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Rollercoasters. I’ve never really been a fan of them – mainly because I almost always get sick after I ride one. And February was definitely a rollercoaster! Though I thankfully didn’t get sick, I definitely got the sweats and dry heaved along the way. This, of course, is all metaphorically speaking lol. All this for the ‘secret’ project I have been working on and can now finally share!

I was contacted by the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth at the end of January [31st] to create a design for the Site Selectors Guild Conference. They wanted items to wear to represent an Ontario based company.  As usual, I thought it was spam or some sort of a joke, so of course, I went to my friend Google to do some ‘research’ to find out the legitimacy of this inquiry. Everything checked out and literally within a 3 day period, I had to:

·         secure a graphic designer, THANK YOU TORI from FRAMBOISE DESIGN & CO. for coming through!
·         shop for fabrics,
·         get test samples printed as we were going to use a new textile

The kicker was on Friday afternoon, I was asked if I could drop by their office the following Monday to present our design concepts to a panel. Luckily I had prepped some printed sample fabrics already! So over the weekend, Tori and I manically worked on trying a bunch of designs - almost 12 when all was said and done, while thinking about what I was going to say in some sort of coherent way.

Monday rolls around and as I finalize my presentation and go to print it, my printer decides NOT TO WORK! So I quickly run to the nearest Staples before heading downtown. The pitch went well and by Tuesday, we got the green light to move forward and we hit the ground running and started getting everything in order. It should be noted that we needed to have everything delivered by March 3rd.

What proceeded to happen the following weeks really proved that in business you can never be totally prepared!  We faced A LOT of unexpected situations, which I won’t get into detail with, but let’s just say I am thankful for coffee and access to a car.

Yes, there were many sleepless nights, but with the help of my family and support of my friends I knew that this was one of those moments where I had to leave it in God’s hands to take care of.  I am thankful for the patience of the vendors I worked with because the issues we faced were not something we could have known or prepared for.  

They say that ‘what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger,’ and man, did that ever prove true for this project. I would do it again in a heartbeat because this was one of the best learning experiences. It didn’t come without some tears and frustration, but I know when I look back, this will be one of those moments I will remember that changed the business.  Not only was this a huge opportunity, but the motivation I needed to think bigger for TYTAN.

I am truly proud of what we were able to achieve because the final products are amazing. I could not have done this alone.  Oh man, cue the Oscar music lol….here we go:

To my parents,  you guys are the true MVP. That is all.
Tracey – thank you for keeping me grounded. I know I can be a lot to handle lol.
Tori – thank you for entertaining my crazy ideas and sticking by me even when it was tough.
Sophie, Gable, Crystal, Heidi, Ash, Janet, Velsie – your ears must be bleeding from my rants, but thank you for the distractions and listening.

Thank you to the wonderful people over at the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth for your kindness and support, it was such a pleasure!   

Below I have documented the process to the final product :)

Professional Photos: @9KoiStudio [IG]






Each year around this time, I plan what I like to call a ‘Style Campaign.’ For me, it’s a creative outlet to showcase our products – but more importantly to document the growth of TYTAN. Looking back to our first couple of shoots – they were very much only focused on weddings, which makes sense since that is the industry that we are in. But I personally felt as though it wasn’t completely authentic in the sense that the message I was trying to send was built upon the pressure to “fit in.” Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE every shoot I have done– but it’s not the actual images I’m referring to, but something inside me just didn’t click.

There is an expectation that when you do a styled shoot, it is going to be submitted with the end goal of being published, which is completely understandable because there are a lot of working bodies dedicating their time and craft into it. But for me, I soon realized that personally for these Style Campaigns, that isn’t my goal.  And this is also why you may have noticed that I work with the same vendors over and over again for these shoots because they understand this is a creative platform to try new things without any conditions or rules. I’m also impatient and don’t want to wait 6-12 months before I can show the images lol. Disclaimer: I have nothing against styled shoots and submitting them – I am strictly talking about my own personal Style Campaigns and not collaborations with other vendors!   

Last year for our ‘TYdentity’ shoot, we did a full 180, choosing for something more personal and minimal focusing on the people behind wearing the product. It was all about how we connect with each other through different ways. Which FINALLY brings us to this year’s concept, which is built from the last shoot: Something for Everyone.

With style, fashion and pop culture ever changing, so are the needs of our clients. And rather than pigeon-holing ourselves to only using specific fabrics or designs, the one thing that is consistent [that I feel is more important] is quality and experience. So whoever you are, whatever your personality type is, whatever event you’re attending, whatever statement you want to make – we have something for you. I know this shoot won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t like all tea either, especially anything citrus, which is ironic because I love sour candy lol.  I am just happy I got to work with my friends and enjoyed seeing everyone doing what they love doing. More from our Gossip Girl/Vanity Fair Grooms[wo]man Brunch coming soon!

Photography: @9KoiStudio - official website TBA!
Hair: @suziekimbridalhair
Makeup: @karenkimbeauty
Stylist: @getreddie
Calligraphy: @velsiemak
Table Scape: @heidilauphoto

Alana: @beauty_by_alana
Alyssa: @alyss_andria_
Kelvin: @naustics
Chris: @thekumakid




Trust me when I say that not being able to grow a luscious moustache has made me a little envious of those who can. Especially since this month is Movember!  Given that it only runs for a month, I don’t stand a chance as it would actually in reality take me at least 3 months minimum just to grow something that remotely resembles a stache and not have people mistaken it for dirt. I mean, how embarrassing would it be if a friend or worse, a stranger says to you “excuse me sir, but I think you have a little something on your upper lip.” Don’t think I haven’t tried, I have…but at the end of the day, maybe it’s for the best that I can’t grow one.  I, like many other Asians, suffer from pervy-stache syndrome. It’s serious and the struggle IS real.

In light of this….shortcoming, I decided it was time to stop with the excuses. I want to join the Movember movement! And so I did. The reason I so badly wanted to is two-fold.

The first is that I never pass up an opportunity to do something charitable, especially when it’s done creatively. And I don’t say that to toot-my-own horn or to convince you that it’s purely altruistic. I do it because it reminds me to stay grounded and that illnesses like Cancer are very real. What is life without your health after all? Talking about cancer below the waist and men’s health in general are issues that many guys, including me, have a difficult time talking about and to talk about it comfortably.  I mean, it’s not like we need to talk about our colons and testicles at lunch, but it’s good to have some transparency when health issues arise. With this campaign, it’s an easy and fun way to read up and be reminded to get checked out.

The second reason is a little more personal.  Without going too much into detail or taking away the seriousness of the issue, a couple of years ago I made a call to my doctor because I had found an unusual lump after experiencing some discomfort.  Actually wait, I typed it into Google first, freaked out even more and THEN called my doctor. Why don’t I ever learn?  Long story, short – he examined me and told me to make an appointment with the urologist. After a very amusing ultrasound appointment (mainly because I irritated the urologist trying to be funny), I was told it would take two weeks to get the results. TWO WEEKS? I can hardly wait a week for the next episode of Walking Dead and you want me to wait TWO?!  Finally got the call to go in, met with my doctor who thankfully told me that the lump was benign.  While the fear turned out to be false, the experience was very real.

In support of Movember, we are hoping to raise $500.00 for the foundation!  To make giving a little more exciting, we are also raffling off 5 official and original moustache bow ties (see below!) for every donation of $10.00 or more to our page.  Hope you’ll join us in spreading more awareness to helping men live longer, healthier lives! If you'd like to support us and have a chance at winning a bow tie, you can do so here: I encourage you to even start your OWN team...guy or gal...because this affects us all.

To end this post off, my question to you is: if we can do wait, better, in and for the world - why not?