If you happen to read this, you must have come across my long caption on Instagram about meeting and personally hand over Soiree Premium to Vivy Yusof. The meeting was unexpected, in a sense that it was only few days before her arrival to Manila that I knew she will be coming here. Thanks to social media updates, else I’ll be missing the golden opportunity of meeting the one entrepreneur I adore the most.
I was already in bed, scrolling my Instagram feed and trying to sleep. As I was liking the explore post section, there’s one post featuring Airasia’s event. It’s the Airasia Runway Ready Designer Search co-organized by Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week. I scrolled through the event page and saw the updates, and I said to myself, “Oh Vivy was there too.” Of course, as it’s fashion related. And then I went to sleep.
Days passed by and I barely remember about the competition already. One day, I found myself another Instagram post of same content- Airasia Runway Ready Designer Search. But this time around, it’s from a person I follow, Dan A. It says, ‘PHILIPPINES, ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?’. Yes with all caps.
I saw few of his posts about the designer search, but only after the event I knew that he is actually working for KL Fashion Week. And then I thought to myself. ‘Hey, so they are coming to Manila this weekend. Last week they went to Jakarta for this, and Vivy was there too.’ If my assumption is right, Vivy is coming to Manila this weekend.
With that assumption and very high hope that I could meet her in person, I decided to give her Soiree Premium. Oh yes Amirul, you can do this. Flowers can easily be found in Dangwa, and you don’t need much things for your Soiree Premium. White wrappers, black ribbon, and it’s Wednesday means you still have 2 days to sort things out, you’ll do just fine. Well, that was what I thought.
It’s Friday, and I still don’t have white wrappers and black ribbon with me. I’m screwed. ‘Okay you need to stay calm. You still have one night to get everything you need.’ Me trying to calm myself. So at 5.15PM, I clocked out from my office and took Uber to Dangwa. Of course someone warned me of the Friday traffic already. It took me nearly 2 hours to reach Manila Flower Center.
I went to several shops searching for lush, big bunch of hydrangeas, but to no avail. At this point, I freaked out already. There ain’t no Soiree Premium without hydrangeas. I had hope still. So, I went to the other corner looking for the same thing, and good lord, I found my big hydrangeas. But they are not in pastel shades I wanted them to be. But beggars can’t be choosers, I grabbed two of them. And now I need eustomas. What I learned from my last visit to Dangwa was, the imported flowers are so expensive here. But as much as I wanted to get local variant for eustomas, they were not available at that time. And guess what, they sell it by stalk here. 1 stalk for 200 pesos. That is RM17-18 per stalk already. I justified myself that it’s okay to be crazy this time and I bought 6 stalks of the godamn eustomas. I grabbed few other flowers to match my main flowers. By few means, just enough to cover a portion of my bathroom.
After I’ve done flower shopping, I went to the supermarket to buy the wrapper, ribbon and few other things. I didn’t know it would be so hard to get a white wrapper here in Manila until I couldn’t find it in few major supermarkets. I remembered that there is one textile shop in Market! Market! that sells different kind of fabric. So I went there and searched for the most similar fabric to my white wrapper that I used to use in KL. I am blessed to find one that has almost similar texture. Yes, it’s fabric and they sell it by yards, I bought few yards and asked them to cut them into several squared pieces. I made few checks to see if I will get the same structure/construction if the pieces are folded together. Yes, I am finally satisfied with my white wrapper! And hey Airasia, I might be the Runway Ready Designer that you’ve been searching all this while. Anyway, I saw Vivy’s update on IG that she left Iman flying on her own to Manila. In my head, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. Don’t tell me that Vivy is not coming to Manila.’ That feeling.
I just ignored the worst thing that could possibly happen. I went back with my flowers and conditioned them before they are ready to be arranged in a bouquet. Took quick shower and dinner before I start arranging them. Of course my cutter needed to malfunction the moment I need to cut all the stems when all stalks are tied in one bunch. Nothing gonna stop me at this point. If a butcher knife is what it takes to end this suffer, I’m down for it. Yes, I chopped the stems with the butcher knife. I have this one set of knives of all sizes in my unit. That’s where I got my butcher knife from. Finally I can smile and rest.
I went to the venue the next day, with the huge bouquet and a simple note. The event was held at Best Westin Hotel in Makati. I saw registration booth at the waiting area. There is another room at the end of the waiting area. I know I need to quickly go inside the room, without anyone noticing me. Okay, sounds like a mission.
Slowly, I went inside and saw Fadza, working with his laptop at one corner of the room. There’s another girl, all dressed up like Vivy, but not Vivy.
‘Okay, she must be Iman.’ I thought to myself.
I passed them and I saw few other guys that I don’t know of. And I saw Vivy at the other corner, evaluating the pitch at some sort like a mini booth.
“Ni apa ni bunga bunga semua ni?” I heard someone said that behind me. “You all kena jaga pintu tu. Jangan biar je orang masuk.” The guy continued expressing his somewhat little disappointment over the management.
Crap. Someone caught me. What was I thinking. Of course everyone in the room will see me with this huge bouquet. I cannot be in stealth mode with this in my hand, it’s impossible. Crap crap crap. Okay I need to stay calm. I NEED TO STAY CALM.
Then Iman walked towards me and asked. “Hi. Is there anything I can help you with?”
Still trying to stay calm, “Oh I’m here to give this flower to Vivy. I am Malaysian”. Oh well, what a great intro Amirul. Seriously, business school thought you that? Face palm.
“Oh I see! Okay but you cannot be here. Vivy is still judging the pitch. You can wait outside at the waiting area. I’ll tell her that you want to give flower to her. Okay?” Clearly Iman has good PR skill here.
Feeling a bit relieved that I am not chased away, I walked out to the waiting area and waited for a while. Not so long until one lady walked out from the room, to the waiting area and greeted me.
“Hi! I heard you want to give me flowers and you’re Malaysian.”
Okay can I pengsan already? But inside my head, I constantly telling myself to remain calm. Except talking too fast because of the excitement, I think I did well.
We had a very quick chat about eating out in Manila, places to visit, and I managed to introduce my baby, Soiree & Flora to Vivy and Iman. Of course, I need a photo or it didn’t happen. So here it is.
Vivy Yusof holding a Soiree Premium, and the excited me.
She needed to go back in to continue the judging. So I bid them good bye and to have fun for the rest of their stay in Manila.
I went home, with the widest smile on my face.
Just so you know, it is one of my personal goals for 2016 that I could give Vivy Yusof my flower and let her know that Soiree & Flora exists. While it might be the littlest thing for anyone out there. To make sure that Vivy knows my work is very important to me. She needs to know that her works, charisma and success have inspired so many people out there, (especially the young entrepreneurs) including me. And most importantly, she needs to know it through my flowers. I’m glad that I took the chance. *pat on my shoulder. Good job Amirul.
And then this happened on the following Monday morning.
I teared a bit looking at this. But wait until I see her blog update on Proudduck about me and Soiree & Flora.
You can read her blog post via this link: www.proudduck.com/2016/04/a-weekend-in-manila/
This is easily the highlight of the year, enough said. 2016 has been so amazing so far. I am so looking forward to what more could happen this year. I do all these with passion and for my family. I really hope I’m on the right track. God please give me guidance.
Read more about Vivy Yusof here (http://www.proudduck.com). A co-founder of Fashion Valet and Duckscarves, Vivy Yusof is a prominent figure in online retailing and fashion industry in Malaysia. She has just launched her reality TV show called Love, Vivy aired every Monday at 9.30PM on Astro Ria.