Being raised in a Buddhist temple in Malaysia, by both my Grandmother and Aunty was a very different way to come up in the world. Equal parts tough and loving, these two ladies empowered me with a rare resilience, spiritual wisdom and a lust for life. In a household where money was short and food was even scarcer everybody had a part to play. You could say necessity bred business acumen. I was selling soda from a street stall at age seven. In my teens I paid for my secondary education by tutoring younger pupils.
“In life,” Aunty said, “don’t lie, don’t cheat and earn an honest living.” I was taught if you fall you must get up. It was tough love but there was so much love.
I am passionate about art and painting it informs every DQ&co design. I am self-taught but I have always been creative. From an early age when there was no money for toys, we had to use our minds to conjure things. If you wanted an ice cream, you channeled an ice cream and you could taste it in your mouth. I love the fact that I can still close my eyes to see, feel and create things.
Life at the Buddhist temple gave me an understanding of impermanence. The universe is bigger than me and I am only here for a little while and while I’m here I’m going to do the best I can. I’m going to do good.
I learnt early that happiness is not something out there to strive for, it is within. Happiness is in the little things like my first coffee of the day. Now that is happiness!
I’m not the perfect person I’m a human being. My intention though is to be good and I believe DQ&Co’s intention is to be good too.