Recently, I had the chance to meet and interview Elim Chew, Founder of iconic streetwear brand 77th Street and serial entrepreneur. She was a panelist at Galboss Asia and shared her insights on being an entrepreneur.
Y’know having hung around the 77th Street stores in Far East Plaza as a teenager (uh-huh, I have the ear piercings to prove it), I’ve long heard hallowed whispers of her name. The boss of 77th Street is a lady, people would say. And her name is Elim Chew.
So when I finally got to meet her in person at Galboss Asia, it was a real treat. What struck me most about her was her easy manner and warm smile.
Here are 3 things she shared which stuck with me:
#1: People, People, People
It’s easy to start a business, but difficult to manage. As an entrepreneur, you need to be a good boss, then your heart and vision for the company can shine through. This is when your people will go all the way and guard and run your business for you. She has had staff who have been with her for 20 years.
#2: The Importance of Giving Back
Elim shared how she made her first $50,000 and then gave it all away to her church when it was raising funds to build churches in India because she felt it was the right thing to do. That money went into building 6 churches in India. A few years later, there was a terrible earthquake and those 6 churches were the only buildings that stood strong, so they were used as rescue centres.
This just goes to show you never know how far-reaching the consequences of your actions can be.
#3 We Must Be Driven By Purpose
“Driven By Purpose” is actually the title of her book and I couldn’t agree more with this statement.
The “how” of finding your purpose is the tricky part to me, but that’s another story for another time.
Watch her video for more of Elim Chew: Life after 77th Street, her new book and TV Channel and her biggest challenges in business.
Elim’s current businesses:
Fast Fast Delivery (I tried it, it’s good and reasonably priced)
Goro-Goro: Korean Steamboat and Buffet
I’m Kim: Korean Barbecue
Kokomama: Korean Snow Ice (“Bingsu“)