Grateful Post

I was really happy yesterday. I made my very first Etsy sale! It was a pleasant surprise to see the email from Etsy and some lovely lady from US bought not one but two of my postcards in my Etsy shop.It’s quite a feat for me considering I only uploaded 3 designs few days ago and I sold 2! ^_^ anyway I was posting it out today and realized the postage fees was really expensive, so I actually undercharged for the postage fees but oh well just happy that I had my first sale. It’s a big milestone considering that I just decided to go forth and set up my Facebook page and stuff. Of course postcards are just a thing I listed on a whim, will still like to concentrate on Fashion and art pieces. Another thing I am really grateful for is a friend of mine whom I have not spoken to in years contacted me on Facebook and offered to let me host my craft swop party at her condominium meeting room! Really humbled and touched.Here’s my craft swop party again, in case you all want to go. It’s a free event to exchange craft materials and stuff. I’m running a mini contest on my Facebook page Here where you can win a mini chanel collectible, just by liking sharing and commenting on the post.Do take part even if you can’t make it for the event. Closing date is 31st July 2018And last but not least, I am grateful for my friend who offered to do my namecards design for free! I was all prepared to pay her for it but she generously told me she would do it for free. Such kindness that I have encountered these days made me grateful and happy!Hence this grateful post. Till then. Live out your dreams step by step, bit by bit, a little step even in the right direction makes you happy.I will leave you with a quote from Chanel that I found on the Internet. I think sometimes we care too much and listen to all the naysayers. But the frog that does not listen to anyone eventually made it to the mountain top, so let’s live that out today, no matter how challenging it may seem.


Time to take the plunge one stitch at a time

Dear All,

I haven’t blog for so long, from April my Boss went back to Japan and with the new management, I just got sucked in by work and got burnt out. My health started failing me and I didn’t realize it, I just kept on working. It was until when I visited the TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) doctor for the body aches and pain on the left side of my body that she warned me that my blood is so clogged that I’m at risk of getting a stroke. She did some cupping and blood letting. Ya it sounds really scary, and I was really scared. But thank God it’s not as scary or painful as it sounds. And it worked, the pain in my left arm subsided. What she said was like a wake up call for me, and the next day, on Friday, I went to my new boss and told him I need to take one day leave on Monday and it was a long weekend. (Well I told him what the doctor said and that I really needed rest)

My hand few days after the blood letting. Pain already subsided but there’s a blood clot under the skin if you look close enough

Things fall into place nicely. It just happens my parents have already planned a trip to genting and booked a room. So all I had to do was purchase coach ticket. My dad lovingly offered to rush down to the travel agency on Friday evening to get tickets for me, as I have Christian cell group on that night. And Hubby woke up in the wee hours to send me to the bus station so I can make it for the 630 am coach.

I got a Malaysia 30GB SIM card planning to binge on this Chinese drama that I’ve been watching on YouTube and brought my sketch book to paint and just chill and rest. Well That kind of didn’t worked out. When I got that the YouTube video is not licensed to play in Malaysia region 😅I even downloaded DramaFever thinking I can watch some other Korea Dramas but nope it doesn’t work that too, oh Well. At least it gave me plenty of chance to rest and just spend time with my parents

Genting has changed a lot, but since this is not a travel blog, I won’t write here but focus on my story. But I urged you guys to go if you have a chance. There is even Genting Premium Outlets midway at the mountain (reachable by cable car) and I had a great time looking at the fashion labels, and checking out the styles, getting inspiration (albeit a little off-season)

My parents of course went to the Casino, they loved the old Genting Casino with the Smokey environment, easier jackpot machines. My dad is particularly in love with a horse racing section, where for a bet, you can see horses running and he was parked for the 2 days that except for the half day trip to Premium outlet and Chin Swee Temple. Given that he is having last stage cancer, I just want him to enjoy himself, but of course we will appear at meal times to bring him somewhere to eat.

And I’m grateful that he is still mobile and thought the doctor said that it’s 2-5 yrs life span for people with his illness. It’s his third year and he is still going strong, often surprising the oncologist. I think his positive mindset helped him a lot. To him this whole cancer thing is just like flu. And I don’t know if he is saying it so we won’t worry or he really thinks so. But either way his stats looks good.

Lovely Chin Swee Temple, 蓬萊仙境 which means heavenly place. Indeed it is

So after the short break I was well rested. But soon again I was sucked into work. I was overloaded, running a global project which involves liaising with people halfway round the globe at late hours and having to do my day to day work. I wanted to feedback to my new boss but he was absorbed in other pressing matters, having just came on board and was hardly around.. my peer who became my dotted line manager was also not helping much

I was due to fly out on Sun for a long planned family trip to Beijing with my sis family, my parents and my hubby. We decided to go, as we don’t know when my father can be well enough to travel again. The idea of him being on the Great Wall made him happy and he even told the oncologist, he is going to be a 好漢 loosely translated as a good man. As there is a saying in Chinese, you will only be a good man if you reach the Great Wall.

Then came Friday just before I was due to fly off. I woke up with a bad sore throat, but I had already had back to back meetings planned. One was with the new customer, and the second meeting was with a VP of Singapore agency, so I can’t reschedule. So I remember going and praying hard I can survive the day. My dotted line manager seeing how unwell I looked, told me to go home after the second meeting. But at 2pm when I was about to go home, I had a Priority one incident (my customer network went down due to a power trip, it was month end and they really need the network to work and the servers to come back alive. And I found myself pulled into fighting that fire till 5pm.. it could have gone on longer, but at 5pm, my own company network went down. (must be some unlucky day, as there was a blackout in business district as well)

And it was bad, usually I could work on my mobile when the network is down, but this time nothing worked. We had to switched to using WhatsApp chat group to continue communicating and fighting the fire. My engineers rushed down and managed to get some of the systems up by 9pm. And I was feeling despondent, as I really wanted to clear my backlog before I flew out. I texted my sis, whom I was supposed to meet for dinner, cheekily replied maybe the network just want you to relax.

So with nothing working, I had no choice but to leave for the day and went to Sentosa to meet my sister earlier for dinner. Dinner was great and I think some window shopping, trying on stuff really allowed me to disconnect from work and just relax. The next day Saturday I was back to workaholic mode, clearing my backlog and working till noon. I bought some cough medicine from the pharmacy just in case. But By early Sunday morning when I was at the airport, I felt the beginnings of a bad cold and in between sleeping on the SIA A380, I was just praying I don’t want to be sick on a holiday we all been planning for so long.

But things are not to be. Landing in Beijing, though I think the air was relatively cleaner than in the past, it wreak havoc on my sensitive respiratory system. I broke out in rashes on my face daily and my phlegm was green half the time. I was depending stubbornly on the pharmacy medicine I bought, until my sis remarked that I should increase the dosage. As in she usually take 4 tablets at one go and I was taking 1 tablet for the past few days. So I increased the dosage and lo and behold at least the phlegm became yellow 😂

We went to the Great Wall on the second day. It was breathtaking. We chose the Mutianyu stretch which have less tourists and a ski cable car up the wall and you can take a luge ride back down.

Once up that, Hubby was all raring to hike and took off on his own covering few stations in one morning (its a few km between each station) I tried to follow him initially, but the flu and the thin air just compelled me to walk slowly on my own. Taking in the white butterflies and the lovely scenery, albeit a little sunny and hot

This is my selfie at the Great Wall. I don’t usually look that good, it’s just a very good camera app. So much so that my colleague who recently saw my profile pic (I used it on my WhatsApp) actually asked me to update my pic and don’t use some old picture 😅

This was also the last time my complexion was better as after that the rashes came.

It is truly majestic and the photos don’t do it justice. I tried to get a photo of the butterflies but it won’t let me ^^ the air was thin at times being at high altitude and I am grateful I brought my inhaler along, having to stop at times since the flu has evolved into coughing and what’s not.

Anyway, it was great, nothing worked in Beijing, no WhatsApp no email, no Facebook or Instagram and even sms messages were spotty at times. I was offline most of the time and daily went back to hotel in the late afternoon to take medicine and sleep till dinner time.

Of course back in hotel with the WiFi on, sometimes I will still reply urgent emails.

I remember one relaxing afternoon where I was in a bookstore and just drawing and saw this amazing Japanese origami book that I wanted to incorporate in my fashion designs, when my WhatsApp suddenly came alive. And my pre-sales was asking me about customer appointments and stuff.

Well apparently that mall’s WiFi must have some vpn built in and WhatsApp was workable there. It’s a gd and bad thing I guess. I missed those days 6 yrs ago where I can forget my iPhone 4 at home and just live the day without a phone. But now it’s almost impossible. Mobility and the Internet of Things is both a boon and a bane. Being so connected made me hard to get disconnected from work. It’s also why I am writing this post.

The backlog back to work was a lot like few hundred emails… and I went to see the doctor on Sat after I touched down and didn’t take medical leave. I mean it’s just not that good to take medical leave after you have already went on one week holiday.. so I “heroically” went to work on Monday. And of course without proper rest and a punishing schedule (I am also preparing for my N1 Japanese language proficiency test next Sun) my body just gave up. I developed severe chest pains at 2-3am 2 days ago. Went to Raffles hospital on Thursday. It was madness, I went to work at 9 am for an important meeting (my colleague was helping me for some RCA report, due to an escalation caused by our vendor and my dotted line manager decision to use that vendor despite me advising against it. So I already informed my colleague that I had to go hospital right after the meeting.

What made me disappointed was that even on my way to hospital, my colleagues was still messaging me in the WhatsApp group reminding me to do the report… we had another group that was facing some issue and in conversation with the engineer for a solution. And I remember saying I was going for my chest x-ray soon and I really need to off the phone. It was a vast difference when I had my ex boss who will help me and cover when I am sick or busy.

And with all these barrage of messages I turned on the flight mode several times, just to get some peace. After the doctor diagnosed the chest pains are caused by chest infection and I was put on 2 days medical leave and a course of antibiotics. And currently pending my blood tests results. I went home took my medicine, and slept till the night. But the moment I on my phone, it was my colleagues messaging me to do quote and send emails to clients.

At that moment, I felt I am not valued in the company. I could die and my colleagues may just send a wreath and that’s it. To Clarify, it’s just 2 superiors that behave so insensitively. The rest of my colleagues are wonderful people and we worked well as a team.

It also got me thinking what I blogged previously, that on my deathbed, I won’t be thinking how much work I have yet to do, but rather how much time I didn’t spend with my family, so I have decided to quit soon.

I already have an offer. I was approached few weeks ago by a headhunter for a role which interest me , but for the longest time, I wanted to stay longer in a company and I do appreciate my colleagues.

Of course I am not going to do something as drastic as quit and study and switching to fashion like the last time. But this time I really want to do something. A Taiwanese lyricist once said 「若不追逐夢想,它永遠只會是你和你朋友之間談話的話題罷了」 which loosely translates to if you don’t chase your dreams, it will forever be just a conversational topic among friends.

Having read the book “So good they can’t ignore you” by Cal Newport, I have also learnt that chasing your dreams is not just quitting your main source of income and plunge into the dream and “passion”

Now 4 years after starting this blog, I have learn about the Craftsmen mentality, the need to hone my craft and also always to sought feedback from people around me.

Today I am happy to share that I am launching my Instagram and Facebook page finally. The Instagram account is Ashiu_Atelier

If you like all things fashion, Zakka or an aspiring couturier like me with a deep love for Haute Couture) Though I think at most I can only do Pret A porter, but we are all entitled to dream big right? :)), then please follow me on Instagram. ^_^

This is the profile pic of my Instagram account. I will design a logo when I have more time.

I will put up some of my work and fashion. Illustrations and all things fashion, draping, pattern making on this learning journey. It’s seems like a tiny step but to me maybe a big leap out of my comfort level.

At some point, I will launch the gowns I have always been wanting to make and make my several capsule collections a reality.

I want to end off with a quote I saw in L’Officiel magazine while at Raffles Medical. This singer from One Direction said ” I used to be wearing knock-off Versaces when I was growing up and never dreamt that one day, I will be designing a collection for Versace.”

Nothing is impossible for God

Dare to Dream one day at a time

Duc in Altum

Lazy me ( Beware! A really long rant)

Well lazy me has not been sewing. Of course I can make excuses that I am busy with studying my Intensive Japanese preparatory class (weekly mini tests and mock exams monthly)  and hopefully pass JLPT level 1, the highest level of the Japanese proficiency, but really who am I kidding? Sometimes I look at hila’s blog who I have been following and I feel ashamed, like mega shame. I mean she churns out all these little pretty outfits on a regular basis and for me I have a ton of half finished stuff… 

I guess it’s why I keep spending on sewing courses, not only I can improve my sewing skills, but attending a class helps me to be more disciplined. And the Singapore Government is really nice to us citizens, they gave us $500 to upgrade ourselves and I can take sewing courses with it! 🙂 but now my plate is quite full with the intensive class, all the way till 1st week of December where I can take my exam. Yesterday, I was just thinking if only I can go to Bunka for 2 weeks – 1 month course, that has always been a dream of mine, to learn the Japanese way of pattern making. 

Well I know I really need to force myself to carve out 1 hour on a weekday night, stop surfing the FB & Instagram for once and just focus on doing something Fashion related. I think even drafting and cutting paper patterns is good. Or even hand sewing and improve my couture sewing techniques.

Ok, I am signing up for a crafternoon at Meetup to just have time out to do my sewing. Sigh, I still draw and design regularly, but sewing has always been my Achilles heel. Except for the fashion design competition the last time which really force me to sew a lot in one week. Other than that, I am just sucked back to work and the daily grind. Having said that, recently I really want to give myself a pat on the back. What happened is that I did super well in last quarter. Overachieved 200%, then came the spanner in the works, the finance dept just refused to pay me for my overachievement… I was like wut?!!! But yet I am calm now and not even angry. In fact, I even told my boss earlier In the sales kickoff, “forget it, let’s just focus on this FY. Let’s not piss the finance lady off, else she makes things difficult for us this FY. ” my boss was like no no no, I need to fight for you, at least 120%… but I heard from my colleagues that it’s really challenging apparently they been doing this for long time, the company is just not inclined to pay people above 120% due to the commission multiplier. Oh well, I am actually amazed how zen I am about this. I guess it’s a sign of maturity. If you read my first few posts, you will know I used to be the type to go bang table and demand my comms etc, but now I am like really chill, not even a hint of anger. Well I guess that is the reality of corporate world.

Presents from my 2 bosses from today’s kickoff event, it’s enough to make me feel blessed. I am easily content nowadays. Note: I won the Kindle bid at really attractive price

I gave myself a 10 year plan. In 10 years time, I hope to save enough to start my bespoke atelier, and from now till then, I will focus on improving my fashion skills, especially my sewing skills, adopt the craftsmen mentality and improve.

Only then I can achieve.

Somehow master sifu quote from Kungfu panda really stuck with me, and it’s my personal motto for now

Sew often, pray often

Sayonara Minnasan, mata ne! (It’s means goodbye folks, till next time)

If you are considering a career switch, you may want to read this..

Well I haven’t blog for a long while, as I am very happy and fulfilled in my current job. Nope, I’m not in fashion unlike what my blog started out to be, but I am doing what I enjoyed doing best, which is sales.

Today, while walking home, I was reflecting on what made me passionate about doing in life. And it made me realize that it really was like what I wrote in the past, from reading the book, “So good that others can’t ignore you” that the author has this radical theory of not following your passion and dream, but rather being so good at a certain thing, that it becomes your passion. As you can tell from my blog title, this blog was originally intended to be about my career switch to fashion which lasted a gloriously short period of 6 months in studies and internship and another 5 months in an actual job in the industry. 

A short stint, yet a long journey in terms of self- discovery. At the grand age of 32, I embarked on a some-would-say-courageous while others-will-say-incredibly-silly decision of exchanging my successful career to follow my long time dream and passion. i.e. Fashion. 

Did it work out? Yes and No.

Yes, as in, I live life with no regrets and no what ifs, which I spoke about in my earlier posts. I thoroughly enjoyed studying Fashion, sewing, attending Fashion shows and those 3 months were the happiest period in my life. 

I didn’t go for this show, I will love to! but it’s from my favorite designer

But No, I realized I somehow am not cut out to be in the retail industry. Which is tough since if you want to make it big as a designer in the industry, you have to be involved in retail somehow. Even the couture houses have a pret a porter range, whereas I am more inclined to small bespoke boutique-ish kind of business. 

And No, as my financial commitments are high and I realized I didn’t want to sacrifice my state of lifestyle to follow my passion. I tried, but the salary made me an unhappy person. And even though working in an established renowned company meant my staff discount for high end brands is 40% off, but I couldn’t even afford a brand new Balenciaga classic motorcycle bag that was on staff sale at USD500. (I could, but I see no point in blowing almost 50% of my salary to buy my want rather than my need at that point in time) My colleagues thought I was crazy, and I constantly felt I couldn’t fit in. Of course, that is a very small flavor of what the fashion industry can be like in Singapore.

Ironically, 2 years later I can afford my dream bag, where I no longer felt I had to justify shelling out almost 50% of my salary

Fast forward to 4 years later, where I have been back in my previous industry for almost 3 years, enjoying my career and smashing my sales targets once more. Being an older self at 36, I have to cautioned myself not to get burn out. (because retrospectively, I was burned out back then in 2013, which pushed me to yearn for a break doing something I loved and that disillusioned me left the corporate rat race and embarked on following my fashion dream)

I hope by reading this blog thus far, you won’t get disillusioned and start doubting yourself. Is it wrong to pursue your dreams? No! no! No! I am not saying it’s wrong. YOLO, please do get out there and live life with no regrets. But what I am saying is, before jumping in with 2 feet and 2 eyes shut, please do set a list of contingencies.

1) Set aside at least 6 months to 1 year of salary. I set aside almost 8 mths to a year worth of my salary before I did my career switch

2) Research the industry that you wish to switch to, try to network and talk to as much people as you can. –> well I feel I didn’t do this enough. I did research and speak with some people, and read accounts of people who career switched successfully, but either I lacked that grit or maybe financials to see myself through. 

3) Assess if it’s burn out/disillusionment/disgruntlement with your career/superior/company or really a genuine desire to go follow your dream. –> on hindsight, I could have taken a 3-6 months break, travel, rest and see if I really need to switch to a new industry rather than doing something drastic and final

4) Try out the industry. –> You may have this insatiable desire for fashion, you want to be the next fashionista. There is a reason why they always say fashion is hard work, because it truly is. Before jumping in, intern at as many places as possible. (Sadly in Singapore, age is a discriminating factor, and I do get turned down and ignored at several places even with the offer to intern for free) but don’t give up and somehow you will still be able to find some place, I am sure.

5) Start small–> take on small jobs to help your friends/relatives or random colleagues to alter/sew/make something for them. (They usually won’t reject since it’s free) then actively sought feedback and try to improve. From there you can move on to other free lancing jobs. One common thread I learnt from successful career switchers is that they already have an existing side business before they went in to take it full time. In this way, the transition is less shocking and easier to handle. At least you are not going in with zero income, but with some existing contacts and business which make it less daunting.

6) Have an exit plan- I gave myself a time frame that if by a certain deadline, I have not achieved a certain target I will go back to my previous industry. Some may say it’s not good to set this, you should tell yourself to never look back and go ahead as if you have no roads left (This was actual advice from my previous supervisor) however I am a pragmatic person, if something is not working out or your gut feel tells you otherwise, please trust your gut feel.

I hope above points will help you, since it’s from my own experience. But if all else fails, just follow your heart, you won’t go wrong. My career took a hit because of my career switch, when I return back to my industry. however, within 2 years I am back to my previous pay scale and perhaps even more. Of course there are some drawbacks (life is not always a fairy tale) Just look at my peers who have reached higher career levels compared to me, had I stayed in the same industry. But it’s a choice I made, so live with it. Thus, if you have enough to get by, your career can afford to wait a little while, while you go pursue that dream of yours.

If you never try, you never know.

A cute poster I snapped in Bangkok, I think it’s by Jeremyville. If you know the illustrator, pls let me know and I can credit it properly

And one parting shot. My journal that I picked up during my down period, and the quote which really speaks to me.

Blessings to all who read this long post especially during this Easter season! ^^

Passion vs Craftsman mentality

Recently I re-read the book “So good they can’t ignore you. Why skills trump passion in the quest for work you love.”

I am changing jobs and recently I’ve been feeling guilty of not staying in this current job longer. Though I have laid out my reasons in earlier blog posts but I can’t help feeling my career profile resembles that of a job hopper. There were several reasons why I changed job over the years, but deep down I really want to stay in a job for long. (my family probably will roll their eyes because that is my constant refrain) 

So I find myself re-reading the book and reminding myself along the way that my craftsmen mindset is not what the job can offer me but what value I can offer to the world. This is in stark contrast to 2 years ago where I was still living a life blindsided by social media on finding my dream job and following my passion. However along the way, I come to realize accumulating career capital (I.e rare and valuable skills) is vital, thereby becoming good at what you do and so good that others can’t ignore you.

Reading some parts of the book made me realize that having too much autonomy without career capital is disastrous. In the early part of my blog, I detailed my journey on switching to a fashion career without accumulating any career capital. Thus I subsequently did not have enough money to sustain my lifestyle and impending housing loan and I had to go back to sales in the IT industry. At least it beats starting a business and ending up in debt.

However, this journey also allowed me to learn more about myself and redefine my career goals and direction. I set a target to build up my sewing skills. I still have not decided if I will ever go back to making it as a career, but I do know I want to be better and more skilled in making clothes. The upcoming competition allowed me to be uncomfortable and stretch my skills and hone the craft which is good.

I also learnt that sales is something I really enjoyed doing and being better at it since I have accumulated experience of 10 years. (albeit not staying at a company for longer than 2 years). Reading the book did cause me to reflect a lot, what value do I bring to the job?

And as there’s a change in company direction in my current company, it resulted in me not being able to accumulate the career capital that I will like to have.  At the same time, I was approached by a HR and had a job offer with a company that seemed like what I want to do, thus after many rounds of discussion with my boss, I decided to leave the company.  At the end of the day, I still want to work for a company that I can grow with and accumulate career capital.

If you ask me why I sound so vague about the new job, it’s because I have yet to start and one never know until one gets there right? Still I will make a list of career goals and list out what I can bring to the job.

Till then, be happy developing the craftsmen mindset to hone your skills and find the job you can be good at, who know? It may just turn out to be your dream job! 

A little rut in my life..

Recently I am a little down, the work is sucking up my life. I like my boss and the job, but just feeling burned out especially when clients call you after office hours and I find myself working on a Sunday. 

My sis says its a normal phenomenon because economy is bad and everywhere is like this, but I start wondering really?!

There’s got to be work life balance somewhere right? I am grateful for the job. H & I has save enough for the reno fund (one yr ahead of schedule, with help from the in-laws) and I can even think about adding a concept wall when we were limited to basics 2 yrs back. We are even planning to buy another second-hand car at the end of the year when the current one comes to end of COE. All this will not have been possible if I am still with the fashion company. I even recently bought a channel wallet on chain, my personal reward which is more than my fashion job one month salary.

But once in a while, I find myself wistful, hands itching to create a garment, but yet lazy to do anything. I am actually toying with the idea to go for another short term  course with Taftc just to give myself the discipline to sew. I seem to only do well in a guided environment which is bad… Same for work, it’s hard for me to work from home. I have to be at office or somewhere else which is why I am here at a cafe on Sun afternoon, but yet am blogging and journaling instead of clearing my backlog…

Yet yesterday I was thinking why didn’t I go on an extended break to Europe after I graduated? Instead I jumped straight into a job. It was like this even during my career switch.. It’s like I have a need to constantly keep myself busy instead of rotting my days away..

Anyway I am digressing, the reason why I am in a little rut is that recently I am thinking about my passion for fashion again. I start to wonder if I really have to follow my dreams or just be what I am good at,like my current job? After all Steve jobs speech to Stanford graduates which inspired me to quit and came back from Taiwan (amongst other pressing reasons) didn’t really apply to him in real life. It’s like his passion is new age guru stuff, but you don’t see him becoming a yogi. So although I like fashion, it doesn’t mean I have to be a designer right? And recently I am questioning myself, so do I really like fashion and want to start my own label or it’s the artwork aspect I like?

Because I don’t want to come up with a commercial line. While thinking abt this yesterday, I re-read my outline of my business plan which I wrote during my Taftc course, I am 8 years away from hitting that goal and honestly I don’t know if I can do it. It’s like when you get married and if you have kids, all kinds of financial commitment come into play.

I was reading Fuschia Lane’s founder and how she started the label with $2K. I don’t think I have that type of courage and yet some part of me wish I have, contradictory right?

Or maybe those who read this and whoever considered or attempts a career switch will experience it. It doesn’t mean I am giving up totally, I still harbor hopes I will do something, but now with the work sucking up so much of the time I don’t know how.

I am actually going to attend a 2 day workshop end of this month to learn about building a passive Income stream. Hopefully the investment will be worth it and not too complicated and I can have some income to quit my current job.

Not that I don’t like the job. I like what I do and am really thankful for my current boss. But right now the job is a vehicle for me to boost my savings. Ultimately 5-10 yrs down the road, I hope to amass enough to do what I like to do I.e my own dreams


my painting I did yesterday

Leaving you with something I saw during my recent BKK trip  

 let’s make that footstep today guys! 

有些事現在不做, 你還在等什麼呢? -long post alert!

過了很快樂, 很平靜的人生. 此刻的我很平凡,


話說,今晨在等看醫生時, 看到阿信哥哥的微博, 他只轉發了N年前寫得一片網誌.


三個傻瓜, 今天好想乾杯, 說一聲: “I love you無望”

但是,正在吃藥, 乾杯要等我好了再說.

五月天, 2015年的五月很難忘.

4.30在急診室度過漫長的一夜, 從以為普通食物中毒,到惡性腫瘤, 到末期大腸癌

5.1的心情像過山車, 先是爸送入急救, 醫生說不成功的話需要立刻動手術, 會有生命危險

那天本是我一個教會老友結婚, 我和姐唯有缺席, 禱告中度過了那個漫長的長週末.

緊急procedure奇蹟般的成功,只能感恩, 10個里有8個不成功, 這麼差的機率里爸又存活了, 是天主的恩典.

然後, 要面對排山倒海一堆不相干的親戚熱情地和你說各式各樣的神蹟藥方, 我心領了.

感謝你們的關心, 但我爸不是動物園里的明星動物, 不需要你們作戲來探望一番.

幾十年沒連絡的阿姨發電郵辱罵中央醫院, 還要我趕快把我爸送去廣州醫院治療, 我只能說謝謝關心.

你想跟我要電話號碼, 請問我長得像白痴嗎?

你們這堆同父異母的兄弟姊妹, 有資格批評我沒做好子女的本分嗎?

請捫心自問, 我從台北回來的三年里, 陪我阿嬤過完她的人生, 送別 了我兩個伯伯, 二伯在爸在醫院時出殯的時候, 你們在哪裡??

這是我的家庭,我的血脈,我認了. 但你們這堆親戚, 恕我沒有多餘的時間去招呼你們.


誠如N 年前方老師曾說得,夢想若不行動, 它永遠只是朋友之間談話的話題罷了.

但是我不後悔離開台北. 一個人生能有很多條路.

曾有TR的副總在面試時問我, 若那麼愛台灣, 為何阿嬤過世後我不回去?

他說人生就像一個空白的畫布, 你若不清楚像你要畫什麼, 而胡亂把油漆丟上去, 那是什麼?

其實當下我很想答說是抽象畫, 但當下,我選擇沉默.

面試後,出來時我掉淚了. 一個月後我辭職, 選擇去追逐夢想念服裝設計.

唸書很快樂, 但終究要面對面包於夢想, 我選擇了前者.

不是放棄了夢想, 但居住在新加坡任為全世界最貴的城市里, 麵包還是有它的益處的.

今天若沒有資金, 怎醫我爸呢? 所以只能感恩,我在這個時間點,回到我原來的崗位.

我愛的寶島終究只是片土地, 我愛的家人卻在這裡.

我不後悔離開那座城市, 也慶幸這三年我回來了, 有了多陪家人製造美麗回億的三年.

若問我是否想念寶島, 我非常想念它.

但是此刻的我,接下來的人生, 還是要往前走下去.


上帝在時間以外看著你的人生, 祂不受時間, 空間侷限著

我不回新, 無法遇到我的未婚夫. 我不知爸年底可否健康地出席我的婚禮.

但我只能感恩,知足, 我有這3年的美麗回憶, 我有勇氣追逐夢想.

有些事現在不做, 你還在等什麼呢?



End of a journey?

I quit my job at the fashion company. I think it got to a point where I was struggling with my finances. Trying to get by with a couple hundred every month, where the bulk of my salary is going to my insurance premiums was challenging. I think what set me really thinking about calling it quits was that I was hardly saving for my upcoming wedding and renovation fees. My flat will be ready in 2017 which is 2 years time and I need to save at least 40K-50K for the renovation. Even though the other half will contribute maybe half or more but I can’t expect him to pay for everything.
At the rate where I am saving $100 a month in the fashion job, I will only get $2400 at the end of 2 years. Even factoring possible increment and bonus, the amount may get to at most $5K which is only a fraction of what I am hoping to save.

Moreover, I realize my passion is still in designing and sewing clothes, creating actual pieces. Yet it is a paradox, because after working for 5 months, I realized I am not into retail at all. I actually like bespoke services, creating one-off designs. Thus even though I am good at my merchandising job (based on my appraisal), it just became another numbers job for me. And if it’s just a numbers job, I might as well go back to my previous industry where I get to work with numbers albeit at a much higher pay. At around the same time where I was thinking about my career direction, my ex-colleague approached me with an opening in my previous company. It came at a good timing. Thus in the end, I decided to quit.

You may be thinking why not apply with companies offering bespoke services and continue with my career switch? Well there are not many shops offering bespoke services in Singapore, mainly bridal studios. I did apply and I didn’t receive much response. Also, I felt that I couldn’t afford to give the career switch another try with so much hanging on the line for me at this point.

However, I am really glad that I went ahead with my career switch although it didn’t work out in the end. I think the below picture sums up my sentiments .


And I am really happy that I managed to study fashion design for once, which has always been my lifelong dream. I am still going to continue with my love for sewing and creating beautiful clothes. I did think about ending this blog previously, since from now on, it’s no longer a career switch for me, but I think I will keep it and continue to blog about fashion related stuff. I managed to complete a cropped jacket recently and will blog more about it in the next post.

For those who stumbled onto my blog and is also considering whether a career switch is suitable for you, I think you have to seriously research about financials and if you have enough set aside. Give yourself a time-line to go for this career switch and when the time line is up, review honestly whether this career switch is working for you or not.

I set aside $20K for this career switch which took over a year. This included the course fees, worst case scenarios on not being able to find a job for 6 months, monthly expenses and financial commitments. You may not have to set aside so much, but in my case as I have mentioned earlier my financial commitments is around $1K a month. Also, do factor in that Singapore has become very expensive to live in. I naively estimated my monthly expenses to be $480, and thus accepted my fashion job with the offered salary. However after that, I realized how much a challenge it was to keep to that amount, especially since I was working in Orchard which is not exactly cheap to eat in.

Also, if your starting salary is low, you may want to consider doing part time job and giving tuition to supplement your income. This was something I considered initially too, however my work load at the job was heavy with lots of over time, thus I couldn’t pursue this option.

I did get some enquiries from the readers about whether it’s difficult to find a fashion job in Singapore. It really depends on what type of job you are looking for and what kind of salary you are expecting. The fashion industry in Singapore is small. For buyer and merchandising jobs at entry level, I do see available jobs every week. Retail assistants or fashion sales coordinator are always in demand, if your salary scheme has commissions, you may even potentially earn a higher starting salary than the office job.

At the end of the day if your heart calls you to do it, and if you have weighed all the pros and cons and have a plan drawn up, I will say go for it.

As the picture sums it up perfectly, I will rather live a life of “Oh well” then “What ifs”

All the best to those who are thinking to pursue a career switch!

Internship and the job search begins

Well I have started my internship, quite blessed to be in this company. I actually don’t have much to do as my supervisor is too busy to even delegate stuff to me, so most of the time I keep going around asking people for work.
Still, I am learning things and glad to be there.

My classmate is in an internship where it reminds me alot of L’s company, thus just grateful to be in a bigger company with more structure.

Impatient me has started my job hunt and getting a little dejected with the lack of interviews. I know it’s very early into the job search, but in the past I am blessed to find a job fairly quickly due to my language skills.

I did get an interview with a job agency but I can tell the whole time they are jus trying to sound out if I can go into another industry. The agent even tell me to look for them should I finish my bond and want to look for something else. I also turned down a job opportunity that is high paying, which got me kinda low spirits thinking my future job is probably gonna be $1.8K-$2.5K.

However, I am reminded of another lady who quit her high paying corporate job and started her food business on wheels. She shared she is getting maybe only a tenth of what she used to earn but that is so much more satisfaction.

Today I thought of maybe revamping my resume and cutting out all my past experience and just put fashion related ones. But it’s kind of drastic and I will probably used that only for applyin design posts.

I’ve been looking through portfolios on this website it’s really interesting to see how people present their portfolios and I am trying to beef up mine. One drawback of the diploma in fashion technology course is that they don’t teach you much on fashion illustration. Thus my illustration skills are still the same as 10 yrs ago, what I have learned in my short course in nafa.
Gosh has it really been 10 years?!
How come I feel that my skills have not improved much? Gosh gotta really work hard to bring my skills up to the next level and that can only be achieved through deliberate practice.


This is what I have done for my final collection, not my best work I feel, but still happy to get it done. I am gonna make further improvements on it when time permits.

Today my fellow intern told me I should sew my own wedding gown and I am like no way! My skills are nowhere near. Then she told me to try google. So I did and to my amazement people really post step by step on how to sew evening gowns.

I found this really cool blog and she detailed step by step on sewing the evening gown and even recommended patterns to buy. I was so inspired I even went to spotlight to have a look at the patterns and spotlight is having a sale, so I am gonna go again tomorrow to have more time sifting all nice patterns. Well I really want to learn how to sew boning and make gowns. Found a Facebook page in Singapore offering private sewing lessons but a bit wary about the level of the teachers as the finish garments posted on the website is not really impressive. Still they are very affordable, so I may try them out. It will be good to have someone to coach me on this.

I did ask Taftc whether they will start an evening wear class but alas it seems the government doesn’t provide subsidy for that, maybe it’s not such a popular field, so there is no industry demand currently.

I am thinking more n more that bridal and eveningwear is a field I want to specialize in. Raffles design diploma course does cover that but it is so expensive and I don’t think I want to spend another 2 years income less.

So the only thing is practice and more trial and error to perfect my skills. I am also planning to intern at bridal studios once my internship is over, while looking for a job. Wish me luck!

Accept what is, Let go of what was, and have faith in what could be

I graduated last Tuesday and am in my internship now. The past week has been a flurry of activity, hence the lack of posts. Well there was a last minute change in my school schedule due to allowin us to attend fashion week, hence assessment was postponed to 26th May. However, I have already booked my trip to Taipei and HK. ( booked this month ago when I felt so drained over this intensive course, and I booked it for 25th thinking I can fly off as soon as the assessment was over, jus tell you things don’t go as planned)
The school allowed me to delay my assessment till I’m back and my trainer kindly agreed to come back specially for my assessment.
Thus came the mad rush of finishing my garment, was sewing till 1am before boarding my plane at 8 the next day.
Spent lots of time catching up with friends and a lovely half day at the fabric market in Taipei, marveling at varieties and lower cost of fabrics. I went a little over budget buying stuff back. Then it was off to HK for a brief stopover. I discovered my hotel was walking distance to Sham Sui Po( their major fashion and trims wholesale district), so I decided to hoove it there.
My only regret was not enough cash..Silly me thought that since its a 2D1N stopover SGD50 should be enough, boy was I wrong!
I forgot to take into account the transport fees which took up a large chunk of my $50 and most shops in Sham Sui Po don’t accept credit cards. Thus in the end, armed with many free fabric swatches but not much lovely fabric which I really wanted to buy.
Guess I will have to save up and make a buying trip next time.
In Taiwan, I picked up this book. It was so gd but I was on my save money campaign by then and my friend dissuaded me from buying it. Still I went back at midnight on Wed to get the book before I fly out to HK and I am really glad I did it.
The book is titled “Be so Good that others can’t ignore you.” What sets this apart is that the author debunks the myth of finding your passion and chasing for the dream job. Wait a minute, hasn’t my life been like this up to this point?
Rather the author proposes becoming so good at what you do and thus creating enough career capital such that you create your passion in the job, because you have become so good at it. I really wished I read the book sooner.

I must put a disclaimer that I am in no way related to the author and doesn’t not have any endorsement fees for this, just purely think it is a good read.
I finished the book last wkend and lent it to another friend who is considering a career change.
When I got to the chapter on the law of financial viability my heart sank, hence the title of my blog post.
It talked about how you need to have skills that are rare and valuable that people are willing to pay you for. If your idea does not have anyone to pay you for it and you find yourself having to supplement your idea with other forms of income, then maybe it’s not a good idea move on. Unfortunately, at the point of reading the book, I have already quit my job and have embarked on this career switch with a new diploma and my current internship.
I started questioning myself, “Did I made a wrong choice?” It’s a pertinent question as currently 8mths into being unemployed which is a little longer than my original plan, my bank account is dwindling. I still have savings which are more for rainy days that I prefer it be kept for those occasions.
Thus recently I started thinking of ways to supplement my income. Thoughts like putting stuff on etsy for sale or local flea markets and even writing e-books on amazon have crossed my mind. However the internship and my recent graduation work have kept me busy, so I have not really figured out what is the best way to supplement my income.
So why am I in this financial state? Well I started out with the PCP which gives me a 1K allowance each month. This money then goes immediately to my insurance commitments, as I am stubbornly resisting a premium holiday until it is absolutely necessary.
Thus I have to come up with living expenses from my savings. Initially, the plan was to go for PCP in nov hence starting internship in Feb and completing it by Apr. as you can see my plans were delayed by my turn at L’s company (check my earlier posts for more details) thus now I am behind my planned time for this career change.
Adding to this, my last cheque has not arrived from school. Turns out the last cheque is only released upon completion of my final assessment. Since my assessment is delayed, so is my allowance. And with this holiday which a month ago seems like a good idea, May jus suddenly become a financially tight month for me. Coupled with my god sis getting married and me signing up for a draping course with a renowned Japanese designer.

Still, really excited to be going for the course next week and hope I can develop my skills more as a fashion designer. More posts next week.
Until then, accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be this is from a wonderful article my fellow intern send me this morning from

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