[The following is an interview by Jessica Kao (EST staff) on Sarah Huang, Founder of SNT, with authorization for publishing on the personal blog of Start Jeffrey Up and the FB pages of Entrepreneurs Society of Taiwan (EST) and Plus8.]
I spent some time thinking about what really made me happy and the answer is beautiful clothes. So that’s how I started. I then took several arts-related courses and also became a lingerie apprentice. To make a long story short, I’ve tried many things and then decided I would focus on lingerie since I never get tired of it.
2. Who is your target market?
At the moment we’re selling sports bras, so we focus on females who look for comfortable, stylish and functional active apparel.
3. What need do you fulfill in the marketplace? What does your product offer that is not currently available in the marketplace?
Fashion forward sportswear is our goal. We provide sports bra that is not only stylish but also functional with comfortable fabric. At the moment we are the only sports bra company in Taiwan that sells bras with a built-in pocket, which allows you to carry small items when exercising. The patent is exclusively granted in Taiwan since 2013.
4. What is your business model?
We are B2C, selling comfortable, functional, and stylish fitness apparel (sports bras mainly).
5. How did you get clear on the specifics of your business?
As a new startup, I am afraid I can’t answer this question in details. More like an artist kind of a person instead of a business one, I can only follow my instinct since I don’t have many resources at hand or have no ability to process all the must-know information at the moment. One thing I am certain is we want to create beautiful products for active women to dress themselves in comfort, convenience, and style; of course, with classic, high-quality design and fabric. So in the first two months I was a bit apprehensive since some clients complained about our pricing policy, but with words of mouth, now we are getting very positive responses from most of our clients. We are working on the spring collection and feel very excited about it. Still I have so much to learn; it’s like the whole learning process is never ending. So, I am glad I joined Startup Leadership Program (SLP) where I got to know a lot of professionals in different industries. They are extremely helpful. I highly recommend new startups to apply! I am sure I can give you a more concrete/satisfying answer after we run the spring campaign.
6. Best piece of marketing advice you could give to people starting out?
Try anything possible. Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself.
Certified university lecturer in Taiwan since 2005, I’ve been teaching for many years. Besides teaching, I also help supervising various kinds of international English proficiency tests. I teach students of all ages and levels.
2. How did you become an entrepreneur?
I spent some time trying to answer this question then I realized the answer is actually so easy. I want to be HAPPY so I chose a different path. I chose “the road not taken.”
3. What has been your greatest challenge since becoming an entrepreneur?
I have zero business-related training and I dislike numbers.
4. What helps you keep going every single day?
The desire to create anything beautiful.
5. What experience has been most useful to you in your entrepreneurship journey?
I’ve learned that it’s important to share. I mean to give. As a new startup, I thought I didn’t have much to share; I mean, I am learning new things every single day, so I feel embarrassed sometimes that I don’t know much about running a business. But luckily I’ve been helped by so many along the way. I used to be a person with very low self-esteem and rarely believed in myself. However with all the help I got, I realized successful people are successful because they are willing to help and share. And they don’t take whatever they have for granted. Being mentored by them made me realized that everyone is unique and each of us has that special secret talent(s). So don’t give up on yourself. Be your own cheerleader. The quality to help and cheer others up simply distinguishes those successful entrepreneurs from others.
6. What are you learning or want to learn in the near future?
Oh I love this question. I want to continue learning Spanish, salsa and want to continue travelling. I want to take more art classes, spend some time overseas while still running my business, and hopefully start up an organization teaching women skills to become entrepreneurs too. There are just too many things I want to learn. What can I say? I love my life!