Little deeds of kindness, little words of love

Allya Beauty Portraits by Fen

 

Many of us look for big, monumental occasions to give us meaning, to provide us with happiness. It’s the birthday celebrations, the anniversary parties, the big holiday to-dos that we look forward to where we can finally say: “I’m happy”. In the end, though, those a just events and once the lights go down and the party is over, it’s time to get back to living life doing what we do each and every day. 

The good news is that there are small moments that happen in our every day lives that can bring us happiness and either put a smile on our faces or a little lightness in our heart. Greatness is often wrapped in simplicity. A person who is unwilling to do the little will not have the opportunity to do the big. The person who is not challenged by the little will not be presented the challenge to do the big. A person who has not done well the little is not prepared or qualified to do the big. Do not weigh a task. If it is before you, do it and do it well.

Of course, the little things can be easy to miss. After all, they’re little. And in a fast-paced, chaotic culture, the newest and shiniest toys can distract us from the details that really count. You’ve got to be intentional when you look for the little things. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth the extra effort. wouldn’t it be nice if everyone took a few minutes out of his or her day to do something kind, or make someone else feel good? Who knows what impact that could have on the world? You hold the door for someone, tell someone please or thank you, or help someone when it wasn’t asked for. I love when people tell me that I made their day, or that something I did was greatly appreciated. That’s why I believe that the little things in life are the most important.People work so hard to make grand gestures or to do big things for other people, when along the way they can mess up the little things and wreck a person’s day. Take the time to look at the little things in life and try to put smile on people face. These are the little moments that makes a great different. 

These past few years, I met many teenagers, Allya is unforgettable, she is a true princess at heart. Keep smiling :) 

 

Love,

Fen

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09 Aug 2016

Passion for Fashion

Abineri Designs by Winson

I grew up in a time when passion was still unheard of. (At least, by me, anyways.) Since I was a little boy, I’ve always known that I should do well in school, so that I can get into a good university, so that I could get a good job, so that I can make good money. Never mind what I liked to do or what I was good at, because I should study something that would end up earning me a good living later on. How much money I could make was always the deciding factor and passion was never part of the equation. 

That way of thinking is a thing of the past. I know that now. Ever since I joined AXIOO, I have seen first hand how people have lived out their passion everyday and actually make a living (and a pretty good one at that!) out of it. One trait I have learned from people who work with their passion, is that they don’t easily give up. Like others, they have their share of trials and tribulations. They get knocked down just like everybody else. They sweat and bleed and fall, just like everybody else. But they always come back up. They get back on their feet, faster and stronger, not necessarily like everybody else. Challenges don’t stop them from being creative and from living out life they way they want it. In fact, facing challenge seem to make them better. 

I have also been invited to do the same when I joined AXIOO, and let me tell you, the experience of this kind of living is bigger and better than great dreams I’ve ever had growing up. Doing what I love to do every day makes me happy. And I’m even happier when I see people get the chance to do the same. 

I had the chance to meet a few designers from Abineri Ang Atelier et Createur de Mode, a fashion  school, better known as a “designer workshop”. This school houses students who has a deep interest for the fashion industry and who dreams of being fashion designers. By developing skilled professionals, the school decorates the evergreen landscapes and becomes the answer to the growing fashion industry in Indonesia. These are the people who work for their passion… by creating masterpieces every day. Lucky for me, I had been chosen to capture their work on this project. 

Here are some of the designs made by the talented and passionate students of Abinere Ang Atelier et Createur de Mode.


Cheers,

Winson

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05 Aug 2016

A Woman's Worth

Novia Beauty Portraits by Winson

A woman's beauty is not only in the glow of her skin but the depth of her eyes and the warmth of her heart.

A woman's strength is not only in the bow of her back but the magnitude of her tears and the softness of her words. 

A woman's wisdom is not only in the value of her words but the knowledge of when to hold them and the journey she takes to learn them. 

A woman's courage is not only in her determination to fight but her willingness to walk away and the confidence to say no. 

A woman's grace is not only in the way she dances through her day but in the love notes she leaves and the wonderful meals she prepares. 

A woman's love is not only in the kisses she gives but in the sacrifices she makes and the moments give to you alone. 

A woman's worth is not only in the things she does but who she truly is and who she helps you become.  (Maria Costanza)

 

The world is your runway, ladies. You were made to conquer it. Sending great vibes for a beautiful day for all the strong and fearless ladies! 

 

Cheers,

Winson

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19 Jul 2016

A Bride & Her Bridesmaids

Olivia Lazuardy & Bridesmaids Portraits by Fen

 

So you’ve decided on the man you want to stand at the altar (and to spend the rest of your life) with. Then comes the next big question: Who will stand there with you? You’ve got so many friends and they’re all available to be your bridesmaids. How will you ever choose just one or two or even five to stand there with you? 

To choose the bridesmaids to stand with you on the biggest day of your life is an exciting, heartwarming, yet somewhat tricky affair. There is no right or wrong, no specific rules set in stone, and it can be really, really confusing. But it’s not impossible. Let me share with you two things that can help you out:


Choose the ones who make you happy. Your wedding will be an emotional event for you and you need to realize that this day is about you. It’s a good idea to surround yourself with people who can make you happy and who will help you take your stresses away. Choose the ones you want to have around you through every step of your wedding planning journey. 

Choose the ones who can be responsible. A bridesmaid isn’t just someone who stands beside you in a pretty dress - they’ve got responsibilities too. In fact, they play quite an important role. Consider choosing the ones who can console you, comfort you, help you out and have a whole lot of fun with you too. 


I hope that you’ll find the perfect bridesmaids to stand with you on the biggest day of your lives! 


Love,

Fen


 

Thanking our friends at Lightworks Jakarta for yet another awesome collaboration. 

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01 Jul 2016

My Dear Bridesmaids

Petite & The Buns ft. Sandra Dewi & Friends by Winson

“You have always been there, more than just a friend.

You know just who I am and everywhere I've been.

You're the one who I can turn to, any hour of the day.

Seems, I only have to think of you and you'll be on your way.

No matter where life takes me, no matter where I roam.

When I'm with you my friend, my heart feels right at home.

Today, as I walk down the aisle, a very happy bride, 

please know it meant so much to me to have you by my side.”

 

Sandra Dewi & Friends are wearing Petite & The Buns

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22 Jun 2016

Made Beautiful

Nina’s Beauty Portraits by Fen | Written by Maya

A friend at the office told me the other day that I must have been a knock-out in high school. I almost fell to the ground from belly aching laughter. As flattering as it may sound, she couldn’t be more wrong. And as much as I like the way I look (on most days), I know that back in high school, I looked like a distant relative of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

No, no. Not April O’Neill. The turtles. 

Out of curiosity, I asked her what made her think that way. She said that it’s because I exude a confidence, like one of those popular girls in high school. Once again, I fell to the ground from another round of belly-aching laughter. What a ridiculous thing to say, I thought. But I’m sure that if my seventeen-year-old self heard it, she would be squealing with delight.

I wasn’t a very happy seventeen-year-old. I struggled a lot with body image and insecurities issues. I was not the smartest girl in my class and in an all girls school, I know I wasn’t the prettiest. I didn’t have very many friends. I was scared most of the time. I often wished I was anywhere else but here and anyone else but me. I didn’t like myself very much. However, along the way, something changed. I changed. I found my confidence. And then later, I learned my self-worth.

If you looked up the words ‘confidence’ and ‘self-worth’, you will find that while the two are often interlinked and mistaken for one another, they are actually two very different things. Confidence is how you feel about your abilities in a particular area or situation. For example, I can be confident when I am talking to a group of people, but I have low confidence when it comes to math or posing in front of a camera. Self-worth, on the other hand, is knowing who you are and how you value yourself. 

I often wondered when I began to gain my confidence. But every time I look back on my journey, I would always think that it started when I began to really ‘live’ in college. Those four years I spent in college were the best of my teenage life! (I really don’t know how to tell you the whole story without boring the living daylights out of you on this post, but I’d really love to tell you about it when we have the time.) To keep it short though, during those four years, I made new friends - people who I actually liked and who liked me back. I had crazy experiences. I found out what I was good at and learned to accept my weaknesses. I found what liked and what I didn’t like. But I still didn’t like myself very much. 

Straight out of college, I met my husband. I really liked him. And he really liked me back. It was weird at first, especially when my insecurities would surface and I’d end up asking him what he liked about me. Wait, in fact, I’d often doubt if he even like me at all, because why should he? But you know, as weird as it sounds, I know that I really gained my confidence when I learned to view myself through my husband’s eyes. 

It didn’t happen overnight, but over the years, I have learned to see what he saw in me and I began to like what I see. I wish I could tell you that I started liking myself just because I decided to like myself and that was it, but it wasn’t. I needed someone to help me. I needed to borrow someone’s “eyes” to help me see and to help me to like what I see. And when I started liking myself, that’s when I found my self-worth. That’s when I began to really value myself. 

I dug up an old picture of myself the other day and showed it to my friend at work. We all had a good laugh over it. Ninja-turtle kind of knock-out! I mean, we weren’t going to avoid talking about the fact that I looked absolutely ridiculous! Not that I don’t look ridiculous now, I still do (more often than not) but it’s just that I like who I am today… ridiculous look and all. 

 

Every one is made beautiful. If you can’t see it, maybe you need to adjust your vision. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… and if you need to borrow someone’s “eyes” to see just how beautiful you are, then by all means, please do. 

 

Love,

Maya

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14 Jun 2016

Wonderland

Monica Ivena by Fen

Here at AXIOO, we believe that a life without passion is no life at all. We’re fuelled by it everyday, to break down walls and find creativity, to create beautiful masterpieces. We are passionate about what we do. 

In our journey, we have been blessed to meet people who live their lives with their own passions, even more blessed when we meet those who share our passion, but use it to thrive and create in other industries. That’s why when we met Monica Ivena, our hearts skipped a beat and we instantly connected. She’s a kind-hearted soul with a brilliant mind who creates mind-blowing wedding gowns with a lot of heart. Her work takes our breaths away, leaving us to imagine brides-to-be pointing to one of her dresses and saying, “That’s it! That’s my IT dress!” 

Monica is our favorite version of Young On Top. She’s young rising star that’s making an impact in the Indonesian bridal fashion industry. We’re so proud of her and what she’s doing. Tonight, we know we’ll be even prouder of her as we watch her take the walk down the fashion runway to open her very first solo bridal fashion show! 

We had a little chat with the young designer this week before the hassle of the show began to talk a little bit about her life as a fashion designer. Hope you’ll be as inspired as we are.  

 

AXIOO (A): What sparked your interest in fashion?

Monica Ivena (MI): I’ve been interested in fashion ever since I was a kid. I knew that I’ve always wanted to be a designer and my dream has never changed. I remember back when I was still in Elementary school, I received order to make hand-made pins from flannel and sold three of it for 10,000 rupiah. It wasn’t much, but it made me proud to have some extra pocket money.

 

A: What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?

MI: Since being a fashion designer has always been a dream, I put my faith in it. I wasn’t afraid to try and make it. When I first started, I never asked anyone to pay me. I took every order as a learning experience - a chance for me to practice. I was so happy already to have people put their trust in me to make their gowns. When I found that many people liked my designs, I felt my dream getting closer within my reach, and then I found the courage to turn it into a career.

 

A: What is the biggest lesson you learned about having ur own label?

MI: Every single thing I have been through to get to where I am today is a lesson. To make a gown requires constant learning and I know that I will always have to keep learning to give the best. That’s the biggest lesson: Never Stop Learning.

 

A: What is the best thing you love about being a fashion designer?

MI: Ah, since this is pretty much like a dream come true, I’d say that everything is the BEST! (LOL!) But if I had to pick out one thing that I absolutely love about being a fashion designer, that would have to be to see a bride on her wedding day in the dress that I made for her. To be a part of someone’s big day, that makes me so happy! What I particularly love about being a Bridal Fashion Designer is being part of someone’s once in a lifetime. It brings me tremendous joy, especially when I see how radiant the bride looks in her wedding dress.

 

A: This is your first solo fashion show. How does it feel to be Monica Ivena right now?

MI: Oh wow. The feeling is indescribable. I know that I’ve imagined this day ever since I was a kid, but never in my wildest dream, had I imagined it would feel like this. I feel so happy right now. I feel giddy and proud and overwhelmed with gratitude and touched by how good God has been in my life. I am so thankful for all the blessings that He has showered me with and all the doors He has opened in my life. I am so grateful that I find myself at loss for words to describe how I feel. All I know is that, it feels pretty great to be Monica Ivena right now because God is so, so, so good.

 

Thank you for sharing your story with us Monica. We’ll be keeping you in our prayers for a successful show tonight. Blow them away!! 

 

Love,

AXIOO

 

Gown by @monicaivena

Decor by @steve_decor

Fabric by @romitexworld

Shoes by @minkashoes

Accessories by @rinaldyayunardi

Make up by @lisabudiarti @luvazesalon

Photography by @fensoong

 

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20 May 2016

Hey, you!

Jolie by Winson

Yes, you! Stop being unhappy with yourself. You are perfect. Stop wishing you looked like someone else or wishing people liked you as much as they like someone else. 

Stop trying to get attention from those who hurt you. Stop hating your body, your face, your personality, your quirks. Love them! Without those things, you wouldn’t be you. 

And why would you want to be anyone else? Be confident with who you are. Smile. It’ll draw people in. If anyone hates on you because you are happy with yourself, they you stick your middle finger in the air and say, “Screw it! My happiness will not depend on others anymore. I’m happy because I love who I am. I love my flaws. I love my imperfections. They make me, me! And ‘me’ is pretty amazing!”

Cheers,

Winson

*quote taken from Pinterest

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19 May 2016

A Lesson From Kartini To All Of Us

Tisha & Nia Beauty Portraits by Winson

I, like the rest of Indonesia, grew up with the story of R.A. Kartini, the Javanese Princess, who is a pioneer in the area of education for native Indonesian women and for women’s rights in Indonesia. Her birthday has been named a national holiday to serve as a reminder for women to participate in the development of the country. On this day, we can expect many kinds of celebrations, in the great name of Kartini. However, the celebrations that I see closest around me involve children parading around in traditional costumes (including the unusually built up traffic particularly around school areas that comes with it) and brands capitalizing on the moment to increase customer traffic by offering attractive promotions for women; still in the name of the national heroine. 

I never really gave Kartini and her work much thought. I always assumed it was about women empowerment that obviously nothing to do with me. But yesterday, I received an e-newsletter from a local coffee brand that invited customers, women in particular, to “wear your Kebaya and get a free drink - valid only on Kartini Day!”. It made me think, is this all there is to celebrate the birth of a national heroine - free coffee and national cos-play day? Surely, there must be more! 

So, I re-read Kartini’s story. I read what history said about her. I read about how she, after having learned to write in Dutch, corresponded with her Dutch friends through letters during her seclusion period in preparation to be married. She was twelve at that time. I read about the things she told her Dutch pen pals, about her thoughts on the Javanese culture that imposed obstacles for the development of women and about the struggle women faced to obtain freedom. Basically, I read about the things I have learned since I was still in middle school. 

Imagine being her. In the 1880s, when she lived, women weren’t allowed to study. They had to be secluded, they needed to be ready to marry men they didn’t even know, and to be okay with being a third, maybe even a fourth wife, at the age of 12. She couldn’t have done much, but still she chose to pen her thoughts in letters to her friends (or maybe, pen pals) in the Netherlands. In it, she talked about how she envied how European women think and about her dreams to see the empowerment of native Indonesian people, women especially, through education and for women to be free to make their own choices for their lives. 

Kartini wrote letters. Yes, that’s what she did. She wrote down her thoughts in letters and shared it with her friends. I think that at that time, she never imagined that long after her death, those letters will be published in a book that started a movement for the elevated status of the women in Indonesia. Although she never picked up a weapon or laid her life for her country in a fight against colonisers, she had as big an impact on the freedom of her country. 

She had an impact. She is named a national heroine because she changed the way people think. Her letters, which contained her thoughts, took the status of women in Indonesia to the next level. 

If there’s a lesson I can draw from Kartini, it’s this: To make an impact, we don’t need dramatic gestures in big scales. We can make an impact with what is already in us. Our thoughts, our talents, our skills… whatever we need to make an impact is already inside of us. 

I believe that this doesn’t just go out to women. This goes out to each and every one of us, women AND men, because everyone of us can have an impact; for our generation, for the next generation, for our country, for the world. More than the parades of traditional costumes and the free coffee we can claim today, the celebration of Kartini Day should remind us - all of us - that every one of us have the capabilities to have an impact; that everyone of us can be heroes. 

But hey, if there’s still free coffee to claim, by all means, go for it! Happy Kartini Day to all of us. 


Cheers,

Winson

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21 Apr 2016

Fairy Tale Kinda Love

Jennifer's Portraits by Fen

 

Have you ever noticed that fairy tales always have a happy ending? The Beautiful Princess falls for her Prince Charming and they live happily ever after.

In fairy tales, the struggle always occurs before the romance. Cinderella, single and alone, struggled to survive under the hatred of her step-mother. Snow White, hid in the forest amongst the seven dwarves, in hopes to save her life from the evil witch. Beauty, who was held captive in the enchanted castle, waited patiently for that true love’s kiss that will break the spell and wake her her from eternal slumber. Each one of these fairy-tale princesses struggled, waited, and hoped… And so it is in fairy tales; first comes the struggle, then comes the romance, and “poof” - the happily ever after…

Fairy tales always offer a suggestion that all problems and pains will “magically” disappear when true love enters the picture. Although it has set up many young singles to hope, it has also caused a great despair.

Although its easy to imagine a world of bliss and happily ever after, we forget that marriage, in majority, is about routine ordinary moments wrapped up in an extraordinary commitment. Marriage is all about the day to day choices - choosing love over selfishness, keeping the peace of being right, and having intimacy instead of control. Marriage is about striving for faithfulness and resisting temptation. It is the day in day out of two people learning to love in a way that they never imagined they could, in a way they hardly know how to do.

Relationships were meant to bring companionship, friendship, and a great love, but they were never meant to be our happily ever after. Relationships can’t solve our problems, or heal our wounds, or fulfil all our hopes because they were never made to do that. They don’t even have the capacity to. It’s a myth to think that all struggles will be lost in the true love kiss because the truth is that struggles will always be a part of our lives.

While we are a part of this world, we will always be exposed to the consequences of temptations, sin and pain. Most temptations are for us to run from not to face it. Indeed, we are broken people who reflect a broken world. But far above earthly love, there is a God who longs to embrace you in His loving and eternal arms; a God who wants to show you that there is so much more to your story than the happy ending of romance. God’s plans and purposes for your life include your love life, but even more exciting, they exceed your love life.

True love is not the end of your story. it is only the beginning, a glimpse of something more. Don’t sell yourself short on your happily ever after, open up your dreams and allow God to let in so much more. For the broken hearted, please take heart, don't give up, know that God thinks you are to die for. Learn to see yourself through His eyes. You are beautiful.

 

Love,

Fen

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15 Apr 2016
All the way to the bottom already?