Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Jar of Cents ...



July 29,2017 ~ Let me start my article today with my childhood memories ... why not . I feel like I am inspired to share with you a story that would be forever cherished and would be handed down to my next generation from now on. 

When I was little, I used to see my parents , especially my father setting aside coins in different jars. In my innocent mind ,  I thought my father is just playing games and entertaining himself. But as years go by and I started to go to school, I started to realize the story of the coins in the jars.



My father told me one day together with my siblings that we all need to learn to get our daily allowance for school in the jars specifically set aside with  our names tagged on each jar  There were 3 jars in total with exactly the same amount of coins in it. He said noone should steal from the other jars and all jars would always have equal amount for fair share. He advised us to budget the coins in our jar equally for the 5 days of school. Up to us to take how much we need to take as long as we are able to spend something for the 5 school days. At that early stage, father had taught us the value of money. He taught us to spend our coins wisely , taught us to be thrifty and be able to decide on how we gonna manage our finances during the week.
I spend most of my coins on buying note pads , mongol pencils, erasers or art materials for school. I love to write and draw in school and even when I was at home when I was young . I had started writing and drawing even before I entered primary school. I used to remember scouting and searching for different neighborhood stores looking for my favourite notepads and pencils when I ran out of it. I would be sad when I couldn't write or draw. I also love to make artworks wben I was schooling. 



My mom would always give me a few extra cents whenever she finds out I ran out of art materials. She knew that once I run out of the house and dissappeared for about an hour, I had been to another street or even further to buy my paper and pencils and I would surely be home with a smile on my face bringing home my purchases.
That's why even to these days I always go buy art stuffs for my self... it was a habit since childhood when I got a few coins in my hand.

I came from a poor family. My father goes to work and try to make  ends meet. He was sometimes gone for a week due to his job. But he made sure our jars are filled up before he leaves and our cupboards are well stocked with food supplies so we won't starve  if ever he happened not to come home on time due to train accidents occuring most of the time in his work trips. He worked as a train conductor or ticketing man in a local train ( Philippine National Railways ) during the 1970's till the 1980's..



In the 1970's, the time I was in my early schooling, my mom would walk me and my siblings to our schools. I would maybe at that time take like 50 cents maximum out of my jar to pay for a drink and a simple snack for my recess break in school. Life is tough when you eat the same and the same stuffs everyday but I cannot complain. I was happy that at least I got something than nothing and starve all day. 
After a few more years, when my battered mom left us to fend for ourselves which is not her fault, I was very very young at that time ...probably about 7-8 yrs old , I would walk a few kilometers to get to school along with other kids from the same school. I would make sure I keep my coins safe and hidden from other prying eyes inorder not to be stolen. Coz once gone, I would starve all day coz school is from 7am till 4pm. Kids would always bully me along the way coz I had no parent along with me but I was hard enough to shove them all off. My father always advice us to defend ourselves and our possesions against bullies. So I always fight on the streets when I was a kid.... even if I was obviously a girl in a school uniform and not a boy. Sometimes my uncles and father would laugh upon knowing I had punched someone in the face for bullying me or either of my siblings... lol. I was a tough kid.... but seems like even up to now. As long as I am on the right side I would fight for my right and defend other people getting bullied. I just can't tolerate injustice happening infront of me.

But anyways, i guess i had told enough of some bits and pieces regarding my childhood life that had evolved from a jar .  A jar of  cents which is now a part of  my life's stories. A story of how I had grown up to be and why I am what I am today. A jar of cents with so much value to keep in my heart as a memory of my beloved father as well. Unfortunately, a great man who had passed this  morning in his sleep. 


To my dear father, I know you had reunited with mom up there in heaven finally. May you both find love , peace and happiness there while me , my brothers and sisters mourn for our loss. 
Indeed I will miss you for the rest of my life ...
Your teachings ...
Your swearings...
And everything about you that made you different from the rest.
I Love You My Beloved Father....
Please Rest In Peace 


Monday, May 22, 2017

Promoting Your Creations ...









MAY 21, 2017 ~ There are several questions to consider when marketing and promoting a product. Just like other artists, my creations normally just sit at home coz I don't have an actual  shop where I can display and sell them. I had tried to sell them online but due to stiff competitions with other sellers selling  products in similar jewellery category , it takes too long for small entrepreneurs like me to find a real buyer due to the massive amount of choices they were given and being offered  online. It's tough to compete with mass production machine made jewelries being offered with free shipping . Take note of what cheap stuffs we can all get from China online shops. Therefore,  quite frustrating for a small home business artist like me to compete with them eventhough I have some avid and loyal customers craving for my beaded work.  It can unfortunately even come to the point of no online sales at all.  Ebay sales is now experiencing that and Quite dissapointing to think about. Especially when I still pay monthly fees to run my ebay store. So, more expenses and no gain at all ... oouucchhh.

So, what should I do to bring or expose them out to public and be on the market to be recognized by your targeted potential buyers ? Well, here's what I started doing lately. I was always in fashion events hosted by friends and acquaintances. Creating jewelries that are unique and never goes out of style, I got noticed and approached by organizers to sponsor their events. I can either donate some jewelries as prizes or for raffle draws. I gave it a thought and decided why not.  So I tried sponsorship where I create pieces to be used as part of the minor & major przes and even for raffle draws. You maybe thinkin,  are you crazy to just give away your work for free?





Model Ms Jho Salac doning my "Red Angel" ~ this unique set was awarded Bronze Medalist  of 2014 Seed Beads Category hosted by Fire Mountain Gems And Beads
Sponsoring the jewelries of Ms Juliet Bitalan one of the judges for the 2017 Pinoy Star Talent Festival held at YWCA Singapore
Ms Joy Ann San Luis doning her jewelry prize after winning the She's My Girl Singapore title in 2014



My creations were true to cost a lot of money . I normally use Swarovski Crystals, Fresh water pearls, Glass / Semi- precious beads with Sterling Silver metal findings or sometimes rhodium plated  metals. I sort them in many online shops as well as exclusive bead shops in the US, Hongkong, China, here in Singapore and in Philippines as well. For me, inorder to have business  or sales... one needs to invest  and prepare to get expenses along the way. Be ready for the cost of  materials together with marketing inorder to get your self and your product known to the market. Even if I donate them through sponsorships I of course get something in return. I get free entry to VIP seats , be chosen as a judge or even be given the honour to get up on the stage and award the winners. The privilleges are there and I truly appreciate what I get in return.  Big thank you to the event hosts !

Making sure my sponsorship bears my brand title for recognition !

Sponsoring Raffle Prizes for Sopernova 2017 event held in Chijmes

Sponsoring a Major and Raffle draw prizes for Rampstar Queen 2017 event held at  Nexus Auditorium


Sponsoring a major prize award for Supernova 2017 grand prize winner

In my case, I had made my  name and brand known locally and globally at this point of time. I am now so happy to be greeted and awarded in events and given the opportunities to get up on stage to hand in my sponsored prizes to the  winners and at the same moment be able to  promote not  just  my self created brand but mainly my actual jewelry creations I would be wearing during the event.









I am very proud of what I had become and how far my creations had gone after all these years.


The Diva in Me ~ Bronze Medalist of 2016 Swarovski Crystal Contes hosted by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Touched By An Angel ~ Gold Medalist of 2016 Seed Beads Category Contest hosted by Fire Mountain Gems And Beads






To constant supporters, jewelry admirers and buyers ...  thanks so much for patronizing my work and believing in what I can do to satisfy your jewelry preferrences.

My advice to artists like me, go out there and show your stuffs.  Dare to be bold and do not shy away from people. You never know, what and who you meet out there can maybe the ones who will help you make a  name for yourself and  promote your creations, make a brand for yourself and your work ... keep trying !















Monday, May 15, 2017

Supernova 2017 @Chijmes







May 15, 2017 ~ Yesterday's Supernova 2017 held in Chijmes was a big success.





 Some of the jewelries worn by the judges and emcee as well as raffle draws and major prize were sponsored by yours truly... www.my-secret-corner.com.

The emcee Ms Salac wearing the Swarovski and Pearls beaded necklace with matching bracelet and earrings



Ms. Zeenat Ho wearing a set of Red and Black crystals/ glass beaded earrings and bracelet


Ms. Juliet Bitalan wearing a Double stranded long beaded necklace with matching earrings  




The ladies in this conpetution were all gorgeous , pretty  and did the catwalk with grace and style.






Congratulations to candidate #30  Ms. Lovely for winning the grand prize and some of the other major awards...



 and congratulations too to all the rest of the winners.

 Big thanks to Mr. Dexter June Olayao Dioquino and all the staffs for accomodating me as one of their sponsors in the event !




 More power to Supenova and the organizers and looking forward to the next one ...