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How a 20 year old from Singapore launched Chia Collection

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Built with Big Cartel

How a 20 year old from Singapore launched Chia Collection

Brendan Chia

Brendan Chia

Founder

The Chia Collection

Art that invokes meaning and intention

🇸🇬 Based in Singapore

📅 Founded May 2018

🏆 1 Founder

💵 Monthly Revenue = NA

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Who are you and what business did you start?

Hello, my name is Brendan. Born and raised in Singapore. I’m 20 this year and I’m waiting to enroll into university next year.  I created The Chia Collection to be hobby where I can learn how to do business. You see, I’m very interested in everything business, from the supply chain to the customer interactions. I wanted to experience and have a deeper understanding of all of that. What better way to do that than to start-up a business? 

However, I still needed a product or service that I can sell in order to do business with people. So, I created my own products and that is how The Chia Collection is born. Initially, I did canvas art and made graphics on tote bags. It was an enjoyable process to create because I was always a doodler, back in school. 

My art has changed greatly over the past year but it still brings a lot of intention and meaning to life. In the early stages, I create a unique pattern in all of my illustrations. Here’s an image of a Nike logo in my inspiration.

Most of my customers are local so my audience is pretty small. But, that is good because it creates a level of intimacy with me and them as I can easily respond to their needs. Many of my sales are from my commissions. That means that I customise a design specially for them, providing a service that I found rather interesting. Moving forward, I found great admiration to minimalistic art. It is so thought provoking and calming that it would be a crime if I do not incorporate it into my designs. Here’s an example of a minimalistic design I did for a US client.

For most of The Chia Collection, it has been simply canvas art and totes. Recently, I’ve been taking a greater interest in streetwear and sneakers. Many of the brands out there are overpriced and lack meaning. So, I decided to step into the clothing fashion industry, dropping designs that felt meaningful to me. I had a lot of help along the way, in terms of how I should promote myself and in terms of bringing out my emotions into the designs. Here’s a design I recently made for a T-Shirt.

So this is The Chia Collection. It has changed and evolved a couple of times and I believe it will continue to change with me.

How did you launch the business?

The Chia Collection started off in a bad spot. I used a website that allows people to buy and sell their used items, something like Ebay. The application is called Carousell. I first launched TCC in carousell and that was not very wise because the target audience is already different. Apart from this, I did spread the word about my business to my friends and surprisingly, a number of them were interested to use my services. Slowly, I have customers asking for my services/products through referrals. Soon, I stepped into Reddit and made some commissions on there too. Before I know it, I have offers from clients asking me to illustrate their music album cover or do up some designs for their website. It was a very exciting time because I’m being exposed to things I have never done before.

What are some of the most effective ways that you acquire and retain customers?

I believe a great customer service is key to engaging my business. Through email or Instagram or Reddit, it is important to be available to anyone who needs help. I have people coming back for my products because of the customer service they commended.

With a great customer service, your customers will be more inclined to buy from you compared to others because they trust you and your product. 

Where can we learn more?

https://www.thechiacollection.com

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