Ung Yiu Lin strides along her store in Publika as she goes over details of her new collection.
She is the founder and designer of footwear and accessories brand, ShoesShoesShoes and luxury bag brand, KLutched.
Her venture into entrepreneurship started 12 years ago with a dream that any women can walk into her store, and come out with three pair of high-quality shoes at a great price. Hence, it was named ShoesShoesShoes.
“We believe in fair value. What you pay is what you get.”
We believe in fair value, what you pay is what you get.
“We are very well priced and good quality. We’ve also stuck to our vision of being very niche, we’ve never gone mass.”
“Customers walk out feeling like they’ve got a special purchase and not think they’ve been ripped off. So, that’s very much part and parcel of how we are still relevant today,” says Yiu Lin.
Dedicated and driven sums up the the entrepreneurial part of the quick-witted Yiu Lin.
On the personal side, the polished mother-of-three says she is like the rest of us. She apologises for the vomit stain her seven-month-old son had left on her skirt during the interview, while rushing to apply lipstick right before the cameras started rolling.
“For a day like today, I’d come to my stores for a meeting with one of my designers. Once that’s done, I’d go back home to cook dinner for my family.”
As the saying goes 'With age, comes wisdom'. Yiu Lin is embracing the big Four-O, determined to make 2019 the year of seizing all opportunities that come her way.
“I think my biggest professional achievement is that the business is still here. It’s been twelve years down this road. I’ve seen a lot of brands come and go. I’ve seen a lot of people lose their vision along the way.”
“The next biggest achievement, I feel, is actually my family.”
“I had a family late in life because I was obviously focused on my career. So, I had my first child at the age of 34. I really prioritised my career at the start and when I felt a certain level of success, that’s when I focused on starting a family.”
However, the svelte entrepreneur reveals that there were many who criticised her for being a workaholic when she first started her fashion business.
“People would tell me back then that I could have had a much easier path working in corporate Malaysia, where I was getting paid very well in a prestigious company.”
“Why did I quit? The truth is, I’ve always wanted to set up my own thing. So, at the age of 26, I left Boston Consulting where I was a management consultant, to start my own shoe brand,” says Yiu Lin.
The fashion influencer, after all is a brand in her own right with close to 59 thousand followers on Instagram, and is well established as among Kuala Lumpur's most loved and fashionable personalities.
Being married to former top national squash player Azlan Iskandar, Yiu Lin reveals she’s grateful to have a partner who supports her business endeavors
I had to be linked to the brand from day one because I was my walking testimonial. I was the brand and I still am till this day.
“He understood why I was working so hard," says the mother to baby Luca, Ava and Zara. “What Azlan and I have for each other is mutual respect. We come from the same set of values.”
“I wanted to build something of my own and I didn’t have to explain myself to him why I was working so hard. He wants me to reach my utmost potential and I have that same desire for him,” adds Yiu Lin.
As a solo entrepreneur, Yiu Lin emphasises the need to pay attention to personal branding, as it is often intertwined with the actual business.
“I had to be linked to the brand from day one because I was my walking testimonial. I was the brand and I still am till this day," she says. “You can’t be a hypocrite about it, you can’t say buy my products buy the brands that we’re selling in the stores but I not wear them.”
“I think it’s very much intertwined even now with social media, your life is for everyone to see.”
“That’s when I wonder when I’m 60 years old am I still going to have to be the brand?” she says with a laugh.