From a Bachelor of IT to heading one of the country’s most innovative mattress brands, Ringo Chan’s path to success has been an unlikely one. Meet the man behind the brand that brought you the ‘wine glass on a mattress test’ video.
What was your inspiration to start your own business?
I’d always struggled to sleep well and hated the whole process of going into a mattress showroom and having to deal with salespeople trying to get me to buy. That’s where the mattress idea came from. In terms of starting my own business, I’ve always been an entrepreneurial guy. If I can’t find something I need on the market, I’ll look into producing it myself!
When did you know the timing was ‘right’?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur, so it sort of evolved from there. When we started Ecosa, the online mattress retailer space was still relatively unknown. We knew we had to take our chance while we could.
How did you make your big break?
Given how new the market was, we saw almost immediate demand because it was such a necessary change in the mattress industry. When we first launched our campaign with the wine jump test – where a glass of red wine is placed on the mattress and no amount of jumping can spill it – we got over two million views. It was a really exciting moment.
What was your training prior to starting your own business?
I did a Bachelor of IT, but throughout school I wasn’t very consistent. I got good grades but I wasn’t the most focused. It really goes to show performance in school doesn’t need to define your whole life.
What is your top tip for maintaining a work/life balance?
It’s difficult to say because business is my hobby. As cliché as it sounds, when people say ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ – it’s true. I love the moment you make an idea come true. When it comes to downtime, I try to take holidays with my wife when I can, and when we take business trips, we take that opportunity to visit other countries on the way.
What is your biggest learning since starting your own business?
I’m still learning all the time, but one of the biggest things you have to accept is that you only have 12 good hours in a day. Making the most of your productive time is important. Finding good staff is also a learning curve. Talent is out there, you just have to find it.
What do you do in your spare time to keep yourself sane?
I keep fit, enjoy travel and like to read – though sometimes my reading is still loosely business related! I love getting stuck into a brand book or learning new things from non-fiction, but it helps me relax, too.
What’s one thing other people who are looking to start their own business should do?
It sounds simple, but my advice is always to just do it. Lots of people dream of starting a business, but very few actually follow through. Having the ability to back yourself is important in business and doing so from the beginning will set the tone for the future.
WIN // haven has teamed up with Ecosa to give away a luxurious navy blue bamboo sheet set in size queen, valued at $240 from Ecosa! Ecosa’s bamboo range is environmentally-friendly, soft to the touch, and hygienic and hyper-allergenic. Entries close Sunday September 29, 2019. Only the winner will be notified. Good luck!