Monkey Studio - Kota Kinabalu
Images from Monkey Studio
TE: Tell us about Monkey Studio KK.
AC: We started Monkey Studio in 2017. During our overseas trip, we saw succulent plants and it was so cute, people managed to decorate with it so well. In Sabah, some of them managed to plant their succulent plants so well but without decorating it and to take good care of it due to the hot weather here. I have been interested in designing and drawing during my free time, sometimes I design my own pot for fun. Just so happen that there is an event called Jesselton Artisan market where people can share their ideas and handmade goods. This is when everything came into my mind that I felt I can do something really interesting with these interests that I have and found. I then started doing it as a part-time job. Cactus and succulents uses little space compared to other plants that needs soil and big space to keep them. I am actually an Additional Maths tutor for Junior and SPM students.
TE: What are the difficulties you faced during the setup for Monkey Studio?
AC: The most difficult part was not being able to understand the character of the plants. When we have new succulent species, I do a lot of research, trial and error to see if it survive under the most suitable place. Most succulents survives within air-conditioned environment with enough light and ventilation.
TE: Tell us how do you improve your knowledge for your career?
AC: I like to travel, that is how we collect these succulents other than sourcing it within Malaysia. Internship or volunteering is the way to learn. I went to Shanghai on my last trip for an internship in a greenhouse, I learnt temperature controlling and also management of a greenhouse for plants to survive better.
TE: Can you tell us how do you feel for having your hobby as your job?
AC: As much as I like to create brand awareness for my business, I still keep it as a hobby and focus less on the profit part. I enjoyed doing what I love especially being able to turn it into my job. We use social media to reach our customers. Each time before an event, we will think of a theme for the succulents and try our best to decorate for it. There are some shops that approached us to supply for their consignment but I am still deciding whether or not we should do that because it is difficult to put a value on art.
Highlight: “You will be satisfied if you do it by heart. - Alice (image:second from left.)
TE: Do you have any tips that you would like to share with the fresh graduates?
AC: To those who are willing to learn new things, please learn it whenever there is a chance given. I am trying to encourage youth to have their own hobby and my goal is to let more people, specifically youth to appreciate the benefits of planting.
Read more on TE Issue #10.
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