Passion calls for self, Calling lives for others

Passion calls for a certain boldness, freedom and a burst of firepower that propels us to achieve that which we are (supposed to) born to do. Calling, on the other hand is a thoughtful, measured and often toned down response of how we make sense of our passion – in relation to our world. So which one is “more” necessary? 

When I was younger, especially when I just started Supermama, I think that passion is the only currency that rules the world. I thought the world favors the young, the brave and the passionate – and how I can bulldoze the world with my fire. When I grow older, my bulldoze nonsense was trimmed down considerably, bearing in mind that everyone is going through their own shit. We just gotta learn to give grace and space to others. It is something that I am still learning.  

So which is more necessary?

Passion is brave, calling is wise. I think we need both. 

And for both to live in harmony and tolerance of each other. 

The First Miracle

As we come to the 6th year of running Supermama, I thought it is good to find time to pen down some of my thoughts and the entire history of setting up this very unique Singapore store. Hopefully with this blog post, we can remind ourselves of the unexpected events that occurred, all the shit that was thrown to us and all the good people who’ve made this a wonderful journey. And yes, it is still very much a journey – without any destination though. I am happy with just pit stops along the way. No need for grand “change the world” type of destination.

There are many reasons why we set up Supermama but clearly the main one is to find a way to earn $$ yet at the same time, having flexible hours with the business for the family. Oh my, how naive is that thought… but we did it anyhow. So in 2011, we both quit our full time jobs, sold our home and went on this whirlwind journey of being an independent shop owners. On 19th March 2011, after sinking in $150k from the sales proceeds we got from selling our home, we officially opened Supermama.

It is miracles after miracles at every stage of the way. From the beginning of how we decided on the location to where we are at today. So I’m gonna highlight a few milestone and miracles here –

The first miracle 

Being a fan of the brand “Freitag”, I always frequent “Actually”. The “Actually” shop at Seah St was super super well designed, well done, full of character. It’s no longer there now – boohoo while it lasted. So, when we were looking for a space to set up this dream design shop, I kinda mouthed out to Meiling “wouldn’t it be nice if we can have a shop like Actually?” So, after saying a short prayer, we did a search at property guru and bingo – found a listing for a Seah St unit.

We said another prayer. We said lotsa prayers setting up Supermama- you gotta need a lot of comforting words, signs and wonders from the powers above to embark on such a tortuous journey ok…. Prior to viewing the unit, we prayed for a unit besides Actually and a max rent of $2.4k/mth. It is almost impossible. Why? Cos there is only ONE unit besides the “Actually” shop, occupied by a Hainanese clan association.

But you know, as the legend goes, the Kheng Zai Cheng Hainanese Clan Association was renting out the front portion of their clan house at an asking rent of $2.4k/mth!!! (Omg!!!) So, with the 3 months old Toby in Meiling’s arms – we looked at each other, stunned beyond words. And therein lies our very first Supermama miracle.