What does an avid runner has got to do with nail polish? Nothing, or at least I cannot think of any. A common gender stereotype most people might have is that we often associate male athletes with a very masculine image, and nail polish as something very girly! This seasoned athlete however overturned my misconception when I found out that not only does he run professionally, he run a nail polish business too! This man reinvents beauty products by creating customized nail polish, he also recreates personalities in our lifestyle. Come and meet the magic fingers behind Nail Deck (by Sozoco), Daryl Chew!
(Come to think about it, there are so many successful men involved in female oriented kind of businesses, like hairdressing, cooks, fashion designers…)
Daryl Chew, 29
| Star Profile
| Skills and Passion
|| Life Quote
Daryl’s childhood was filled with sports and fitness. He played competitive sports like squash, badminton, tennis and table tennis. And he also did running, swimming and cycling regularly; eventually combining all 3 to do triathlons in university. As a teenager he was hoping to be a professional athlete one day; sporting endeavor was definitely his ‘first love’ until he discovered entrepreneurship!
Journey to Entrepreneurship
A business school student who major in Marketing Technopreneurship, no one thought Daryl would get into the beauty product industry. His first business was selling bicycles (for triathletes) but the real quest began 7 years ago. His wife (then girlfriend) wanted to get nail polish from US (it was a fancy one which changes color under sunlight). Due to the tax incurred, he decided to buy them in bulk instead of small quantity. Seizing the opportunity, he registered sole proprietary instantly, obtained the distribution rights and started selling in Singapore through Zalora, deal sites and push carts. It happened to be just at the right time, 2011-2012 was the nail polish era with all the fancy designs, styles and techniques. Oh, and Pinterest! Daryl rode on this wave and steadily ventured into this nail polish business.
How is Daryl Doing Now?
The push cart business was put on hold after a great run at 3 universities due to limited manpower. Daryl started looking for job after graduating, however the entrepreneurial spirit re-ignited when his best friend suggested to work together on nail polish customization. Hence born the Nail Deck! Making use of his friend’s chemical engineering expertise, they successfully found a way to mix customized nail polish colors. Thanks to their painstakingly effort we can now order directly through mobile app (iOS) and have it shipped to our doors. That’s so cool! Wedding gifts, girl friends’ goodies, anyone?
Vision for the Future
Sozoco (the parent company of Nail Deck) will be a beauty products corporation with customization as core values (just like P&G for consumer products).
Some Lessons Learnt
- It is important to know how to delegate and manage time
- How to be persistent and know when to stop if something is not right
Other Things About Daryl
- He runs all the time and can run very fast! Daryl ran out to meet me, sprinted to the canteen, rushed to the washroom and got back in less than 1 min
- He really enjoys running – he takes it as a form of relaxation and many ideas surface when he runs
- He is a really sweet and nice guy! Apart from saying yes to an interview request by someone he didn’t know (me), he helped me connecting with other entrepreneurs and organizations (big thank you Daryl!)
Mobile application, Beauty Product
- Nail Deck by Sozoco aims to let everyone celebrate their individual uniqueness through colours, simplify the nail polish shopping experience through mobile app
- It has been featured by multiple channels such as Tech in Asia, Her World Plus, most recently a video with Xiaxue (a Singaporean blogger); you can watch the video here
- Find out more about Nail Deck here
(For iOS users only)
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