Hi I’m Melody. My family’s origin is Taiwan but I was born in the States where I spent most of my childhood in the East Coast in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Later, I moved to Taipei for high school. I returned to the States for college at Babson College, a small business school a little outside of Boston, before I returned to Taiwan for good and started my career.
During my college years, I developed deep interests in advertising/marketing - the only courses that I still have vivid memories of. I have also joined an entrepreneurship programme that required me to start and operate a business from scratch, which involves pitching ideas, sales and marketing, finance, accounting, etc. All proceeds from this business were donated to a charity.
In addition, like many universities, Babson’s students come from all over the world which provided me with an international network that has stayed with me and helped me tremendously throughout my entrepreneurship years.
Knowing that I particularly enjoy advertising/marketing, I started my career at an advertising firm. Eventually I realized that I wanted to start something on my own. Coming up with different ideas and doing extensive research, I figured none actually made sense at the time. However, I have always enjoyed working out and staying active, and it was a turning moment when I found out that Taiwan has great textiles but at the time did not have many activewear choices besides the big labels, such as Nike and Adidas. Combining resources around me and my interests in sports and marketing, my activewear brand VIASWEAT was born.
What were some challenges you faced, especially as a female entrepreneur, when launching your own business?
I am happy to share that I have never felt discriminated or challenged in the industry as a female entrepreneur in Taiwan. However, with no knowledge or experience in garment manufacturing or fashion, it was not easy to build an activewear brand from scratch - it was a steep learning. I still recall the days when I was rejected and challenged by many manufacturers/suppliers with high minimum order quantities. They did not want to work with me due to my lack of knowledge and experience in running a fashion business. However, one manufacturer was particularly patient and walked me through the entire production process. To nobody’s surprise, he eventually became my technical partner.
Don’t underestimate the power of perseverance and belief in yourself - both were crucial for me in overcoming challenges and continuing my business to this date.
I am happily married with a beautiful two-year old daughter.
Being a mumtrepreneur is all about constantly adjusting to achieve a “work-home” balance. Like many working mums, one of the biggest struggles was knowing where to draw the line between time spent nurturing my business and time spent nurturing my daughter.
There are many expectations of a woman, especially in the Asian society, where you are expected to master each role flawlessly - a loving wife that cooks and feeds the husband, a caring mum that spends time with her kids, a financially independent lady that contributes to the family’s finance.
How do you achieve a work life balance?
Learn to communicate and ask for help!
As a wife, you need to communicate well with your husband and share responsibilities together in the household.
As a business owner, you also need to learn how to trust your colleagues and delegate work.
Trusting others and delegating tasks to others make more time for me to be a loving wife, a caring mom… what more is that it buys me time to have some “me-time” to recharge and reset.
I am an active person - I enjoy stretching/yoga, weight training and cardio workouts.
I would spend some time to stretch/do Yoga in the morning before I make breakfast and wake up my husband and daughter to start their days. Once I sent my daughter to the nursery, I would go to the gym and do some weight training or cardio workout, such as boxing, before I go into the office. Exercising helps me relieve stress!
To you, how will you define a beautiful woman?
People always say a woman is beautiful when she is confident. But what makes a woman confident? I believe a beautiful woman is a woman that knows what she wants and is happy with where she is at.
I know that I would like to be a wife with a loving husband, a mother with a happy daughter…and I hope to become a better version of myself and grow with my family!