Wait.. not that kind of commitment that you think about. You know i have my online shop (@handmadeheirloom on instagram, handmadeheirloom.tumblr.com and on facebook.com/handmadeheirloom). And i guess you’ve been hearing my whining about how hard it is to sell something online. Or maybe i put it wrongly, i don’t know. I’m still figuring that out. And it seems that people just like the photos that i shot for my products. Maybe.
Anyway, back to the topic. Commitment. I’ve been reading articles about marketing, content marketing, entrepreneur, small business, you name it. And I realize that, having a poor time management and 2 side business are sooooooooo HARD. Last week, i haven’t really got a project for my freelance job, it’s been slow due to the holiday i guess, and I kinda procrastinate my Handmade Heirloom’s project due to, well.. honestly no one has buy them yet (my emotion has been like a roller coaster with Handmade Heirloom). I take people’s opinion after they saw the facebook page and I really need to make more stuff apparently. That’s that. The thing that is so hard is keep showing up. I need to commit with that. The hardest thing is, i need to take time to read A LOT so that i know what i can post on my blog, on facebook or on my instagram. But if I read A LOT and not doing anything.. then.. it’s a waste of time too. get what i mean? In order to take action, you need sources. But when you put so much time to do your research and read your sources and not doing anything, it’s well.. nothing.
In one of the article, it says i need to plan. So, i think i need to do that. I need to keep working and showing up, whether people buy it or not. I’m praying that eventually people will.
I need to think commitment to my business, like commitment to my game(s). Yes, I like playing games to ease the mind for a while. I do enjoy what i do, to think about it. But the clueless-ness and the doubt and the fear that sometimes hinder me to do things.
So commitment, it’s what i’m trying to do. Wish me luck…
Every now and then, I need to get away to travel. A meeting with friends who was about to assured me to put the money into insurance for saving, said that i need to save. I know, but i need to travel too. I’d go nuts if I don’t. Nature has its own way to calm me down. It’s not that I don’t like to travel to another city, i’d love to explore, but when things get too hectic, i need somewhere quiet and peaceful to just put my act together sort of thing.
So, when my cousin cancelled our trip to Bali, I go the opposite direction and went to Batam. I know there’s nothing in Batam, well just my friend and his family. I know i need to stay in a resort to go calm down, but i tried to go with the flow this time. My friend invited me to stay in his house instead. He has a 1 year old baby boy. So i’m sure that i’m gonna play with him. Kids for me, yes, they can be irritating sometimes and all but they can give you happiness too. The thing that I like when i first come and stay in the house is, the boy always looking for me. Such a nice feeling. I got him a toy, which is a car which he can learn words and shapes. And to my surprise, his mom (my friend’s wife), took out the exact same thing from another room. I was so disappointed but the kid is happy. and he got 2 cars now.. so not a problem!
Anyway, although i’m planning to rest, eventually, we went out everyday haha.. I think my friend is also excited to show me around and they were a tourist themselves. In some places we went, they never really been there, so they discovered new places also. So funny.
That is Batam from the plane. We were at landing position. As you can see, they still have a lot of empty land ready to be develop. I can say that it is a developing island. It’s not that crowded and a lot of residence being build.
The next day, we went to this temple. My friend is a Buddhist, so he showed me the biggest Kwan Im Goddess statue in Batam which is in the Indonesian museum of record for being one. I’m exploring the temple while my friend and his wife were praying or just playing with their son.
From this temple, you can see Singapore and it’s really not that far apparently.
The temple has its own resort and spa villa too. So people can stay there. It was empty when we were there, so we just walk along the deck, make 1 round and then went out.
The next day, we went to this famous Barelang bridge. When i google for places to go in Batam, this bridge always come up. And every blog that I read about Batam has this bridge for a place to visit. So, I asked my friend to take me there. It’s a very nice bridge for a small island. This bridge connects the islands from Batam to other islands. Barelang is stand for Batam, Rempang island and Galang island. It has 7 bridges in total.
When the bridge was open for the first time, a lot of people stop to take picture. A lot of food seller also stop and make the bridge dirty. But now, they can’t do it anymore, you can stop the car but not very long and selling thing is prohibited on the bridge. Young people will take the opportunity of the bridge as a place to date, others for fishing.
After that we head for lunch for seafood. We went to this place call Barelang seafood. It’s a big restaurant but feel so empty. The food was ok. My friend ordered a sea snail called ‘gong gong’ and would like me to try it. You need a toothpick to pull it out. It’s kinda hard at first, but once it got out, dip it in a sauce, then you just ate it and put away the some kind of tail.
It’s the common food in Batam. So I tried. And apparently I’m allergic to it. When my friend’s wife asked if i can eat anything, i said yes. It never occur to me that we’re going to eat a snail.. I don’t even eat a certain clam. And because my family don’t eat clam, i always forget to say that ‘i don’t eat clam’ whenever people asked if i have allergy towards some food. But it’s not just me.
At night, we picked up my friend’s wife’s sister and a friend of ours at the Ferry station. It’s a full house that night.
The next morning, all of us who ate the sea snail got upset stomach (for me it’s upset stomach and itchiness). Fortunately, it’s not that bad. It’s a funny experience though. Oh, I just had 2 by the way. I can’t imagine if i ate more than that and I forgot to bring the medicine for upset stomach. But everything is under control.
On Saturday, after we sent our friend to the airport to fly off to Jakarta, we went to play go-kart! My friend just happen to know this place and his boy was so eager to play. Luckily, they have a 2 seat car. When it was our turn, i’m picking up what i thought the fast car. But then my car was not fast enough. It was fun though! A lot of Singaporean tourists were there too.
In that area, there’s a miniatures of indonesian traditional houses. We really has a lot of traditional houses from each province.
With that, we finished one more day.
It really is a nice time to catch up with old friend and talk about stuff. My friend and his wife was saying that they were kinda lonely because they don’t have friends at the same age as they are there. So they were happy to accept guests in their house.
My friend and his wife are also creative person although they have IT background, but i guess sometimes art is in some people soul. When i went to their second floor of their house, my friend showed me 2 furniture that he made from wooden block, to be a coffee table and he made a seat made out of tyre and cushion. I encourage them to do those sort of things, recycling things into furniture. probably it would be a business, who knows.
Sadly, every good time has come to an end and i need to go back to reality.
After my holiday (which i will post after i can get my laptop to work like it used to be), i had done a lot of thinking. Along this Handmade Heirloom process, i’m excited yet i have full of doubt. I doubt that people will not like what i do, I doubt what other people will think, you can guess every fear that you have when you’re starting a business, i have them all. Guess what? people can sense that. Well, that’s what i think and what i feel though. I doubt, so that people have doubt on me.
I got likes on my facebook page and my instagram but no one actually buy it. I’m no expert on marketing either and still learning through so many articles that i have to read, so, it is a trial and error process but not making any sell since 2 months ago launching this product is really a headache and a heartache blend into one. it’s always come to a why. why not this and that.
Today i received an email from a Digital Media Director for a new Fashion Shopping App, asking me to join their app. She said she love my instagram photos (thank you very muccchhh) and want a feedback from the fashion savvy. I am burst to laugh when i read that sentence. really, i’m no fashion savvy. But i’m flattered. although they asked me to join the app to purchase things from them boooo…
I know that when i keep trying, it will eventually pays off. i just don’t know when.. or probably when i’m nearly broke where i keep creating but no one buys :P.
But yeah, don’t let people know about your doubt, they can smell it. it’s hard but just try okay?
Upon building Handmade Heirloom as a brand, I realize that I have learned new skills and still need to work on that. Building a brand is hard, especially when you don’t have that business-y kinda background. I may see people effortlessly building their brand, but maybe they first struggled like me. I’m stress mentally and sometimes end up read and read rather than brainstorming what do i need to do to building my brand. But here’s what i learned and still need to learn.
Although i’m a graphic designer, i can’t draw. Yes, you can laugh now. I can draw you a car, a fish, a house, a sun, a mountain like kid’s doodle but i can’t draw you a nice human face (not the doodle kind one). And i really want to share my sketches on my blog, so i had pinned so many fashion illustrations or sketches about human faces, shadings, etc on pinterest and i learning and practicing how to draw. For now, i’m still copying models on fashion, but i guess it’s just a way to let my imagination grow for this. Deep down, i know that i don’t need to be perfect on drawing.. but it’s just nice to see a proportional human faces.
The second was i can practice on my photography. Photography is my hobby and i still carry my camera around when i’m traveling. When you sell something, you need a good presentation. You need to put props with it, position it, how do you want people to see it, how you style it (especially for what i sell). It should be a good enough presentation. Sometimes it still blew my mind how people style everything on instagram. Although they don’t sell anything, they still put a really BIG effort so that everything look nice. I still can’t believe it if they do it almost everyday. Like, do you live next to a department store and borrow everything for there? Or do you really have a long spare time for you to do that? I realize that having a full time job, a freelance job and Handmade Heirloom is a hard work plus my bad time management (of sleep :p).
The third one is that i’m learning about marketing. And yes, i have ZERO knowledge about it. For my freelance job, i’m working for my bff’s brother/client. Come to think of it, i work for that family. Every design related need to be done, they will come to me. It is nice and such a blessing to have them as a client and a friend. I have a few other clients but their project has come and go. sometimes just one project and then done. But for Handmade Heirloom, i’m trying to sell on online shop, so every social media that i have, my mind is just come to those 4 words, SELL. I sell it on instragram, facebook, pinterest and my blog on tumblr. I put the picture, i put the materials and i put the price. I thought everybody is doing this. These past few days, i’ve been reading articles that i come across or that i searched on google purposely about marketing and i come to understand that what i did was wrong. I base my online shop on facebook. I shouldn’t try to sell anything on instagram, tumblr and on pinterest. it’s like i’m desperate to sell something rather than just sharing. So, i’m gonna change my marketing strategy and see it from there.
I need to read and brainstorm a lot. And this is what i do when i’m laying on my bed at night. I’m trying to watch TV just to ease my brain, ended up i’m watching AND reading.
This is suppose to be a fun, hobby thing. But when you try to build a brand and try for people to buy it from you, you need extra effort to convince people to earn their trust. And that’s what i work on. It’s a lot of hard work. I hope it’ll pay off one day.
No, this is not because of Halloween (I just use a cute picture, rather a scary tomb stone). But anyway, the topic for this blog is death.
From the early 2014 until today, i experienced sudden deaths. On July, one of the uncle from my church passed away. He was ill but then recover quiet well. When he was on his bad condition, and we thought that maybe it’s ‘the time’, he survived. His death, might not be shocking but it was too soon. Later, after one week, I received a whatsapp message that, one uncle, my dad’s choir friend, was in the emergency. He can’t breathe, got chest pain and we were told to pray for him. 1 hour later, he was gone. It was a shocked. I just went to Singapore with him on October 2013 and he was fine. When i hugged his wife, she told me that, that was the last time we were having a holiday with him. Her body was weak. I feel that i more towards holding her so she’s not falling and i was really scared that she will passed out. Another one was also my dad’s friend whom i met when i came to my uncle’s house. He was from the singing group. He suffered from diabetes and he also had a heart condition. He also got a stroke. Within 15 minutes, he was gone. The scary part was, they were all in their 50s. Although they are not young anymore, but it’s not that old.
This month, i went to 2 funeral homes (supposedly 3, but one funeral over lap with the other). First was my aunt sudden stroke which led her to coma and passed away the following morning. We never heard that she’s sick or has any illness. But that morning, reading that she got a stroke. We were thinking that, maybe it’s a mild stroke. After asking my cousin who work for her, she was in the night before in a coma and went in straight to ICU. If there’s no progress the following day, the doctor will pronounce her dead because the veins were already not in its place and basically she’s brain dead. We were all still waiting for a miracle. She passed away the following day, 10 minutes before i got there. The thing was, i got close to my aunt months before she passed away. We shared things, mainly about work and joke around because she’s a funny person. Her posting on facebook tell us funny stories but yet a reflection of life. Her husband said that lately she liked to take pictures, write, posting some quotes, etc.
The second was my friends’ baby boy who passed away the next 2 days after my aunt. Their baby was too long on the wife’s tummy after a 9th opening (took 24 hours). They were preparing to have a normal delivery but doctor said she needs to undergo caesarian. So, the doctor’s prediction was that the baby died because of bacteria and his heart condition is not well.
The third one is today. My god-brother bbmed me this afternoon, asking to pray for his uncle’s soul. I was so confused yet shocked. Well, it means that he died right? My god-mother told me long time ago that her younger brother went missing and then after a few days, he went back to his house. He got dementia and depression. His wife and kids wont allow him out and go alone. Last friday, he went out and nobody knew. After 24 hours, the family went to the police to report a missing person. My god mother and god brother also looking for him and put a missing person flyer in the area where he live. Then his son got a called and was told that the caller saw his father. His son in law checked to the local hospital and showed 3 bodies. They were not him. This morning they found out that he died because of an accident and was placed in another room at that local hospital. He was died on that friday.
It really got me thinking on how we will leave this earth. Will we suffer from pain and die? will we die peacefully without any pain. Will we die alone or will we die surrounded by people who love us? Have we achieve everything that we want to achieve in this life or at least try to do what we always scared to do? What will you do if you know you’re going to die tomorrow?
Yep that is the tag line for this adventurous trip. It was early last month (sorry to keep this one for a while), that I have decided to join this trip. Well, i wanted to do it from last year, but i don’t have the courage to do so. It’s Paragliding trip. This was just a one day trip to go to one of the hill out of town. It’s all because one of my friend, who now live in Central Java, wants to try it. So i thought, okay, if she wants to do it, i better do it as well. I asked my church friend who is one of an adventurous family i’ve known (yes, the hubby, wife and their son came along for this trip), then i asked my cousin who brought 3 of his friends with him. I have never done this before and i was not sure if i want to do it.
With guts I just go along.
That Saturday, we woke up early. I think i didn’t really sleep because i was so nervous. We have to gather with the group at 5.30-6 AM and then start the journey. After we arrived, our leader brief us about the condition, especially the wind condition. At that time, we couldn’t fly soon enough because we need the right direction of where the wind blows. You don’t want to fly backwards right? He also explained where we’re gonna take off from.
Beneath us is a tea plantation. The weather is a bit cool when we arrived, but the later it was, the sunny it became. We have to wait around 6 hours until the wind is on the right direction and taking off one by one with our pilot.
I was lucky that i am one of the first to fly. Lucky yet scared. I was thinking why the leader mention my name first. all my friends and cousin and cousin’s friends need to wait longer than i was, and i’m kinda feel bad about it. To be honest, i don’t really know how i feel. It’s like, excited, scared and want to get over it, and i don’t know what to expect. But, at that point, there’s no turning back. I need to jump and get over with it.
Surprisingly, it’s saver than i thought or rather my pilot is a good one. I have to wait until my feet didn’t touch the ground, so i can sit on the back pack look a like ‘couch’ and there i was.. flying and taking aerial pictures. I probably nervous because i keep talking and asking the pilot questions.
I flew about 5 minutes on the air. Thank God that it ended fast enough because i started to feel dizzy just before we landed. Oh, the landing position was so nice also. I thought i need to help the pilot stop, but he did all the job. I just sit down and knew that i landed safe and sound.
I am not a risk taker kinda person. I remember that i always afraid to do things. Knowing that life is so short, I guess I want to try everything that i could and according to my guts (no bungy jumping for me though).
For 15 days i’ve been down (yes, I need 15 days apparently to recover), as you know because of my Handmade Heirloom accessories line doesn’t really attract the target audience, I just can’t sleep last nite. My mind was filled with questions. What can i do? What did i do wrong? I style it, I really put effort in it. Why? It’s easy to just quit after no one buy the first 3 collections. But I think I can’t do that. If I believe that I would have some mark somewhere in the ‘accessories world’, i can’t quit now. I need to dig in deeper and just create, create and create. So, i learn how to draw (i think i mention this like a couple of times already. hopefully you wont mind. here is the ‘I don’t know what to do’ moment). I can draw, but not really as nice as those who really love to draw illustration. But I think i’ll try my best and do it as I want to. My plan is, I’ll do sketches some more and on Saturday shop all the material that I will need. And then, try to launch some more of the collection. There’s no turning back at this point. Some days, i regret why i open this store but yes, the gut says it all. I’ll learn from an expert this month (just waiting for her to come back from South Africa) and we’ll see from there.
Having your own business, it’s your own responsible. Everyone will support you, but when you’re down, you’re the only one who can pick yourself up. No matter how many people cheer you up and believe in you, but when you’re hopeless and can’t pick yourself up, i think it means the end.
With a lot of competition, it’s hard when a lot of people do nice things through instagram. Sometimes, i don’t want to see them, but i followed them (doh), so it’s hard not to notice what they do. It’s a good inspiration but at the same time it’s a pressure of its own. How come they have the time to style everything and where did they get all that fancy stuff to style the thing they want to do? It’s really.. out of my mind. It’s crazy. I have 2 other jobs, obviously, i’ll try my best, but it’s just.. hard… Another thing, I’m not a fashionable/stylish person. I don’t really fancy those branded stuff. But the more older I get, I really want to dress nicer (or probably it’s a heartbroken effect, when you just want to look good and hoping that the guy who letting you go will be sorry. or not). Or probably it’s the effect of watching to much Project Runaway. Either way, yes, I want to look good and chic but not all over the top. I’m kinda changing my wardrobe right now, little by little. I don’t want to go broke just because of fashion. Anw, I think i’m starting to define my style now (defining your style early 30s is not too late right? :p). But when you look on instagram, feels like everyone has their own personal photographer. how can they do that? It’s really driving me insane. I have to do everything by myself and I don’t know what to do. Or maybe I don’t have an eventful life everyday.. like the rest of them..
I thank God that my friends always supported me, although i think their ears are red from the venting/ranting that i need to let out and their feedback is the one that i always hold. That i need to be patient and keep going. Although sometimes i feel that, there’s nothing that i can anymore. I just hope i can sell something in the end, i’m not confident to put myself in the market yet, i’ll try through online first, then see it from there. I think when i get my first sell, i will jump up and down and will be very very very happy. God help me..
Last week I was so upset with the Water department but maybe it’s good also because i can rest. I haven’t been cleaning the house for 2 weeks. So you can imagine how dirty it is. On Friday night, right after i had a shower, the water stopped flowing. Good thing is, i had asked my maid before she went home to put the water on the drinking gallon that we didn’t use anymore, just in case stuff like this happen again. So on saturday morning, I had shower with that water. The water didn’t come out through again from the pipe until Sunday morning. On Sunday morning, before church, i ran to my aunt’s house just for a shower. Yesterday night, i was still filling up the gallon just in case the water stop again. There are 6 gallon and 1 big bucket already fill with clean water. I still have like 6 more gallon at home, i tempted to fill them all. These days, every time i walk pas the water tub, i always stop and listen if the water run through. It really makes my heart skip a bit when i didn’t hear any water run. it’s either the water tub is full or the water just didn’t come out.
The other thing is, there’s a pipe leak somewhere inside the wall. so I have to mop this water which come from nowhere every morning. this morning is not that much, but it keep leaking. At this moment, sometimes i really ask God why He didn’t give me a maid. Why there’s no one that said, ‘ hey, my maid’s friend is looking for a job, etc, etc’.
Another thing is, i have a project for my freelance that is kinda hard. i really dislike tasks with measurement. It’s just frighten me that i will get the measurement wrong but i really prayed today that I really can finish it these days. it means that, i’m holding up my Handmade Heirloom.
I divided my days for my freelance and Handmade Heirloom. So today should be my Handmade Heirloom day, where i should work on everything that is Handmade Heirloom. But this morning i’m doing my freelance work. It almost done, thank God but need to tweak here and there.
Sells are hard. I really don’t know what people want. sometimes i just really want to give up, but i have the urge that i think i’m testing myself or either God is testing me to be persevere. My mom used to say that i’m not that kind of person and my sister is more persevere. But somehow, i really want Handmade Heirloom just to keep going. I don’t mind small, i’m not asking a big sells, but at least, give me excitement of that a bit. So i can know and learn how it feels. Thank God also that one of my church member’s daughter in law who is in the business is willing to teach me about it. Skill and will give me the tip and tricks of how to sell it. But i have to wait until next month, after she came back from South Africa, teaching women there how to make a wire jewelry. I know it takes time and sometimes people misunderstood me (which i hate) that i want an instant success. Somehow i have a feeling that i can survive between the competition. And this days, i really want to learn how to draw. Yes, i’m graphic designer, but i can’t draw. The other day, i spent like a whole day to draw. I like the sketches of my necklace, but i didn’t like the person that i drew. So i throw it to the bin :((. The second attempt that i had, the girl look like a boy :(((… Help me God.
I am trying my best to re post the bracelets design. Consistency is really the key and I’m really scared that I can’t do it. Learning by doing is what i’m learning now. And boy, social media is really taking up some time. No wonder now there are a specialist to do that these days. I have to keep up with my blog in tumblr, my instagram and facebook page. After 4 days, i really need to have more variety of shots. Apparently, 3-4 different shots of the same product doesn’t really cut it. I really need to scratch my head here.
Tumblr is one other day to market this accessories line. last night, i was looking at my tumblr and surprise surprise, there’s this search engine especially for fashion who following me on Tumblr. That is quiet surprising and exciting. I’ve been following them for reference and now they are following me. It really motivates me. Surely i need to learn to be patient long enough (it is not my virtue).
For the last 2 days, i’ve been searching themes for my tumblr. Do you know it is really time consuming? Sometimes when you’re setting up a theme for your personal blog, you just one something that looks nice. For my Handmade Heirloom, i want this and that, but i don’t really want to pay for a theme hehe.. So, yes, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Looking through google and the tumblr themes, i don’t know how many times i have had my themes changed. Yet there are certain things that this theme don’t have, but that theme has. but that theme don’t have this, and this theme has it. But it’s fun to see all the themes that people made.
Today, one of my friend asked me about the bracelet that i’ve made through instagram. It’s kinda exciting. I don’t know if he serious about it (maybe he’s buying it for his wife?), or just helping me to get his friends’ attention so they will take a look at HH instagram. I hope, it’s not out of pity that he say that. I don’t want my friends to buy the accessories out of pity. I want them really likes the design and all.
Nevertheless, it’s a journey that i choose and i’ll try to do best in it. Now, let’s change that tumblr theme.
I know i haven’t been writing lately, but I got an announcement to make.
On Sept 15th, 2014, I open my online shop, Handmade Heirloom!! Yay!! Personally, this is a bold step that i made and i’m glad i did (thank you for those you believe in me when i don’t believe myself). It is like ‘walking in the dark’. I just don’t know what i can make out of it. I listen and read every marketing, entrepreneurship or how to do start up articles and nothing, i mean nothing beat the experience when you really start your own business. If you ask me if i know anything about business, nope, nothing, zero. I don’t know a thing. I know how to work and run my freelance business, but it just come as natural because that is my background. For my new business, an accessories line call Handmade Heirloom, I just know how to make things, not the operational business of it. I thank God for my dad who is supportive enough (imagine your dad went in to an accessories store and start seeing the design and the prices! Yes, that’s my dad!) and teach me a long the way, although sometimes i really don’t understand what he’s talking about. Thank God that my friend, who always willing to be a helping hand and always offering help and always believe in me although i always have my self doubt, Thank God for my sister and brother in law, although they are far but i know they support me in what i do, Thank God for someone who always say that everything is gonna be alright or i’m gonna be okay (yes, he didn’t disappeared apparently nor i let him go). Thank God for the support of my friends, Thank God for my cousin who also teach me about business and supporting me. And this, ladies and gentleman is not an Oscar speech. From the bottom of my heart i just want to say thank you.
Because yes, I’m doubting myself at this moment. Day 3 and I’m just trying to be positive about this journey. I don’t know why I just want to cry today. I hope it’s raining later tonight (it’s a hot sunny day now). I said to my friend when i prepared for Handmade Heirloom that I’ll be okay if it’s not work out. At least i try. But then, after i launch it, i really want this to work out well. Then the more i see that so many people doing the things like what i’m doing and they are all good. Make me question myself, am i good enough? Will people buy this? Will they like this?
Yesterday I was blasting my friends with broadcast message, saying that Handmade Heirloom is open. One of my friend, (i think she’s joking) asked if she do something that I asked, can she get a discount, a cousin asking for a free sample of my bracelet. I was like, come on man, i just launch this, can you just help me spreading the words? It make me sad somehow.
Day 3 and no one even ask about the product and people who like the images in instagram are either people who live outside Indonesia or an accessories maker too. What did i put myself into? It looks easy for those who already started and sell a bunch of accessories and earn their success. Persistence is the key here..