Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My best-kept secret.

Today is easily the most liberating day of my life.

Y'see, I haven't been completely honest with you all. In fact, I've been keeping one huge part of my life a secret for the past 9 months. And this secret was not only kept from you, my blog readers; but from almost all my friends.

I reckoned I've been living like a mystery lady since I've been back. Have you guys ever wondered: What is Hui Wen doing? Why are there occasional cryptic messages? Is she working?
Trust me, if there's a TOP 10 QUESTIONS HUI WEN GETS SINCE SHE IS BACK IN KL list,"So, what are you doing now?" is smacked right on top in flashing neon red lights.

Well, today, I am going to lift the curtain and show you what I've been up to:


Well, of course I didn't take 9 months to do up a Facebook page, silly. :) Bigger things are in store over here:


PHEWWWWW. What a huge relief it is to finally get this off my chest, and being able to share this with all of you!

AZORIAS is the brainchild of 2 partners and I, conceived sometime last year over a hearty breakfast of nasi lemak. Contrary to popular belief, my sisters are not my partners, though Jing and Teeny have been such a source of inspiration/advise as well as my boulder of support during this whole process (thank you girls, I love you).

While my partners and I are dedicated to building and nurturing AZORIAS as a brand, it was always meant to be a sideline project--i.e. we work full-time,and do AZORIAS on the side. My plan after leaving Singapore was always to get a job in Corporate Finance in a bank/Big 4; and it was a path that I fully believed in. So I sent out resumes, go for interviews... But life, is full of funny twists and turns. As we invested more and more resources into the brand, the more we could see its potential to grow. At the same time, I was at a point of my life where there are many inspiring people around me who do not take the conventional roads but yet are happy and fulfilled. Fashion is something that I've always, always wanted to do, but having a traditional Chinese father who only believed in 'professional' jobs (he threatened to disown me when I wanted to do advertising, true story), this always remained a far-fetched dream. And suddenly, my dream seemed within reach.

I sat down with my partners and talked things through. They are more than happy for me to be onboard full-time, believing that I am the best candidate for the job. Next, I talked to my sisters, my best friends... I dissected every facet of the pros and cons of doing AZORIAS full-time versus building a 'proper' career. Truth to be told, I was scared shit. I am venturing into the unknown, and who knows whether we'll even succeed? Whereas if I stayed on the conventional path, it would seem likely that I will earn a decent living, climb to a respectable rank in society... But like I said, life is full of twists and turns. Sometimes, I smile to myself, because it seems that everything has happened in order for me to be where I am today. To be honest, if I haven't suffered a broken heart at the beginning of last year, I doubt I would have the courage to do what I am doing today. It was after my break-up, that I questioned what truly is my purpose in life, and the meaning of happiness.

And in the end, after weighing every possible consequence of either route, I've come to the conclusion that the rat race is in my head. That I only have one shot at life, and I better live it the way I want to. That chasing after my dreams is quite possibly the best thing I could do for myself. That I feel so alive when I am breathing life into AZORIAS (no pun intended). That if I am doing something that I fully believe in, that I am so whole-heartedly passionate about, surely life is worth it.

The hardest part was telling my dad, or so I thought. Whilst my dad can't stop me from pursuing my dreams, I certainly want my family's support in this life-changing decision. I had my 30-page business plan in hand, a story about Gautama Buddha as my back-up argument (don't ask), preparing for the biggest argument in the Hoe household. I clearly remember that night. My dad didn't even interrogate me on any aspect of the business, but instead gave me his full consent and support, much to the surprise of the whole family. "You are young, you should try" was his words to me. I was so shocked, I tweeted this. He even thought I needed a loan for funding, which was not the case. I went to Singapore for 2 reasons: 1. To learn; 2. To save-- because deep down I know that if I ever want to do something that I love, I will need to finance it myself.

That night was an emotional night for me; all my life I have been taking steps that my parents would approve, that would please the people around me, and while I seldom admit this, some part inside me harbors bitterness towards them for dictating my life. But that night, I found out that my parents are not the micro-managing, old-fashion folks that I thought they were; I found out for myself just how much they love me, and want me to be happy. That night, I cried tears of happiness, unable to believe that finally, oh finally, I can live my life the way I want to.

And now all the pieces of the puzzle fits. This explains the trip that I made to Korea last year with a mysterious person (my partner yo! Who shall not be named. Lord Voldemort wtf), and the unexplainable overseas trip I talked about here.

We (my partners and I, AZORIAS) have come a long way since then. In fact, we actually started work on AZORIAS since last year, but we have had a couple of unlucky incidents, e.g. problems with our initial web developers (we now have a new awesome team!), and even small unfortunate events like my model getting into a motorcycle accident the day before our photoshoot. -______-

But for every ill-fated circumstance we have gone through, I really could see how we have grown as a team to adapt and make the best of everything. In fact, I dare to say that all those misfortune opened up even more doors! I've been so so so grateful for all the opportunities and guidance we have had-- we got to pick the brains of the founder of one of the most successful online site in Korea, getting insights from the top merchandise manufacturer in Korea, meeting the most hospitable, warmest, amazing locals during our Korean trip... I am just counting my blessings, and being really grateful for everything that has turned out.

We are very near to our launch date now, and I can't tell you how excited I am for all of you to see the site! Everyday it's making transformations, and I feel like a proud mother seeing how it is taking shape to become our vision and more. I really hope you guys can follow our FB page, http://www.facebook.com/azorias, so that we can share with you some behind-the-scene photos, pictures taken during our purchasing trip in Korea, as well as some sneak preview of our products. I am really eager and hopeful that you can all be part of this wonderful experience of seeing AZORIAS grow. :)

Follow                                 Revel in me...


KITMEY said...

so this is what you've been hiding! may you grow your own fashion empire soon ;) *think kimora lee simmons and olsen twins*

Yan Ping said...

Way to go Cousin ! I am really happy that you can pursue your dream ! You will definitely make it big ! It takes alot of courage to come this far and I am fully of envy of your perseverance. I am going to diet very hard to fit into your clothes. :p All the best my dear !

Joanne said...

Is great to pursue your dream,moreover with the support of your parents and family!

Can't wait for the launch :)

jeanchristie said...

Best of luck huiwen! Comment got lost :(

Anyway, very happy for you that you're doing something which is partial to!

Anonymous said...


ally said...

YEAY finally the announcement! Am still so so so happy for you, all the best with ur new(ly announced) phase of life!

Kim L said...

All the best huiwen!! :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds super interesting..

When is it expected to be launched?

I am sure everyone is happy & excited on your behalf!


Cleo said...

Congrats HWen. We are the first 100 person to like the page so we gotta hv the VIP passes for the launch ! Yeeeha !

revel in me said...

allison: Haha, ya, it feels so good to let it all out! :) And thank you my dear, I only hope to do my best! :)

yan ping: It is indeed the bravest thing I've ever done! It feels right thus far, and I daresay I am the happiest I've ever been. :) Thank you so much for the support, it means the world to me!

joanne: Actually there's still some friction between me and some other family members. :( Another story for another day though! I am just focusing on being grateful and working hard. :)

jean: Thank you dear for your encouragement! :))))

miss hazel: <3

ally: Yay wishes all the way from aus! Hope you're having a smashing time. <3 YES I FEEL SO FREE NOW to not have to hide anymore!:D

kimmy: Thank you! :))))

becca: Within days, definitely! My happiness and excitement is enough to cover the world's share!!!! Haha. But on a serious note, I really feel so blessed that everyone is so encouraging! :)

cleo: Haha! We definitely have some goodies for early birds! YEE HAAAAA back to you! :D

Cherry said...

Congrats!wish you all the best!! =D

fourfeetnine said...

heeheehee i expect big things from you love!! <3

Anonymous said...

My first time commenting after reading your blog for a really long time. Can't wait for the launch. Am very excited for you! =)

Btw, saw you in Plan B bangsar yesterday over lunch. You look gorgeous. As always =)


annant said...

i have been following your bloggie for years...

and this is the first time i am leaving a comment here...

all the best babe! me too have a dream, but now is still not the time to realise it yet.

La Petite Cherie ♡ said...

congrats, love!! i cannot wait for the launch. it's gonna be amazing ;)

revel in me said...

cherry: Thank you love! :)

fourfeetnine: I hope I can meet the challenge wtf! :D

sylvia: Wow, I saw 3 friends there yesterday as well! Everyone is at Plan B eh, hehe. Thank you for your lovely words dear, I smiled like crazy. :)

annant: Please allow me to wish you all the best in pursuing your dreams!! Gambateh to the both of us! :)

la petit cherie: Haha, thank you dear, for the vote of confidence! We are so grateful for your enthusiasm. <3

xiang yun said...

I'm so proud of you!! And this is such a beautiful post. Really, read it a few times and it still inspires me! Big thumbs up to you for listening to your heart!! :D

Melissa said...

Been reading your blog for some time now but I truly must say that YOU, are indeed my source of inspiration. Like you, I've never wanted to study accounting because trust me, it's not an area that I'm particularly interested in but oh wells I'm just studying because my parents said so (and yes I do dislike them for that sometimes =p). I've always dreamed of working in the fashion industry and when I first read your blog a year or two ago, I found out that you were an auditor yet at the same time interested in fashion!

And I thought, OH(!) how I could relate myself to you!! Reading your journey for being so brave, it gives me hope that hey, this could happen to me too if I just have a little more courage and passion!

Reading this blog post has been very uplifting and all I wanted to say is that I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE AZORIAS LAUNCH and buy something teeheehee!!

Once again, congratulations love! <3

misst said...

congratulations on your launch! this reminded me of how i haven't given you more thoughts on your website as i said i would. final year projects and exams took its toll, i'm really sorry! (plus that email was in a rarely-used email account).
don't even want to imagine all the restorative work i'd have to do for my skin and body after everything is over >.<

even though the website hasn't fully launched yet, i feel so proud to have contributed somewhat! heh.

LavenderFloret said...

until this day i still "suffer" from what you have with your parents, taking every step with their approval in mind

i hope one day, i will shed tears of happiness just as you have.

congrats and all the best =)