Melissa C. Koh

Blog posts

Shout Out To The Real Women Who Work

Lifestyle
So often, we look at the accomplishments and successes of others and we wonder can be attributed to their successes. Especially today being International Women’s Day, I’d be highlighting and honouring these few amazing women, (friends/vendors), whom I stock on my home/lifestyle brand, Some Days at Home, for the inspiring work that they do. 
 
I personally love feeding off the positive energy and vibes of others, and I hope they will inspire you in the same way (or in more ways) they’ve inspired me.

 

1. What was your proudest moment of 2018 and why?

My proudest moment was when I launched Studio MU YU in September last year. The feeling was exhilarating not because I could finally do my own thing but rather the opportunities and people I will meet along this making journey! And I must say, I am blessed as this has been quite a smooth-sailing so far.
 

2. As an entrepreneur, how do you maintain your drive and vision?

To me, it’s the need to make my family and friends be proud of what I do. They provide me with advice and support that keeps me aligned and push me to do things that I never had told I will be accomplishing.
 
I also live by this mantra: “The days are long and the years are short”.

 

3. How do you work through difficult times? What’s the recipe to power through and keep going? A mantra or work motto that you live by?
“The days are long and the years are short”. This short sentence holds so much meaning to me and it constantly reminds me to treasure every moment in my day as time will be passing by so fast before I can even blink! So when a challenge comes along my way, I fight even harder and make it count.


4. What were the hardest growing pains in building a business/creating a brand?

As a one-woman show, it is hard to manage everything from the production of my jewelry, to marketing and all the way to maintaining a good relationship with my customers. But at the same time, I feel empowered to keep going and to break out of my own comfort zone.
 
5. What kind of changes in the industry/world do you want to see happen for the future?
That wood can be seen as a material that can be both feminine and masculine at the same time.
 
6. Lastly, for someone starting their own business, what are 3 things that you’ve learned that you would like to pay forward?
To BE TRUE to your initial vision and own principles. To take charge of my brand’s direction and no matter what criticism comes my way,  to always accept them with grace. To still have fun amidst the craziness of doing my own business!
1. What was your proudest moment of 2018 and why?
Having freshly graduated with my Masters degree and transitioning into working life in 2018, I was concerned over whether I was able to balance a full-time job with Papercranes Design as a side hustle. I’ve seen friends and acquaintances eventually dropping their side businesses as school or work got more hectic, and I would say I’m proud that I’ve managed to keep Papercranes going at a steady pace while working full-time. This year, I’m determined to grow Papercranes even further than ever before!
 
2. As an entrepreneur, how do you maintain your drive and vision?
Sometime last year, I did a short exercise with myself where I penned down my long-term and short-term goals and aspirations for Papercranes, which has proven to be really helpful, as I can refer to it from time to time to re-align myself and ensure that I’m driving Papercranes in the right direction. I think good time management and having sufficient rest are also essential to prevent overwork and burnout, which are sure ways to lose one’s drive and motivation.
 
3. How do you work through difficult times? What’s the recipe to power through and keep going? A mantra or work motto that you live by?
As a creative, I know from firsthand experience that it is common to feel artistically blocked or stuck in a creative rut at times, which can be really frustrating. Usually, I would allow myself some time to take a step back and give myself a break from the task at hand. I would then actively seek inspiration from various sources, and this could be in the form of books, music, museum trips, podcasts, art fairs, Pinterest, or anything else that might spark excitement and inspiration in me, before returning to work with a clear and refreshed mind.
 
This might sound cliche, my mantra is ‘Do what you love, love what you do’. I think that being able to find joy in one’s work is extremely important for one to keep going in the long term. In fact, I enjoy my work so much that it sometimes feels more like a hobby than a business.
 
My mantra is ‘Do what you love, love what you do’.

 

4. Lastly, for someone starting their own business, what are 3 things that you’ve learned that you would like to pay forward?

Do not compare, because everyone’s circumstance, growth trajectory and business directions are different. Instead, identify a few leaders in your industry that you look up to, and learn from them instead.
 
Set out your brand’s goals, story and big idea early on, to help guide you through your business decision making. This is something I wish I’d known long ago when I first started out!
 
In my opinion, brand identity is more important than people usually give it credit for. It helps tie your business together as a cohesive whole for customers to recognise and associate with your brand. I’ve recently come to the realisation that your brand identity does not have to reflect your style and identity as an individual, and that has been one of the most liberating things ever when it comes to my experimenting with Papercranes!

 

1. As an entrepreneur, how do you maintain your drive and vision? 
As a passion project, it helps to be reminded of our purpose helps to keep us going!
 
2. How do you work through difficult times? What’s the recipe to power through and keep going? A mantra or work motto that you live by?
The journey can be daunting but it’s helpful to have encouraging teammates alongside you. Also remembering failures are just road signs to guide you in the right direction and the business is not your identity.
‘Don’t forget to be kind to others and yourself!’

 

3. What were the hardest growing pains in building a business/creating a brand?
Setting the structure and processes in place and learning to let go! The company is really lean and we are working on it on the side, so you get your hands on all aspects of the business and as much as you get to learn it gets really overwhelming at times, we had to learn to set structures and systems in place, let go and hire the right people on board so we can focus on what we are better at.
 
4. What kind of changes in the industry/world do you want to see happen for the future?
For brands and companies to come alongside one another to benefit communities.
 
5. Lastly, for someone starting their own business, what are 3 things that you’ve learned that you would like to pay forward?
Start by having courage, continue by having resilience & don’t forget to be kind to others and yourself!

 

1. What was your proudest moment of 2018 and why?
It was when I had two mummy-customers telling me that using Nodspark made them the prettiest they’ve felt in the past two years. I didn’t expect our product to create such an impact on our customers, but I guess at the end of the day, we all want to love ourselves and look presentable. 
 
2. As an entrepreneur, how do you maintain your drive and vision? 
By taking time to recalibrate and seeing what kind of impact we are making on the scene front. As an entrepreneur, getting positive feedback and developing friendships from retailers and customers alike keeps me going. 
 
3. How do you work through difficult times? What’s the recipe to power through and keep going? A mantra or work motto that you live by?
When things get tough, the only way out is to get resourceful. Keep knocking on doors; keep seeking for insight on what works for others who have gone through their fair share of difficult times. It’s very humbling and liberating at the same time, especially when help could just be an email or a phone call away. The work motto that I live by is “Pay It Forward”, as it creates a virtuous circle of uplifting each other. 
‘ The work motto that I live by is “Pay It Forward”, as it creates a virtuous circle of uplifting each other.’

 

4. What were the hardest growing pains in building a business/creating a brand?
Marketing your brand or your product; without which, if there’s no audience, your products won’t fly even if it’s got a special element to it. 
 
5. What kind of changes in the industry/world do you want to see happen for the future?
To reduce packaging wastage! It’s alarming to see the amount of waste that comes from a small company, let alone the big corporations. Looking forward to what technology can do to break that cycle.  
 
6. Lastly, for someone starting their own business, what are 3 things that you’ve learned that you would like to pay forward?
It helps to get a mentor when you’re starting out; be confident and proud of your brand as you are the best ambassador for it; and lastly, treat every customer with the same care and respect as they make up your community.

About the author

Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

powered by chloédigital