I Do Bridal
Sue Thongthai from Thailand had a desire to begin her own business. "I never thought about owning a bridal shop until after my own wedding."
"As a child, I watched my mother make my clothes. She owned a treadle sewing machine and loved to sew," said Sue, short for Supha. "I didn't want my mother to make my clothes because I would rather buy them, but she died when I was ten. Now I wish I had one of the dresses she made for me."
Unlike her parents who met through a matchmaker, Sue recalls meeting her husband Joey Tu in a Chinese class. "At first I hesitated to get involved because I planned to return to Thailand, but Joey was very good to me."
"I finished my Masters, went home and worked for two years," said Sue. "My family accepted Joey because he waited and was willing to go to Thailand to marry me and fly his family over there. I never had anyone love me like that."
"My wedding was special," said Sue. "My dress was custom-made and designed by the same designer as the ‘I Do' collection dresses. I felt so lovely. It was such a happy moment for me I wanted every woman's wedding to be wonderful.
"Wedding dresses are different in Thailand. The more detail, the better, and every bride is different. We have two wedding dresses, one formal gown for the morning tea ceremony which can be any color, and an evening dress which is usually ivory."
After Sue married, her three sisters and brother wanted to know what kind of business she would start. They already had businesses, and they help one another in starting their businesses.
Sue learned that new businesses take time. "The first year is sacrifice and the next two or three you learn how to run it. We have a saying; ‘If you plant rice today, don't expect to eat rice tomorrow.' And rice can't grow without water, so do whatever it takes to produce for the next year. Never say no, I can't do it. Find a solution."
I Do Bridal & Portrait Store opened in July 2006. Their focus is wedding dresses and photography with a photo studio on site. "In Thailand the two go together. We engaged a well-known dress designer, Suprata, who designed for the Queen of Thailand.
"We build a relationship with the bride and want her to be fully satisfied," said Sue. "I enjoy being part of that wonderful moment when the bride looks and feels so beautiful."
"Success to me is satisfying a customer. If I keep doing a good, honest job, people will find out. When a mother has tears seeing her daughter look so beautiful, it makes me feel good about what I do."
Getting ready for summer vacation? Don’t forget to make arrangements for the family pet. Much as we love them, we can’t always take them with us when we travel.
Kennel boarding is a great choice for most pets because it provides human interaction, safety and security that aren’t available to a pet left at home. Since dogs are social animals, most actually enjoy being around other canines — which helps distract them from missing the family.
Both dogs and cats need a regular routine that includes frequent contact with caring humans throughout the day. A well-run facility, like Best Friends, will offer structure and lots of interaction with professional staff throughout the day. What’s more, a quality kennel offers the security of round-the-clock monitoring so any problems or health emergencies can be addressed quickly.
Choosing a Kennel
Whether you start with a friend’s recommendation or the yellow pages, always visit any kennel you are considering. Stop in during business hours and request a tour. If you are told you need an appointment, go elsewhere. At Best Friends, we have an open door policy and invite clients to drop in anytime during business hours.
As you tour, look around. Is the facility clean and safe? Do the pets have adequate space? Are there opportunities for exercise and play? If your pet has a special diet, be sure to ask whether they can handle that, and ask about special services and amenities like raised bedding, playgroups and ice cream treats, which will make your pet’s stay more like a vacation.
Most importantly, watch the staff interact with their guests. Do they talk to them? Call them by name? You want your pet to be surrounded by people who love animals.
Preparing your Pet
Since quality boarding kennels book up quickly during holiday and vacation periods, when you find one you like, don’t wait to make a reservation. Then, get your pet ready.
Update vaccinations at least one to two weeks in advance of boarding for maximum effectiveness. (A quality kennel will require proof that inoculations are current.)
Prepare contact information for your veterinarian. Include info on your destination and how you can be reached as well as someone local who can serve as “emergency backup."
- If your pet needs special food or medication, pack a few extra days' supply, just in case you are delayed. Include a familiar toy, but not his favorite.
Your pet’s reaction to the kennel will depend upon your behavior at drop-off. Don’t create a prolonged farewell scene. Instead, tell him to have a good time in a happy voice and reassure him with a smile.
If you are anxious about leaving your pet, make arrangements to check in. Our staff never minds taking a call from a worried pet owner to reassure you that your best friend is doing just fine.
Susan Henke is Manager of Best Friends Pet Care, 13517 Railway Drive, Oklahoma City. Best Friends offers dog and cat boarding, grooming and a full range of other pet care services. For information, call 405-751-1944 or visit www.bestfriendspetcare.com.