Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Commemorating 22nd December 2016 as the day Miss Petal & Bloom appeared on TV! YAY!
I decided to write this post not just to document this milestone, but to also acknowledge the people who made this happen, and share a little about how the opportunity came about. Perhaps this could be a story of inspiration and motivation for all full-time crafters and entrepreneurs - that when one door closes, somewhere a window opens! You never know when opportunities come knocking, and God truly has perfect timing. :)
When I started MP&B, I had hoped that I could one day be featured in a magazine, or even better, in our local newspapers... but being on TV! Wow! To see my handmade flowers on television - that was nothing short of incredible - and it does feel pretty surreal watching myself on TV!
ABOUT THE SEGMENT
First Look Asia is a breakfast programme by Channel News Asia which covers pretty much everything from serious news to lifestyle features. This particular segment highlights handmade festive gifts and featured local crafters, including Parade Made (handcrafted stamps), The Green Capsule (terrariums), and Concrete Everything (concrete home accessories). Not only did we get the chance to demonstrate our crafts (I did my demonstration on Crepe Paper Poinsettias), I thought it was pretty cool that we represented a diverse variety of crafts, not only the more 'feminine crafts' like mine, but more 'masculine' crafts such as concrete-making as well.
If you'd like to watch the video, you can click on this link or watch the embedded video below!
THE PEOPLE BEHIND THIS FEATURE
This feature would not have been possible without Itchy Fingers - the team that brought us all together and kindly allowed us to use their studio for the filming. I must add that Sarah and Alison from Itchy Fingers were so supportive from the start - they are striving to keep the spirit of craftsmanship alive, and I'm amazed at how protective they are of their own collaborators and their original works. I will always be grateful for them taking me in.
And of course, I have to thank the production team from CNA, including Victoria Ong (our producer) and the camera and sound crew! It was so fun to be all miked up. I also had a bit of fun listening in with their headphones and inspecting their cameras - its quite fascinating to witness all that happens behind-the-scenes.
A BRIEF BACKSTORY
This part is for any aspiring full-time crafter or small business owner - you'll probably relate best to the struggles of getting people to notice, trust, and care for your brand. It seems natural to only put your best on social media - I post pretty photos of my flowers, add an inspirational quote or two, and I try to be really optimistic about where my brand is heading... Yet you don't really get to see the hours of hard work that extends beyond flower-making, including planning, writing emails, liaising with vendors, and the rejection, judgement, disregard, failed projects, cancelled workshops, and criticism that comes along with that. November was especially hard, and the things that happened that month made me seriously question my own craft and whether I was good enough - at one point I wanted to give it all up. I've always wanted my products to speak for themselves, I didn't want any publicity stunts or gimmicks, or to 'cheat' by buying followers... it feels very unfair and deceitful.
Which was why when Itchy Fingers took me in, it was truly a blessing in a midst of a pool of rejection and self-doubt. They didn't see me as a profit-making opportunity, but a crafter who simply wants to teach her craft. When they notified me of being approached by Channel News Asia, and that I was a shortlisted candidate for a festive craft segment, it was the best thing I heard all month! One thing led to another, and here it is! Miss Petal & Bloom's first televised appearance!
I suppose what I'm trying to say is, if all those doors hadn't closed - if some stuff didn't get cancelled or if some plans didn't fall through - I would not have ended up with the opportunity. I had to go through those rejections and failures to reach this point. No doubt, there's still a long way to go for MP&B, but this opportunity was a a big morale booster, and now at least I'll have a pinch more confidence when promoting my brand.
So if you're a struggling full-time crafter trying to get your brand out there, my advice is to be patient and not let failures get the best of you. I know its hard, but if you surround yourself with the right people - people who truly believe in your craft and aren't there to exploit you and make profits out of you, and who really want to support and protect your work, then the journey will be easier.
I hope this post has been helpful! Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to know more about my journey, or if you'd like to share your own stories! And I hope you had a merry christmas!!