The Star - Life Inspired Feature: Thinking Out of The Box

On transitioning from running ash be nimble part time to full time & leadership

"For the second year running ash be nimble in 2015, I did still work part time. I couldn’t take the risk of drawing salary from the business when it was still in the growing phase,” says Hui. “I stopped when Asha came along. It was a huge source of stress as you don’t have the security of that monthly payment, some months you have additional expenses, and you have to always pay your staff first. These girls’ careers are in my hands, how they develop, how they shape their world view. The team is very young, I’ve been on a very huge leadership training journey. No matter how stressed out you are, you still come in and put a brave face on and lead the team. And then, you go home and be a wife and mum."

On why ash be nimble wanted to sponsor the Miss Universe Malaysia pageant

They also recently supplied the sportswear at the Miss Universe Malaysia pageant, and working with Fitology studio, engaged the girls in outdoor activities such as a trail run. They also held a fitness photo shoot for the contestants as an introduction to the various endorsements they may someday make, for example with a fitness brand. “I think nowadays being healthy and fit and strong is expected of a beauty queen or any public personality, and I really wanted ash be nimble to inspire them to see how important fitness is.”

On making time for fitness & learning to switch off

She may be constantly thinking of new ideas to implement under her brand, but Hui takes time out to relax as well – and naturally, this involves fitness – she runs with her husband, Ashish Mathews. “Doing a race for me is very therapeutic,” says Hui. “For us the idea of a date is going running together, even if it’s running with friends it’s still us spending time together doing what we enjoy. We get so much more out of that. Hui makes herself sign up for races every two to three months, as this ensures she’ll make time to train and take time off to do the race.
“For me it’s stress relief... for one and a half to two hours the only thing you’re thinking about is – one step in front of the other, finishing the race, just thinking about what you’re doing in that second.”

On being a working mum

“As a mum, I’m so incredibly focused on outcomes,” she says. “I have to get everything else done before I leave to pick her up, because then you don’t get to touch your phone or laptop. It goes to show that when you are a mum, yes, sometimes your hands are tied but you become so much more focused on priorities.”

“I make a conscious, deliberate choice to block out my phone, go with her to the park or play with her outside because there’s no way I can get to my phone. I guess a lot of it is mental detox, being present and even with something as simple as not thinking about schedule but fully appreciating playtime with Asha."

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