This time last year, we were seated in a sun-drenched Clifford Pier in the Fullerton Bay Hotel, decked out in our finest attire, and watching founder Miroslava Duma launch Buro 24/7 Singapore through a 'digital countdown'. But this year, on 13 May (our first year anniversary), we were scurrying around the dusty streets of Nepal in T-shirt and jeans. What happened? Everything.
First, thank you. Because of your support, and telling others about Buro247.sg — your one-stop resource for trusted advice and inspiration when it comes to fashion and contemporary culture — we've had a stellar year of transforming the local (and regional) digital landscape with cutting-edge content. So, to celebrate, and with a heart to give back to those less fortunate, we decided to head to Nepal for our #BuroGivesBack project — that is, create a guide to Kathmandu (including a fashion and beauty shoot), and importantly, help build an IT classroom for underprivileged kids supported by local NGO, Children and Youth First (CYF).
Second, you ain't seen nothing yet. Now that the team is back in Singapore — closer and more in sync than ever — we have a deep-seated hunger for more (and in some cases, quite literally; a few of us are still recovering from food poisoning). Coming up next? Our inaugural Buro 24/7 Digital Awards 2016. To celebrate our one-year mark, we are also awarding individuals and start-ups that have made a signifcant contribution to the local digital space over the last year. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 27 June 2016, so save the date. And if you haven't voted yet, what are you waiting for? Click here.
But before we inexorably move forward, you might be wondering: What were our favourite or most memorable moments from Nepal? Well, you've already heard from me — check last week's @musingmutley column — so here is the rest of the crew. Enjoy.
RENÉE BATCHELOR, BEAUTY EDITOR | @renee_buro247
Most memorable moment from Nepal: "Our beauty shoot in the streets of Nepal. We got a lot of attention from passersby, as the model was Miss Nepal Shristi Shrestha. But despite all the challenges of doing a beauty shoot outdoors — think melting makeup, flyaway hair, and getting birds to fly on cue — we were thrilled with the final results that managed to capture not just the looks, but a glimpse of the beauty of Patan where we shot."
Looking ahead, I am most excited about: "In 2016, I'm looking forward to more beauty shoots and exciting visual projects that will really showcase how beauty and digital go hand-in-hand."
ADIBAH ISA, CULTURE EDITOR | @adibah.isa
Most memorable moment from Nepal: "The second I touched my feet down at CYF Nepal's new site at Godavari, Kathmandu, a 10-year-old girl called Neema came running to me, wrapped her hands around my waist and stared up at me through the brightest of eyes. I was smitten. Never have I felt such a generosity of spirit from someone whose circumstances are not quite as fortunate. This impressionable young thing took my hand and led me through the nooks and crannies of the school that's still being built, and I dutifully followed. That's by far my most favourite moment of Nepal. One bonus moment? The face of a fellow tourist, seated an arm's length away from me, when I broke the silence in Cafe Swotha with a violent lurch of vomit. Welcome to Nepal."
Looking ahead, I am most excited about: "I'm looking forward to taking the culture section to greater heights with stories on people to aspire to and celebrate."
DORA ALJOOFRI | @doraljoofri
Most memorable moment from Nepal: "Looking back at #BuroInNepal, I will always be thankful to Buro for making many of my life dreams come true. From the #BuroGivesBack project to the fashion shoot, sharing Nepal with the team is the best way to celebrate and remember the year I've had with Buro 24/7 Singapore in a place I call my second home."
Looking ahead, I am most excited about: "Pushing the boundaries of fashion and digital in Singapore and globally. To shock and impress with new ideas."
DENISE KOK, LIFESTYLE EDITOR | @denise.kok
Most memorable moment from Nepal: "Nothing can quite rival the warmth and hospitality of the Nepalese. One morning, I headed for breakfast on my own at this local joint and ended up discussing monarchies, democracy, and post-earthquake recovery efforts with Amir; a local businessman who has business dealings in Singapore. When the time came for us to part, he insisted on paying for my hot, sweetened cup of black tea, calling it a toast to friendship."
Looking ahead, I am most excited about: "Creative collaborations and a bigger team that's as strong and quirky as the one we have right now."
VANESSA CAITLIN, PHOTO EDITOR | @vcluxe
Most memorable moment from Nepal: "The beautiful chaos that is Nepal... it is a place like no other. Stunning architecture and vast landscapes are a given, but it was the people of Nepal that made the place special to me. They are kind, generous and possess a strong sense of community despite having endured more hardship than most of us would ever be familiar with. Within a short ten days, I witnessed countless instances of friends going above and beyond for each other — they have certainly taught me a thing or two about true friendship."
Looking ahead, I am most excited about: "Transcending my limits; and catching up with old friends!"
ANDREA SIM, FASHION WRITER | @andreasimjz
Most memorable moment from Nepal: "My best memory of Nepal is definitely the people. Meeting the children of CYF and having them put the world in perspective for you: 'M'am, what is your dream? I'd like to defend my country,' said a 14 year old. 'My country is beautiful but it has it's problems. I wish I could help,' says another. It's the maturity, selflessness, genuine warmth and buoyant spirit of the Nepalese that already has me missing the place. 'Being in Nepal must have been like smoking a 10 day long cigarette for you, it's so hazy,' our Nepali correspondent, Spun — who not only produced our fashion and beauty shoots, but took us on a tour of the city from heritage sites to local hangouts — joked. But despite the haze, unpredictabilities, and erratic electricity schedule, my best memory is meeting the people that makes me want to experience this beautiful country all over again."
Looking ahead, I am most excited about: "It took a year of late nights, two-hour long daily meetings and countless coffees for us to grow this digital baby. And in this short span of time, we've produced everything from insider fashion, beauty, lifestyle and culture content in not only words, but audio and video as well. What I look forward to the most in the coming year is to keep pushing the boundaries of being online with the tight-knit team we've built. And, to more meaningful Buro on location projects where we're able to give back to the people that could do with that extra little bit of help."
TRACY PHILLIPS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | @tracyjoyphillips
Most memorable moment from Nepal: "When I made it to Boudha, where I had stayed two times before for meditation retreats and saw the devastation the earthquake had caused to the famous Boudhanath stupa and throughout Kathmandu. It was heartbreaking to see such a majestic and sacred site in need of so much repair, but just as I was feeling forlorn, I saw all these laypeople working together to rebuild the stupa, passing each other brick after brick. It was a good reminder that it's not about what happens to us, but how we rise to the occasion and to take inspiration from the Nepalese for their resilience, faith and continued hospitality despite all their challenges.".
Looking ahead, I am most excited about: "To keep finding people and stories that inspire, broaden perspectives, and promote culture and positive change."
To read about our #BuroGivesBack project in Nepal, click here.
BURO IN NEPAL
Special thanks to Leica Camera Asia Pacific for supporting the #BuroGivesBack project.
Thai Airways flys from Singapore to Kathmandu daily. To book your flight with Thai Airways, click here.
Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.
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