It’s so funny! After spending months listening to my heart and searching my soul, what I really want to do for career slowly emerged. And the stunning fact is that they are exactly what I used to do and dream of as a little girl.
So before going into the details of what I want to do, first you need a little background on my childhood.
I was born in 1982 in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. I have one brother, who is 2 years older than me. And because my parents were young working couple when I was a baby, early years of my life I was left at my grandparents in the countryside together with several of my cousins.
My childhood was a very happy one and because the country had a socialist system in those days, my grandparents (mom’s parents) knew no lack (at least that’s what I felt) in raising 7 children and many grandchildren.
Now, those who were born and raised in capitalist system might be thinking socialism is all bad. No no no, you’re so wrong if you think so! You need to have lived in those times to feel the rewarding sides of it. Anyway, this story is not about socialism or capitalism, so I won’t argue about that.
So until I was 7, the Soviet Union was intact. Even though Mongolia was not part of the Soviet Union, we had a very close relationship with Russia–one like the East Germany had with Russia.
And because of that we had a heavy Russian influence in all areas of our lives including my fairytale books and cartoons. If you are curious about exactly what I grew up watching or reading, here is an example from Pushkin’s fairy tale:
So in essence, I knew no Walt Disney or any other Western cartoons and fairytales. They came much later, years after the Soviet system fell apart and years after I had moved on from cartoons and fairytales.
And when I was in my drawing-age (between 3-5 I think), you know what I used to draw? I used to draw Russian houses with “curly” edges like below one.
I don’t know how many of them I drew, but I do remember that almost each time I had a pencil and a paper in my hand, I used to draw those houses with “curly” edges.
Do you wanna see what those houses look like in real life? Here it is.
And when I felt like drawing a human being, I used to draw Snegurochka. Wikipedia defines Snegurochka as “the Snow Maiden, a character in Russian fairy tales… Since Soviet times, Snegurochka is also depicted as the granddaughter and helper of Ded Moroz (who is the Russian version of Santa Claus) during the New Year parties for children.”
This is what Snegurochka looks like in fairytales:
And this is what she looks like in real life:
So what do Russian houses with “curly” edges and Snegurochka have to do with my career?
It turns out that I want to eventually build beautiful houses and make beautiful clothes and accessories for women. In fact I have attempted both at different scales at different times.
The smallest scale is between age 9-12 when I used to make different sets of clothes for my Barbie dolls. Then between 12-15, I graduated to making skirts for myself by cutting and sewing my mom’s clothes when they seemed neglected a little too long. But each time mom caught the transformation, she would act like she was gonna wear them. Oh well, no more chance…
And when I grew up, I designed Fantasy Dresses for myself and Melinda to wear on our corporate New Year parties. In Mongolia, like in Russia, New Year parties are a HUGE thing. I have never seen it being that HUGE at a corporate level anywhere else in the world yet.
Here are some samples from my Fantasy Dress designs:
In below picture, Melinda is in her famous Butterfly Girl dress at the 2007-2008 corporate New Year party. The boy embracing her is the Group Founder/President’s 2nd son.
And in this picture, I am at that 2007-2008 corporate NY party with my Bird Eye & Hair transformation alongside my colleagues.
And here is Melinda in her Ballerina dress at the 2008-2009 corporate NY party. The young lady next to her was on my team.
And below is the most daring outfit I have designed and put on so far. It is the Playboy Bunny dress I sewed myself. It’s an open-back jumpsuit. The event was the 2005-2006 corporate NY party and the girl next to me was a colleague back then.
So these are some of the Fantasy Dresses I have designed. Actually I used to get quite thrilled about the whole process of coming up with the design concept/idea all the way up to wearing them or see Melinda wear them. In fact, as soon as the NY party was over, I would start searching for an idea for the next year’s dress. So that THRILLED I used to get!
But the Fantasy Dresses are not the only clothes I designed… I also designed normal clothes for Melinda and myself.
For example, below is one of the signature dresses I designed for Melinda. Because Melinda sat at the reception desk of the Group HQ, it was important for her to keep a presentable look. Hence, the “designer” dresses…
See how the style and the color of below dress seamlessly blends with Melinda’s gentle character.
And I designed dresses for myself as well. Below are two examples. (The guys and girls I’m hanging out with are my AUBG friends.)
And when I grew up further my Designing Vision didn’t stop at clothes only. I designed buildings as well.
The smallest buildings I designed were apartments. I created the interior design of my own gorgeous apartment as well as other apartments for business.
For example, this is how the apartment looked before it was passed unto me for a makeover in exchange for some .
And this is how the apartment looked after I gave it lots of . (By the way, I drove around town and hand-picked every single interior design item myself, including the wallpapers, curtains, furniture, fixtures, etc.)
And the next big Design Creation of mine was a total renovation of a mixed-use building inside out.
So this is how the building looked before I invested & in it.
And this is how the building transformed inside out after I worked on it.
I even created a Relaxation Room for my team to chill out.
And the largest Concept Design I created for a building was a 88-unit apartment block, the model of which you see below.
For this building, I created a concept called “Beehive”. The story behind the concept is a long one, but I will cut it short here by saying that the target market for the buyers was those who had studied abroad…
To communicate the concept to the target market, I organized a 500-people event/party and co-MC’ed the event. Below is the picture.
My target market supported the concept and indeed showed up at the event with Bee-inspired dresses as encouraged in the invitation.
So to sum it all up, I have created and executed hands-on designs for clothes and buildings, and until now I hadn’t realized that those two were my Childhood Callings and appeared on my drawings at every chance as a little girl.
To you, it may not seem like a BIG deal, but to me it is a BIG deal because I have spent 8+ months trying to figure out what my real Calling is… And when I figured it out, I realized that I had been called to draw them even as a 3-year-old girl. Now isn’t that amazing?
The 3-year-old me may not have known exactly what kind of clothes and buildings I wanted to create, but the 33-year old me know that now. And that is, I want to create Expressive Fashion, meaning I want to create clothes that speaks for the person wearing it. (Who said that communication has to be only verbal anyway?)
And also I want to create Aspirational Buildings, meaning I want to create buildings, the occupants of which grow to their better versions because of living in those buildings. Sounds too ambiguous? I could understand that… It isn’t something to be explained, but something to be experienced.
And besides clothes and building designs, I also like product designs. At this moment in time, I am not sure how that passion fits in the big picture. But it is definitely leading me somewhere. So I will keep you posted on that once I know more about it.
So that was me coming face-to-face with my Calling. And how about you? Do you know your Calling? What did you draw or play with as a child? Maybe that will give the clue…