Mandy Chan, Founder of BOW Pte Ltd

Mandy fast tracked her pathway into entrepreneurship. Taking a gap year from school led her to start her own business and the rest is history!
What’s your story?
I have always dreamt of being my own boss, and at 18, I made the big decision to take a gap year away from school. In that year, I started my own business at 19, produced and sold 4200 all purpose bags and launched a Kickstarter campaign with over 400% funding.
What excites you most about your industry?
The final few days before you launch a new product out into the market. The feeling of uncertainty gives rise to an adrenaline rush that is incomparable to anything that I have experienced so far.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore all my life! Being brought up in Singapore is probably one of the luckiest things to have – the security and stability that I enjoyed growing up is one that I am very grateful for. Our competitive environment here has also shaped the way I think and carry myself.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
China because it’s the world’s manufacturing hub! It’s where dreams become realities.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.
Who inspires you?
Coco Chanel. She is the ultimate definition of being bold.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That motivation is a finite resource that needs replenishing often, even for the most motivated people that we know.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have saved all that time worrying about the consequences of my decisions and just done it and dealt with the results when they came.
How do you unwind?
I usually allocate some ‘me time’ every now and then when I feel overwhelmed. This consists of locking up all the technology and spending personal time to reflect in my old diary that I have kept since I was 6!
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok! It’s a haven for food, shopping and leisure activities. Don’t let the urban city fool you as there are some nature spots too. For example Erawan National Park, just a few hours drive away where you can truly be in touch with nature and a slower pace of life.
Everyone in business should read this book:
7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Shameless plug for your business:
Being bold is in everyone’s nature. BOW was created to bring out that boldness within you: to be fearless in the midst of challenges, to be the final push in the pursuit of your goals, to be the leap of faith into the unknown.
We just launched our first Kickstarter Campaign here:
How can people connect with you?
Twitter handle?

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
CallumConnectsCallum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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