Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Yin Qi Xie, Founder of KoStudio, located in New York City, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
KoStudio is a women's boxing brand that creates equipment for female proportions. The boxing and combat sports industry is extremely male-dominated, which means there aren't many equipment options on the market for female fighters. The gear available is ill-fitting and poorly designed, with large boxing brands only having a few women's products available or none at all. The sport is growing in popularity with the increase in female participation as the key trend, and we want to be the go-to brand globally.
Tell us about yourself
I was a product designer who fell in love with boxing. When I was training, I couldn't find equipment that fits me right, and I realized it was a universal struggle for women in combat sports. I decided to use my product design background to develop better options for female fighters. I'm inspired by my community, and it's my mission to create a more inclusive and empowering space for women in the fight scene.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I believe my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been bringing the community together for real-life events. In such a male-dominated sport, women often feel alienated. Through our boxing events and pop-ups, we've been able to help women get into the sport and find their community!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me is definitely consistency. I founded the brand when I was 19 while in college, so it was difficult balancing school and the business. Even now, in my 20s, I feel a lot of friction and conflict between work and my personal life. I don't want to regret not living in my 20s, but I also know where I want to take this business!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just start, you don't have to know where or how. You'll figure it out as you go (this is the number one tip I tell everyone and during interviews, I think fear is often the biggest roadblock for people)
- Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint. I made the mistake of shooting for growth and peak performance constantly, and it led to burnout. I think the speed we were growing at in the beginning also sacrificed aspects of quality. If I could do it again, I would take my time and go easier on myself!
- Don't be afraid of failure. Anticipate the fact that you will fail. Building a business has no paved path, so expect to fail and learn a lot!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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