Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Up close with: Crafter, Aiko Chan

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
aiko_chan_pictureTell me about yourself (before and after your business) 
Before starting this business, I was doing craft on the side, however, I wasn’t full time into it . To be very frank, I loved art from a long time ago and I started crafting about 4 years back, but never really had the chance to do it because of commitments on the side, but that changed about a month back when me and my brother were on our way to Kuantan, Malaysia and we met with a serious car accident. I took that as a wake up call and how everyone should treasure what they love most and what they aspire to be and got to work with setting up the shop. Sure it was alot of hard work and sleepless nights, but after the website was up and running, it was worth it. 

aiko_chan_pictureWhat is the nature of your business?
I sell handmade jewelry and handmade plush toys

What is your personal brand?
Hapy Friends Shoppe
Collection brands : Aiko4Bubs 

When did it start and why? 
My blogshop is barely a month old. I started it to not only sell my creations, but to share them with everyone else. I also really do want to empower women, especially mothers who think they are at a dead end when it all boils down to having a family. This is a great part time business and also a great way to earn while you are at home and I want to show stay at home moms that they too have the same equal power to make something of themselves. 

What makes it stand out? / How are you promoting your personal brand? 
I think my shop is different from most shops as it has 2 different themes to it. One happy and the other one Gothic and eery. I also tell a story to each and every trinket that I make to make it an experience and not just another piece of jewelry you put on yourself. I promote my brand using me as the spokesperson, the actress in the movies I create and also the story teller. Every story that is told in this collection is an original. The world wide web is a magical thing when it comes to marketing and if you had the right tools, you could do wonders. 

aiko_chan_pictureHow did you come up with the name and why? What does it mean? 
I was sitting down sewing a plush toy one day for my daughter, and then it struck me that I wanted to open the shop. So Hapy Friends Shoppe is sort of like a gateway to everything that is yummy and the brighter side of life. The shop name is actually a dedication to my 2 year old daughter who never fails to smile even on a rainy day. 

Let's talk about your collection and your strength!
My strength is probably putting the pieces together so it looks like I have strung an entire story together. Each bead and charm holds a meaning in my collections and I would like to think that it is a trait that is solely my own. My style is a mixture of everything or anything that pops up as an idea to me.  However, if you look at my shop, I have 2 sections to it. 

First one being the Aiko4Bubs Collection and the second being the Hapy Friends Plush Collections. Aiko4Bubs Collection is themed on the darker side of things. So for everything that comes under this collection has a little bit of goth in it. I  combined alot of goth, vintage and victorian themes in my last collection which was the Aiko4Bubs Tough Love Collection and its addictive! Hapy Friends however hold a lighter feel to everything. I am in the midst of creating the first collection for Hapy Friends and expect alot of candy cupcakes and pastels!

Basically, like every collection that come under the Aiko4Bubs vintage line has a story to it and I can’t say much about it yet, it’s meant to be a surprise :). But I can give you a sneak peek here.
Finally, I’m also running a charity project for neglected and abused animals in Malaysia. This project is something that I’m not getting profit out of. Everything goes back to charity. We have yet to find the shelter that will be getting the contributions. This is the link to my charity page

Any specialization? 
I do personalized customization for clients who are looking for something but cannot find it in my collection. 

"I also do free tutorials on YouTube to share the love of crafting."

What inspires you? 
Everything around me. It can be love, it can be trees, or even the weather. I translate all that into jewelry and I think that’s where my stories are created. 
aiko_chan_pictureWhat are your interest and hobbies?
Crafting, crafting , crafting! ...and  I definitely love watching anime and reading manga when i have some free time. They really inspire me on how in depth a story can be told through animation and sketching. 

Where do you or your biz, wants to be 1, 5, 10 ,etc years from today?
I would want to be an established spokesperson for my brand and at the same time inspire others to do the same. I also want to empower women to take the next step in opening an online business where it can flourish. As for my business, I really do hope that Aiko4Bubs ( My vintage collections) will have a name for itself. And as for my Hapy Friends Shoppe, I really do hope that my little fury friends will become a household name like those from Sanrio and so forth. 

What successful people do you admire or inspires you? 
My Father. He is a man with  drive, determination and dreams. He always taught me and my little brother that if you want something, go out, get it and never look back.

aiko_chan_pictureWhat is the driving force behind the blogshop? 
Dreams and the zest for life in believing and doing the one thing that you love most.

What are your significant memories so far from this business? 
My growth in craft and definitely the stories I am able to tell through my work. Now that I have created a YouTube Channel to share my love for craft with everyone around the world. I would think that would be the most significant moment for me in this business. It’s never about the money for me, it’s more of the satisfaction for the love of this kind of art. 

Any inspiring quotes to share with others or advice?
"Telling Stories Through Craft"
I believe that in craft or art, there is no right or wrong. Many people forget the beauty in art is always when there is a story behind it rather than having the right technique or a conventional method where there are rules people must follow to make their kind of art a success.  I believe that true art is always perfect with imperfections just as long as it’s from the heart. 
Biz Card
Facebook Page:
Twitter Link:!/AikoMiyoko
Channel for Tutorials:

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