My Celebrity Doctor 👩‍⚕️

Why would a doctor need a fancy photo-shooting at a five star resort? For fun? For her own interest? For her personal branding? Who else does she want to be?

On a not-so-beautiful day of May 2020 for me because the tourism and hotel industry has got the largest hit of the century due to the destruction of the corona pandemic, I received an influencer-cooperation request for a photo shooting project at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An from my favorite make-up artist cum producer Kyo Phan. I would love to work with him of course then I asked if he could send me a detailed program of the cooperation for my own review. We had worked before on different projects with professional models or people who work in the entertainment industry. But this time, it’s not really about a model, not even an actress or a singer. He said it was about Kha Le, a businesswoman and an entrepreneur. Oh what? I think I missed something, she is also a doctor, a dentist to be exact. But why would she need such a fancy photo-shooting in such a five star resort?

I was like why? Why would a doctor need to have a fancy photo-shooting in a five star resort? For fun because she’s rich? Maybe? Or for her own personal branding? Perhaps she’s working on a project? Maybe…

So I did a bit of homework and googled her name. I didn’t have to wait long, a number of articles came up. Of course I would be able to tell which article is paid on commercial and marketing purpose and which one is not. But I do see something different. This woman has really made an effort with her personal branding. Here are some of my findings:

“For a woman, fashion is a joy” (Image: GlobalWoman.vn)

Then on a beautiful summer evening in Hanoi, I finally had a chance to meet with Dr Kha Le, after spending a few days of doing my own research about her and her brand TrendSmile also.

My first impression? She’s an elegant and a beautiful woman yet very friendly and quite easy to talk with. Just like how I was convinced by the way she carried herself, I guess she would do a great job to make her client trust and love her as long as they get to see her. I like her more in the daily life or even when she’s in a uniform. No matter what she says or what people say, she’s a doctor after all. And it takes years and brainwork, lots of brainwork to be a doctor. But here’s even a beautiful female doctor, there’s a difference, too👩‍⚕️

Dr Kha Le and her selfie – This picture is posted with permission 😇

“I am a woman after all, apart from being a doctor and a wife and a mother. I think it’s important that I have time to enjoy life. I have seen my female class-mates from university. Although many of us ended up becoming dentists, and then becoming wives and mothers of their children, but many are doctor – doctors by own means. They get stuck in their uniforms the whole time. Some of them even seem to look older than their age and tired. But of course they do look like doctors in the world that is defined for us with lots of ethical standards and sacrifices”, Kha Le said. Then she continued: “But I want more, I want to enjoy life, I am a doctor but I am a woman also. I want to feel beautiful and look beautiful. I believe we should never put a limit on ourselves, you can still be a doctor and a beautiful woman at the same time”. I am not sure about you, whoever might be reading this, whether you are a man or a woman, but I personally adore the type of woman who has her own interests and simply knows how to inspire other people even with a small act of her daily selfie as a way of saying hello to the world 🤳

Yes I do like her selfie too ☺️

Then it came to my turn to ask “So what do you want to do from now?”, looking at Dr Kha Le as she was about to share more.

“I’ve started Trend Smile for more than 3 years now. It’s not been easy but I think we’ve got some very first encouraging successes. I want to live a happy life and bring happiness to people by helping them to design the best possible smiles. Some people are simply not lucky enough to have a good smile to start with. But I always believe having a good smile can change someone’s life”.

At some point I am glad that I have met her. Although I am actually not a big fan of all these beautiful stuff. I called it beautiful stuff because I really don’t spend lots of effort of searching the definition of “the best smile” or “the best beauty smile” or whatever. But this doctor has convinced me that she’s really been trying to make a difference, even if it only started by becoming a beautiful and successful doctor who is good at inspiring people around her.

This Trend Smile brand is another interesting story. I was quite fond of the design of the logo to be honest, although I need to admit that I do not know much about design. But it looks clean, fresh and quite modern for me. Maybe it’s just my own opinion because I am a fan of minimalism. Unlike other dentist clinics who often use the drawing of a “tooth” to design their logos, Trend Smile’s logo was inspired by the idea of a circle hugging and protecting a human body. The logo was created with the belief that when you know how to take care of your dental health, you know how to care of your own body and soul.

Vietnamese idiom has this saying “Cái răng, cái tóc là góc con người”. It means the teeth and head-hair are considered as human figure, which gives the meaning to the most important parts of human appearance”.

I have asked a few designers for what they think about this logo. They said, for a dental brand, they would prefer something shaper as it shows professionalism and accuracy.

I came to her dental place in Hanoi at 255 Pho Hue, I was also informed that she has another address in District 7 in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) since she knew that I live in Ho Chi Minh City now. My impression? I felt at ease, no stress because the design of the clinic and arrangement made us feel calm. I did some easy dental cleaning so it was not much of a big deal, but it was a totally a smooth process, it can be compared to the feeling of entering a Spa. The team including the doctors was very gentle, polite but still looking sharp and professional. I would definitely come back perhaps because of the dentists here who really have made me feel comfortable and safe ☺️

So that is it. Kha Le is becoming more and more admirable in her own way. I called her a “celebrity” doctor to hope that she will make her dreams come true. Be a successful and beautiful doctor, with a style! Let me share with you some beautiful pictures of hers taken at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An. Looking at these images, I think I need to ask her to show her work license to prove that she is a real doctor, simply because she is too gorgeous to be a normal one. Thanks God she’s not normal and that makes her very special👩‍⚕️

I wish all women in the world would be able to find success, love and happiness no matter what they do. And the sky is not even the limit if you believe that so. Cheers to better days to come! 🍸

Try everything, keep the best!

I have recently decided that every time I see something good or someone who has done something that I found meaningful, I will make a record out of it. Either to give them a recommendation on Social Media or at least to write a blog post or to tell the story to related people that I know just to show my appreciation.

I first met this brother – Kyo Phan about 2 years ago when I was in charge of the Sales and Marketing activities for Legacy Yen Tu – MGallery. He was the make-up artist in the first photo-shooting project which I had the chance to take care of. He didn’t really have chance to talk much as was mainly for him to listen to me and to what other people had to say. We added each other on Facebook, occasionally “Like” and “Comment” to each other’s post but hardly ever talked, maybe once or twice because there was actually no reason to do so. We barely knew each other. I remember that one time I told him that I had a job change to Hoi An area.

About a month after, he contacted me and see if we could have a chance to work on another shooting, this time at TUI BLUE Nam Hoi An, the new resort where I am currently assigned to work. I would love to say yes but the resort was not ready, I referred his proposal to another sister property in the area so that he could still get the work done. Then he said, whenever I need something regarding make-up or taking profile pictures I would need to let him know. I thought it was kind for him to say so but didn’t really care much at that moment.

I guess about 2 months after we finally had the chance to meet again when I was back in Hanoi for my business trip, we met up over a nice dinner at Ming Restaurant of the Pan Pacific Hanoi. He wanted to introduce me to the lead model in one of his recent projects – Dr Kha Le from Trend Smile. And the moment he introduced my name and how we met, I was stunned. He said I was the one who took care of him so well in one of the best shootings that he has ever done. Because of me taking time to introduce to him everything about the Legacy Yen Tu, from the pottery and the meaning of the rice-husk wall so he remembered and the crew was able to capture the best shoots of the property and models.

Then we kept talking the entire evening and ended up having a nice drink at Angelina’s of the Sofitel Legend Metropole. He reminded me that we needed to do a shooting for me so we decided to do in a few days after. And here are the results:

This is the most like-able picture of the entire album. I do not know why people like it so much ☺️
For this picture to be done, it took me no less than 30 times passing the road ☺️
I think I actually look more like an actress in this picture.
Another “celebrity” moment ☺️
I don’t know how they were able to capture this look…
And this too ☺️
I think it’s kind of fun to do this once in a while ☺️

And only once in a while should be enough I guess. But the experience was worthwhile as I do believe that I had the chance to work with one of the best teams in the make-up and styling industry in Vietnam. Kyo Phan is definitely a genuine, fun and talented make-up artist. I was also blessed to know Duc Nhat, his hair stylish and especially Ms Mai Giang who did a great styling job for me on the shooting day. She was so gentle and caring and so humble for her own tittle as Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2012. I guess the next level of maturity when you know how to stop taking yourself too seriously.

Here are two of my favorite people: Mai Giang (Left) – Vietnam’s Next Top Model 2012 & Kyo Phan (Right) – The super talented make-up Artist 🤗

He is also a fashionista and a great model, too 😇

The best version of you

It’s been a hazy Sunday afternoon today and I couldn’t get lazier. Life has changed a lot since my last blog post and I guess it was written 4 years ago maybe. The feeling is somewhat similar to what you do with a long distance relationship. You had spent so much time apart and you had so much to tell to the other person, but when you actually have the chance to meet and talk again, you simply don’t know where to start.

So what have I been doing over the past few years?

I am still a hotelier, but much different now. Not in a five-star city hotel where everything is just so close and convenient and professional like how much I wish I could have in my recent jobs. Although I do feel like I am going backwards in terms of system and technology but still, I am so glad that I got to see new things, new people, new challenges and finally managed to step out of my comfort zone.

I’ve changed my job twice (2018 and 2019 respectively) and currently moved to Saigon to live and work. Life has been fair to me I guess.

I have decided to go back to university after my first 5 or 6 years of work experience. For me this learning process has been quite complicated as how I find it, sometimes useful, most of the time a waste of time and money, but in the end, you’ll learn something anyway and you’ll hopefully get the degree, sooner or later.

I’ve got to meet new friends and re-united with some long lost ones. The best part, I guess is that I am blessed to be surrounded or under supervision of those who love me, to talk and laugh together during happy moments or to find ways to give me some comfort when I am weak.

“You haven’t changed a bit since we first met”. I have heard this several times from several people. Some told me: “You are still the same person that I met 5 years ago. My response was like: “What do you meant? How would that be possible? That’s not true, I have changed a lot, emotionally and physically, I am prettier, can’t you recognize?” I said jokingly. But obviously some people may perceive you one way while others see you in different way as how you allow them to see you. But for me, I think it’s quite true that I don’t change a lot, my habits, my way of seeing the world and seeing people. I just hope that if I had to change something about myself, that would be for the better, like how I am getting more and more comfortable with being my authentic self and to believe that I am a beautiful lady even with knowing that I do have lots of flaws and silly thoughts. Nevertheless, let’s keep calm and trust the process then, because I believe that the best version of yourself is always the current version of yourself, even when you are happy or when you are sad, when you are strong or vulnerable, there’s always beauty, if you know where to look.

This portrait is one of my favorite shots which was taken recently during my last trip back in Hanoi in July 2020. Some said it was definitely the best version of me while other said they would like to see me more in a natural and gentle form. Well, this is still me, a different version of me. This is just to show that I am capable of changing my style as I how I want to. It’s just the authenticity that I would like to keep for myself and the ones I love and treasure.

Okay that sounds very irrelevant but there’s a guy who keeps starring at me the whole time now as I am sitting in a corner of a coffee shop and writing my first blog post after a long time. Not that I am going to do anything about it, just find it quite amusing.

Saigon, 23 August 2020

Hakuna Matata

For one and many reasons, April had never been the favourite month of the year for me and for many of us who live in the city of Hanoi. It is Spring here when we would rather expect to see beautiful flowers, but in this fast-paced developing city with full of ongoing construction projects, the sky could not look any sadder and greyer. Although the weather is not too hot, not too cold but you could easily feel the wet, dirty, smelly, sticky and humid air. By this time last year, I spent most of my time thinking of all the happenings with life, career, relationship and of course this damn weather too.

Like a day dreamer, I walked along a rainy street and I decided that I need to see a good friend of mine. The appointment was set up in only 10 minutes later in a coffee shop nearby, I guess this is why he became such a good friend of mine.

“How are you?” I asked.

“Happy”  He immediately replied.

“Why? and How?”

“Oh you know, I’ve got to do what I like, I quit the job that feel so stuck at it after three years. Of course there was a time that I feel hopeless, I even spent a month reading an over 400 pages long book about history of Vietnam. You know I could be historian now”. “You?” – He laughed and asked me back.

“Miserable”. I answered then looked away through the window and sighed.

“What are you looking at?” – He asked.

“The weather. I am so out of this place…”. I replied.

“What are your problems?” – He started to look at me and ask…

“Many problems” – I replied and went on: “But I’d like to blame on this weather so neither me nor anyone else would have to take this blame.

“Then let’s talk about the weather… What do you hate about it?”. He asked.

“It is messy here, there are times of the year when it is either too hot or too cold, too humid or too dry. Now it’s been raining for the whole month and no one seems to work… What kind of place is this? People are going crazy and so am I”. I felt guilty that I called him all his way to see me then have to hear all this but I just could not help it.

“Did you think about the upsides of this weather?” He asked and laughed a little.

“Okay, tell me, what’s up?” I asked.

“It’s raining and humid right? So that they could sell more home appliances like dryers, like raincoats or umbrellas. They are produced for a reason you know… Think about the law of supply and demand… And now you’re complaining that we have too many seasons huh? Thought you would be happy that you will be able to wear change your outfits after each season. The fashion industry in a city of four seasons will mostly have more things to do and to talk about than an all year round sunny city don’t you think?”.

He shut me up since then because I simply could not agree more…

I was asked to give lots of advices today to a new colleague of mine, who is an expatriate, completely new to the city and having full of doubts about herself and her future. We spent 03 hours of talk about everything then as soon as she started talking about the weather, I gave her a quick smile, realising the story is getting a little old. I said: “April showers bring May flowers, have you heard this before? I learned this some time ago.

And “Hakuna Matata” – I brought this from Lion King, it means “No worries”. Things will work out for the best.

camppretty_mayflowers

#From Work: Young & Innocent

#TinyStoryFromWork:

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To me, the worst thing about wearing a uniform and following the same dress code is the fact that you will not be able to tell who is who and you will not be able to tell if he/she’s got a style… Well, I am not going to have a uniform debate by the way, I am just making excuses for not knowing some of our junior colleagues’ names because they all look similar in their uniforms on a regular basis. But there’s one person that I am going to remember his name forever from today.

Where to start? I merely went for a general check up a V.I.P function at the hotel today to ensure the event was under control. Unfortunately, I got to know that it was actually not-so-under-control from the very first few seconds…

“Why?” – I asked the supervisor.

“One of our staff went unconscious for a few minutes in the V.I.P room and when the majority of guests had been seated”.

“Who? and Why?” – I asked while getting a little bit shocked.  I could not think of any suitable reason, did we make he/she work too hard? It was 12:00 and perhaps he/she skipped breakfast? “Was that a he or a she? Do I know him/her?”

“It’s a he”. She replied and continued: “I think you do know him. He had been with us for a long time but he worked as a casual staff. And today was actually the day that he has his officially contract signed with the hotel that makes him so nervous and then it happened… A bit unfortunate that there were so many V.I.Ps in the room but I hope they understood if we tell them the reason”.

“Where is he now? Is he okay?” – I continued.

“He’s right there, working like nothing has happened”. She answered.

“Oh”! I stopped for a second and looked to the right where the boy was standing to welcome the guests.

Yes, I do notice him, this tall and young male Sofitel ambassador who wears glasses, about 20 years old. He’s got a friendly smile with both politeness and shyness. At that very moment, I could not think of anything else – Who could be so mad at him now? And for taking his job too seriously? Hmmm I do not think so… Instead I thought it was cute and innocent of him – and I would say this frankly if and only if this did not make me any less of being a hospitality professional. I have not felt this way for a long time about someone I know. Perhaps it was just for a simple reason that I have met too many people, and yes including myself who often appear in the most ‘damn’ mysterious, confident and …fearless!

This ‘junior’ moment actually made me smile. I hope the boy is all okay now. But since he has taken this career so seriously and to the extent that he got so emotional like that, I hope he will end up being a good person and a good career advancement ahead.

And for me, it would be interesting to know what happened to Miss No-Longer-Afraid…!?

#IWorkInAHotel

Dimples

There are certain things in life that you think you can not explain… Perhaps you will know it later but maybe you don’t want to know. Sometimes you simply don’t want to get to know too deep or too much of anything in order to keep its beauty…

I’ve got to know a lady for, let’s say… 12 days and I can’t help thinking of her with lots of admiration and curiosity at the same time…

I’m trying to picture a 33 years old woman, who is the single mother of 2 kids… But that’s not what I’m talking about… She had got married when she was 20 and divorced 5 years later…

She had lived 3 years in Singapore where she worked for the world’s largest networking and marketing organization but doesn’t speak a fluent sentence of English… And as a Vietnamese to Vietnamese I could easily pin point some of her pronunciation mistakes that she often makes…

Then I wonder how could she become who she is today? She has her own business, her own house, her own car with her own driver… She does seem to own a lot of things and I have no doubt that she knows a lot of people too…

But and can’t seem to connect these dots no matter how hard I am trying to connect them. Perhaps, as we get closer, I will understand about her little more about this woman but for now, it’s all good things…

When I can’t think of a good reason to explain her success in life, I am thinking of the sparkles in her eyes while talking to her about anything in life – work or random things. Just be very careful because even though I know I am a 100% straight woman, it is still easy to get lost, either in her pretty eyes or her adoring smile with charming dimples on her cheeks, which I must say, one of the sweetest smile that I have ever seen in my life…

tumblr_nugyammybY1ue9hpio1_500

Life is Magnifique in Hanoi

life isNot too long ago I was in my 20-something crisis. I knew I was. I saw negative sides of things that I encountered on a daily basis with the highest level of disappointment I can get… I found nothing interesting in anything or anybody. That sounded so bad wasn’t that?

I walked along the rainy streets and I knew I had to make a phone call to a friend. 15 minutes later we got settled in one of the coffee shops near by. I asked if he could tell me the truth of how miserable I looked at that time… He was like ‘yeah yeah’ like it doesn’t even matter…and of course the fact that he did not show any sympathies to me at all made me a little angry… Then I decided to stop talking about myself. I saw the sparkles in his eyes and could not help wonder how he had been. I asked why he could be so happy. The answer was quite simple. He said he was happy because he loved all the things that he had been doing… Wasn’t that good?

But still, facing the fact that only him feeling good so it did not make me feel any better. I looked out the window and sighed: “Can you please tell me when this rain’s going to stop? I am so sick of this weather…” I said, with knowing that my friend might have been fed up with me already for ‘un-intentionally’ trying to turning him down… “I am so tired of this city. It’s always either too hot or too cold. And did you notice? The foggy and rainy weather has been like this for 1/4 of the year…” I continued.

Then he began – I think I only waited for this moment to hear his feedback. Because I know this guy will he super direct and straight to my problems.

“What’s happening with you?” He asked. “Are you trying to tell me that I am not acting like who I am? Like a normal me right?” I answered.

“Can’t be truer than that”. He laughed sneakily. I questioned him back: “Hey, I knew you also have a hundred things going on at the same time and you also changed your job last year… Don’t tell me it’s been a smooth process….!?”.

“Of course not… You had no idea how bored and disappointed I was when I had to quit the job. During my last few days at the office, apart from the day-to-day activities that we all have to accomplish, I had done something that I thought it was abnormal. I read through a 500 pages long book about Vietnamese history and now I feel like I have a new profession…”.

We laughed until his face looked a bit more serious again… “I think you should stop looking at the dark sides of everything. Of course you can leave if you don’t like this city anymore but you know more than anyone that there are goods and bads everywhere. Why don’t you look at this city to see our advantage of having seasonality? Other cities in Southeast Asia do not have that and they missed the opportunities to sell seasonal products and services…”.

“Okay!” I smiled and that’s when he knew that he made a clear point to me…

We kept the talking for another 15 minutes later before we greeted goodbye. 3 months later, I called him back and asked how he was doing… I know this is the man that I should be thankful for having him as a friend. And now, talking about seasonality, if you think Hanoi is the only capital city in Southeast Asia that has 4 seasons then it’s time to think again. We don’t just have 4 seasons, we have 12 flower seasons. I brought this idea for an internal presentation at work and received a number of good feedback… Let’s just forget about brand standards for now… I am just in love with the thought of me re-starting to have more of original ideas and finally get back to be my-authentic-self…

Vanity of Vanities

thuxanhthuxanh

thu

I’ve got to know this little sister for less than a year since I had received a as a marketing intern. Yeah I knew it from the very beginning while looking at her profile that she is very into art & design. It didn’t take me long to realise the artistic side of hers, apart from her artistic look – just like her own drawing in the above picture, she is a little bit of vain – just like me – and full of vanity – But I am a little less – oh no, so much less of vanity than she is.

The thing is she knew it too well and she seems to enjoy very much of her own little world, which used to drive me crazy and make me worry for her at the same time. She looks so damn cool and strong from the outer but a little shy and fragile kitty is all I can see through… But then I realised, I shouldn’t have worried for her at all. Why should I? In fact, during the time that I’ve got to know her, I’ve kind of having had enough troubles on my own. She’s happy isn’t that enough?

Congratulations on getting another piece of vanity done. I know you’ve worked hard for it. Wishing you all the best in life and lots of vanity in your crazy little Thu Xanh’s Blog 🙂

Love you heaps xx

Rachel Zoe

For those who do not know Rachel Zoe, she is an American fashion stylist – For what I know of, she has her own fashion brand and a number of other related beauty businesses, a long list of A-list clients and she is a working mum.

Rachel_Zoe_Stylist-695x446

Anyway, lovers are gonna love and haters are gonna hate her so what does Rachel has got to do with me while she doesn’t even know me?

Rachel is a *MAJ inspirer to me. So I’m saying right now as I am still on my full-time job – if I quit my job tomorrow and someone needs somebody else to blame you can blame Rachel for having inspired me to do something else (And obviously she will never know unless my post will be 1000 times or more reposted).

Right, so what’s about Rachel?

(*MAJ is short for major by the Zoe’s speak)

Once upon a time, when I was almost in the middle of nowhere – It appeared to me that I had absolutely no idea about what I wanted to do for my future then I ‘met’ Rachel on StarWorld Asia on her reality TV series: The Zoe Project. I think it was just funny for me to capture the picture of a pregnant blonde woman who never stopped complaining about the fact she was at her month #8 of her pregnancy and at the same time still working as a crazy person as a fashion stylist.

So nothing much really but I don’t know why I keep watching that show from one to another season and to see how she has been through with her family and businesses. And obviously everybody in the fashion world would know how great Rachel is,  together with her husband and the team, she’s done a massive job over almost 2 decades.

What I like about Rachel is not only the fact that she is one of the most influential people in the fashion industry – I was impressive to learn that she has not done any formal fashion training into order to get into the position that she is today. Rachel just has a natural talent for fashion and I’m sure there are numerous factors that got her to the top level. I heard Rachel said ‘If you let passion guide you, you can’t fail’ but I don’t think this is the case; passion alone might not make you successful. There are a lot more, especially in this modern era… What can I say here? Your degrees? Appearance? Finance? Networking?  Surprisingly, I’ve found that many people in the world also have almost the exact same things for everything, even if it comes to the look (thanks to some certain beauty standards and plastic surgery) and same whatever that can be bought. Therefore, you gotta be D I F E R R E N T if you want to be I R R E P LA C E A B LE so I think it is important to have some certain levels of knowledge, attitude & experience. To cut it short, you need to create your own style – and what is style by the way – it is defined by RZ that: “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak”.

Or I like very much what Yves Saint Laurent said: “Fashion will fade but style is eternal”.

Both I totally agree – and perhaps you need to be a little crazy as well. I think RZ is psycho in a way… I think I am psycho too as I even remember too much of the Zoe’s speak already (It happens when people like something so I hope that’s not just me). Not that I believe in everything about what people put on magazine or reality shows but RZ should anyway be the one to decide what she wanted to put on her TV shows. And in one of the episoles when she tried to dress her ‘poor’ little kid Skyler and her former style assistant Joey – She literally admitted: “My purpose in life is to dress everybody” and that she can’t stand it to see somebody who appears to be undressed. But come on Rachel, I hope life is not all about dressing, shoes, maxi or mini dresses, bags, make-up and how to impress people. Or maybe it’s her job to say so in order to sell or whatsoever that really is…

Afterwards, I still like Rachel and her style but I slowly started my own ‘Beyoutiful’ project as well so I really did not have time for her reality shows anymore. I’ve got to get real at some points. So I’ve watched and learned about Vietnamese women as much as I could with people coming from different demographics and to see different factors that effect their lives and behaviours. And there is one thing I realised that apart from the beautiful nature appearance that many Vietnamese women have been so fortunate to be given by mother nature, I figured out many issues that we are facing with in this modern society that actually make us less beautiful, I think I know what they are… And whatever they really are, they will never be accepted…