Ginny Truc To, Founder of Shoe Mo

Ginny Truc To set up Shoe Mo to raise awareness of footwear hygiene and set the standard of shoe care.

What’s your story?
Originally from Vietnam, and a former Grab alumni, I met my future Co-Founder when I moved to Malaysia for a job opportunity. Realising the street wear trend in Malaysia was and still is growing fast, chance and luck brought us together to create a shoe cleaning business in Kuala Lumpur.
Being put in a place far away from home, I find it extremely challenging yet exciting running a business in a different marketplace.

What excites you most about your industry?
Shoe Mo is a hybrid of an apparel and laundry service industry.
The sneaker trend is hitting the region in a big way and has defined a new culture among the young generation. Something that is new, cool and fast.
On the other hand, laundry service business is traditional and saturated.
Combining these industries has been a challenge. We had to make youth use a traditional type of service for their cool and trendy sneakers. We also face the challenge of creating stand out in such a saturated market.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and have spent all my life here in South East Asia. Asia is a young and fast-moving market that is open to new ideas. Of course, there are a lot of things that need improving, meaning there are lots of chances for new business.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Each city in Asia is unique and has its own special style. It’s hard to decide.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“You choose the type of energy you want to absorb.” I am passionate about people, I draw energy from the people around me. When I was younger I wasn’t aware of this, there were times I let the negativity creep in my mind and let it run my life. Until one day a dear friend told me, and it was a wakeup call – I’m more aware of my well being now, I have changed my habits and surrounded myself with great people.

Who inspires you?
Sheryl Sandberg is my role model. She has been inspiring women and young girls around the world to aspire for a seat at the main table and take leadership roles.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Focus is the key to success. I used to love multitasking and taking as many roles as I can, but the more roles I took, the more I realised that being focussed helps me go further, and faster.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’d pursue an overseas education, it would give me wider experience and more exposure to different cultures. Knowledge has always been my biggest aspiration.

How do you unwind?
I love hiking and camping. I want to turn off my phone and enjoy the silence. As an entrepreneur, there is a lot of anxiety that I bear every day, so it’s best to stay off the grid, switch off the connection and focus on relaxing.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I’d say Phuket. Good food, good beaches and good people.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Zero to One by Peter Thiel. This will change the way you value the world and give you an endless source of inspiration to pursue your dream.

Shameless plug for your business:
Shoe Mo’s mission is to raise awareness of footwear hygiene and set the standard of shoe care. We provide quality services and sell hand-picked, shoe hygiene products.
Within one year, we’ve grown to 15 people, 3 cities and serviced over 3000 pairs of shoes.

How can people connect with you?

Twitter handle?

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

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 of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

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