Flower Inspirations / Fragrance / Interior Styling

Wise thoughts – Embrace the imperfections of others and admire their qualities

This morning when I opened my email box, I was so overwhelmed by warm wishes and comments on my blog and Facebook. These comments and wishes meant a lot to me. I thought I was alone on the journey to the world of creativity, I thought everyone was too busy to care about what I am doing and what I wrote. What I saw this morning proved that I was wrong, and it warms my heart to know that I am in a well-protected community. This community consists of my family, my friends and loyal readers of my blog and Facebook.

After I did my one year intensive Fashion Design Course in Shanghai Donghua (China Textile) University, I opened a fashion boutique in Shanghai under the name of Samho Fashion Ltd. Then it grew to four stores in five years time. At a certain moment in my life, I felt there was something missing – Knowledge and my life goal. I asked myself what do I really want for myself and for my future? I thought I am still young and maybe should go somewhere else to see the world outside of China. I need to broaden my horizon before I am getting too old and stubborn to learn new things.

With some knowledge of English and a determination to learn more, I limited myself to six months time to study very hard for all the entry exams and sent in all the applications. With sweat, tears and many cups of coffee and tea, it paid off. On the 11th Feb 2000, I was boarding on a flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam with two suitcases for books, outfits and ingredients. I felt my eyes are a bit dimming when I am writing this line. It was an emotional moment in my life.

Time flew by after I arrived here besides moments of feeling home sick at the beginning. I first did four years of my Communication Management Study and then another two years for International Business Administration. I thought I would be very happy to choose to work in a multinational company or a well-known bank in Europe like most of my classmates in the university did. During my study, I always worked in the flower business. I helped Dutch companies as a flower export alliance in three different auctions in The Netherlands (Rijnsburg, Westland and Aalsmeer). I managed to export the finest quality Dutch and international flowers from a little office to Asia. It helped me gain knowledge of the Dutch flower business as well as the Asian market. I needed to manage my time very well between the study and work. I had to learn to work under high pressure in the fresh flower business and read very tedious theoretical 400 pages thick books from the university. Sometimes I was a nerd, but most of the time I wasn’t.. 

When the time came to decide what I want for my future after I graduated, I chose to set up my own company; ping living. I worked as a freelancer for flower companies and worked on making my own creative world. By the end of the study, I was so poor financially. But luckily I did not borrow any money from the bank at all for my study. I paid all my six and a half years university without loans. It turned out to be a wise choice. At the time when I set up my own company, I lived very thriftly. Then I wrote my business plan, I went to get a loan from the bank and all my freelance income went to my own company. I purchased materials for the packaging; I set up stands on some of the world famous international and national giftware fairs in Europe. I was in Frankfurt and Birmingham, Utrecht standing side by side with some well-established brands. I rented an office, showroom and warehouse for my inventory and products. Is that what I want?

By the end of 2010, I decided to slow down my expansion. I needed some more quality time for my marriage and myself. John and me realized that we cannot live in a rental house forever so we made a wise investment by end of 2010.

Now I am settling down in our new place, I like to write (Facebook and this blog), make DIY project such as cards, art and crafts (sewing, letterpress, screen print and making home fragrance), I like to cook (I offer cook workshops once a month), I love interior styling (work in Zara Home), I love to draw (make fashion illustrations), plus freelance flower export. I try to write every day on my blog about fragrance, flowers, design/crafts/interior and food. At the beginning, I had no confidence to write. I thought everyone on the blog world writes much better than me. I thought that maybe I need to take a proper Literature Writing Course for a while. I had a talk with Robin, my mother-in-law and she is a fantastic writer and poet, and she is going to publish her first poem book this fall. She told me that what a writer does is –write. Keep on writing. She forgives me for my grammar mistakes and my writing style. She said: “do not wait for the inspiration to come, if you want to make it work, just write, write and write”. She encourages me to write, how nice.

Today I just received an email from my dear friend Jim from Miami. Here is what is in his email, very wise thoughts “The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities”.

I am so touched by the support from all my family, friends and readers who encourage me. Thank you all and you are so dear to me; I know that I will always have you with me, whatever I do. Wish you all a nice day!


One Comment

  1. loved your blog Maggie – yes keep on writing! lots love xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *