Diamonds Over Tea

This whole week has been work, work and more work so I was quite happy to let go of all that and go do my other stuff – you know, my WomenBizSense stuff.
[By the way, Kristine announced that WomenBizSense will be given a spotlight at next year’s Business Card Festival that her company is organising (media profile, talk session and the works). Yay and thanks, Kristine!]
I thrive on things like this. I know I can be called mad but I’m the kind of person who likes organising events (eh, maybe I should be an event planner, hor!), getting people together and being the Mother Hen. I said Mother Hen, not Mamasan, OK.
Our meetings are now on a monthly basis to accommodate ladies who said they really want to meet up more often. So we now have Quarterly Meetings, Lunch Bunch meetings and Networking Teas. All for women who own and run their own businesses.
Yesterday we had our Quarterly Meeting at Joyce’s shop, Hundredfold, at Penang Plaza. Joyce is an artist and art teacher while her husband, John, is a certified gemologist. (I found out he is also a Sining, an offshoot of Cantonese, like me so we were happily talking away in our soon-to-be-obsolete dialect much to Joyce’s amusement!)
At this meeting, we met 2 new women business owners, Hannah who owns a telemarketing business called Hanacom and Shan Shan who owns an electrical item shop. Hannah was patient enough to tell us the difference between telemarketing and telesales because our eyes grew big as plates and our jaws momentarily dropped. “Telemarketing? Like credit cards and banks?”
I am amazed sometimes how people get into the business they get into.
Like Hannah’s.
It is a tough business.
It is cold-calling.
Now, hands up… who likes cold-calling? Cold-calling is an art and one has to be thick-skinned enough to withstand not only rude folks on the phone but people slamming their phones on you! Rejection, disappointment, craziness.
I salute Hannah’s persistence as she started on her own, at home, by calling up to 120 people a day! Nowadays she doesn’t do it on her own anymore – she has a team of people do that but I believe she is involved in a lot of training too.
Of course, no WomenBizSENSE meeting is complete without some form of sustenance.
Everyone brought food for tea – Muzlifah cooked a rich chicken curry, Lee Min brought her special oyster mushroom fried with tempura batter, Kristine brought the piece de resistance of the day – this beautiful dessert of layers upon layers of French crepes interspersed with cream! There was not a slice left of this dessert at the end of the day! She promised to email us the person who made this sinfully rich dessert! Apparently the ‘baker’ in question is someone who enjoys baking and cooking so this is really a work of art!
We even had a free jewellery cleaning service when John, Joyce’s husband, gave us ladies a few pointers on taking care of our gemstones and pearls. Our rings shone a little brighter when we left John’s shop yesterday evening!
We were privileged to talk to John as he is a certified gemologist who can determine if your gems are real or (gasp) fake. His lab is the one and only gem-testing laboratory in Penang so your gems are in good hands.
He can set stones, he can design whatever ring or necklace you fancy with your favourite gems based on your budget. The biggest problem, he says, is that most clients don’t name a budget. Without a budget, it’s hard to say how much a diamond ring, designed to your specifications, would cost!
I love gemstones especially amethyst so his shop was like paradise – all types of expensive gems winking away at me.
As his shop is not the type you can walk into any time of the day (he sees clients by appointments only), I felt quite fortunate to be able to look at the gemstones at such close range and be able to ask him all sorts of questions. I am sure I would be calling John again, if only to let him check out this amethyst Nic bought me a few years ago and see what I could do with it!
If you’re interested in John’s service, you can find Hundredfold on the 2nd Floor of Penang Plaza, next to Nutrimetics or call him (ask for John Ng) at 04 899 8469.