“One’s happiness is loneliness.” ——Noel Chu, Wedding dress designer
People work so hard to strive for a better quality of life. After working for a number of years, finally reaching the “harvest period” that is dedicated to enjoy life., but some people still refuse to stop . Coming to the second half of life, it is another beginning of a wonderful story. Graduated from Sociology and Law faculty, Noel Chu has occasionally been involved in the wedding industry to take over the family business by doing transformation and reform. After working for 20 years, she started considering infinite possibilities beyond wedding dress. In 2021, she established her first ready-to-wear fashion brand, Beyond the Dress, started a new adventure.
The worst case in life is you are so poor that only leaving behind money
“As I studied Sociology, I wished to merge community and fashion together.” Noel laughed and said that she was getting old and thought about the worst case in life was so poor that only leaving behind money. Therefore, she hoped to cultivate a small community with the power of Beyond the Dress to share happiness and aesthetic in life with each other. “People have been striving for so long that it's worth enjoying the results to make yourself healthier, happier and prettier. Happiness is not as simple as expected, so I am still looking for different formulas to let women treat themselves better.” Noel shared. Learning to spoil yourself is one of the life practices.
The wedding market in Hong Kong was small yet competitive. Recalling the challenges she has come across, Noel was so impressed that she could overcome them. “Many places like Korea, Japan, Europe, Taiwan, USA or even Israel, would like to enter the Hong Kong market. Thus, many local brands always came across lots of international challenges. But maybe because I was not a fashion design student, I wouldn’t be keen on certain styles. Clients were my inspiration, for me, if they looked beautiful by wearing my wedding dress, I would define it as a successful design.” Noel said. Compared to earning money, Noel preferred connecting with people more which the reason behind launching Beyond the Dress was becoming the bonding with her old clients. For Noel, clients were friends of hers. She laughed and said that she wouldn’t hope that her clients would come to request another wedding dress again. So Beyond the Dress has become the bridge between her and her clients.
I win by knowing myself will lose
“Dream chasing” seems to be eager because every step of becoming successful was extremely tough. Talking about starting a business, Noel thought she’s never confident about that. “Actually I won in the beginning because I knew I would lose. I expected this collection would not be profitable, but I would earn the experience and relationship. What if there were only one customer buying my product, if she felt happy with wearing it, I would be successful.” She claimed. Besides, supporting her talented team to chase their dreams was another reason for establishing the brand. “I wish to support people around me with what I owned. Happiness is the most important thing in life. Only if my team was happy and proud, it was a victory.” She said Hongkongers nowadays are so depressed without hope, or even wanted to leave this place. But she believed that good things were always here. What we needed to do was observe the tiny things in life to look for happiness that has long lost.
There were still many things worth of happiness in the world
“Many Hongkongers were unhappy that always feeling stressed with family and work.” Noel sighed. Especially when women were getting old, they may feel they were losing their charm and attraction. Thus, she would like to design some items to women to let them feel confident again. “I wish that when they wear our clothes, people will think they look different. I hope people will find the power of making themselves feel happy and confident.” Noel shared. The first collection of Beyond the Dress was Power of Unseen, wishing to remind people there were lots of joyfulness in life that were ignored like love, music, nature or even breath. Everything is a fortune.
Live like 1 years old when you are 51
Rating her level of happiness, Noel thought she got 7. “I was 51 years old this year, I’ve got a totally new perspective on life after 50. It felt like a totally new life starting from 0. I was like a 1 years old child to learn something new without any burden.” She laughed. Noel has become leisurely with her previous experience. She said everything was not inevitable and didn’t know whether she was worth all those support around her. “For me, I don’t need to chase for any fame and wealth now cause I have already gained a lot of relationships. In my religion, 7 is a perfect number which God spent 7 days to create the world. Hence, I am not greedy to ask for something more.” Noel shared.
We also learnt a lesson on the day we interviewed with Noel which was learning to be happy with forgiveness. “Love is the most powerful weapon. When I came across sadness, I would choose to love that person. The more you hate that person, the more you should love them. As I think they are so poor that nobody like them, so I will love them and problem will be solved.” Noel said. Compared to receiving something from others, she wanted to learn to bless others to make a better world. “I think I am so carefree that nothing can scare me now. I don’t have anything need to pursuit, thus, I don’t have any burden now.” Noel was satisfied with her life. She thought happiness was bringing other’s happiness as one’s happiness without people to share was loneliness. As she didn’t have her own children, her motto was to love people. “People may think I don’t feel upset, actually I’ve got so many troubles in life. But I know how to digest everything, therefore, I’ve got 7 points of happiness. I hope to share my perception with others, when they feel unhappy, they can make use of it.” Noel shared. Unsatisfactory things happen all the time, but whether fortune or misfortune, may be just a matter of thought.