to see His supernatural inspirations and provisions. Interestingly, in past 3 months, I have met quite a few couples, and have had chemistry with many, but somehow, only those that are meant to be ours, we manage to close, others, we often heard this closing statement from them "Hannah, we love your works, and we have heard much good reviews from many in the industry about you, but...".

In the past, I would question myself when I received such responses: Why Hannah, why didn't we get that project? But somehow this year, I have a perfect peace that resides within my heart, I am reminded : Faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. We shall see at the end of 2012, what will be the outcome of my asking. For one thing I am sure, our God is faithful and He answers prayers!
Tomorrow, I will take out my brushes and paint... a great way to start a new day...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The impressions made in the Raffles Romance show....

The vision of the recent Raffles wedding show was to instill a new attitude towards the trends of creating inspiring wedding experiences, and setting a new wave for future wedding shows in the industry. We wanted to create a totally new look and feel for Raffles Romance show, allowing couples to envision designs within spaces. I am really thankful to the management of Raffles Hotel for giving Heaven's Gift this opportunity to work with them, a team who believes in us, a team who has put in much efforts and diligence to make this vision come alive.

And I am also grateful to all my participating partners who stood by us, and everyone taking the extra miles to create impressions that demonstrate who they are in their works in a short span of 3 weeks' planning . Bravo! Guys, you are awesome!!!. Special thanks to Hari & Team from Boenga Flowers & Design, Kim from Divine Couture, Shuming & Chris from Mischka Aoki for the amazing flower girl dresses (Shuming, thank you for believing in me!), Eng Hong and team from 39 East Photography, Ead from Plush Photography, Brian from The Galeria, Chris from More to Purple, David & team from Live Studios, Yang and Nancy from Substance Films, amazing team from Showmakers, Eddy from ET Music.

The outcome of the event : There is excitement in the air, somehow, when there's newness, there's a new faith and new energy. I was reading through all the comments from the couples as well as the partners who have given us the feedback, I was very encouraged. The journey has launched a new level of expectations, and a new wave of looking at wedding experiences. We really believe, more and more couples are looking for intimate weddings. Gone are the days where weddings are large and structured, where couples do not get sufficient time to mingle with the guests, or to enjoy the entire evening in their very own party. Hence, couples are now looking new ways to create intimate events, to break down their celebrations into more than 1 event. The couple will eventually get to create each event differently and accordingly to the dream of the couple and to needs of their guests.

So what is going to be new to couples who are keen to sign up with Raffles Hotel for any of your wedding events (remember, considering breaking one main event into intimate celebrations) :
1) There is an array of food and wines concept you can get to explore with Raffles culinary team
2) The pastry team has introduced many unique and pretty details for your desserts
3) A new floral partner has been brought in to create your beautiful decorations. You now have a choice of flower designs from Boenga Flowers as well as Sir Charles, they will be both assigned florists for your weddings.
4) And most importantly, have you ever dreamt of having your wedding in one of the most historical venue in Raffles Hotel - that's right, the Bar & Billard. It is now open for couple to create private functions. I having been hoping to create a wedding party in this charming restaurant. And when we did the catwalk in Bar & Billard, the venue was just perfect... Love it!

Below are some of the shots taken from last show , Enjoy!
Pictures taken by Gilbert from 9 Frames and David from Live studios

The Signature Drink from Raffles Hotel - The Singapore Sling

The Gallery experience

Love these flower girl dresses from Mischka Aoki- So Pretty!

Look at the amount of live stations and
desserts Raffles Hotel has splurged on our guests...

Concept Design From
Inspirational Moodboard to Reality by Heaven's Gift

Amazing floral centrepieces from Boenga
The stage we have envisioned and built overnight... and love it!
and Beautiful gowns from Divine Couture

The team that has made
this show possible and awesome to work with!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The journey in creating a wedding show in 4 weeks...

I have not been sleeping much past 1 week, and one question keeps running in my mind : why Hannah, why... you have done everything, why are you not sleeping... maybe I am fighting against all the questionings fr within and with out...

Tomorrow's wedding show with Raffles Hotel is something very special to me. I could still remember clearly in my mind when I first had my discussion with Raffles in end Feb, they wanted me to be the partner as usual in past shows to support them like any typical wedding show. I think that lunch appt, I must have spoken much... I was raising the question : do we really need to do a wedding show? There are so many wedding shows in Singapore that basically sell wedding packages and booth spaces.. but I think Singapore needs a change... couples have become bored going to wedding show, shows have turned out to be perks and bargain exchange, and honestly deep in my heart, I really do not like booth spaces. I don't want to sell a product, I want to create an experience. I think this is what the couples need - to understand "Complete Wedding Experiences".

Wedding industry is a very special industry, and there are many passionate artists and designers. We are not selling products, we are actually selling ourselves. We sell what we believe, we sell who we are, we sell literally our dreams, our desires, to couples who truly appreciate what we do. At the end of the conversation, the director said : Hannah, let's do it. I was speechless and very touched, a hotel who believes in changing and dare to run the race with us. A change we believe not for immediate short term, but truly for a long term fruitfulness.

The next 4 weeks following were crazy, a part of me was running my events in Penang, the other part of me was gathering partners whom I really really want to work in the shortest time. To me, a show is a partnership, I didn't want to create events with people I am working for mere commercial reasons. Yes, I am a very sentimental lady, I believe in my partners, and it was a dream come true to work with people whom I have respected and grown to be friends for the last 8 years. And for Raffles Hotel, it was a hotel who has given me room to grow with them since I began my first wedding with them - and it was my best friend's wedding in 2005. A hotel who has given me room to create spaces and directions, a hotel who has allowed us in to lead and be included even in the aspect of educating their people. A hotel who truly treasures partnership. God, thank you for giving me the favour... it has to be you.

There are many questions that arise : it is such a rush, is it worth it? are you able to gather couples etc etc..?? Honestly, I do not know, because as I write this blog, those questions are very real. But I do know something, someone must begin a change, and it is time to believe for a change. Either we do it now, or we just dream on.

We wanted to create a show, where concepts are expressed, where artists get to say who they are thru their works. I have seen beautiful works from many of my photographers in the industry, but when people are comparing them with newbies, and packages, I sighed. Singapore is a very very competitive industry, you have photographers, florists, wedding planners birthing forth every day, all claiming they can do what they do. I hope everyone realises, good works take years and years to develop and sharpen.. success doesn't come overnight.

Once, someone made a sweeping statement to me : Wow, photographers earn so much, we might as well send our kids to study photography. I was stunned : An artist is likened to any professional, they are not second rated compared to doctors and lawyers, they take years to learn a skill, and they are not selling photos, they sell moments. Likewise, not everyone can arrange a good table centrepieces, because you give them flowers, and not every wedding planner can create a good wedding, just because you can do mood boards. This industry is not a hobby industry where one decides to turn a hobby and make some money out of it. Hello, is anyone listening...

People who do not know me will always say Hannah, you are gutsy... you speak your mind always. But those who know me well, will tell you : I speak what I believe and envision, and I defend for the people I believe in. I think a true artist needs to be tactful in her conduct, at the same time, an artist must continue to be bold to express his or her vision consistently without compromising.

So what will be the outcome of tomorrow's show? I anticipate as much as one awaits....
But one thing I am sure, it is an event where I will enjoy, because every player is a beloved friend.. and we will have fun creating together.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What I discover about PASSION

This past 1 week, I have received couple of comments from friends and partners who reminded me : Hannah, you should blog more often, you should start writing again...

Yes, I need to blog more regularly, and stop giving myself excuses that I have been busy. On a honest note, I think I am going thru a season where I start to evaluate everything I do, what motivates me and what sets me apart to be who I am. And during this moment, I am pretty speechless... because you are in the season of soul searching, reflecting every step you make... there are moments of fear, moments of doubts, moments of tension, but at the same time, there are moments of anticipation, moments of envisioning, moments of faith. It is at times daunting, but it is often exciting.

This year, I really want to do something different, something that will make me look back and be happy that I pursue something beyond my norm, creating something that goes beyond natural thinking. Often, when you are in the same business for almost 9 years, you sometimes forget to pause and think what's next in life... and I do not want to end up in that state.

Being an entrepreneur is about making business senses, creating a business that you believe in, but I have also learnt being an entrepreneur is not all about closing orders, and running about fulfilling orders.. an entrepreneur needs to always be aware what is next in the pursuit journey.. what will be the next leap in your business, and most of all, what will be the next chapter in your career life that will still make you passionate about doing what you do..

And yes, I am in this current phase of life. Last week, an unexpected guest arrived in my office, and reminded me that life is a journey of pleasant surprises.. I bumped into an publication director who I once blogged about in one posting, we have a good closure or rather I would say a renew beginning. It was interesting when he said : Hannah, can I be honest with you, you need to blog more often, your blog is very transparent (I paraphrased), you are very bold in revealing who you are in your postings. Your blog is not about wedding ideas, the blog is about who you are, and in many sense, you put yourself as the product of your business.. wow, I was speechless. He was right, unintentionally, I am one of the products of my business, and maybe this is why I put a lot of hard pressure on myself, perfecting how I see, perfecting what I create. Thankfully, I have a group of ladies and partners who believe in me, and are willing to allow me to lead them in the way I believe in my dreams.

Today, I saw the pictures I have from our Penang wedding, and I was touched.. It was a wedding of detailed work, and much precision. The number of hours we put in for each wedding often make me appreciate of my committed team. Imagine doing concurrently two events setup, one after another with only 3-4 hours of rest per day, for consecutive 4 days. Imagine creating personalised menu cards with guest names and their choices of main courses individually printed and packaged. Imagine having only 1 lifter to hang the 120 parasols for the ballroom and 10 large floral arrangements, and having to take them down all over again in perfect order for the banqueting team to turn over for the next wedding within 5 hours... Yes, no one can imagine. I will always remember this event, I saw myself running about in my long evening gown, directing remaining guests from the ballroom to another pub (across the street) to continue the post party after past 2am... assuring everyone was well taken care, before we headed back to hotel after 3am plus... it was hilarious, but it was a night I took a long while to wind down, in fact I could not sleep the whole night. Yes, that's the extent we serve our couples, and their guests, from the moment they touched ground to Penang, to the moment they left this island.

Often I wonder, does every planner go through what we go through... but at the end of the day, I concluded : regardless what others do, given a chance again, I will still do what I do, to serve the host and family to a point that we know we have truly understood what "entertaining with style and sincerity" means. This is what I called "Passion - a desire and belief to be excellent in whatever you do or envision to do".Lord, give me a new strength and faith for the next leap, there are still much to learn and grow.

To God, be the glory.. These are some of our favourite pictures from the Penang weddings - A Welcome Party to experience local Penang street food in a Art Decor Chic Styling, as well as a separate day Wedding Reception in E & O Hotel that combines Penang Charm and Old English floral touches...