January 02, 2018
Shared by: Grace Guo, SingaporeFounder at Gracious Aires
About 15 years ago, I started Gracious Aires as a little push cart in Singapore. Since then we have expanded to 3 different countries and leather products have become a hobby (some say obsession) of mine.
While we had a very interesting journey over the past years, I will not be talking about it in this article (next time perhaps). Instead, I would like to talk about what got me started Gracious Aires in the first place.
Before I started creating leather bags, I used to work as an interior designer helping people design their homes.
Designing and creating were my passion (even now as well) but I found myself hating my job very much and I dreaded going to work every morning.
“Why must I re-draft good work just because there needs to be a minimum of 3 drafts?”
“Why must I forgo precious time with my kids just to be with my unreasonable and demeaning boss?”
“Why must I trap myself in a day job when a colourful life is what I am truly after?”
These were just some of the countless of questions I had and I was suffocating from them.
Needless to say, my work performance dipped really badly and I was fired from the company shortly after.
Having just started a family with 2 kids, losing this income was a pretty big deal for me.
But instead of feeling depressed, I was actually secretly very excited.
I realised this was the best time for me to stop doing what others expected of me and pursue what I truly wanted for myself instead.
During then, I knew nothing about leather or bag crafting. All I knew was I wanted to do something I felt passionate about and something that could bring value to the world.
I knew many problems and obstacles would come, but I believe as long as I take it one step at a time, I would be okay.
With that, I took the leap of faith and started Gracious Aires all by myself.
Today, I’m proud and happy not just because of Gracious Aires’s success but more importantly, that I took the leap of faith to pursue what I truly wanted for myself.
I believe even if Gracious Aires had gone bust as a business, I would still have been proud of my decision and effort in pursuing it.
Unfortunately, not enough women today are embracing their passion and answering to their calling like I did.
It may be because of circumstances, but I believe mostly it is due a lack of self-belief and support from society.
For me, I was lucky to have received support from my family even though it seemed like a crazy decision when I wanted to start Gracious Aires from scratch with absolutely zero know-how.
But I know many women out there probably have to face their battles alone.
I hope by sharing my story, more woman will know that they are not alone!
Believe in yourself and pursue what you want in life. It will be one of the best decision (or it will lead you to it) that you can ever make for yourself.
Life is short and it doesn’t come by again! Seize it now or never!
The Remarkable Women Series is an initiative by Gracious Aires to celebrate the unique stories of women around the world. We believe every woman is unique and that is what makes her special. Share your story here.
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January 05, 2018
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