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!!