Tomorrow, I’m going to have the first photoshoot for my start-up; thelenstory.com. The photographers will be the first three of my marketplace sellers; we help each other to build a portfolio for our website. It’s going to be an indoor photoshoot for 5 categories at one shot! Pre-wedding, baby & kids, graduation, family, and beauty portraiture.
In the past one week, I’ve been super busy to prepare all the photoshoot details! The concept, wardrobe, rundown, hunting for MUA and all the props I need! The only big spending I did this whole month was only for the props. I bought some clothes, accessories, aprons, I even bought a very big teddy bear! Hunting for this big bear was quite a story.
Initially I was planning to buy from Teddy House but the nearest store was a bit far from my place. I told my friends about that plan and they suggested me to go to Gembrong market instead. They said that the items were pretty much the same but the prices were significantly cheaper. I am actually not a big fan of traditional market; the aisle is narrow, the space is open air (and therefore it’s hot!), and I still have to bargain just to get the best price from the merchants. But well… I don’t have million dollars USD to fund my start-up and a bit of saving here and there would definitely help!
So there I decided to give Gembrong market a try. My friends gave me some tips: bargain as much as you can, go around the market to compare the price, and don’t wear nice and fancy clothes so that they won’t charge you expensive price for your items. That sounded like a plan to me so that I decided to wear just a simple outfit with almost no make-up on my face.
My outfit was just fine, except this one stupid mistake I did: I still kept my heels on. I’m 171 CM with 7 CM heels and it made me have to bow when I walked through the aisle so that I could keep my head safe from the toys hung on the ceilings. The market was also longer that I saw from outside and wearing heels on uneven ground could also be very challenging. My sister laughed seeing my struggle and she said, “I’m amazed that you’re willing to enter that market!”
Well the truth is that I enjoyed my visit to Gembrong market. Apart from all the downsides, they indeed sell varieties of nice toys both for boys and girls. My nephew really loves this market too. There’s only one thing that made me feel disappointed in my first time to Gembrong: the merchants somehow still offered me overrated price.
Back in Gembrong market, I almost bought a bear priced around IDR 500k. It was fluffy and the size was just right. I still wanted to look for a cuter doll so I walked away and left the market empty handed. I entered Basura mall; right next to Gembrong, hoping that maybe I could find something in that mall. And I was right. I found a toy store in Basura and they also sold the exactly same doll I saw in Gembrong. And did you know? The price in that mall was only IDR 300k!
I managed to find a cute doll I wanted in Basura but I was still unhappy with the size. I needed a doll with height more than one meter and the doll I had was around 20 CM shorter. I told myself that I should find a way to either make it work, or to buy another doll online and ask the seller to send it using Gojek (same day delivery).
I already had some plans running on my head.
Maybe I should change the pose so that I can work with this shorter bear.
Maybe I should order from Tokopedia today so that the doll will arrive tomorrow noon.
But then the universe brought me to an even better plan!
On our way home, I asked my brother not to take a freeway hoping that we can find something along the way. And then my sister replied, “If I’m not mistaken, there is this one nice store close to your high school.”
I tried to recall and she was right; there is one store selling dolls in Gamprit area. My sister checked on Google Map and we were only 2 KM away from that store! Initially I doubted I would find something nice in that area, but right when my car arrived on the parking lot, I instantly changed my mind. I could see the exact doll I was looking for displayed by their windows! I walked so fast to that store, and the first question I asked, “How much does that cost?”
Not only one doll, but also I found a couple more of big and cute dolls in that Gamprit store! It took me around 30 minutes until I ended up buying the first doll I pointed out when I arrived. Before I left the store, I told them that I would definitely come back if I needed something else. They have a high quality product and apparently, they are local company who produce their items in Malang factory. As a fellow Indonesian entrepreneur, I’m so proud that we have more and more capable local players in Indonesia!
Running my own business has really made me do the things I never did before. I had to walk out of my comfort zone to do the things that I usually avoid. But apparently, doing the unknown can be a lot of fun! This doll hunting is just one small stories, I still have a few other big stories to tell, but I’ll keep that for next time.
Now I really need to go back to work just to make sure that all are good for tomorrow’s shoot. Wish me luck!