Thursday, November 27, 2014

Be Inspired, and Learn to Leap in Faith!

Just got back from the States, and while I was trying to recover from my jetlag, I was back to the office again to get ready to launch our next products.

Everything seems so fast and so quick, and I remembered before I left for the States, i.e just few hours after Desmond & Charlotte's Winter Wonderland wedding, I was too tired to think how we were going to take care of the tear down later. The entire stage aesthetics and the wedding experience were well received and I was really happy when I saw that the overwhelming responses towards this wedding. In just 3 days, our instagram followers doubled from 100 to 200plus bcos of one event. And to imagine I was still learning how instagram works, this increase was to me a new eye opening. I suppose I always remind ourselves : When you are focus in doing what you are passionate, you will discover growth and possibilities.

I once again am reminded : With God, all things are possible. And yes, I do love to stretch myself and our team, to allow everyone in my team to fully develop the strengths within them. And if we do learn to believe in ourselves, and allow our leaders to perfect our vision of excellence, we will achieve excellence beyond our imaginations.

And I am thankful for a team who chooses to believe in my leadership to lead and perfect them. I could still recall when one of our photographers, Raymond Phang came to our office, it was a mess before the wedding. 2 days prior to the wedding, I set down the team and gave a list of tasks to my team, and these were the instructions:
A. Get ready to launch our new products
B. Clear the mess and show me the transformed office.
C. Get ready for the two weddings we are planning on the weekends we are back. Yes, we have 2 weddings this wedding, and as crazy as it sounds, my team fulfills the mission! I am so proud of them!

So here are the pix to our transformed office, we are ready for Christmas
Our  Door Signage was decorated, ready for Christmas!

We love our office more and more.... 
It is always changing and blossoming!

And while I am still struggling with jetlag and everything is busy moving on, 
I am invited for a sharing at Channel News Asia today... Life is Amazingly pathed!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Celebration and Culinary - Life after 40!

It's 6am in the morning, wake up early and now reminisce the moments of past few hours, and recollecting the journey past few months, my heart am so happy that I couldn't sleep. Just cooked up a dinner last night for a couple, spent moments simply sharing the current story of my life, and while I was still grateful of what God has been doing past 1 yr, one of the photographers sent me the link of a recent wedding we did at Shangrila-Hotel, and when I replayed the slideshow, my heart was happy.

I have seen so many wedding pix, but somehow this time, when I looked at my couple's pix, I felt really really happy, contented and fulfilled. I suppose you can say the slideshow reminded me of the consolidated journey I have been on, and the strengths God has perfected in my life to do what I do. 
I rediscovered the fact that I really do love what I do and He has given me everything to excel beyond what I would never have imagined. And this morning, this very fact gives me a new energy and perception to start my writing again. For some of you who know me, I have stopped writing for a while bcos there were events that happened in my life that bring about much disappointments a year ago. Last year on my birthday, I wrote about my trying moments and journey, and it was a birthday I dread to remember. This year, something new happened in my spirit, I remembered a good brother reminded me in 2012, you will think differently after your 40s, and he was right. This year, I moved into my new apartment, and found new joy decorating and making my home the resting place, but beyond that, it is a season in my life that I get to do what I always love to do - hosting parties,  and now with the full freedom of my own space. 

When I was very young, I said a simple prayer : Lord, make me rich. Not just in wealth alone, make me rich in my heart to contain people in my life. And since then, my life has never been the same. My buddies would tell you what I have been through, and I was stretched to contain all kinds of people and, I have understood what love does in your heart and is still a daily journey I embrace.
And I could still remember, even at the age of 10, I was already organising parties for my classmates on Teachers and Children's Day as the class monitor. I love the crafting up and gathering of people, filled with activities and laughter. There is lots of hard work rolling up your sleeves to organise an event, but the thrill of making something new has always been in my blood. And yes, I love to create new things, new ventures and I love to perfect the journey in each of them.

Everyday is an exciting shopping day!
This season of my life - I learn how to cook. Yes, I have never cooked in my life, except a few times I was an expat in Bangkok. Mum always cook, and my role then was to decorate the food. When I was just enrolled in Sec school, I still remembered clearly : the school registrar asked my Dad, so which social skills you want your daughter to learn - Technical or Home Economics (yes in those days, I could still choose my social skills unlike now), and guess what, Dad said : No need Home Economics, she will learn it when she is married, enrol her in Technical skills. I think Dad knows better, so after my year, the girls in schools were then forced into Home Economics, so all my younger sis studied Home Economics, and I am the only one who did it otherwise. So since young, my path of learning has always been different, and frankly, I love it.

Looking back, I am not shy to say I never really cook all these years... and interestingly I think bcos you never get to learn a social skill for so long, that energy within is hidden and ready to explode. I have now become a fanatic in being home cook. Everyday is like attending culinary school, go to work as usual, and after 7pm, I cant wait to rush to supermarket and pick up new veg, new ingredients and try something new again. And because I really love food, I get to critique my own food, and every week is a hosting time with old time buddies and new friends, bcos I can't wait to whip up new dishes.
I love to try new things and perfect it!
Cooking for my office team, and it is a new life!
The adrenaline rush within is ready to be explored...hahaha.. yes Life is beautiful!!!
So I decided why don't I start blogging again, and my buddies stand in agreement. One of them suggested : you should title your blog : Celebrations and Culinary.. and me being candid Hannah added : Yes, I will call it Celebrations and Culinary after 40!
So I trust you will discover the other side of me, other than being a wedding and party planner - the new home cook in town!
My first few dishes - cooking for my beloved family members. My cousins say : Hann, you can cook!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 - Spring has dawned, Renewed Dreams and Fulfilled Visions

It's always encouraging when I received calls these past days that applicants or clients wanted to know more about Heaven's Gift because they have read my past blog posts. It's pretty embarrassing for me to receive such compliments when I know I have not been a regular blogger for a while. I have hesitated to blog past 2 years because at one point in my life, some make me wonder that my blog will affect poorly on the ones I love or the people around me. Ironically, it actually does not, and on the contrary, fans and clients always remind me they are inspired to believe in dreams bcos of the blog. Isn't life an irony, most of us will want the public to only know the good things we want them to know, and yet the public often want true, honest and sincere reflection of one's life.

Last year before turning 40, everything seems to be going against the tide I was promised to journey on, and despite that, I chose to believe in my inner voice, and persevered through the "seemingly invisible storms" Today, when I looked back, I am grateful to know my God is always faithful, He holds true to the vision He has called me to embrace. What the devil meant it for evil, God has turned it for better of me. Looking back, everything is indeed a blessing in disguise.

Let me share something about my dream when I first decided to become a wedding planner. I wanted to join force with the local planners then, and was wondering : won't it be great if we could join hands to make a great wedding. I always believe in building a community, influencing an industry towards excellence But I soon realised the local community was very closed up, and most hardly shared knowledge bcos everyone was protective of his or her trade secrets, everyone was weary of competition. The wedding industry then was more unfriendly than today. And it took me years to understand how the local industry works.

Then I met a great buddy and excellent photographer - Chi Kuang formerly from 39east, and he showed me that it was possible to build a sharing community. He started the WPN - Wedding Photographer Network (www.wpn.sg), with a vision that the market is big enough for all, and sharing resources and knowledge is the only way to create growth and instil excellence. And to a large extent, today's WPN was established well bcos of a man who believed in his vision, and he was very focused and consistent. When he first started, photographers were weary of his intention, but I believe Kuang has a big heart. In order to share and influence others, you need first to have a big heart to embrace all differences, and bear all criticisms. You will still meet some players who are not keen to share, but more keen to take advantage of the network, but the ones who truly embrace community will become better and they will become the next leader in the industry. Bcos this principle always apply : Freely freely you give, freely freely you will receive.

As for me, I always dream to create one big event with many excellent partners together, from different florists, designers, photographers to even with my fellow friendly competitors - Singapore local planners. The key is I believe in working with the best, bcos passion begets passion, and faith begets faith. But I realised more and more one thing must exist in such partnership beyond mere words of "I want to share" i.e - to be able to work well with all, one needs a big heart to share, and a mind to believe you are not always the best in everything. Only with that attitude, can one become great in what he or she does. That's the real secret which sometimes seem to be the irony.

And it took me 10 years to finally see my vision slowly coming to pass. While some players or the outsiders wonder what's strategy is Hannah having under her sleeves, when they observe what I venture out each year. Interestingly those who truly knew me did not even spend time questioning or speculating, they become the first buddies who join hands to make things happen. They soon understand what I am seeing all these years. Since young, I have been trained by my mentors that a successful entrepreneur will put feet into her/his dreams, and be consistent in pursuing her/his vision. And talkers or gossipers who create strife in the industry will never last, they are simply noises that distract. And that's so true.

This year, you will see Heaven's Gift and the new Heaven's Gift Wedding Concierge join hands with many great partners to do what we love to do - Building a community of great entrepreneurs who will be the market leaders for the next generation and setting trends for the marketplace. Thank God for 2014, and for bringing the like-minded people.
We can't wait to see how all will unfold. Be ready for an awesome year bcos Winter is over, Spring has dawned !!! This is a glimpse of our new and dream office, a blessing that reminds us again and again : In His time, He makes all things beautiful!