A very belated 2021 greeting to everyone.
A year has passed. 2020 was a discomforting pause. The break, however, forced me to recalibrate, while I was deciphering the unknown path unfolding before us. I thought I was slowing down before the lockdown, turns out it wasn't good enough. There were still loose ends to tie up, nagging questions unanswered and problems remaining unsolved. So much noise rages on - the doom and gloom as well as the digital salvation. The simple answer is, join others in the digital bandwagon & broadcast. Engineer & pivot towards that direction. Afterall, sustainability is trending and is at the forefront of an already crowded fashion and digital world.
Sustainability remains a difficult business approach. How do you meet numbers and support others when there is a deliberate effort to slow down & cut back. When less is more, how is it sustainable to drive sales in order to meet the needs of the people WoonHung is trying to support? Without capital, we achieve nothing. These are fundamental questions that need an honest approach. My conscience wrestles within. While I am immensely grateful & blessed in Singapore, not everyone survived well. There are people still suffering the repercussions of the pandemic. The light at the end of the tunnel is nowhere near in sight.
I cannot in good conscience make more to sell more, even if it means this supports others. More is not the answer. Louder and faster is not either. Neither is design originality or content. There are so many out there. (That’s a separate topic altogether and I will expound at a later time) It feeds into our constant obsession of freshness, newness, amusement or entertainment, because we are easily bored and tired. I need to be careful, lest I become a contributor of noise, overcrowding and another disguised marketer amplifying a false sense of sustainability. In a prolonged crisis, the worst of people show up. I ask myself, how do I measure up?
Ok, it sounds incongruent and all gloom. Let's just say, I decided I would like to build a little piece of heaven. Return to basics. Be my own kind of inspiration, show up with empathy and advocate a fresh set of perspectives that perhaps people might sit up, think and choose the values to align with.
In many ways, opening Essential Extra Gift Store and Ship of Time Lifestyle Store have taught me unexpected lessons and illustrates this very point. Customers tell us their stories and what gifting means to them. They express why they keep coming back and bounce back what we stand by. It’s nice to hear they’ve understood. Not all, but good enough. There’s always room to grow and improve. Products that allow them to spread love, like sending a little gesture through a succinct greeting card that says what they feel inside or finding the right gift, because they know the recipient will just love it. Our obscure physical presence tucked in Shenton Way brought people together more than we could imagine. When work gets heavy ladened, customers stop by to get a sense of calm, focus and inspiration, before facing their workload head on again. We know how that feels. And through word of mouth, we survived and flourished. And if by being here, and engaging customers through meaningful touch-points like this in this insane world, then WoonHung exists for good reason. We must be doing something right. And we ought to keep going, nourishing what is good for the soul.
So here is what we’re doing from 2021 onwards, we will continue to offer current designs at discount. We made a decision in late 2019 to cut back on WoonHung and focus only on a handful of classics, while ramping up WoonHung Mia Series in support of Anecito Panolino Elementary School in Iloilo,Philippines. The school must go on.
It is time. And until we can clear out current designs, we will not be launching new designs just yet. More isn't better, conscious purchasing is a much better choice. So choose wisely, even if it is not aligning with WoonHung. There are genuine brands out there that truly stand for something worthwhile.
Happy Chinese New Year! Wishing everyone a peaceful and healthy 2021.