The inspirational journal of rising NYC jewelry designer, entrepreneur, violinist, and pastry chef, Yumi Chen.

NYC Jewelry Designer, Violinist, Pastry Chef, Small Business Owner, Free-Spirit, Positive Thinker!

As seen in: New York Magazine, NBC's Sunday Today in NY, ABC's Eyewitness News, WB11 Morning News, STAR Magazine, Life & Style Magazine, NY Post Newspaper, amNY Newspaper, Boston Globe, WWD.com, Dailycandy.com, Stylebakery.com, KristopherDukes.com, Shefinds.com and more!Read More


Archive for December, 2008

Let There Be Peace On Earth

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

A friend sent me this beautiful video from YouTube. It’s not particularly specific to the holidays, but its message is one of unity, peace and faith (which, when you get right down to it, is what the holidays are all about!) More than anything, it is a reminder that we belong to one awesome world. Like Anne Frank said, “despite everything, I still believe that people are truly good at heart”. No matter what nationality, no matter what background we all come from (or what holiday we celebrate), we are all the same. The human spirit has an amazing, inspirational and powerful energy, and it is within us all.

I love that YouTube has made it possible to share little gems like this; little reminders of the bright and joyful spirit that is both within us and also surrounds us everyday. Yes, it is there, even on the days when you might feel like the world is out to get you!

One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and is also pointing out the importance of all life’s little reminders of joy:

“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions—the little
soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt
compliment in the disguise of a playful raillery, and the countless
other infinitessimals of pleasurable thought and genial feeling.”

2008 has been an amazing year of growth for my business. I feel truly lucky to be in business during these challenging economic times and I know that it wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support and encouragement from all my family, friends, and customers! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!

Happy Holidays!

Happy, Healthy New Year!!

See Yah in 2009!

Life’s Philosophers

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008


Why is it that hair stylists are the best listeners? Seriously- I know it’s cliche to think of women in the hair salon, lined up under space-age- looking driers, pouring their hearts out to their stylists- but sometimes I think the title of hair stylist is far too limiting. There should be some mention of their skills as life philosophers, too, if you ask me!

I know I’ve mentioned him before, but I’m just crazy about my hair stylist, Frederic at the Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa on the Upper East Side. I was just in to see him yesterday, and not only did I get a fabulous cut with cascading layers (he knows just what to do with my hair!), but we also shared some tips on baking (apparently, he makes an amazing pineapple upside down cake with fresh vanilla beans) and lamented and laughed together over the ups and downs of life.

I don’t know exactly what it is that makes it so easy to connect with and talk to hair stylists. There’s a level of trust there because you know that their opinions and advice will be objective, since they are not someone who is actually woven into your life. Not only that, but I suppose there is already a good base of trust in the relationship because you are putting yourself and your image into their hands, literally!

More and more people are cutting back on expenses, and one of the top things to go is therapy (right along with visits to the salon I’m sure). But during times like this, of emotional and financial stress, an outlet to express your feelings and your fears is of utmost importance. So if you think you can’t afford a therapist (understandable…) or a decent haircut (just as pricey), why not kill two birds with one stone, as they say? Spend a little time in the salon, chat it up, let it all out. I bet you’ll be surprised how far the cost of a haircut will get you…

Frederic – Hair Stylist and Hair Extension Specialist
Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa
171 East 65th Street NY, NY 10021
212.988.7816

A Moon So Full!

Monday, December 15th, 2008


One of the things I miss living in here in Manhattan is being able to see the stars at night. You get to a point where you don’t even think about looking up into the night sky. But I was walking home on Friday night and, all of a sudden, caught sight of the moon. It was hard to miss: it was full, and glowing against the black sky around it. It actually caused me to stop in my tracks for a few minutes in pure joy and awe (until I started to freeze and had to keep walking). The full moon is my favorite thing in the world! It’s just such an incredible phenomenon to me; its beauty is inspiring but at the same time it’s humbling, as it reminds me of the enormity of the Earth, not to mention the solar system. To be honest, I love the moon no matter what stage it’s in, but I really think I can sense a change in energy when it’s full, which is pretty cool. And it turns out, it was in fact the biggest and brightest moon of the year!

There is a lot of scientific data and terminology, which is probably only understood by astrologists, explaining this fact. Basically, there are two extremes of the lunar position: one is called “apogee”, which means it is very far away, and the other is called “perigee”, which, yes, means it is very close. So friday night’s moon was a perigee moon, and science says that it was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than any moon we’ve seen this year.

All I know is that it was stunning. Did you know that you can see the rabbit and tree if you look closely? (That’s the Chinese heritage in me I suppose). But with a moon that bright, you can’t look at it for too long, whether you’re searching for the man in the moon, a rabbit, a frog or the silhouette of a woman. Turns out, Corey Hart may have been more practical than he intended when he sang of wearing sunglasses at night… I can’t say it would have been out of line!

*photo credit: www.summityoga.com/images/moon2.jpg*