Need to stock up on luck? See you at the mall!
But not any mall will do. It has to be the country’s largest. Good luck comes in different forms and sizes at Unit 239 at the second floor of the Entertainment Mall of the humongous SM Mall of Asia Complex at the Manila Bay area. Step right into the World of Feng Shui boutique.
Tailing the unquestionable success of its two earlier outlets— the flagship boutique at The Podium in Ortigas Center, and a second one at SM City Cebu—the opening of a third WOFS shop in less than 16 months says a lot about the luck peddling business model. It’s either that or WOFS must be doing something really lucky; and before some people have a monopoly of good fortune, perhaps, we too, should pay heed.
World of Feng Shui had a soft launch last May 18, three days before the mall was formally opened to the public, because Marites Allen, president and chief executive officer of WOFS Philippines, says it was a more auspicious day to start a business. True enough, it only took a few of her invited friends to see a lot of the shop’s prized merchandise move. Would-be entrepreneurs should take note of that advice—choose your dates well, as some are indeed, luckier than others. No need to sweat it out, there’s the Annual Feng Shui Almanac to guide you on lucky dates to schedule important events, such as traveling, moving houses, renovations, getting married, and starting a business.
In an RSVP affair for selected clients and the media last May 20, Marites led her staff in presenting her latest selection of cures and luck enhancers. How to make sense of all the stuff at the shop is a valid concern, as they easily run into thousands. Unlike most shops, however, WOFS has taken pains to label most items, including details on how they should be used. To further simplify things, Marites explains that our aspirations basically fall under eight categories: wealth, fame, love and relationships, descendant luck, mentor luck, career, education, and health/family. There are specific products meant to enhance these various aspects, but they can only be counted to do that if they are placed in auspicious locations inside the home or office.
Special tip for those who are into speculative pursuits: Look for the lock coin, an unusually shaped coin that bears the characters meant to safeguard luck at the stock market and the horse races. There is also Chai Shen Poh, the female version of the Wealth God, whose image is believed to bring gambling luck if displayed in the southeast sector of your living room.
Asked which among the items at WOFS shops are their best sellers, Jocelle Echon, WOFS Podium boutique manager says wealth enhancers are selling briskly, but WOFS staff are trained to help their clients cover the feng shui basics first before attempting other energizers; that way they can be sure that the annual flying stars are taken care of. Flying what? Jocelle goes on to explain that each year, the annual flying stars (good and bad energies) change positions, and that we should both energize the lucky sectors and remedy afflicted sectors of the home. This is the reason the shop always runs out of Wu Lous and five-element pagodas, which are known cures for illness or conflict stars. Another staff noted that customers favor the wearable and portable items, such as prosperity coins, various types of charms, dzi bracelets and necklaces. Talk about looking good and being lucky at the same time.
Clearly, all members of the WOFS staff have done their homework. Jocelle herself took a course in boutique management in Kuala Lumpur, and reads a lot about feng shui. Prior to WOFS, she used to operate a coffee shop in her place in Quezon City. Unfortunately, she had to close it and it was only when she came to WOFS that she started to understand why the business did not prosper. She failed to apply directional feng shui, but now she knows better, and everything seems to be going well with her and all the “WOFS angels,” as a frequent shop visitor calls the staff at the shop. The term is well-earned, as they are all capable of assisting clients with their various requirements.
Creating your own wealth vase
Not just for Chinese
Banish the thought that feng shui only works for the Chinese because the profile of the guests and the walk-in crowd at WOFS says otherwise. The only difference noted was that the Chinese among us buy a lot more than what you and I probably do. Again, one might ask, “is that why they are richer than most of us?” Go figure. Among WOFS’ loyal clients is Irene Yu, an entrepreneur, who was seen loading up on a number of feng shui charms. Irene shares that most of the items she bought were for her personal use, but some of them were “orders” from friends. Feng shui as a source of additional income? Why not, indeed?
Businessman Enrique Tansipek jokes that he has a large collection of WOFS items already that he might as well start a shop of his own. When asked what benefits his collection has brought, he says: “Feng shui makes you feel good, and those different placements give you a sense of well-being and before you know it, after some time, things just start to happen.” From the look on his face, it was easy to imagine that he meant positive things.
So if you’re planning to have a look-see at the country’s latest megastructure, remember to be in your most comfortable attire as there’s a lot of ground to cover. Make the most of your visit—shop till you drop, experience state-of-the-art theater technology, or simply have coffee while watching the famous Manila Bay sunset. And to make your first visit truly worthwhile, why not bring home some luck symbols with you?
Who knows, in time, you might be as fortunate as those people who keep coming back to shop at the World of Feng Shui.