Miss Yang Jing Ling struggled badly at her studies since young. As the slowest learner at home and in school, she was ranked the last few positions throughout her academic life. During her elementary school days, it was common for her to be ridiculed for being slow and her Primary Teacher even advised her grandmother to drop her out of school. Despite all these discouragements, Jing Ling’s grandmother is supportive and have faith in her that she will make it one day.
Besides the difficulties encountered in her academic path, Jing Ling lost her parents at a young age of 21. Born in a low-income household, she didn’t enjoy any privileged access to resources such as affluent network and ease of access to capital funds.
But Jing Ling refuse to be defeated by fate; she left her job at age 28 because she believes that more can be done for Malay wedding community. Instead of the conventional venue at the void decks of flats, more alternatives should be provided. Since it’s a once in a lifetime affair, most couples are willing to spend to leave an unforgettable memory as they embark on a different phase in life. After close to 2 years of market research and homework, she realized that the Malay community is in fact not spending any lesser (as compared to other races) when comes with their weddings and it is only a small fraction more to hold it at Outdoor, Hotel or Ballroom venues.
She had no prior experience in wedding planning, let alone planning for a wedding for a different ethnic group that she isn’t familiar with. However, all these did not stop her from pursuing this path; she sees the huge potential in the business and was confident that it would work. This is the biggest risk she had taken, and big risk comes with big rewards.
“To be honest, I had never attended a Malay wedding before, so I had to learn all customs and taboos from scratch. Apart from that, I do not know of any Malay vendors whom I could be partner with. When I was on my first project, I engaged a Decoration company that bailed out on me 3 days prior to the actual wedding day. To make things worse, another catering vendor came 3 hours late. Along the way I’ve learnt lessons the hard way and eventually fostered good relationships with my current-working partners.”
Knowing that the profit margin would be slim if I were to outsource everything to the vendors. I managed to gather funds from investors and purchase decoration fixtures and outdoor tent.
“Ever since my very bad experience with the caterer, I know I cant depend on anyone when comes to the core component of the business. Hence, I went out on a fund raising campaign to set up my own in-house catering and purchased all the fixtures that are needed. It was not easy at all however I am proud that I manage to gather the funds and am really thankful for those who invested in LJL.”
LJL Events is now able to provide competitive pricing as everything is done in-house. I’m grateful to all the clients, especially our first few clients who trusted us as a new company and booked their weddings with us even when we have yet to establish our portfolio.” Miss Yang said, as she looked back to the days when LJL Events first started.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Jing Ling; in 2017 she rented a space in Horse City @ 100 Turf Club Road as a venue to hold weddings. Her heart sunk when she found out from Singapore Land Authority that she’s not allowed to use the venue to hold weddings. She lost all her savings and due to the renovation costs, she was in debt. Misfortunes never come singly, she lost businesses as she was unable to facilitate the weddings and her decoration fixtures were illegally seized by the landlord. She is currently taking legal action on the unlawful landlord.
A strong believer in Where there’s a will, there’s a way, Jing Ling resourcefully shift her focus to outdoor weddings. With determination and creativity, she managed to get the business back on track; based on last 2 quarters, the sales had hit $300,000. Besides limiting her client base to Malay couples, she has now expanded to planning Chinese weddings as well. “At the moment, we are almost fully booked for calendar year 2018 and already receiving inquiries for 2020.” She added.
“For those who are interested in running your own start-up, my advice would be to engage professional assistance to conduct proper checks. Spending $500 on legal fees to go through a legal document might save you a whole lot more in future. There will always be downturns in life, always remember it won’t last and there are many people out there who would want you to be successful. When you are stressed, take a break, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Best of luck and make 2018 your year!” Miss Yang said.
For more information, please visit http://www.ljlevents.com