“Go out there and create opportunities”
by WONG SWEE MAY
SELANGOR. “If your dream job does not exist, sometimes you have to go out there and create it,” said Szetoo Weiwen, a journalist who owns a stationery shop named Stickerrific with her sister, Szetoo Weishya. She also mentioned that she loves writing and creating beautiful products, so it helps a lot in what she is doing now. The stationery-type business is getting more hype in Malaysia, especially in Selangor for these past few years. Based on surveys, youngsters nowadays seem to prefer money over passion as the goal of their careers. You can see science stream students taking science courses in universities or colleges but aiming to work in art-related industry; such as bankers, marketers and businessmen. An anonymous student said he loves science but he would work as a senior manager of marketing department with higher salary compared to a minor laboratory assistant.
Szetoo Weiwen was a full time photographer and writer before she started Stickerrific. The photography centre that she owned with her previous partner was slowly dying and she was desperately finding solutions to solve it. At that time, her sister gave her a Traveller’s Notebook as birthday gift. So, she decorated it by adding some printed photos and art stuffs. Soon, a lot of people were attracted and wanted to purchase it. Then, Szetoo realised that she could teach people how to decorate journals and scrapbooks. So she started importing in more stationeries bit by bit from one suitcase worth to the shop it is today. This is how she became an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur, you will always face risks in doing what you are doing. “There is always the risk of failure when it comes to business, nothing is guaranteed,” claimed Szetoo. She thought that to sustain one’s business, one needs to consistently work hard. She also said that it is important to continuously be innovative since it is mostly involved in the creative industry. Being active by bringing in new products and teaching people how to use them is also another way to maintain her business.
Szetoo always organize workshops in Stickerrific especially on weekends for people who are interesting in arts and crafts. She also invites artist or typographer to lead those classes so that there will be more talented people to be found in creative industry. According to Szetoo, journaling was not a trendy thing a few years back, but now, journaling has become a common thing for arts practitioner. She thinks that it is important to observe or create new trends to be successful in this industry. She also mentioned that her team will always be as honest as possible to their customers. It is the ethnic of doing business. “Sometimes things will work out, sometimes you will fail.” Szetoo and her team might have failed many times but each time they learn from their mistakes and do better the next round. She mentioned that customers are the most important people, so they must build good relationships with customers.
“The passion is only 10% of what we do, the rest of it is hard work,” stated Szetoo. Following passion will not be easy but she encourages people or younger generations to do so. She also said that when you are running a business, you are working for people who will support you and keep you motivated. We all need workers who love their jobs instead of those who are working for money. You can see how Szetoo followed her dream and succeed in this business. “Whatever you do in life you need to love it otherwise you can’t go far.” Lastly, follow Szetoo’s shop’s Instagram at @stickerrific if you are interested in arts and crafts!