If you’re reading this, congratulations - you survived 2020 and January of 2021! A global pandemic of this magnitude that shut down the economy is no small matter, and it has hit the hospitality business (that we as wedding vendors are in!), restaurant business, and certain small businesses especially hard. I have to say even though I was aware of the pandemic while traveling back from Tokyo end of January in 2020, I was hoping it would not hit the U.S. this hard. The shut-down that we had in California really put me in a creative-paralysis. I took the time to introspect, to brainstorm, to rest & recharge - and for that, I really want to focus on the silver linings!
Here at Skyla Arts, we are immensely grateful to still be in business, and want to start off with a lot of gratitude to our 2020 clients who decided to proceed with micro weddings, to our clients who rescheduled to 2021, and finally to the hard-working fellow wedding vendors, especially the wedding planners! We’ve all been holding each other up, especially most recently through a new social media platform called Clubhouse - I’ve learned so much from fellow wedding industry pros, and it has kept me positive, with a growth-mindset for 2021/2022!
All of this led me to start re-freshing the website, re-strategizing my game plan! It’s not a re-Birth, or re-Brand: it’s a re-Framing, and what’s a better Frame than an updated website? :) After the launch of my rebrand back in 2013/2014, I honestly did not spend a whole lot of time updating my website (which is so nicely Archived Here!) - every year I would refresh the portfolio highlights for myself & the artist I would represent, but in terms of the overall user experience, I have not really thought that much about it until I received feedback from a potential client! I realize I may have lost clients just from having an outdated website that, while it was mobile-compatible, it was difficult to read on mobile devices. I kicked myself over it - I should have worked on a new website in 2018/2019! I hope with the easier-to-read format and font sizes and colors, my website will continuously connect me with my dream clients :) And I can’t wait to chat & connect further!
That being said, I have been answering questions about my COVID-19 protocol recently. Since the vaccines are not yet available to everyone, we still have to operate in 2021 very carefully. The last time I caught a cold was May of 2018 - I keep my immunity up by doing the following things: trying not to fall behind on sleep, regular exercise, eating well (with treat-meals and favorite snacks/desserts on occasion), ginger/garlic/tumeric/onions in my diet, hot water + honey or manuka honey, Propolis & vitamin C. When I have to go outside, I assume everyone may have COVID - it’s not to be fearful, but to be prepared and mitigate the risk. I’ve operated this way since the beginning of my career in 2009 - working as a makeup artist and aesthetician, according to OSHA, we are in the same exposure category as nurses. When I’m working or cleaning my kit, I’m operating as if you might have viral/bacterial/airborne or bloodborne pathogens. Granted some diseases are not as contagious the way COVID19 is, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
My 2020 clients do not know what I look like because they have not seen me without a mask or my goggles - and so with this re-framing of the new website, I want to share a family portrait of my family which consists of my partner Bochan (Bo) and Skyla! I’m so used to being behind the scenes, behind the masks/goggles, so it feels odd to post a photo here on my blog. Skyla is the beauty that has gooseberry eyes and silky grey medium hair with tri-color tabby markings! I adopted Skyla from Pasadena Humane Society from a stray litter the same month I started my Bridal Business, who is turning 12 in 2021! Skyla means Shield or Scholar - derived from Dutch. When I started my bridal business in 2009, I googled my full name, Elizabeth Chang, and realized how many of us out there have small businesses, and in the spirit of having a unique business name, I looked over at my then tiny kitten Skyla, and decided I should name the business that has personal meaning to me, and had a nice cadence to it! I’ve been told by my friends & colleagues that Skyla is such a makeup artists’ cat - with her strong and dark cat eyeliner, she is certainly my inspiration and motivation and my family member!
As Skyla Arts celebrate 12 years in business, I have nothing but gratitude to be able to continuously do a job I love, with a team I’ve built that I love working with, as well as the creative community of artists/vendors! I’m looking forward to the beauty and prosperity 2021/2022 will bring for all of us :) With the Lunar New Year rolling around, I wishing everyone happiness, health & prosperity in the year of the Golden Ox!