gems

Gem and Gemstone Jewellery Biz Launch - Loupin Jewels

The day is finally here! After months of preparation (and some delays), the website of Loupin Jewels is now live! There are still a couple of tweaks and updates needed there, but the site is up and running!

It's not been easy juggling the book - The Introvert Teacher - and the gemstone business, but it all now comes to fruition. And not a moment too soon. It's still 2016! I'm in time!

The aim of Loupin Jewels is to bring awareness and attention to the vibrant world of gems and gemstone jewellery.

There will be gemstones, gem-related products, gem hunting services and beautiful jewellery available through us.

There will also be classes and blog posts on how to buy gems, how to assess them and how to avoid getting ripped off.

How to avoid getting ripped off has been asked of me by so many people so many times that I have written a book about it. There is some information on the website - here - and I envision that the book will be ready soon, but it's still in the works. Right now, I'm looking for an illustrator to enhance the readability of the text that I've written.

Please have a look at the website: www.loupinjewels.com and let me know if there are any bugs on the site. I might have missed something. Give me your comments too!

Hoping to hear from you!

Racial Harmony

On Thursday, I assisted a fellow trainer friend at his talk on racial harmony in a local JC. The session consisted of a film made by a local director/producer and a discussion afterwards.

One of the statistics that my friend stated got me thinking. Only 20% of Chinese in Singapore have a close friend who is from another racial background. Granted that we make up the largest proportion of the local population, that number is still pretty low.

Racial harmony is, doubtlessly, an important thing to have and we have done a fairly good job of it so far. Racial riots no longer occur, though the same cannot be said of racial tensions.

My pondering over this was also spurred on by the gem and jewellery fair that occurred over the weekend. A number of the vendors are familiar faces, though there are also quite a few new ones. 

As I spoke to the different vendors, the cultural differences between us quickly became apparent. Simply the way they related to the locals here was obviously different from the way they related to their own countrypeople. I even had a chance to observe some interactions between vendors from different countries. It was, in a word, interesting.

Perhaps, deep down, we are all still very much more comfortable with people who are similar to us and race is a point of commonality for many. After all, who could argue that race and culture are related and that it is easier to make cultural references with someone who has the same understanding as we do?

That said, I enjoy meeting people from different countries, and hope to have many more opportunities to do so in the coming years.

July Week Of Many Events

In the coming week, I will be meeting with a business developer friend for one of the training companies I work with.

I will be discussing the possibility of introducing new programmes involving some other trainers I met and myself. Thus far, I have not seen any programmes in the Singapore education industry that are similar in scope. Well, pioneering a niche is always a good experience. Whether it succeeds or not, we will learn something from it.

I am also working on helping a couple get their wedding bands made. Their wedding date is coming up and it's all quite a rush, but I have a very reliable designer and smith who is able to do it. Now, it's all up to the couple, whether they are willing to go ahead with the project. Their alternative is to simply buy ready-made bands from one of the many jewellery shops / chains in Singapore.

My other suggestion was for them to visit the upcoming Gem & Jewellery Fair at Marina Bay Convention Centre and look for a suitable pair of rings there. It's a little hard to believe that the event is almost here, meaning that a year has passed so quickly.

There'll also be a network / training session on Wednesday evening this week. It'll be good to catch up with some familiar faces. I must say that I'm glad to have expanded my network of like-minded people in the past couple of years. Before, I wondered if I was the only person doing what I do. Now, I know that there are actually many others who are similar to me in my work life and style.

I'll also be attending a housewarming party by a couple who recently got married. I haven't seen them in a while, so that'll be a good chance to see how they are. 

All in all, it's going to be event after event this week. Let's get productive!

 

 

Entrepreneurs from Other Countries

Over the weekend, I met up with a couple of gem dealers from Sri Lanka. These were different dealers than the ones I met with earlier in April.

While they were mainly here on holiday, they also brought stones because they have clients in Singapore. We got to talking and they told me of the differences in culture between our countries, as well as how differently our countries are run. We discussed the high cost of living here as a trade-off for the safety and security.

They told me that they started their business in gem dealing when they were about 20 years old, which, to me, is particularly remarkable.

If I think back, what was I doing at 20 years old? What are Singaporeans doing in general at 20 years old? In the army (for the guys), in university, or just starting in their first jobs. Yet, here are 2 entrepreneurs who started their business at that age. A number of years down the road, they aren't making millions yet, but they are making a good enough living to be able to travel frequently and live comfortably.

They aren't the first entrepreneurs I've met from other countries and they certainly won't be the last. 

Perhaps their need to 'do or starve' is a driving force behind their hard work. Perhaps they are simply willing to try new things, whether they fail or not. Perhaps they aren't cloistered in their thinking that the only way to survive is to get a 'proper' job and work for the rest of their lives.

Isn't it strange that we have such an incredible economy but such a weak entrepreneurial scene? Perhaps we have it far too easy.