as a child, this has always been drilled into me by my parents, “learn to solve it yourself. don’t depend on others to solve your own problems. you have to learn to be independent so that you’ll think for yourself and be a useful person when you grow up.” my mum stopped short of teaching me how not to not be a society-leech i think. i love my mum, but i sometimes have a love and hate relationship with the way i was brought up.
when i first came back to singapore, i hated it so very much. i only had a culture shock coming home, it’s crazy. you might think it’s exaggerating, but it took me almost an entire year to get over it. to get over all that i missed, and to get over all that i had to face day in day out. to get over the fact that i no longer have my own cool pad but have to move back in with my dad. to get over the fact that i had to work, pay my own bills, give my parents money, and so on.
later on, after having it enough, prostituting at local design firms, i started forestprints design with my remaining 10k savings, i dumped it all into the business and started it with zero in my bank account. for almost the entire first year, i couldn’t live the usual lifestyle i was so used to, hitting the clubs every weekend, being generous with treats (or basically, being a “carrot” if you may) with my “friends”, shopping as and whenever on expensive stuff at least once a week, restaurants, starbucks every single day, yes, even simple things like that that we take for granted when money isn’t so hard to come by. for the very first 3 months, i had to survive on weekend meals paid for by b, scrimp on weekday meals, and “shamefully” accept the occasional handout from my mum. sometimes my strong pride took over and i stupidly refused her handout, saying that i was coping just fine.
then when business picked up and things started to look better, i still didn’t want to spend, i wasn’t used to my bank account looking so sad, so i started to save, something i have never done before in my entire life. incredible. not that i wasn’t taught to save, i just didn’t, and pretended to. because in the end, i will dig them all out to get yet another new gaultier wallet, when i was still in high school, and yes, i managed to only hang out with friends that were just like me or even worse, or leeching on me. my parents thought giving me alot of pocket money will help me save even more. they couldn’t be more wrong for once.
forestprints design has since grown, and i’m really grateful for that. but although i’m doing much better than if i had stayed on working for someone, the business hasn’t grown like super exponentially, or enough for me to have put aside a large comfortable sum to still grow it much further. i’ve also pumped in a substantial amount into setting up and maintaining of the fair-wage workshop in philippines. well, okay, admittedly, i have changed from my spendthrift days, but am still only halfway there i suppose. when you earn more, you tend to spend more, true.
when i thought i had enough money to buy a home studio, the property prices went sky-high. so i had to temporarily shelf that big idea, although we’re still keeping an eye out there. i’ve been drilled not to live with any debts if possible. and i was not about to take out a loan for the 20% downpayment, on top of the monthly mortagage. so b and i then decide to get a new car, a car we can finally call our own. enough of sharing it with very petty and picky people i say! (another long story). and because he shares the same “do not leech on your parents” mantra, we paid the downpayment by ourselves. we were eventually surprised to slowly find out that none of our friends around our age who owned a car did that. so anyways, there goes a portion of our available cash. just so everyone knows, it costs a foot and a leg to own a car in singapore, compared to the US and europe… so yes, we’re left with 1 foot and 1 leg.
that was also about the same time, i thought i should move on and execute option B in my business plan – rent a showroom studio space – since i can’t own one yet. but an estimated minimum 30k investment is needed in order for me to have it at my ideal location, amongst many other considerations and factors involved. any one interested in investing in littleoddforest??? ha. i’m not business network savvy at all. i’m not a very pr person. not even close. i just like to make silly friends. yeah. so then, the big question is, should i just start over like i did almost 4 years ago, and take a big financial risk in order to execute option B? i do not have parents’ money as a backup option. i’m sounding abit bitter here now, aren’t i… hahaha… nah. i’m thankful for how my mum has taught me. and yes! she’s back in town!!! wooow! 😀
so okay, anyways. fine. i’m moving on to option C. b was very sad and affected when he heard of this. silly b. i’m off to work on it now! and unfortunately, also hoping and trying to solve just one of many production issues i have been plagued with this year. humans are disgusting. ciao~