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May 21, 2020 4 min read

Creator Focus: Interview with Mandy Chan 

Recently, we had the time to catch up with Mandy Chan, the founder of BOW, to pick her brain on what makes an entrepreneur tick. Mandy started her journey into entrepreneurship in 2015 and has since launched multiple successful products through Crowdfunding. Here’s a fun fact, BOW stands for “Bold, Obsessed, Wow.” Mandy believes thatit’s about being bold and challenging our limits to get more out of life, and it is obvious that these values drive her and her team and is responsible for their success to date. Let’s find out what she has to say!

22 May 2020

  • What’s your story and what inspired you to pursue it?
  •  

    I was fresh out of Junior College at 19 and decided to pursue my dreams of being an entrepreneur. Instead of heading straight to university, I put my studies on hold and took a gap year, even though I knew nothing about creating products! 

    I do some running and gymming. For me, it was always really annoying having to carry around multiple bags – one for shoes, another for toiletries and yet another for clothes. Since I’m quite forgetful, I would always leave something behind! After seeing so many forgotten bags of toiletries in the shower I realized that I was not the only one and decided to create an all-purpose bag to solve the problem. 

  • What excites you most about your business and the industry you’re in?
  •  

    That we are able to create whatever is in our mind to reality. 
     

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Officially, since June 2016! Unofficially,  since Feb 2015. 

  • Did you have any “a-ha!” or “eureka!” moments in your business?

  • When we thought of pivoting one of our products - nock pouch mini, to be a pouch to store masks during this period due to it being waterproof and airtight instead of its original intentions of storing toiletries!

  • What do you find is unique about your business that no one else has?

  • That the whole team walk the talk about our mission of being bold in our daily lives. 

    The QUIVER X: Ultimate 3-in-1 Everyday Backpack raised $74,450 on KICKSTARTER

  • What do you look for in an employee

  • Hungry for growth, being proactive & a positive learning attitude 

  • What personality traits do you think make a good leader

  • Empathetic, decisive, being able to bring out the best in people 

  • How would others define your communication style? Do you prefer to be close to your employees or maintain a healthy distance, and why?

  • Direct and honest. Gets to the point fast.

    Prefer to be close. Because the beauty of starting a company yourself is that you can choose who you want to work with and isn’t it more fulfilling to work with people whom you genuinely feel inspired by rather than with strangers!

  • Describe a time you had to make a tough decision (eg. budget cuts, organizational restructuring, market withdrawal, etc.). What did you do and what was the result?

  • When the virus hit actually - which is really recent. We had to pivot to selling necessities like masks and hand sanitizers, doing our best to pair it with our existing products instead of marketing our usual bestsellers that was meant for the outdoor. Was afraid that it would affect the branding that we had built up for years as it was completely different from our product line. Thankfully, the market responded well and we are able to survive this crisis because of this move. 

  • What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

  • The sale isn’t done until the money is in your pocket

    “he normalised failure and shared that there’s no failure, only feedback.”

  • Who are your inspirations and why?

  • Sara Blakely! The founder of SPANX; and look up to her! Growing up, her father would ask her every week what did she fail at. And if she had nothing to say, her father would be disappointed. However, if she had something to share with him, he would be very happy. Indirectly, he normalised failure and shared that there’s no failure, only feedback. 

    She was the youngest female self-made billionaire before Kylie Jenner ( I think) and has achieved so much in her life! Her optimism towards challenges and life and leading her company in her own feminine way instead of the usual masculinity one really shifted my perspective of what can or cannot be done.

  • How do you unwind?

  • Solo yoga sessions, running with different running groups or just plain out watch trash on YouTube like BuzzFeed 

  • If you had one piece of advice for someone who is just starting out, what would that be?

  • Be bold and just take the leap of faith! You never know how your life can change within 1 year. Remember that FEAR in the future is just False Evidence Appearing Real, that focusing on your end goal and breaking it down into baby steps to get clarity on what to do and to get there will essentially remove the fear.

  • You should definitely read this book if you want to start a business

  • The hard things about hard things 

     

    Quiver X: 3-in-1 Ultimate Everyday Backpack by BOW

     

    How can people connect with you?

    @mandyizback / @bowforbold

     

    We The People (WTP) - is a crowdfunding incubator and accelerator that owns a chain of international retail stores that focuses on retailing crowdfunded consumer goods.

    Our presences are not just online, but in malls around the world. The seamless merger of online and offline channels allow users to leverage on our diverse range of Crowdfunding expertise in marketing, consultancy and education. 

    Creating the next best invention is one thing, getting it seen by the right audiences is another.

    At We The People, we’re the solution.

    Find out more @ wtpstore.co & fcbc.co



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