GALBI.Co was launched during the first Movement Control Order and with the way it’s going, there’s definitely a demand for fitness apparels in town. Jia En is a finance graduate from the U.S and has experienced the working life and culture in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, she had always wanted to launch her own fitness brand for the longest time but never had the time to execute it.
Who knew that MCO would be the time where she’d finally start up a new business? Who knew it would be going so well?
Get to know Jia En
What inspired you to launch your own fitness lifestyle brand?
I have wanted to launch my fitness brand for the longest time but I didn’t have the time to execute it. When MCO happened, I started putting the pieces together as I had more time to work on it.
I was thinking about what to name the brand, and I wanted it to be something that I love… and Galbi is one of my favourite (it means ribs in Korean). For my brand, GALBI stands for GALS, BE INSPIRED.
What can you share with those who are struggling with body image issues and how can they begin their fitness journey?
GALS, YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. You do not need other people’s validation to feel whole. I always believe that as long as you are confident with yourself, you shine brighter than anyone else in the room.
What are the most unforgettable memories and unspeakable challenges that you have faced during the start of the business?
I met so many great people since I have started GALBI.CO even though it has only been 3months! I actually became friends with quite a number of my customers and in fact, we started working out together. So far, I have been fortunate along the way, the only thing right now is I am still learning on how to manage my time better.
What’s integral to the work of a founder of a fitness lifestyle brand?
I believe it is important to have a consistent fitness routine myself as it is vital to understand my customer’s needs by being in their shoes.
With that, I realized that wearing an outfit that you FEEL good in while working out brings out an extra level of confidence, thus having a more productive workout session every time.
How do you cope with rejection?
Nothing in life is free, you have to work hard to get what you want.
Whenever I come across rejection, I always find out what’s the reason behind it and what can I do better next time.
Share with us something that you’re working on improving about yourself and the business.
I believe time management is my on-going improvement project. Being able to properly manage my time allows me to focus on the necessary tasks at hand to ensure my goals are met.
Were there any regrets?
I am a very positive person and always believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t live with regrets, I just treat it as a lesson instead.
Which product of yours are your bestsellers and why?
If I were to choose, I think it would be YOU’VE GOT MOVES TOP as it offers unique colours and superb quality whereas for bottoms, it would be SQUAT DO YOU MEAN BIKER PANTS as it comes with two sides pocket. For leggings, it would definitely be I AM INTO YOU leggings.
It’s no doubt that the stay at home period has been challenging, how did you and your family cope with things?
Honestly, I had such a great time during this MCO as I was so productive and I got to spend so much time with my family. My family and I have always been close but I felt like this MCO has definitely made us closer than before – we had a lot of “masak masak” challenges.
Lastly, how do you stay true to yourself and what’s your definition of success?
You need to believe in what you sell. Hence, I test every workout attire in different forms of exercises before I start selling it (and also how’s the quality over time).