From a small town, we had started everything by ourselves. With fairly little resources (a shoebox of tools and material), we worked and reinvested what we made every single time. Very often, we grabbed at any opportunity that could allow us to grow. We worked long hours, everyday for the past year and travelled to bigger cities to tell our stories back home. Every business trip we took is a long awaited moment for us to get some sleep.
The plane has landed. I woke up to a long queue of passengers waiting for the cabin door to be opened. My last memory was being seated and fastening the seat belt, in another city. The same song was playing in the air.
Counting Stars by OneRepublic
For the first time, there was this moment where everything froze before me and I truly felt those lyrics. I cried. Every word punched through into my heart, it is those feeling and thoughts that we have yet been able to explain with words.
Remember Why You Started
The first debut of our storytelling pieces was at the 2014 Rainforest World Music Festival. We had carefully laid out stories of each piece printed on textured ivory cards. Each piece was showcased like a person with a story to tell. We had received many emails telling us how the stories behind each of our pieces had moved them and provided strength to them but for us, seeing their reactions upon reading for the first time is still beyond words.
The stories behind each piece resonates with different people. We observed people from a wide spectrum of gender, profession, ethnicity and nationality, connect to the same story. They would stand in front of our displays, hands in their pockets and their head tilted to the side while reading the story cards silently. A faint smile would appear and their faces would light up, sometimes they would reach out to us with a firm handshake. They would even tell us their name, where they were from and their personal stories that resonated with the piece. Amongst an open space filled with festival goers, there is this sense of intimacy as they told us about their lives and showed us their most human emotions.
A Glimpse of Hope
Hope is the light at the end of the tunnel. As we head towards our destination, it is the strength that allows us to get back up after every fall. What the mirror in the beginning did not show, is that small glimpse of hope with which we still hold on to. It keeps us going - even if we may not have been built for the rough sea - we have chosen to leave the shore. Learning how to sail and swim in between while at sea. The beginning has always been rough but as long as we have the courage and desire to take that first step to make a difference, we are writing our own story.
For us, the Counting Stars collection is our founding story, about taking a leap of faith. To be a messenger, a storyteller who would give people their time, ask for their names and listen to their story. This is because every story is worth telling, it brings hope to people in search for strength and with this hope, life is always worth living.