Today on 12 June, we celebrate the 8th anniversary of Tabiyo at home quietly, and peacefully. There are so many "surprises" for the first half of 2020, and we now have to slowly adapt to the “new normal”. During this period of time, by spending most of the time at home, I got the chance to start journaling again to write down all the bits & pieces for the setting up of our first physical shop back in 2016, which I always wanted to do.
I admit I got too much of distraction during the normal day (especially after the new addition to our family, I need a lot of ME time) - to go to the gym, shopping, facial, cafe time, etc. Hence, I find myself much more focus on what I want to do when I can't go out. I usually get very creative when I’m travelling, I received so many sources and inspirations when on a trip, so I thought I may not be able to fill up my Traveler’s Notebook for the longest period. I’m glad that I managed to start it all over again, and the theme is so meaningful - to remember how and where we started. When I slowly recap all those special moments, I got the chance to reflect on myself over the past 8 years with Tabiyo. For the first 2 years I was still having my full time job and since we didn't get many orders back then, I can still travel around freely. Then, the journalling community started to bloom and the number of shops which are selling Traveler’s Notebook are increasing. I once heard from a radio announcer that it's good to have competitors, so we can have more manpower to educate people around, especially when you are in a niche market. I absolutely agree with that and I’m happy that we can all grow together, like how we are today.
With the growth of Tabiyo, I quit my full time job and then, I spent my 3 months home-stay holiday in Japan, conquered almost half of the Japan prefectures, experienced the weather changes from the end of winter, spring then to the start of summer. After the trip, I continue my Japanese language studies, which also mark a special moment in my life (when I'm typing this, I slowly recall my memories with all the teenagers who were my classmates, I was the 2nd oldest in my class). After graduation, I decided to go back to my hometown - Seremban, to "live" with Tabiyo which has become my full time job. In fact, I have never imagined I could own a physical shop back then - as stocks pilling up the room and we were lucky we found a premise for rent (coincidentally, it was our childhood stationery shop), the rest... I am sure you know the story.
Our shop was in a downturn early last year, which may be due to my lack of focus (I was so busy with our newborn #babyelf), or if it was the actual market situation. I started to get worried since I spent so much on the renovation cost for the newly set up #tabiyo294 , but I’m glad that we all went through. Despite the tough situation and over-rated choices in the stationery market, I choose to believe, that I should keep my original wish, which is a simple one - only sell products that I trust, I value and I myself would use for the longest time. I’m so glad to meet all of you who trusted my taste, and who went through this life journey with me. Looking back, I have so many decisions to make in the past 10 years, and now I'm looking forward to spent my next 8 years, 10 years with my family, Tabiyo, and you, who spend time reading this.
"If not now, when?" This is the quote that's always in my mind.
Thank you for everything!
So proud of you and the shop in my hometown too. Press on! Greetings from NZ.
This is beautiful! I’m embarrassed to say I’ve only just discovered Tabiyo this year, but it has quickly become one of my favourite stationery stores! Thank you for your dedication, and for bringing a little piece of Japan here. I’m from KL, but both of my parents are from Seremban. When things ease up more and able to head back to my parents’ hometown, I will make it a point to pay Tabiyo a visit!