Jacqueline Au, Founder & Creative Director, The LOFT

Beating the Monday Blues

“I don’t really have Monday blues; instead, I suffer from Friday blues. (Laughs) Weekends are typically my busiest time. We have a lot of back to back appointments during weekends; sometimes, we don’t even have time to squeeze in a meal. That being said, I feel that when you really enjoy what you’re doing, especially as an entrepreneur, the days tend to get quite blurred; I don’t even remember whether it’s a Tuesday or Wednesday!”

“But if you actually relax, albeit just a little every single day, to get yourself feeling better and prepare for the next day, your Monday will not be such a terrible day.”

“Funnily enough, Monday is actually my best day of the week. My staffs normally have their day off, so it is a day I get to be alone. Usually, I do all sorts of things that I don’t involve socializing such as a lot of planning, financing, and good old fashioned thinking.”

“Those who suffer from Monday blues, I think they tend to put in a lot of work during the weekdays and then decide to let loose on a crazy weekend, because they put too much emphasis on the weekends. But if you can actually relax, albeit just a little every single day, to get yourself feeling better and prepare for the next day, your Monday will not be such a terrible day.”

8:00 A.M. – Start My Morning

“I am the kind of person who needs a lot of sleep, so I’ll be in bed by ten at night for sure. Sometimes, I’ll be watching Netflix, but I do make sure that the lights are off by eleven. It’s pretty easy to align my sleep schedule with that of my husband because he sleeps even earlier than me like 9:30 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. and wakes up at 6:00 a.m. every morning to do his training for an Ironman Triathlon.”

“I usually get up every day around 8:00a.m.  I definitely reach for my phone right away, just to turn my alarm off. Then, I drink a glass of warm water with lemon. I’ve observed that it really hydrates me and helps maintain my digestion system. I also find that my skin looks a bit more radiant as well. I’ve been doing that for the past 10 years.”

8:30 A.M. – Skincare Routine

“My skin is quite good, so I don’t do much to my skin; moisturizing is good enough for me.”

“Instead, I choose to invest my time in hair care in order to maintain a healthy condition. I started losing a lot of hair due to high levels of stress from previous jobs. When my schedule was getting crazy, I almost always forgot to eat and continued to work non-stop. I think the way I worked damaged my hair a lot since I never really nurtured myself with real, nutritious food. I then started using OMG Glossy Shampoo and OMG Glossy Treatment and they became something that I’ll never go without, even to this day. They’re truly the best thing to have happened to my hair! It takes away the fizziness, but it also makes really, really glossy and beautiful.”

“Every morning, I’ll spray a bit of their blow dry lotion on my hair before I blow dry; it also gives you some collagen in there, so that it doesn’t dry out. It has so much greatness in there that I am thoroughly impressed. They also have plant stem cell that heals all of the damaged strands.”

9:00 A.M. – Breakfast Time  

“I usually have Greek yogurt with fruits like berries or figs for breakfast – followed by a toast with lots of peanut butter. I simply love peanut butter! I tried changing to organic almond butter as an alternative, because I think Skippy peanut butter has way too much sugar and artificial ingredients.  That being said, I don’t want to be too skinny either.”

“I was a vegan when I was in high school in California. It was very easy to be a vegan back then as California is one of the most vegan-friendly cities. But then, I was very thin and wasn’t looking healthy. Every time I ate something other than my cooked food, I was down with stomach-ache because my diet was way too clean. Since then, I try not to make my diet excessively clean. I feel like I need a bit of fat and sugar overall.”

“You may find inspiration simply by the things that you hear, sense, and observe from what you are surrounded with.”

“If I am not motivated to work that day, I will definitely have a very good breakfast at NOC. They have some really good breakfast over there. I think sometimes people get unmotivated when they get stuck in their daily routine. I like being in a regular routine, but I oftentimes tend to get bored when I am doing the same thing every day in and day out, so it’s actually great to make my day slightly different than usual. You may find inspiration simply by the things that you hear, sense, and observe from what you are surrounded with.”

10:00 A.M. – First Thing to Do at the Start of Every Work Day

“Every day, I make it a point to write my to-do list on any sort of paper with a Sharpie. It really gives me a deep sense of satisfaction when I’m done with something, and then I can just cross it. I don’t do a tick. I review what I’ve done by the end of each day, and then maybe write a new to-do list for the next day. But if the day doesn’t go according to my plan, I don’t get too worked up about it because let’s face it – that’s just life.”

“And I can just swift things around on my list.”

11:00 A.M. – Our First Appointment with Bride

“On other weekdays, our first appointment typically begins at 11:00 a.m. I mean, brides don’t wake up that early and go shopping. (Laughs) At Loft, we adapt a very personal approach. I do all the buying and also meet my own customer. Conversely, I took a much wider perspective in order to cater to a broader audience when I was working at Celine and Lane Crawford. So, during the first hour of our meeting with bride, we aim to fully understand the vision of their wedding, what she is looking out for, and give her some advice or comments as to whether or not she’s on the right track.”

 

“Now, I tend to see myself more like a wedding consultant. When brides first come in, all of them obviously want to lose a lot of weight. Apparently though, they put a lot of pressure on themselves, and eventually might end up losing far too much weight. Sometimes for us, it’s just about comforting them.”

“Obviously, we’re not their closest person, but we will become their listener to hear what their concerns are. We will think be sympathetic to the kinds of problems or issues that she might run into; we try to solve her problem before she even runs into one, which is what makes us different. Consequently, they are able to trust us as a third person outside of the circle of craziness. Sometimes, we tell them, ‘If you stop eating, your skin is actually going to look dull. What you have to do is to choose your diet wisely. You can’t really be doing the yo-yo diet. You should be consistent with what you eat. I mean, eating a piece of chocolate every day isn’t going to kill you. That’s why we do see ourselves as a support system a lot of times.”

The Greatest Thing about Being a Morning Person

“When I get up very early, I actually realize that the day is actually very, very long. Whereas at night, I feel like there are a lot of distractions. The day is really short; I truly can’t focus on doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

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