The Start-Up Entrepreneur Series in collaboration with Entrepreneurs.my and This Week In Asia, aims to inspire a new breed of Generation-Y entrepreneurs, showcasing success stories of entrepreneurs in the region who have succeeded despite their young age. We interview Fashionpreneur, Social Media Strategist and Entrepreneur, Jon W on his start as a fashion entrepreneur and his transition of being a social media strategist to becoming the next big name in online fashion.
Getting to know The Start-Up Entrepreneur
- Tell us more about yourself – Who are you, what do you do, what are your qualifications (If any) and what have made you into the successful entrepreneur that you are today?
I call myself a “Fashioneur” – a Fashion Entrepreneur. Being a graduate who holds a bachelor’s degree in Geographic Information Science, I didn’t really have any exposure in neither of the fields back in varsity until I started working and I was very fortunate to have worked for the relevant industries leading up to my current venture. I took a great risk to venture into building a footwear label but it’s been great fun so far, though intimidating at times. I dare not say I am a “successful” entrepreneur yet, but aiming to head into that direction.
- Why did you get started on this path towards building your own business?
The push didn’t come from me but from an ex-employer. I tendered my resignation for a handsomely-paid job in Singapore and as I was frantically seeking for a new job – attended interviews, emailed potential employers, and liaised with recruiters, I casually spoke to my previous boss. “I should rehire you to make me more money”, she said and I thought to myself “What if I were to employ myself and make myself those money?” The rest is history.
- Was there any inspiration or anyone who inspired you to pursue your dream to become an entrepreneur today?
Many of my peers have told me over & over again that I have the natural talent in designing. Since I have always wanted to create my own fashion label, it was the perfect timing for me to do so. I was unemployed, I had some savings due to my job in the Lion City, and I didn’t want to waste my spare time just going through the day while waiting patiently for any HR managers to revert. I Googled for the best shoe manufacturer in the country, got my designs ready, my business master plan in place, forecasted each month’s sales for the entire year and off I went.
- In your experience, what are the 3 Winning Traits that Entrepreneurs should possess when they start their business?
Be competitive, be shrewd, and be focused.
No industry is more competitive than the retail industry. Take a quick walk at Kenanga Wholesale City and you would soon realize the amount of distributors there are for apparels. Alternatively, Google for the word “blog shop” and you’d be amazed with the search result. I constantly have to think how I can beat my competition with extra edge, and without involving additional budget.
I was once fiscally cheated by my very own mentor and ever since then I’ve learnt that it’s a “dog-eat-dog” world out there. Your business partners are not going to care about your bottom line, all they would care is whether they are profiting from the deal. Pity stories don’t work in the real world. Trust only yourself and be wise in sealing a deal.
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The Sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell. As cliché as this may sound, you can do anything you set your mind to.
To be Continued to Part 2 on the 23rd of January
### Special thanks to This Week in Asia as our supporting partner in bringing to us, the Start-Up Entrepreneur Interview Series ###
About The Start-Up Entrepreneur:
Back in March 2010, at 23 Jon W. founded a national level competition by the name of Project One & Only (Project O&O), an online pageant that garnered 30,000 fans on Facebook in a span of 3 months. His exposure and experience with Project O&O secured him the position of Brand Manager for I Nouvi Professional. Jon W. then brought his expertise over to Zalora Singapore as the Regional Head of Social Marketing.
Hailed as an exceptional young entrepreneur by his peers and fuelled by a deep appetite for everything fashion, Jon W. recently founded Zng Impresa, a company which aims to build, expand, and to market Z’NG, the visionary footwear label in creative & unconventional ways.
Armed with his fashion designing passion, Jon W. participated and emerged as one of the Top 8 finalists in Digi Fashion Design Competition 2007, among the Top 10 finalists for Fendi Baguetta Bag Design Competition 2009, came in as 2nd runner-up for Voir Shoez Design Competition 2010 and has been featured in New Straits Time and EH! Magazine.
About the Company:
ZNG IMPRESA (“Company”) was formed back in August 2012 to manage Z’NG, the footwear brand. The Company aims to build a fashion empire housing different fashion brands ranging from footwear, accessories and apparel to cater to the ASEAN market.
For more information on their latest selections of high quality, trendy and ‘In-Demand’ footwear, please visit them here.
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