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My Top 10 Business Tips - Chi Mai, Founder of S-kin Studio

My Top 10 Business Tips - Chi Mai, Founder of S-kin Studio

Hello, my lovely friends! In 2018, when I pictured myself five years from now, I would have never imagined being able to arrive where I am today. Five years is such a long time for some, and a blink of an eye for others, but for me - the past five years have given me so much to learn from that I wanted to share some of these lessons with you!

Time is a currency

It’s the age-old saying - time is money - it rings so true when you’re running a business. When you add being a mum, a wife, a boss, a friend, and a sister - it can become a lot. One of the valuable lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t always do everything, and it’s okay to drop the ball sometimes. It’s also a smart thing to delegate, and focus your time (or currency) on the most hard-hitting areas for your business, or whatever goals you want to achieve. 


Growing up, my parents have always taught me the value of never giving up. I credit them for teaching me perseverance in business and life, and it is a trait that has helped me immensely when growing S-kin. In my opinion, businesses that succeed are those that have founders that persevere and don’t take no for an answer.

Adapt and change

S-kin has changed a lot in the past five years as a brand. We started from humble beginnings with only a few products. I’ve constantly had to pivot and adapt (especially throughout the crazy past few years!) to continue growing the brand. My designs have changed a lot over the years as I creatively view my life through different lenses. Don’t be afraid to change and adapt to the market, to who you are at the time, and embrace it!


Business is about people

Going from my spare bedroom and working by myself (doing absolutely everything) to having a team of 15 has taught me a lot about working with others. That business is essentially a collective of people driving towards the same destination. The weight of someone believing in me and my business enough to work for me doesn’t sit lightly - and I take every opportunity possible to have that known. Similarly, the people who support S-kin (you guys!) are the most important people to listen to in business - so we’re able to continuously grow and improve everything that we do.


Make time for you

Taking care of yourself can be hard if you’re an overachiever like me. From motherhood these past two years, I’ve learned that taking time out of your week to spend with your loved ones and making time for yourself is the best thing you can do to fill your cup - you’ll enjoy working so much more when you have the breaks to look forward to!

Normalize failing

Ah, failing… it’s always been a fear of mine growing up in a strict Asian household where grades and achievements were so pedestaled. So a big lesson in business that I’ve definitely learned in the past five years of running S-kin is that failing is normal, and the only way you can learn to be better is to fail. It’s better to normalize it and expect it (and know how to deal with it) rather than be disappointed and constantly stressed when things don’t go according to plan.

Transparency is important

I’ve always been very passionate about transparency in all its forms. S-kin itself has always been about ethical manufacturing and providing a living wage to all our makers. As a business owner I’ve also made an effort to involve my staff in many day to day business decisions, as I believe in transparency in our culture. It’s really helped me to create a work environment that fosters productivity and teamwork here at S-kin. Read more about our manufacturing ethos here.

Delegate your tasks

In 2021, I fell pregnant with Felix, and shortly after I made the decision to hire two full-time staff members specifically to support the brand’s growth and my transition to motherhood. I learned how to delegate the tasks I never thought I would let others take over, and whatever I couldn’t train, I outsourced to a VA and accountant. In exchange, I was able to spend that first few months with Felix whom I treasure so so much.

Make time to be creative

One thing that I’m going to try to do a bit more this year is making time to be creative - it’s the one thing I love doing and get so much fulfillment from. Whether it’s designing collections, shooting pieces on location, or even just making jewelry from scraps, I get so much joy from it and would love to dedicate more of my days to doing more creative things.

Know your numbers

The last lesson that I’ve learned is also a very crucial one - know your numbers. As a business owner it can be the last thing you want to think about (your finances), but having a grasp on the numbers side of the business allows me to understand where I need to focus, prioritize and delegate my budget. It also helps us in thinking outside the box to get the most out of our budget which is surprisingly one of my favorite things!

Whether you’ve been with us for five years or if you’ve only stumbled on us recently, I hope you’re able to learn something new about me or S-kin! I hope this blog post was helpful in some way to you!

Chat soon, Chi xx

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