Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Happiness is .....(31)


Sim browsing through the costume jewellery and creation of precious stones
by Patrick Ho, founder and owner of C.T. Treasure

Patrick in his ethnic Indian outfit which blends in so well with his pushcart of
interesting collection of jewellery.

Stylish yet economical. The chokers and bracelets with semi precious stones of amethyst, quartz,
etc. are chic!
My nieces would love Patrick's costume jewellery.

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I met my client Sim at the lawyer's office as after that she would take me to try some mee hoon with crabs at Don's Cafe and then to visit Patrick Ho's pushcart at China Square Central. When I saw her in casual clothing, I was surprised and learnt that Monday was a holiday since May Day was on a Saturday! Wow!

When we reached China Square, we saw Patrick sorting his pieces of jewellery. Patrick was as friendly, warm and sincere as Sim has described him. Anyone could see his passion in his work.

I asked Patrick how he got into this small, albeit interesting and lucrative business. He shared that when he was a teacher, he was sent to Kashmir on a project. It was in Kashmir that he met some lovely people and later became interested in selling Kashimiri scarves, clothes and jewellery. However, he now
focuses on jewellery as they are less bulky. Patrick would go to India for two weeks every month and then return with his new designs. I was happy to hear that Patrick only need to pay for the two weeks' rent for his pushcart every month. Through the years, Patrick has also given back by adopting a few godsons from Kashmir.

During the two weeks that he is away, his nephew, Jack Khoo, will continue to operate the other store at Furama City Centre Hotel (01-05A). Patrick does not look his age of 70! I guess when a person enjoys what he does, he will undoubtedly retain his youthfulness. Patrick is also artistic and musical. He showed us some of his sketches of fashionable clothes, and shared that he loves music and plays the violin as well.

Later, Sim and I passed by a shop which has beautiful pieces of jade and some semi-precious stones like tourmaline. We did not purchase anything as the items were costly. We then went to Chinatown to try some cold dessert.

Sim also wanted to show me semi precious stones in their raw and natural state. Hence, we headed for Sunshine Plaza. I was mesmerized by the innate beauty of the stones. We found three other shops with raw and polished stones. Sim suggested that we tried some Hong Kong dim sum at Sunshine Plaza. Although Little India is quite close to Sunshine Plaza, it was my first time in the building!

As Short Street is quite close by, I brought Sim to try some beancurd desserts!
A direct bus nearby would take Sim home all the way, while I walked back. We had enjoyed ourselves so much that I did not realise we had been on our feet for the past 11 hours!

For some ladies, happiness is when they have a two carat diamond ring on their fingers, but for me, admiring the beautifully handcrafted semi precious stones is sufficient to keep me happy. Happiness is also to be spontaneous when an opportunity presents itself. Amazing how we sometimes plan and plan to do something, but our plans do not materialise. At times, things just flow, and hence, we should flow along with the tide, and make the most of the situation. I had not expected my casual outing with Sim to turn out to be a wonderful gallivanting experience. Fortunately I did not have any appointment, and when a client phoned up, I decided to meet him only the following day. This the best part of my job.....I organise my own time.

Patrick has a pool of regular clients whom he communicates via email. I had given him my name card and just recently received his email:-

"A big Hello to all our friends. This is a gentle reminder that our outlet in China Square Central will be closed from 7th to 21st May. Business will resume as usual from 22nd May...however our other outlet in Furama City Centre Hotel (01-05A) will remain open... with Jack at your service.... hope to see you soon.

Jack & Patrick

Indeed I feel happy for Patrick that he is able to enjoy the twilight years of his life with such an interesting business. Even after retirement from teaching, he is able to use his artistic talent to design clothes and jewellery. It is no wonder that he is such a picture of health, joy, peace and contentment. He always advises his young nephew, Jack, to be sincere, diligent and honest, and customers will keep coming back.

Gan Chau

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