Tuesday, April 19, 2011

There's A Fork On My Road

Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to take part in an accessories exhibition that's part of Blueprint, a major fashion event here in Asia that showcases new talent and reiterate established names.
I was abuzz. A local fashion icon told me I should really seize the opportunity and take part. She was sure I will do well, because I am "an artist with a story to tell". I was stoked, but at the same time scared.

So I gathered up my guts and contacted Carolyn Kan, founder of Carrie K. She was last year's Blueprint ingenue. And since then, her art and her business has grown in leaps and bounds. Carrie K is now a respected local brand, and a successful export label.

Carolyn is super affable. She was so warm, and so generous with her information. I suppose she knows exactly how I feel having had her Blueprint experience. The first thing she said was, "You have to stop thinking of this as a hobby, and start thinking of it as a business."

We spoke almost half an hour, on preparation for Blueprint, what happened next, what becoming a full-fledged business entails, how to learn from customer feedback, how to create business contacts... It was an education in itself. I am eternally grateful to Carolyn for being so willing to share. Incidentally, she won Singapore Elle's Jewelry Designer of the Year. Which serves to reiterate my belief that good things happen to good people.

Thing is, what do you do when you're told you could be The Next Big Thing? There is the very optimistic (bordering on altruistic) "go for it!". But what does THAT really mean?

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