Building a Successful Beach Chair Business – Leslie Hsu of Sunflow

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 37:48)

PODCAST AUDIO

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Intro

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow shares the story of building a comfortable beach chair brand and growing it to a seven-figure business.

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: The Culture Quotient

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Leslie Hsu of Sunflow

00:00Introduction
01:05Idea and what problem is the business solving
05:12Product development
09:06Product market fit
12:36Networking and building relationships
15:26Financing and Shark Tank experience
20:14Target market
21:58Channels
23:46Getting first customers/marketing
28:43Team
29:39Warehousing and shipping
31:02Failures and lessons learned
32:09Rapid fire segment

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow

  1. One book that you would recommend to entrepreneurs/business professionals in 2021 and why? (Response: The Culture Quotient)
  2. An innovative product or idea and the current eCommerce, retail, or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: Dyson)
  3. A startup or business in E-commerce retail or tech that you think is currently doing great things (Response: Revolve)
  4. A Business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tip (Response: Procreate)
  5. A peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: My husband)
  6. Best business advice you ever received (Response: Flow like water.)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Hey there entrepreneurs My name is Sushant Welcome to Trep talks. This is the show where I interview successful ecommerce entrepreneurs, business executives and thought leaders and ask them questions about their business story and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses. And today, I’m really excited to welcome Leslie sue to the show. Leslie is the co founder of Sunflower, sunflower creates beach chairs that are compact, comfortable, easy to carry, and expertly engineered for lounging, napping and reading. And today, I’m going to ask Leslie a few questions about her entrepreneurial journey, and some of the strategies and tactics that she has used to start and grow her business. So thank you so much for joining me today. Trep talks, Leslie,

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

it’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Great. Can you share a little bit about your company, what product you’re selling? And what is the problem that you’re trying to solve and for people?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Well, let’s say I’ll start way back in, not too far back, but 2017. It’s when we thought of the idea. We were spending a week at the beach with our family or two young daughters. And I think as many people could relate, we were planning a day at the beach, packing up in the morning, you know, basic things like getting the kids some breakfast, getting some supplies, sunscreen on them, then packing up to get to the beach, which we had about a block of a walk, whether it’s from your car, or from your house, or a few blocks or biking, it’s still the same thing, you have to bring the beach chairs, the umbrella, the cooler, the sandwiches, the toys, the towels, the list goes on and on. So as you’re doing it kind of felt normal, because that’s how we’ve the only way we’ve ever known to get to the beach with all our things. It was a nightmare. The chairs were opening closing, kids were complaining, the umbrellas falling, things are falling off your shoulders. And you know, everybody’s complaining, it’s hot and sticky. So when we finally got there, opening the chairs, and setting up was not very easy, either. It was kind of funny. So after we got all set up, kids are completely content. And my husband and I, Greg, were sitting there, and we actually said, There’s got to be a better way, there has to be a better way. And Greg looked at me and said, Let’s create a better way. So some flow was born. That’s kind of where it started. After that, you know, we kind of first had to do a little research into the market to see that there was a customer and there was a need for it. And after finding out that the chairs haven’t changed for over 100 years, literally, we thought there might be a little opening there for us to create something new and just better than what what other people have. And yeah, then started the business process.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So before before having this or getting into or even thinking about business that you or your husband have any experience of entrepreneurs like you had any of your creative businesses or were you like, full time jobs or something.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

So we are kind of known in our town is serial entrepreneurs. Okay. Like many others out there, we have lots of ideas. And we have tried to launch a lot of them, which has been really great and a great experience. My husband has launched three or four businesses and sold to I have been a handbag designer, so I started my own line of handbags. And then I had a licensing company where I designed handbags for other big brands. And then I started kind of a personal styling and home decorating company. And everything has been good and there’s definitely no fault and trying. And not that every single every single business has been a homerun but it’s been great. We’ve had some more successful than others along the way, but everything kind of leads to something. Something else one thing always leads to another

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

definitely so so you have this challenge you’re gonna go into the beat and you did a little bit of research. What what did you think that you would be able to do with like the beach chair? You know, did you have an idea that you want to improve the experience of the general person or the you know, regular family going to the beach and make it a little bit easier or did you want to make a chair that way? Very easy to sit at the beach and you know, comfortable and so forth. So can you share a little bit about you know what, in terms of like just creating the product, what that process was like,

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

as far as inspiration for the product development, it probably selfishly stemmed from what I was looking for. So I usually do, we do spend several, several hours at the beach. And they haven’t been the most comfortable chairs that I sat in. So for many hours of sitting and getting up and sitting back down, taking naps, that kind of thing. I just was hoping for something more comfortable. So our chair actually is a little higher in the back, the fabric is higher quality, it’s stronger, so it doesn’t really sag like a lot of my chairs. Now, after many years of use, it’s just sagging. There’s also kind of a hammock feel to it, it’s one solid piece of fabric. So as you lie further back, you really are, it’s almost like a full bed. And it does make a difference on my back at the end of the day. Another thing that was really important for me personally was shade from the sun, just you know, especially my face, although, you know, obviously I use sunblock, but we designed a sunshade that has a double panel. So it’s really adjustable based on where the sun is hitting at that time. And it also uses up 50 fabric which protects your skin from 90% of the sun’s rays are harmful. Which makes a huge difference in the scheme of things doesn’t mean I don’t wear sunscreen, and a hat cell. But just to know that it’s not a mesh canopy just blocking me from the sun, brightness, it’s actually protecting my skin from the sun’s cancer rays. You know, things like accessories, I would, you know, this, the chairs that exists now and are more commonly seen really accommodate with soda cam, because they’re kind of dated, I was already using water bottles, and they don’t fit. So what would happen is I’d stick the water bottle in the sand. And so it was important for me to have a drink holder that adjusted, rotated. So sometimes I’d have a big water bottle, sometimes I’d have a beer bottle, so it would just get smaller and bigger as needed. The other thing that’s great is there’s a dry bag. I don’t know if you’ve ever been at the beach. Where do you put your phone you like put it under your leg? Well, the waves come up. And next thing you know, your phone is little sandy a little wet. So there’s a drive out on the side, which is like magical, because I always like to put my chair up by the water. How many times water comes up and kind of brushes your feet. But the phone safe basically. And it’s been really nice. So all these little solutions kind of made my day a little bit easier and kind of smile as a solution. And then it folds up really small. So this the chair itself closes up with one push of a, like a baby stroller. And, and the size of the finished chair becomes a square. And just it’s a backpack, super comfortable backpack. So there are things that just kind of made me happy. And I who knew if anybody else felt the same way we did. But there are people out there that felt the same way we did we found out.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Yeah, I mean, so you know, to talk about that a little bit, you know, when we talk about the product market fit. Did you at the beginning when you created? I mean, did you create a prototype? And if you did, like how did you bring it to market? Did you have some sort of validation process where you actually realized, yes, people are going to buy this, even though I think you know, there’s a big market for you know, buying the chair to you already knew that people buy this kind of a product. But specifically for the product that you created. Did you go to any sort of validation process?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Well, I wish we had the time. So when we started doing the development part, as I mentioned, I come from handbag design. So wasn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped, considering I’ve never really designed a chair and then our chair is not just like a folding chair. It’s got a lot of gears and mechanisms. And we tried to do a lot of upgrades and really make the chair different versus just the same thing. With a prettier outside. We actually changed the entire the core of the chair. So it took several years, I want to say three years. So we started off kind of doing product ID what would it look like? What would what would be special about this chair versus all the other chairs out there. So that’s a big important thing for me because it needs to be a differentiator. So after all that we started having to do sourcing handbag, factories don’t really make beach chairs. So it became a process of sourcing. And I am Chinese and I speak Mandarin. And I love traveling there. It’s been a while, although it’s been a while. But you know, with connections and networking, which I always, you know, we’ve, my husband and I have always believed it’s critical and anything you do, we were connected to, and finally found a great partner to prototype for us. So after about two, three years of prototyping, as you can imagine, you make a chair, you get a prototype, you sit in it, this breaks, you improve it, you get a new prototype, the other thing breaks, oh, my gosh, it was like, just endless, it felt like, but by the time, two to three years passed, we said we can’t wait any longer. So as much as we’d loved, we would have loved to do like beta testing, and send them out to hundreds of people to test for a couple years, and half the time. So our beta testing ended up to be real life customers. And thank goodness, it was very positive. We also realize after a lot of product development, and costing, that our product would be a higher priced product than what’s normally out there. The range of products that you find now in CVS, and Costco, and your mom and pop surf shops. They are, you know, averaging, you could do 35 to 180, we are chairs, 190 98. So it did become like, Okay, we have to make it worth it for these people, these customers. So I think we we achieve that. So far, the feedbacks been really positive.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

I want to talk to you know, something you mentioned a little bit different, you know, you mentioned networking and building relationships with people, I think that’s very important for entrepreneurs. And can you share a little bit about your process of networking and connecting with people? And what, how do you build those relationships so that it does not come across like a one way? And, you know, if you’re making an ask or something? And, you know, given that you’re probably already very busy, like, how do you actually, you know, after you meet someone new, how do you build a relationship so that it kind of sticks like, you know, if you connect with that person, maybe one year down the road that they actually remember you and are willing to help?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Well, that’s actually a really good point, you just said, make yourself memorable. I’m not really sure how that works to each individual. But that would be really important, because everybody does really meet a lot of people. But networking has always been such an important part. In every business, we’ve started. And I’m downplaying if I say one thing always leads to another. And I’ve met people who have helped us in handbags that I met at a dance class, I’ve met people who have helped us, you know, helped me in my interior business, who used to be my daughter’s coach at a school, it’s just because because her cousin might know somebody, it’s just a matter of talking, being really open and honest. And deep down, everybody really wants to help, you have to know that it’s human nature to to be flattered by somebody wanting to learn something from you. So, however you want to word things, do it in your own natural way. But definitely know if you find if you meet somebody that impresses you, that you think oh my gosh, you know, if I ever have an idea, I want to be able to call this person and ask them what they think. You can plant that seed and you know, just by saying, it’s amazing what you’ve done. I hope someday I could do something like this, you know, just with a big smile, and really, really genuine. And that person will never say Don’t call me or please don’t contact me that of course, they’re gonna say absolutely, please feel free to reach out, here’s my information. And then you follow up right away. And whether you the next time you reach out again, as a year, like he said, or two years down the road, you can always refer back to that email and say, Hey, I know you said this to me two years ago, but I have an idea. Do you mind if I bounce it off of you? It’s so flattering. And also having that personal connection doesn’t hurt. I’ll always say don’t burn bridges. I mean, there’s you never know what lies ahead for you or the people you’re meeting. So you know, it never hurts to be nice and to have friends.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

That’s great advice. In terms of Like financing your business in the beginning? Did you really fund it yourself? I know you went to Shark Tank also, can you share a little bit about, you know, the lifecycle of when you started? How did you finance it in the beginning? And then what was the purpose of going to Shark Tank? Was it really financing? Or was it really the relationship and, you know, the benefit that that can bring to the business? It’s a great

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

question. Everybody asks us that. So we started in 2017, we self financed for the first three years, two and a half years of just kind of industry research, product development. And thank goodness, we’ve been lucky enough in our past businesses to have a little savings that we use towards this because we really believed in it. And we didn’t know if we could do it, because I’ve never really designed a beach chair before. So without putting risk on other people, we did that ourselves. After we had a sample, and it looked really good. And actually, right before we had a sample, we just had pictures and an idea and a lot of industry numbers, we actually went up to investors, and we did a first round of investments. And that really kicked helped kick off the being able to produce the product and make some inventory, create a website. And we had a first hire who Felicia is our first hire who is our executive VP of Sales and Marketing who is like, it was just the three of us for so long. Um, so that actually, I don’t know, spurred on, you know, as you’ve it’s like feeding something or feeding, you know, your plant, it starts to grow, right? If you’re lucky, Shark Tank came about a little bit later, we already had a full year of selling. And we were feeling pretty good, because it was a really good first year. So we like everybody else. Well, we had a store. And when people would come into the store, we’d show on the product. I think 85% of the people we showed the product who said, Have you been on Shark Tank? You should be at Shark Tank. I mean, it was it was comical how many people because it’s one of those things that you say when you watch Shark Tank? I should have thought of that. Why didn’t I think of that kind of thing. So it was actually out from our customers that we applied. You You can go online and you can apply, you fill out an application and just like about 50,000 Other people every season, you kind of throw your name in the ring. So the whole process was very exhausting. They definitely take they check everything. And make sure that you’re a good fit for the show before you get to the point where you’re on it. It’s lots and lots of steps and cuts. But we did not go. We went on the show, we were actually doing another round of investments when the show was being filmed. So it’s perfect timing. As you know, I’m sure you’ve read some articles, we got a million dollar deal for Mr. Wonderful, which was wonderful. It was a great experience. And everybody there was very, very warm, and it was super welcoming. And it was a great experience all around. But in the end, we actually didn’t take the million dollars. Because nor as normal negotiations go and investing it. You know, the the negotiating continued a little bit after the show. So as I mentioned, we were we were reaching out to other investors at the time anyway. So the terms we didn’t accept, we didn’t take Mr. Wonderful million dollars, but we did end up raising 3.5 million from other investors at terms that, you know, we were we were more comfortable with. So in the end, it worked out great. We didn’t go on there for publicity, but my goodness, being a fan of the show already. It was so excited. So it worked out. Great.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And they do the show, actually. I mean, I’ve spoken with many shark tank entrepreneurs and usually the you know, whenever the show airs, it gives a boost. Do you find that to be the gift for your business also?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

It was a huge base. Yeah. It was we were that we aired that Friday and that Monday. We were packing boxes we couldn’t fill the orders until the following week. From that first night of the show.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

In terms of your target market are you selling within North America only are you selling too Probably and I’m assuming because it’s a very specific product in a beach kind of a product. I’m assuming it’s more popular in certain areas of us or certain parts of the world. Can you share a little bit about, you know, who could actually your target market for them?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Yeah, we are, we are selling the United States. I’d say our biggest markets right now are the New York City area and the East Coast, meaning like Florida, California, yes, you’re completely right around the coasts, but you would be so surprised. Some of the orders. Iowa, Nebraska, Alaska, a lot of people like in Michigan and around the lakes, we have a lot of campers who use our chairs, it’s unbelievable. We like we get a thrill out of it. Whenever we see somewhere new, you know, we also get international orders Puerto Rico, Canada, a lot of Canada, Mexico, we’ve shipped to Dubai, I mean, it’s incredible. The reach that we’ve had so far, we’re very excited about it. But we also launched in Australia last year. And as you know, Australia is very beach oriented. So that has been really successful. And we’re really happy with that. Because Australia, seasons are flipped from ours, which really kind of helps us balance out the seasons here. We are starting to do a little more international, we just launched something some countries in Europe. So fingers crossed, you know, we’re going slowly just to kind of be careful with what we do. But it is we’d like to be more international than even we are now. So our fingers are crossed.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So when you sell in a country like Australia, is, are you saying like goes to your website? Or isn’t selling through Amazon? And in terms of like just having your product in that market? Like how do you have a distribution distributor? Or do you have your own warehouse? How do you actually do that?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Well, this will touch back to your networking question. A friend of a friend of a friend introduced us to somebody in Australia, who happened to be a perfect fit. And timing was right. And she took the risk the chance with us. And she acted as our Sun flow counterpart in Australia. So when we launched, we shipped them to her garage. She helped us process our orders through our website. So we have an Australian website, you can pick where you’re buying to be shipped to. And she actually processed our orders for us through buy him through her Gosh, Australia, and since then it’s grown. So we’ve we’ve found a bigger space, and we’re working with her and you know, some more help. But it it has been amazing. And obviously, you know, just like any entrepreneur, we really had to find our way. Because as a new company, we couldn’t just be like, go to a distributor and they’re going to take your business, it just doesn’t work that way as much as I wish it would. And people don’t take a chance on new businesses. So openly and you know, open arms as they should, but you know, it’s risk. So yeah,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

definitely. In terms of marketing and sales. I know you mentioned that when you first launched it was you know, you got a really good response. Can you share a little bit? You know, how you went to market? What kind of launch did you do? How did you attract your first customers? And how have your marketing evolved over time? What’s working right now? Yeah,

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

so we actually launched to the world after being stealth for a few years, on May, in May of 2020. Do you remember what was going on? I 20. Yeah, the whole world shut down. And we finally were launching our beach tech company. So it was a really scary time. We were in our house, you know, in quarantine with everybody, you know, everybody else was locked down. And we had signed a lease for a store in East Hampton, New York. And we’re thinking to ourselves what the heck is happening this can’t be happening right now. So not only that, but our product wasn’t here because everything was shut down. And you know, FedEx was very barely delivering there were no containers moving anywhere. So at that time, it was really kind of like why us? Why now? And I’m sure a lot of people said the same things to themselves at that time. But luckily Always Look on the bright side. We we still open our store In June, when people were starting to be able to go out, and our website was live. So we’ll never know what would have happened if there was no pandemic. But I have to always look at the bright side. And there was a pandemic, yes. And we had to deal with the cards that you’re dealt, right. So I think because people were spending more time at home, my guess they weren’t going out to dinner. They weren’t going away on trips, but it was summer. So they’d go to the park, sit out back, he go to the beach with your family. So sales were great. We reached people at that time through Facebook, Instagram, kind of social media. Because there was no other way at that time, we weren’t really having much success. And we weren’t having our parties at our East Hampton store that we planned. So it became social media marketing, and it was really effective, because I think the target audience was out there. And once they saw it, they were like, Oh, my gosh, I need a new feature. And, you know, I think it’s a common response, because there hasn’t been anything new for so long. And people are hungry for it, I think and then also waiting to go outside and be outside, you know, and kind of gather distance, distance together. So it worked. Okay. I mean, marketing, social, social media marketing is absolutely amazing. Because I too, I prefer to if I’m going to see ads, right, everybody gets fed ads. I’d rather see ads for things I like, right. And so that’s called, you know, target marketing, right, targeting the ads. But it makes a lot of sense. Because why would I want to see ads for things that have nothing to do with me, that would almost bother me more than seeing too many ads for things I like, and I spend too much money? Yeah. So it has been great with social media marketing. But we’ve also tried to find other channels of marketing now that our audience, our customer base has grown.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And recently, the social media marketing has changed a bit right, with the changes and like, the way in iOS, I believe. Yes, yeah.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

You’ve heard about it, I’m sure.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Yeah. And how are you adapting to that, if that made any changes to how you’re doing your advertising, no.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Huge changes, huge changes. It’s almost like we’re going back in time. Because what became normal with being able to find our customer, which I don’t think was a bad thing that people were feeling as if you know, the privacy was being you know, you’re kind of going into there, what they’re looking at how they’re shopping. But to that point, what I mentioned before, I think it actually is great if you’re, you know, not doing anything bad, but you know, you you’re kind of seeing ads for things you like, so it was really effective for us. But now, it’s harder to find them. And I’m sure you’ve heard that from a lot of your entrepreneurs. So it has been more challenging, but we’re trying different marketing ways. It’s almost like if you turn back the clock, 15 years of how you saw things that you wanted to buy, through ads through collaborations. mailers to remember getting catalogs I mean, they’re old school ways. But they did work then. So it is a we’re trying to be creative in that way. But it definitely has been a challenge.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

What does your team look like right now? How have you been?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Oh, it’s kind of funny. It’s my husband and I, I do all the creative product development and creative stuff. Greg, my husband is the CEO who runs all the business side of things, logistics, things like that. And we have Felicia, who was our first hire and really only full time hire, she is the VP of sales and marketing. But I’ll say that we all take out the trash. We all you know we’re all folding and mailing envelopes, we’re all in the warehouse packing and shipping. I mean, it’s still small family business. We do have a few other employees and a lot of freelance workers, engineers, marketing, graphics, photographers, it’s it’s kind of a team effort. But the team itself our core group is quite small.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And you’re used to doing your own packing. So you’re, you have your own warehouse and you back yourself and ship it out.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Well, we all bring this back to point you made before through a friend of a friend. Well, actually my husband’s friend, we were able to secure warehouse space for ourselves. And we have a full time hire there Zack who runs everything smooth day to day. So that’s you know, for growing slowly but We’re not too anxious to go too fast. Because that can be dangerous to

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

you. In terms of your shipping, how do you manage the cost of that? Do you get free shipping? Or do you have someone that costs for the customer,

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

we do? Give free shipping. We’ve done that since the beginning. And I think it’s important because we wanted people to really touch and feel our product. Because it’s new when we didn’t have stores everywhere. A lot of times, we’d get get questions like Where can I go try it. So free shipping really does help people give us a chance. And it’s been worth it. It’s been great, because I think the reaction has been welcoming enough that we it validates our free shipping.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

In every entrepreneurs journey, there’s always you know, failures, mistakes, made lessons learn. Can you share, like your biggest, you know, when you look back? Biggest mistake or failure or a level learn in building your business?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Well, one thing that I always sometimes I do is I work in a bubble. So when you’re designing a product, sometimes like I said, I was selfishly designing the product for myself, I did need to take into account, I think I should, we didn’t have enough time, but I love hearing customer feedback. So it has been amazing to hear all our customer feedback in our stores, you know, I would sit there and they tell me what they wish they had. Now, that’s something that is invaluable. So I’ve taken all that into consideration. And a lot of these products that are coming through now are from direct customer requests. Because I thought, Wow, that’s a great idea, you know, so let me try that. So it’s always amazing to listen to the customer.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Awesome. Now we’re going to move on to our rapid fire segment in the segment, I’m going to ask you a few quick questions, one, to answer them in one or two words or a sentence. So one book recommendation for entrepreneurs or business professionals in 2022. And why

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

a book, I’m not a big reader, but my husband wrote a book, and it’s for businesses. So he, he’s a professor, and he also has been a open set. You know, we’ve launched several businesses, it’s called the culture quotient, by Greg Basner. And it’s a compilation of stories about company culture. So it is really interesting, and I know lots of people that are, you know, share their stories in it. So it’s actually a great read. And it makes a lot of sense. And it’s very relevant now. With you know, businesses and how they run

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

an innovative product or idea in the current ecommerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

A product. Yeah, I guess one of my favorite things that I own, that still excites me is my Dyson. You know, the Dyson, I respect that company, I everything they come up with is innovative. And it’s and it actually changes someone’s day. I mean, I don’t know how many times I vacuum, just for fun, maybe it’s actually an I, I’ve shared it with other people, I’m so happy to share with other people and they to say oh my gosh, changed my life. So and then these new products that just my friend was just telling me about their hairdryer, or their hair curler. I don’t use it. But she’s like, Oh my God, it’s completely life changing. So that kind of, I completely respect that innovation where you actually took a category and changed it. It’s amazing.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So really from like a product perspective, creating a product that is so user friendly, and really solve the problem, really

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

solve the problem you almost didn’t know you had

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

a business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tip.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

I don’t really use that much software because I’m more of a designer, I’ll use email and spreadsheets. But I’d say one thing that I have switched to in the past couple of years is I used to sketch with a pencil and paper. Now I don’t I use an iPad with the Apple Pencil and an app called procreate. A friend of mine recommended, it’s unbelievable. It’s completely changed my sketching. It’s made things so much easier. For anybody who’s on that in that creative design process. It’s an amazing app, and it’s probably saved me 1000s of hours of re sketching. You know what I do on a piece of paper?

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Yeah. I’m a startup business in E commerce retail or tags that you think is currently doing. That is what a different startup or technology company that you think is doing great To fight now,

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

I’d say my favorite online retailer is that I love is revolve. It’s, I’ve been shopping with them for so many years. And I still feel like they’re easy to shop. And they, they’ve been keeping up with the times, I feel like they’re really impressive as far as doing their own private label products, they really know their customer. They know how to use social media. And they’re aspirational, even though they’re attainable, they’re achievable, and they’re affordable. It’s amazing how they’ve still kept their product kind of kind of up there and respected. What are the selling resolve is close, it’s really clipping it’s women’s clothing, but it’s super trendy, but it kind of it teeters between really high end and really affordable. It’s it’s amazing what it does. It’s similar to I don’t want to say it’s similar to but it’s like Zara, you know Zara is worn by you know, the most admired actresses and actors and every every your everyday friends, right? Because it’s all affordable, but they did something with it to keep it keep it has to keep some cachet to it.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Appear entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

That’s fine. My husband. I literally think, I don’t know anyone smarter. I don’t know anyone. easier to work with. And I’m not that easy to work with. But neither is he he’s very patient. And he’s, he’s really smart. So it’s, it’s, it’s something that I always look up to, because I don’t know if that’s smart.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And final question, best business advice you ever received, or you would give to other entrepreneurs?

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Oh, this is always my favorite. I’m a big Bruce Lee fan. So one of one thing he’s always said is flow like water. And I think it’s so irrelevant in this world. As fast as things move. You really have to figure out how to quickly adjust to kind of make things fit into what you can do. What can you offer. I’ve, we’ve kind of my my whole family, my husband and I we’ve based our entire careers on it. We’ve kind of moved with what we think might might work for us next or where we might be able to add something.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Perfect. Thank you, Leslie, so much for joining the podcast today. Go over all the questions that I had really, really appreciate your time today. And thank you again for joining pep talk.

Leslie Hsu of Sunflow  

Hey, thank you so much. It’s my pleasure.

Also, get inspired to Create a Profitable Online Business with Parth Kukreja – Using Content to Grow a 7-Figure Dog Pet Jewelry Business


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