Dr. Jennie Makes Top-of-the-line, Affordable Blankets For Children of All Ages
What’s your story?
Perhaps the most interesting story about me is that I have done well by taking risks and opportunities, and saying “yes.” The domino effect of our choices is shocking. I have been fortunate that each step has led to other steps. I am from a small midwestern town in America and met someone on an airplane who offered me a job and I said “yes.” Many steps later, I am in Hong Kong with a PhD in Supply Chain capabilities and I’m also running a small business, Henry & Brothers.
What excites you most about your industry?
The textile and apparel industry is constantly changing and challenging, yet the fabrics and garments themselves remain very straightforward and rooted in very classic weaving, dyeing, and sewing methods. I think there is something very pure about imagining a design as a finished product then holding it in your hands, packaging it, and selling it. The processes and supply chain channel for apparel is unlike any other and it’s all about to change again. It is evolving rapidly and requires both a passion for designing for a particular consumer and insight into supply chain solutions.
What is your connection to Asia?
I began working in China and Hong Kong at just 22 years old. I was always drawn to Asia and lived for a brief exchange period with a family in Japan, as well. I think it was my destiny to be in Asia and to experience an entirely refreshing way of thinking and living. My children are mixed American/Hong Kong and I’ll always have a home and life in Hong Kong.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Definitely Hong Kong. Hong Kong people think differently. There is a deeply ingrained work-ethic and commitment to excellence coupled with pride and savvy. It’s the best city in the world for business and for enjoying life.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t be afraid to say “sorry” quickly and genuinely. Also, it’s faster to get a reply if you call someone rather than emailing or messaging back and forth.
Who inspires you?
My husband. He is a fabric and garment supplier (New Focus Textiles) and I’m inspired by his innovative thinking and quick reactions to market changes which is more important now than ever. Watching him adjust and remain flexible and innovative is absolutely inspirational.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The moment I realized that face masks will be a new fashion accessory in our lives for a very long time was pretty mind-blowing. Also, I’m really enjoying the surge of technical fabrics in our daily work wear. Lululemon and Peter Millar do it well. I think it will become more important in the market.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would commit to learning Mandarin and Cantonese more proficiently. I want to take it to the next level and become truly fluent. It would allow me to communicate more directly and verbally with many team members in China.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy daily walks and red wine with music.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love the ultra private, gorgeous Aman resort in the Philippines for a plush holiday. With kids, we love the Phuket Beach Club Marriott which is incredibly family-friendly and we never feel bored.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey
Shameless plug for your business:
Henry and Brothers manufactures soft, substantial cotton blankets your kids will love! We have donated thousands of blankets to women and children in shelters and foster homes, and we have just launched our new antimicrobial blanket collection and patented antimicrobial travel blanket.
How can people connect with you?
Social Media Links?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.