A Decade of Weddings
ZANDRA LIM IMASA
First of all, I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all the people who have given their trusts to me during all those ten years in the business, to the people who continue to believe what I’m capable of and to the people who have helped and supported my endeavors. Second, and most importantly, praise to God for pushing me beyond what I thought I could only dream of, for the bountiful provisions, for throwing the right people in my direction, for my wonderful family, for my great team, and for the gift of creative hands.
Ten years would seem long but I still feel like a baby in the industry. I could talk lengthily about my experiences but I feel it will pale in comparison to the veterans who have been in the business for more than I do and would even pale in comparison to the glitzy and glamorous albeit relatively new designers. It would seem easy to talk about baby steps far more than a lifespan of experiences. But just like a baby who does everything in delight, I couldn’t find the right moments to encapsulate what I truly feel because the ten years has been a decade of delightful surprises. I’ve stumbled and made mistakes numerous times but the toddler in me would just try and try again until I made it right.
When I started this business, I knew I was at home. I was at peace, there was serenity amidst the uncertainties. I must say it was a sweet beginning. I can still remember my excitement and the endless nights I would stay up to design and give structure to my small business. It was those moments I knew that a beautiful career was ahead of me.
A year into my business and I sealed another sweet beginning, I got married to a very hard working man ( my father must have been proud). With two almost parallel beginnings but with both commitments steering in different paths: one in honeymoon stage and the other in a tightwad-adjustment-treading-a-thin-line stage, I have learned that my attitude towards my marriage/husband can also be applied to my approach in business. It worked!
Appreciation. Acknowledge everyday the blessings poured in our direction. Learn to appreciate the opportunities rather mulling over the setbacks. Acknowledge the people who work hard for you and learn to share this. Saying it aloud to them, appreciating their output, and giving them pat in the back are a boost to their self-esteem and will effectively produce a more positive production. Appreciate the customers and give more if you could.
Compromise. There were times when I was burnt out from making sure I please everyone. Which was the biggest mistake I had so far. Eventually I learned the word “compromise”. While customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal, it is only fair that we get to meet on common grounds when conflict emerges. These are normal, I think of it as issues that needs resolution plan that both the customer and I will agree with.
Keeping the fire alive. I was never on an auto-pilot, I guess in any work and relationship, it’s a downright failure when the mode is set that way. The trust that the customer gives me is essential. I have faced the best and the worst of times in this business in terms of people management, staff and clients alike. I have shown all my strong points and flaws that even I was only partially aware of at that time. But now I know. Most importantly, the fire burning in me is stronger than my frustrations and it is the key that helped me get through the hard times. The lessons I learned from my past mistakes, I always revisit. It is important to be reminded of it all the time so I won’t make the same mistake again.
The grass is greenest where you water it. Successful relationship is a nurtured relationship. I have learned to communicate well and put my energy into making myself better so people around me and the atmosphere will just be the happiest. Communicate, surprise, love, be passionate, show your enthusiasm, be generous, feed your talent and in no time you will lay in the greenest pasture.
Ten years and I still feel like I’m starting out. I strive to be a better version of my former self every time. That is, I want to be more understanding, more willing to take risks in order for my other dreams to come true, to be kind even when I’m agitated, to not give up on anything and to give my best every time.
This I know, my dream of being in love with my work has come true.