SME Malaysia : 
Pillars Feature: Walk, Run, Win

The founder of homegrown sportswear brand Ash Be Nimble is the kind of person who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in what she believes in, and this is a trait apparent throughout the interview and shoot – whether it’s stretching for the camera albeit a pause after giving birth, or repeatedly running up and down her favourite trail in Kiara, there is sincerity and no signs of hesitation in what she does. For her, it is simple: it is about doing something you believe in that counts.

 On having courage 

 

“The founder of homegrown sportswear brand Ash Be Nimble is the kind of person who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in what she believes in, and this is a trait apparent throughout the interview and shoot – whether it’s stretching for the camera albeit a pause after giving birth, or repeatedly running up and down her favourite trail in Kiara, there is sincerity and no signs of hesitation in what she does. For her, it is simple: it is about doing something you believe in that counts.”

“I always wanted to do some thing on my own where I could express my creativity, and generally build a brand from. And when I got more involved in fitness, and saw how much of a difference it can make in people’s lives, that was when I realised that this is something that I really believed in.” 

 

On having an Epiphany

“It all started when her previous boss organised a hike up Mount Kinabalu in 2012 as the company trip. “So that got me started with trail running. I was training at Bukit Tunku and trail running at Bukit Gasing.” Hooked on the sport, she realised that in order to train seriously, a certain amount of sportswear would be needed. “And sports apparel are not exactly cheap,” she explained. And so the idea of starting a sportswear label to enable women to pursue their sporting interests without breaking bank was formed.”

 

On engaging with our customers

“Our goal is to provide affordable quality sportswear to enable people to work out. Those who purchase our apparel tell us ‘hey, your brand is comfortable.’ They know that they’re getting a quality product, and they know they can relate to the people behind the brand. That creates a sense of trust to the brand,” Hui shares when asked about how she deals with the increasing competition. “We’re building a community. We have classes like yoga and Pilates in The Fox Den, along with Trail Clinics once a month. We work with partners such as local fitness experts too.”
 

On #gotheextramile : Helping to inspire and being inspired

“There is also the #GoTheExtraMile movement, where stories of everyday Malaysian heroes in fitness are shared via the Ash Be Nimble website, social media posts and in the near future, published in a zine. “Malaysia is full of extraordinary talent and tenacity. Ordinary girls and guys going beyond themselves to inspire and influence others – and this would hopefully inspire you when you’re in doubt to run that extra kilometer,” explains Hui.”
 

On being a woman in the business industry

“One of the easiest word to describe Hui is nice. It is something everyone who has met her says about her. And while that is a good character trait to have, it comes to question in the entrepreneurship world – what more if you are not from the predominant gender.

“I do feel that some people would take more notice of you if you’re a man,” Hui shares with us matter-of-factly. “Like when you’re dealing with suppliers, or sometimes your competitors might even give you more respect. Whereas if you’re a woman, it’s like ‘oh, got PMS ah this month?’ or ‘why so emotional?’” This is the reality of the industry, and sometimes you just can’t fight it. “So, you have to go about it in a different manner. Instead of being hard and firm to get something done, use softer approaches. But on the flip side of being a woman, if you are pregnant or have a baby, people are more sympathetic towards you. So it’s give and take lah,” Hui laughs.
 
 
Follow hui’s journey on building a business + being a mother + trying to be a trail runner on instagram.

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