Here we are at this time of the year again!
No, it’s not Christmas yet.
Every year, for the past 7 years – the month of September has always been a very special month for Notbook Notbuk because, 7 years ago, I had this dream & passion of coming up with my own stationery line. 7 years ago was when those dreams turned into reality. Notbook Notbuk was born purely out of the love for stationeries and the love of crafting & making. I had no money then (well even now to be honest, haha!). 7 years ago, it would have never crossed my mind that this little business of mine will grow to the scale it is now.
7 years of counting my blessings, everyday.
This year, the month of September holds an deeper meaning to me. This is something personal about me but well, Notbook Notbuk is my life, and my life is all about Notbook Notbuk afterall. Many times I try to separate between my work & personal life but at times, I know some of you are curious and would like to know more about me, especially on a personal side note. I’m not exactly a super extrovert person, haha but I am trying! =)
So what is it that is so special, you guys must be wondering?
Well, this month, particularly this coming 17th September – I will be getting married to the love of my life!
Some of you guys may have met and seen him before, at bazaars & events helping me manning my booth when I am loitering away.
He has always been my biggest support in this journey of building Notbook Notbuk from nothing. He is the manpower behind all the heavy-lifting & hardcore tasks in production, the emotional support, the greatest cheerleader, the one who have put his trust in me to get started in this business while many were belittling this silly dreams of mine, 7 years ago. Just thought I’d share this personal milestone with you guys!
For this 7th anniversary of Notbook Notbuk, here’s a very rare blog-post from me. #failbloggerwannabe haha!
I would like to take this chance to thank everyone for making this 7 years of journey so beautiful & so colorful. The journey, was never easy but it was definitely worth it, to me. When I first started, I was questioned by so many people around me, friends & family alike. Why would I let go my full-time career for this. Why are you putting yourself into this – being broke all the time, no having any employee benefits, working 24/7 without proper working hours. Yes, those were the things I keep hearing for the first 2 years and trust me, it definitely did take a toll on me. It made me doubt my decision, I kept wondering if this was a bad and stupid move. I wondered if I am just wasting my time.
I pushed on nevertheless, taking everything one step at a time, and believing that only time will tell how things would turn out.
I would say that by the 3rd year, things got better, the exposure and the “come-back” of crafting and everything handmade had finally arrived. That is also when small businesses and supporting locally made products awareness was made big in Malaysia. Notbook Notbuk started to get noticed and featured by Malaysian media – newspapers & magazines. This year, finally, my parents are finally a little proud of what I do, haha! I’m serious. I don’t blame them, they are the typical Asian parents who are not too optimistic about risk taking.
I met so many people from all walks of life and each and everyone of them have taught me something, be it good or bad. I had completely zero experience in business back then, and I learned from making silly, sometimes stupid careless mistakes.
Here are some throwback pictures from when we started, 7 years ago!
From a little 800 square feet apartment. Preparing our stocks for our very first event ever at Art For Grabs!
Year 2011 – At the Urbanscapes event, things improved hey!
Year 2016 – In Notbook Notbuk studio, after completing a custom bulk order.
Honestly, every year – I wonder where this will take me next. I have my dreams to one day turn Notbook Notbuk into a retail business, with a steady flow of stocks and with no problems in production. Owning your own physical sure sounds fun, but at the same time, sustainability and funds have always been a concern and I have to be realistic. It is not as simple as just opening a store, sprinkling some magic dust and everything then everything would be in place. Now that I finally have my own proper studio to work, no longer working from where I lived, I would say that it is indeed a big relieve and blessing!
THANK YOU for being with me in this journey, nothing will ever be possible without your support. My apologies if I have offended you in any way, in my speech or actions. I am terribly sorry for missing out on replying alot of emails at times, or sending out your orders late and making you wait. I believed I have improved alot, haha, and am still trying to deliver my very best, each and every time, to each and everyone of you!
I will still take things one step at a time, and we shall see where it brings us, yeah?
No other words can describe how grateful I am for everything.
THANK YOU for all the opportunities, the love, and the support.
p/s – Stay tuned for our yearly Limited Edition series, coming up very soon, crossing fingers after the wedding!