| Sandy Tam
February 14th 2015 was the day we officially launched our Pulp Function website - three glorious years of growing Pulp Function from a peanut-hobby'ish idea to a fully functioning company that sells handmade decor pieces. And what is our biggest lesson learned over these three years? Be open to change!
When we launched, Pulp Function was intended to be an online stationery store that sold all of my favourite paper based goods including collections from stationery designers that we truly admire.
Despite being a photographer and thereby being termed as "creative", the intent was never to create and sell my own designs and products. I do not draw, I do not paint and I do not make things with my hands. In fact, if you gave me a DIY project, my mind would probably wander to come up with ways to complete the project in the most efficient way possible. This is a frequent annoyance for my husband. He hates my shortcuts because much like cooking, some things require tender, loving care. But much like cooking, I view it as a chore I'd rather avoid.
Oddly enough, fast forward three years and now I draw, I paint, I work with my hands A LOT and I cook (quite delicious meals, might I add). Pulp Function now sells products that I design and make collectively with my husband.
I attribute this change to my daughter. It is true that when you have a child, it changes you. You become more patient because you must. You become more accepting of mundane tasks because to your child, it is important. Having a child encourages you to slow down and really take in those moments in time where you know may not last forever because they grow up so fast. Becoming a mom has helped me become a better wife, a better entrepreneur, a better person.
When I started diving deeper into the makers world and started meeting more designers who sell their own work, I became attracted to how passionately they described each of their pieces. Even though the items we sold on our website were works of art from artists I admired, I found it difficult to relay their stories to my customers in a passionate way. When I was a photographer, it was easy for me to talk about my own work and my photography style because I never saw myself as a sales person. That was when I realized - I didn't start Pulp Function so that I can become a sales person. I wanted to create and sell my own work.
I didn't know where to begin at first. As I mentioned, I never saw myself as an artist or a maker. Fortunately, I have a wonderful group of friends who are creative and like eating. We had frequent gatherings at our place where we bounced ideas and dreamt about all things big and small. And several meals later, we had a concept for Marquees on paper.
Now, I pick up my pencil and draw because I enjoy it. There is so much creative freedom when you put a pencil to a piece of blank white paper, much different than picking up a camera and hitting the shutter because every detail must be thought out and drawn out.
As weird as this may sound, I love hitting up paint aisles at hardware stores and going through their colour palettes. I especially enjoy my painting sessions with my daughter because despite the mess, she loves them.
As for the hands-on crafty stuff, I have found the process of "making" to be highly meditative. Yes, efficiency is important when it comes to running a business but it doesn't mean that the process cannot be enjoyable as well. Most nights, when my daughter is asleep, my husband and I will sit on our living room floor and string marquees together while chatting about our day, something that we haven't had post-baby days.
Being open to change has made Pulp Function a company that better represents who I am and what I want to become. Being open to change has made me brave more risks because I know that nothing is ever set in stone and therefore, why not try it? Being open to change is what keeps me excited about my company because I know there is more to look forward to. Being open to change is necessary. Period.
To couples in love, Happy Valentine's day. To gals who are single and totally rocking it, Happy Galentine's day. And to families with kids, Happy Familentine's day.