I have been debating for so long what to write for the first blog post. Gemstones? precious metals? jewelry designs and designers? all genuinely interesting topics to me but not what I want to cover in the first post. Then what's interesting also relevant?
Maybe I should take a break and stop fretting about writing blogs for the sake of writing it. If I have to stop guessing what my imaginary audience wants to read, I will write a journal to keep MOVIDA's footprints as a startup and record the bitters and the sweets along the journey. At least, it could be a good time-killing read after several years, regardless MOVIDA's success or failure.
THE SUGAR-COATED VERSION ( true story)
A random call with my cousin in May 2016 was where the idea was born. She's a talented independent jewelry designer residing in Beijing. After years of professional education and restless job changes in the jewelry industry, she finally decided to open her own web-based jewelry boutique. Sales come and go, grow and also fall. I remember always hearing rumours from my parents that she's quitting her venture and similar discouraging hearsay. However, unsurprisingly, she's still persisting and creating the works she genuinely loves.
"Show me a few pieces you make!" I was curious on the phone, for the first time, about what her works look like. She sent me a few photos right after and that was when the magical moment took place. She used gemstones like rubies and corals, which I have seen before, and turned them into shapes and forms I have never seen. One of them is an hourglass made of aquamarines and another is a walking buddha made of coral. The next thought was "why is it so hard for you to sell them? They are beautiful!" In short, I was mind-blown by the end of our conversation and started pondering what's there to be done for such beautiful handcrafts to be seen and such talents to be heard.
Hoarding more than 30 pairs of distinct earrings and I-don't-even-want-to-count-how-many rings and necklaces, I knew the passion for accessories and jewelry is in me, somewhere I can't get to so it stayed there all this time. The idea of making sharing beautiful things easier and the name MOVIDA almost came together. Interestingly, I knew exactly what I wanted to do at that moment. I didn't go through the frustrating stage for some people of coming up with an idea. I think the idea came to me, and I love it! MODA and VIDA are the Spanish words for style and life, together they make MOVIDA which means movement. "How much more sense could a brand name make", this was literally my thought when the name appeared in my head. I have to say I am so lucky to be found by the idea and the name.
One month later was my graduation from the University of Toronto, where I followed what's there to be followed and drank the most amount of alcohol in my life. I sent out a few resumes but none of them got back with smiley faces. Without sincerity, I don't think anyone can launch a job of any sort. I was probably the most insincere job-seeker they could find from U of T because I knew what I was about to put myself into, another U of T. So cheekily, I had a conversation with my mom, aka the half-mother of MOVIDA. She stood by me when I introduced her my idea and also when my dad showered me with pessimism and conventional Asian career expectations.
So I embarked my journey of so-called entrepreneurship but I see this more as an unavoidable step in my life, just like going through puberty. I knew this is not going to be a quickie and I don't want it to be either. Who likes quickies right? Seeing MOVIDA grow into a nourishing network and community that connects, advocates and maybe awards independent talents in my 50s is why I call myself an entrepreneur today.
I love travelling to places to collect the beautiful pieces that make me smile and want to wear them every day. I love meeting the designers and makers of the beautiful pieces and hearing their stories. I love sharing their stories because otherwise, I would be wasting time on Instagram browsing trash videos, and I dislike that. The more I learn about designers' stories and the background of the pieces that were just superficially pretty to me, the more I love what I do and what I can do.
The second version of the story will be posted in the next post. If you think this is kinda interesting, better than wasting time on Instagram, just subscribe. You can always unsubscribe anyways.
THE OTHER VERSION (true story too)
Yes, there are two versions of the same story. In fact, the story is not quite the same. They both turned me into the proud mama of MOVIDA but this one is slightly more on the realistic side.