“A proud business owner at the age of 21 and an experience to groom renown various artists in Malaysia, Angel shares her life story with us and how SHELTER played an important role in her life.”
At a young age, Angel’s dream was to be a lawyer when she grows up but life was very tough then. Angel, the only child in the family, whose father passed away when she was a baby, grew up with her grandmother. Her mother remarried to another person and only explained to her that she has given her to her grandmother to be taken care of because her place is near to the school.
As her Aunt works at a Home then, Angel got a chance to visit the Home and saw the environment of the Home. She really liked it and she would ask to stay with the children there during the school holidays. Angel was only 11 then. A year later, her mother passed away. When she was 13, her Aunt’s friend who really liked her wanted to adopt her but she disagreed to the request.
By the age of 14, she was not happy with her environment and had no contact with her family anymore so she asked her Aunt’s friend to send her in a Home, she was then sent to SHELTER.
At that time, SHELTER 2 was a vocational home. The Home manager then made sure that all the girls would get to learn from a variety of skills. These classes ranged from knitting, cooking, sewing, hairdressing, decorating (flowers), cross stitching and even basic English and Computer classes. These classes were held daily. She was the top student in the Home and teachers were close to her as she has a strong desire to learn. Among all the skills, she liked hairdressing the most. At this point of her life, John loga, the Community officer then, helped to acquire her Birth Certificate as well. Her grandmother for some reason lost it. After 9 months at SHELTER, her step father wanted to take her back. The Home manager then, Ruby, stopped it as she could tell that her step father just wanted to use her for some other purposes and had no interest in taking care of her.
Another volunteer who has been teaching her hairdressing, Lian see, however took her in instead as her trainee as she ran her own business. She was 15 then. Angel stayed with her, followed her to work, started to learn what it is like to do real work and also learnt many other things from Lian see and her staff with careful observation. Lian See was not calculative and do not hesitate to spend on any of her needs. There was also another ex-resident of SHELTER who was already staying and working with Lian See as well. It was a difficult start for Angel as there was a lot to adjust but she stuck it through and eventually got used to it. Two years later, she got a scholarship to do a course with Kim Marie. The course which was supposed to take two years to complete, she only finished in 8 months as she got her basics covered with her work experience. Wella sponsored her advance course and she finished it in a few months as well.
Her life started to take a better turn. She was hired in a famous hairstylist place known as Jasmine and she got a chance to groom artists like Alleycats, Reshmonu, Jacklyn Victor, Anantha and Ram from Astro, Sasi the Don and even other professionals like Laywers and Doctors. This is where she also expanded her repertoire of skills as she picked up many grooming skills like make up, waxing and so on.
After two years, she felt that she was not learning much anymore and so she moved on to work for another person at Puchong. Her pay however was only RM1200. This business owner was very uninvolved in the business and was expecting her to do everything from A-Z. From contacting the suppliers to all sorts of hairstyling and grooming, she would have to do it all. With all the work along with her qualification and years of experience, she really felt underpaid but at least, the pay was stable.
A volunteer name Jade who helped at SHELTER 2 has always been in touch with her and learnt about her situation. Jade was the person Angel depended a lot on in hard times. When Jade saw the potential in Angel, she started advising her to start her own business sometime later. Angel was not courageous enough to make that move. However, the business owner saw the potential in her and gave her the offer to be a partner to keep her. Jade protested vehemently and strongly advised Angel not to agree as Angel will share her profit with a sleeping partner, she listened.
Not too long after, things got tensed between Angel and the business owner and a slip of words were said to her that caused a misunderstanding and hence Angel decided to leave. With much encouragement from Jade with both words and money, Angel started her own with her measly savings of Rm3000. It was very hard for her at beginning as she just turned 21 but customers who knew that she left started coming to her, one by one. Just in two weeks, she already made more than she saved in 2 years. She realized her true capability and how much she has been missing out and Jade has been the person who really pushed her through.
Today, Angel is no longer in contact with Jade due to some issues but the ex-Home manager of SHELTER 2, Wendy, got in contact with her and is now her pillar of support. Angel has established her business with a staff and even owns her own business place known as Angel’s hair beauty studio. She is also currently happily married and just gave birth to her daughter not too long ago. Angel who is very grateful to SHELTER currently does not charge or gives them a good price to ex-staff or staff from SHELTER who goes to her for any grooming.