EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Turning Trash into Treasure with Shawn
2020: THE SUM OF EVERYTHING SHAWN!
When COVID-19 first closed the borders of the world, shattering businesses and lives, it was mostly pick up, pack up, and get off the bandwagon! But here’s where I revved up my creative engine, shifted gear, and found new avenues to explore innovative opportunities. My name is Shawn Lourdusamy. I’m proud to be a man of many hats and I wear each with pride and joy.
DREAMS MADE REAL (DMR)
I am a dreamer. I have always dreamt of turning people’s dreams into a reality. And that’s how DMR came into being. For the past 20 years, DMR grew into a platform for effective marketing and communication that brought many events and promotions to life. Through my journey with DMR, I founded CausewayEXchange, a decade old cross-border arts festival, and took on the role of the festival director of the Malaysian Film Festival in Singapore.
While running my festivals, I worked with artists and artisans from both sides of the causeway who truly inspire me with their works, so much so that I never had the time or opportunity to expand on my hobbies.
LIGHTING UP NEW AVENUES
What started out as an idea to turn my niece’s wedding bottle into a lamp and gift it to her as a memorabilia of her wedding day, sparked off a creative adventure. From this first project, I explored on doing more and eventually invested in my own tools, learning every step of bottle lamp making on my own.
Circuit breaker happened and that put out many lights in the creative industry. Dark days loomed but I had to fight my way back into the light. Slowly but surely. Bottle lamp making became a therapy for me in these stressful months as I churned out bottles after bottles, only to present them as gifts to friends, a symbol of hope for each and every one.
PROJECT ITCHY HANDS
Family and friends were generous with their compliments about their gifts. This further motivated me. I am one who is never afraid of starting up, starting over or even failing for that matter. To me, the fact that you try new things is, in itself, a victory. This led to the founding of #projectitchyhands.
As a business person, I couldn’t keep my hands still, always looking for new opportunities and ventures that could be a beacon of new breakthroughs in this climate. I saw my bottle lamp gifts as an opportunity to turn it into a good small business I could grow, encouraging upcycling and recycling amongst the community. It is still very therapeutic for me as it brings me great joy when I work on these lamps.
I take pride in commissioned orders from clients who have requested for specific bottles. Thus, I am constantly on the lookout for unique bottles that is of interest to my clientele. As I worked with clear bottles, I discovered I could push further the joy of recycling by filling these bottles with expired or used coffee beans! My friends can attest to me asking them for specific bottles or their expired coffee beans.
Just recently, I received one of my biggest orders to date, 25 bottles for a bistro in the east coast of Singapore. It was definitely a challenge to complete and deliver them within a week, but it was worth every bottle upcycled!
IGNITE YOUR DREAMS
As we all face this changed economy, I certainly hope that more people will appreciate my small business – a great reason to customise and upcycle beautiful bottles, turning them into artistic bottle lamps to light up their hearts and home.
Wait. Before you turn this page over, let me leave you with this personal mantra that never fails to awaken my soul. And yes, if you have an itch, do something about it.
“One of the best and most difficult lessons you can learn in life is that no one owes you anything and you owe yourself everything.” – Shawn Lourdusamy