Monday, October 18, 2010

Not a shoulda coulda woulda...

This image was an inspiration of the table
setting for our store
Apologies for the long hiatus, EM, MK and myself have been busy finalizing our interior renovation of Bittersweet Corner, coming up with the company logo, finalising our lease & tenant agreements, getting knick knacks for the store from Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. On the latter, it certainly is a blessed privilege that all of us have been given the opportunity to go on mini frequent travels ever since we were young, however the Bittersweet Corner quest to find the perfect vases, flowers, shrubs and cake stands proved to be quite a challenge! On another note, we have finished our recruiting process and selected a team of wonderfuly trained & experienced staff, who will be able to educate you guys on what will be in store in Bittersweet Corner. Btw, we are now counting down to exactly one month till we open in mid-November!!

Aside from us running around all over the place (well, I am more likely behind my desk analysing Bittersweet Corner's Business Plan budget and planning), I recently came across a cupcake blog, which inspired me to write this blog entry. Sheryl has relentlessly started from an online cupcake store, turning it into a breathtaking retail store in Melbourne. Her dreams, thoughts and fears are something that I share when I embark on this amazing journey with EM and MK. I have only been introduced to EM last year in February over an Italian dinner, before MK mentioned that I have a bit of a sweet tooth and secretly dreaming of running my own dessert cafe. EM gushed excitedly about how she has been providing catering service in Boston outside of her school hours. This pretty girl initially wanted to embark in a career in the US of A, however she put off such decision to continue her passion in baking under her already-well-known Bittersweet brand. So, a year flew by, EM graduated (much to her relief) and settled in Jakarta for good three months ago. It was rather timely as well that a mutual friend had a small 20-sqm space in Plaza Indonesia, which she would wish to sub-let. We couldn't be happier that Bittersweet Corner is our first project! All of us have been inseparable (literally and metaphorically), continuing updating each other on our vision and mission.

Personally, I have been losing sleep doing market research, updating Excel model, keeping track of our investment budget and worrying about how can we streamline our and management for Bittersweet. I took a further step to learn about social media marketing through MK, but the biggest dare was braving myself to speak to small cafe owner in Subang Kuala Lumpur, with a retail store called Whisk KL. I learnt about Nora K's passion which started from "I couldn't find a decent coffee shop where I can relax and read my books, like those I found in New York (she was previously from Parson School of Design)". Let's just say that her little thought had blossomed into something picturesque...

There has been times when I shut my alarm in the morning, I drift back to a short snooze with my mind trailing over the thought "Is this all worth it? Climbing the corporate ladder seems to be much easier". Friends say I am a pessimistic, but throughout Bittersweet setting up process, I can only share that this has spurred my entrepreneurial spirit, which may have been locked up in some dark abyss within me. I was worried of taking the plunge, but I guess any business is like a relationship - there is much to learn to love and to be hurt. You can always pick yourself up if you fall because it is the experience that counts. I believe I have been blessed with amazing partner (and friends) such as EM and MK. They have been inspiring people, which made me realise my own shortcomings.

So, thank you, Sheryl for your inspirations. I believe that like her Cupcake Central, Bittersweet Corner will bring many smiling faces and satisfying tummy strokes. So folks, we shouldn't dwell on the Shoulda Woulda Coulda...because everything is within your reach...

Till we speak again...toodles~

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