You are not alone

It’s been almost two and half years I am working with Paul Penders Company and during that time I got close to several of our distributors in Asian and European countries alike. With some of them it feels to me like they have become even personal friends. As with all friendships there are up and down, and emotional issues of all kinds; both good and sad. Today I wish to sharing about two friends; people with families that we do business with, or through our several charity programs we are involved in, or just contact with them otherwise.
Tafzeel Ajmal Moosbally is one of our good friends and a distributor all the way in the small and beautiful island of Mauritius. Those who follow the Paul Penders blog may remember the story about Tafzeel and his great enthusiasm for Paul Penders products. Once he flew into Langkawi to visit us without us even preparing anything and while still in the plane he asked me to pick him up at the airport! It was the first time he came to Langkawi and first time meeting him. He persuaded us about his true commitment for the products in Mauritius and enthusiasm for the Paul Penders team with the promise to deliver the best possible representation for us in Mauritius.

But recently, his beloved wife became ill due a serious infection. It happened very sudden and the illness got quickly worst; then it took the life of this young mother and wife. I called Tafzeel few days ago and of course he was totally heartbroken. They had plans to come to Malaysia to visit us after delivering of their 2nd child. I myself got heartbroken too.

    Dear Tafzeel and family:
    I just wanted to let you know how sorry I was to hear about the sudden loss of your dear wife Rizwana. I know how much you loved each other. Although I never met Rizwana personally yet know she is a cheerful, positive & very kind person. May God blesses and comforts you, Tafzeel and your family at this great loss.
    From Faye and all at Paul Penders Company

Then a written letter was received this week all the way from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from Sherry Zebra. She was a student in a professional beauty course and at that time wished to open up her own beauty centre.
Toward the final semester, she needed to pick a product brand to give full presentation as if she was representing the brand. She chose Paul Penders products as she strongly believes in our values and product qualities and contacted us for more information. I was impressed with her and Paul decided to send her free products for her presentation.

It was so exciting for me to assist Sherry in getting what she needed while she worked so hard and got an “A” for her assignment what made us extremely proud of her. For more insight read the blog story at that time
And she did start her own beauty salon but then I received a letter with the shocking news that her beloved husband Daniel suddenly passed away. Due to the sudden death of her husband she start more and more to appreciate the value of gratitude, which I am myself also still try to develop too. Those who always have sense of appreciation and gratitude never seem to reach an impasse in life.
Here is the letter received from Sherry actually addressed to Paul:

The experience of losing a loved does force us toward a deeper understanding of life. Everyone fears death and is saddened by death; that is natural. But by struggling to overcome the pain and sadness that accompanies death, we become sharply aware of the dignity and preciousness of life and develop the compassion to share the sufferings of others as our own.
Paul Penders Company wishes Sherry the best in life and surely, because she is such a strong and wonderful person, I believe there are still lots of beautiful things waiting for her.

Discovering an Incredible Country (Part 2)

Bastiaan and I visited Harcourts; a great, progressive pharmaceutical company in Sri Lanka. We wanted to observe the market potential over there for Paul Penders natural herbal cosmetics. In 2 earlier blog stories I wrote about the visits of Mr. Ahamed Rheyas, CEO of Harcourts made to Langkawi. Actually, he loves the beauty of this great UNESCO Geopark tropical rainforest island here in Malaysia!
The senses of freedom I feel in Sri Lanka is almost the same as I experience it in the US. I talked with a journalist from Sri Lanka’s biggest newspaper about it and he agrees. No hidden frictions or interfering by the government in religion groups as well. In Sri Lanka things indeed seem very peaceful.
Me being in the natural cosmetics industry for many years, of course, I was interested to see the women of this great country and I can report the following… the women I have seen in the capital and in small villages alike are dressed beautifully. They wear dresses of various soft colors, and again… always that pure and friendly smile. One wonders about how this country was 25 years in the grip of terrible war, yet appears now so happy and content.

Bas and I visited also several department stores in Colombo and discovered that there are almost no natural cosmetic brands available. We saw several local and imported cosmetics based on Ayurveda principles. The only natural high-class imported brand we noticed was Clarins.
I spoke with the store manager of Clarins who was open and very friendly in sharing her experiences with consumers in regards to natural cosmetics. She did notice a growing demand for high quality natural cosmetics. Yet I did not see companies like Origins, Khiel’s, Jurlique and other skincare brands. However, at the other hand, most of the famous American and European perfumes are represented in Sri Lanka. We also noticed a direct selling brand that probably is doing well in this new, growing economy with opportunities for all.
It is obvious that in Sri Lanka a great opportunity exists for Paul Penders natural herbal cosmetics. We had several discussions with Mr. Ahamed Rheyas of Harcourts company to develop a plan that includes Paul Penders outlets in the country with the first one to be open in September this year.

This trip was truly enjoyable and a great learning experience as well, including a journey to Kandy, the hometown of Ahamed. A long drive took us through fresh, green sceneries with huge mountains as well. We much enjoyed the historic sites in Kandy and especially the great local food!! 🙂

One thing that touched my heart is how people of Sri Lanka care ‘for all that live’. For example, I have seen many stray dogs out there, but they appear not in the same terrible condition like in few other Asian countries where animals are hungry and often beaten. As part of the Buddhist religion, many of the stray dogs in Sri Lanka are kindly being fed and treated with kindness.
So can this great new country be an example of how the world could live in peace, harmony, happiness and…. respect to all?

Brenda’s stories – Meet Hannah Montana

Did I ever tell you before how I got to know all these friends of mine in all kinds of countries? I don’t believe I did.
Before I settled down, got married and children I used to travel a lot. That already started when I was in college. I spent some time in Europe as an exchange student. After that I went back many times for my job as a wine merchant. As you will know, Europe is still the heart of wine production in the world. France obviously, but also Italy, Spain and Germany. I was always looking for fine wines for my company to buy and sell. That is how I got to know another of my friends that this story is about.
Aziza lives in Dortmund, being married to a German man called Manfred, but she actually comes from Malaysia. From Dortmund to the Southwest of Germany there are large wine estates, one of them being owned by Aziza and her husband. They produce a very fine white wine that I immediately decided to buy for my company.
As it turned out, Aziza and I got along really well so I went back as often as I possibly could. I was there when her daughter Sophie was born!
Sophie is now 5 years old and well aware of her background. One evening Aziza, keeping her Asian heritage alive, had died Sophie’s hands with henna. Something very common in Asian and Arabian culture, but not that much in Germany.

When Sophie went to school next day naturally her girlfriends asked about the painting on her hands, so Sophie explained to them it was henna. Her girlfriends, completely astonished all shouted out: What? Were they done by Hannah Montana? They all wanted to meet her and Sophie had to ask Aziza for help to explain she did NOT know Hannah Montana, but that she does know henna and how to dye hands with it.
After the girls had overcome their disappointment of not getting to meet Hannah Montana, they all went to school the next day with a beautiful henna painting on their hands.