2020 has been a really strange year.
With the ongoing pandemic, countries went into lockdown and the world suddenly came into a temporary standstill. It was as if the pause button was activated.
The beautiful and powerful thing about humans is our ability to adapt. Technology came into play and people find creative ways to adapt and adjust to the new normal.
Heart In Hand Atelier was no exception.
In January, we were finally registered as a company, eager to start 2020 on a positive note and excited about the opportunities that lay ahead. Our collaborations with art stores and schools like Umistrong at Suntec and Artlette in Thomson went well and little did we expect Circuit Breaker to be looming round the corner as April approached.
To continue delivering convenience and value to our dear customers during Circuit Breaker, we brought sales of our Starter Kits and other art tools online and switched to online teachings. Part of the proceeds earned during this period was donated to Food From The Heart and Heart In Hand Atelier was pleased to have raised more than S$1,000 for the adopted charity.
As we enter Phase 1, Heart In Hand Atelier continued to collaborate with fellow pastel art instructors to raise funds for Autism Resource Centre and met so many newfound pastel art enthusiasts who would later start their FCA journey with us.
A very meaningful team bonding programme was also launched for our corporate client, a non-profit organisation. Heart In Hand Atelier created a Peranakan Tile style pastel artwork which could be joined together to form a beautiful tiled wall gallery - symbolising all of us standing in unity despite the current situation. Do watch out for more series of our Peranakan Tile Art in 2021!
At the same time, as a Flower of Crystal Art (FCA) specialist, we decided to make use of the Circuit Breaker period to fulfill the stringent criteria of becoming a Partner School. In May, we are officially accorded the honour of being the First FCA Partner School in Singapore!
At the invite of FCA founder, Ms Rumi Ishimaru, Caihui decided to participate in the FCA Stage Up Course, a personal development course for FCA Partner Schools. Throughout the 2 months course from August to October, Caihui refreshed her FCA skills with the latest teachings from Ms Ishimaru and received personalised business guidance from the business manager of FCA, Ms Tae Kawagoe. This eventually led to the creation of Caihui offering English lessons to Japanese instructors who are keen to teach FCA in English but lacked the confidence to do so. With her background in Japanese Studies and proficiency in the language, Caihui hoped these English lessons would allow her to play the role of a cultural bridge between Japan and Singapore.
She is also a featured instructor under Kawagoe sensei's Art Produce Program, a mentorship program which provides in-depth guidance for creatives. Other featured instructors include Ms Rumi Ishimaru, founder of Flower of Crystal Art, Ms Kimie Asou, founder of Muse Pastel and Ms Seiko Kunieda, founder of Pastel Sora no Sanpo.
Despite the challenges in 2020, Ms Ishimaru managed to organise an FCA Exhibition held in the beautiful Bansuisou, a heritage location in the heart of Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture, from November 24 - 29. Caihui was honoured to be invited to exhibit 4 of her works as the only non-Japanese FCA instructor.
With the support from our valued customers, Heart In Hand Atelier Official Website was formally launched in August with a webstore and online booking page for our customers' creative needs and convenience. At the same time, we launched our very first merchandise - washi tape based on our original artwork, Unicorn Divine. Just so you know - some new stocks have been replenished in our webstore in case you are looking for new art supplies to purchase!
As the year wind down to the last page of its story, I would like to thank every single one of you for your support. Every word of encouragement; every like and comment; every purchase and support of my workshops and FCA courses meant the world to me and made me who I am today. Heart In Hand Atelier wouldn't be here today without you.
From the bottom of my heart, I will like to convey my heartfelt gratitude and wish you all the best for the coming year.
May 2021 fill you with renewed hopes and optimism to ride through whatever adventures that await!
Directions for 2021
With the happenings in 2020, I have learnt a painful lesson of the importance of prioritising work-life balance.
☆In 2021, I will be more mindful of creating space for both my mental and physical wellbeing. With a well rested mind and body, I hope I can offer better works and services to you.
While 2020 was a time of adaptation through the creation of systems and moving all learnings and teachings online, 2021 shall be a time of deep creative focus.