JCCAC Handicraft Fair, 13-14 Sep 2014
(Top left and bottom: images taken from JCCAC Facebook Page)
2014 marks the 4th year of Misala, but it was the first time we were showing our craft to our friends and family back home, in Hong Kong. Despite the being called a "cultural desert," some groups of people worked hard in the last few years to increase public awareness and acceptance of arts and culture in the city. The Jockey Club, as a charity, was one of the pioneers in the field and organized the first arts and crafts fair, the JCCAC handicraft fair in town.
The fair is located at JCCAC, a historic factory estate turned art centre building. The building is home to local artists' studios, from disciplines ranging from painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, glass art, multi-media design, folk art, film and video art, music, dance, multi-media performance, to community art and art education, with additional space reserved for exhibitions. It is the perfect destination for a leisurely walk on a normal day, but will be converted to a bustling business center on the craft fair weekends, which is only held quarterly.
Knowing full well the popularity of the event, we put our preparation into full-force more than 2 weeks ahead of time. Despite the fact that our products are very time-consuming to make, we worked until the final moment before hopping on a plane, and managed to produce nearly twice the amount of stock we had for our previous fairs.
Photos taken before the fair, which turned out to be the only moment we could take a breath.
The fair began at 1pm, and within 30minutes, the entire building is swarmed by visitors. Our booth was located indoors, which is supposed to be air conditioned. However, the area was constantly full of people and the lack of circulation had pushed everybody to the verge of suffocation at all times.
Left: Our orderly "Misala Zoo" quickly becomes an "Animal Platter"
Right: Bombarded by visitors, our booth was full of people at all time.
What really kept us off guard was that many visitors of the fair recognized us from our TV show, which was aired just a week before the event. Knowing our story and determination, many fans bought from us to show appreciation and support, and many of our bestsellers were sold out within the first two hours, and that our other fans who arrived late had a much limited selection to choose from.
Thank you, and see you next time!
Okay, that shows how inexperienced we are at craft shows. But in any case, we met a lot nice people. They brought us a lot kind words and wisdom, and this is much more important than business and money changing hands. We will try harder next time, delivering smile and inspiration to everyone around us!
Back in May, we were contacted by TV producers from TVB, the biggest television network in Hong Kong. They were looking for stories of people from Hong Kong who live aboard in Taiwan and Mainland China. Among many others who migrated for marriage, retirement or simply looking for a slower city to live, our story stood apart.
A few days later, a team of three, including a writer and two producers, visited us to learn more about our life and our neighborhood. They were impressed by our courage and determination in quitting our day jobs to devote fully into living in our handmade dream, as well as how well we assimilate into the local community as newcomers to the city.
The three spent a few days discussing the filming direction. The rest of the crew, including a star presenter Yi Hing Ong (王貽興), arrived the week after. We were given a major segment in one episode of the 20-minutes, 10-episode series and were filmed the first, among many other interviewees in the documentary.
We were totally overwhelmed by the large filming crew who came directly from the airport to our workshop! A lot of content is required for our 15-minutes segment and they acted swiftly and professionally going through the producer's plan. To make sure the show is entertaining to watch, our interview is broken into several clips with different parts of the workshop as backdrop. We will be showing even our bedroom and kitchen, so viewers will catch a realistic glimpse of our life.
We then moved outside to film the streets of our neighborhood. As we are located away from touristic paths, we showed facets of very local ways of living to our audience. There is a fruit stall that open only on certain days of a week; a small, family owned noodle snack bar; as well as an outdoor stadium that everyone goes for jogs at any time of the day. Regardless of where we went, we were in the spotlight and were filmed by several cameras. For the first time in our life, we were superstars, with a world waiting to hear about us and our stories.
There's no way we could tell how it went until the airing date, but we hope people will see it in positive light: Apart from taking a regular 9-5 job and commuting to work five days a week, what are the other possibilities? Can we be an inspiration to someone who had a dream but was scared of living in it?
The series 香港人漂流記 (As I Drift) will premiere on Sep 1, 2014 at 10:30pm.
Welcome to our new website! If you have visited us in the past, you will notice that our website had undergone a complete facelift. It was literally a one-page website showing our story and a showcase of our products, and we were redirecting everyone to Etsy to make the purchase, where PayPal is the only payment method accepted.
That has been changed with our new website! Partnering up with 2Checkout.com, a leading secure online payment processor, you can now place your order directly from our website and pay with any credit card. The site also much easier to navigate, as we are now offering many ways to browse the collections.
Finally, our blog is not "coming soon" anymore! And in case you are wondering, this is Sanford, Michelle's husband writing. Apart from here, I write on-and-off about our life and journey on Medium.