Nice title on the topic.. but.. oops.. the truth is that there is really not much secret to the KZ system. Formerly being a “teacher” of sorts, both in the hobbyist fields such as incense and other fun collectibles, and in the academic sphere, I’m a firm believer of education that will eventually need to become “open source”, because we all are transient sentient beings, items, knowledge, understandings, we are always the temporal “keepers”. Secrecy was once used as a tool just to keep the wrong information away from the right audience and the right information away from the wrong audience.
In my early incense classes which were “Sit down” classes of 4 sessions of over 3 hours each, amidst these small several hundred former attendees over a span of over two years, attendees came from all walks of life, some from the fragrant wood trade whom sent their staff to “see” what i was up to, to unique metaphysical individuals whom want to use incense to achieve certain metaphysical effects, to some whom wanted to really understand a different perspective to incense and how it can improve their lives… and others from other aesthetical arts looking for complementary sensory inputs etc etc.
I had always wanted to have an online version, but back then it was necessary to be on site to physically experience scent, this is unlike other visual arts etc where web-transmitted images or content will suffice, but taste and scent is not transmittable by the internet as of today. Over the years, I have also regularly given incense stick making classes, physical ones to large audiences, with the largest one ever done to approximate a hundred attendees over 4 sessions in two days.
The greatest “misunderstanding” in many, is the fallacy of “incense” being something good for making money, not at least in Singapore, and not at least through my belief system. Incense Class, average amount received by the teacher is only about $27.50 per student per 3-4 hour session, which includes cost of materials and all that, the other portion of the fee goes to venue costs and overheads.
For Incense wise, because I was a B2C merchant, without distributors or middlemen, a general 30% margin is what i follow on average, on some products, the margin could be slightly higher, on some products, the margin could be zero or negative, but it all balances out when purchased as a kit (apologies to many customers whom wanted to pick and procure more of certain products, i hope you would understand now that i’ve explained). So this is my stand point always, that don’t think too much on making “incense” into a business, unless you can figure out a sustainable business plan or revenue model that is not too evil. Easier said than done.
So what is the purpose of this post? I’m just announcing that I’ll start to step by step make “KZ incense secrets” open source, starting from today. Just like how I had thought and designed one of the most well loved Subitism incense heaters, I gave the design and concept all away. When i crafted a teawheel concept that people can utilize to give classes, I gave it all away and recommended others to edit and build it to their senses/needs. Similarly, whenever I find something nice, good, i.e. a decent tea supplier, a decent potter, I give it all away, the contacts, the “business opportunity” etc, because I had said in somewhere else very long ago, these incense/tea/hobby stuff.. is never seriously looked upon as a business to me, I have other real businesses and a self built career that keep me beyond busy the whole day from dawn to dusk. I do not have any royalty models present, I do not earn a single cent from mentioning or “advertising” for anyone, and I do not accept payment or any benefit if there is a need to review something, I will buy it, and speak what I think. But if there’s nothing good about something then I will not say anything, so you might realize that most of my posts, are only on positives.
So take it from me, that there’s no need for anyone else, or any former sit down classmates, student, honorable or dishonorable (i.e. lacking honor), to attempt to so called “leak or expose” KZ secrets, or disseminating former class lesson contents, because they could most probably not be qualified enough or only knowing small amounts.. since the “horse” is speaking, you can hear it from the “horse’s” mouth. I will be slowly giving some of the class contents as online lectures, probably on zoom or similar platforms in due time.
During this period of working from home in this “covid” related lockdown, it does give a bit of mental space to write a little so I’ll schedule the following contents (not in sequence, based on my impulse and inspiration in the days/months/years/light-years to come) :
- How to make a good OUD / Agarwood Stick
- Incense as a “Business or not???” – the real pit falls and pot holes
- My Views on Oud / Aromatic Wood Vendors <– isnt this going to be exciting?!.. ok maybe this isnt the best topic to talk about
- Fragrant Wood sourcing, ins and outs
- Kyara Sourcing, ins and outs
- What is Bad Incense or can incense go bad?
- Chinese Incense Manuals, Mystery or Myth
- yixing tea pots?!
- Incense and Metaphysical applications
- etc etc…
keep a look out on this space and i’ll update soon. oh no that Yixing teapot topic seems to tantalizing.. can i give it as the first online lecture?!