When I was about 6 years old, I won a penmanship award at school. I remember the class teacher annoucing my name at the front of the classroom, and I nervously raised my hand and received my award. I was small for my age, and quite timid in the classroom. While it was fun acheivement (which my mom and dad were really proud of and had kept all these years), it’s not really the kind of thing, as a kid, you would aspire to when you grow up. At age 6, I wanted to be concert pianist/prima ballerina/chef and maybe with some lawyer/doctor job thrown in there as a side job. Never once did I say to my parents “I want to be the best hand-writting-er in the world.” It just didn’t feel significant.
But how funny life is! I went to art college, did a masters in contemporary art, went into a corporate machine, and got jaded. Then, as if it was meant to be, I started doodling words. The words took form and became an interest, then a hobby, then a craft and an art. My business started because I had found a love for illustration and lettering, and I had come full circle, my love of letters evolving with my life all these years, and met me again with a new voice. BerinMade was born as a wedding stationery business.
Countless new businesses were assessed all over the country, with 30 on the short-list last night. And then they announced our name. The National Winner of Best Newcomer Award 2013. BerinMade Illustrated Paper Goods. There was applause, my wobbly legs on 4-inch heels, and utter, complete shock.
Ben and I couldn’t help but laugh at how funny it was last night, after the champagne was drunk, photos were taken, interviews given, the shock and surprise of it all sunk in. I had won another hand-writing award, 21 years later. Only this time, it was a new dream, a legitimate business, and something that was really representative of us together.
While we will be aspiring to many more milestones for this business, I just want to stop right here at the start of 2013 and say thank you. To my clients, you are what makes this business thrive. Thank you for your appreciation of my art and work, for your votes and feedback. Every one of them made my heart sing. And to my industry peers, whom I utterly respect, I am humbled by your endorsement. Thank you for taking a chance on me. And to my family and friends, for your love, friendship and every encouragement. To my parents, thank you for keeping that acheivement from when I was 6 and not letting me forget, however insignficant it seemed at the time. And to Ben, for your love and constantly cheering me on.