Boss Talk is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’S site where we get personal and professional with the people behind the beautiful brands we carry.
BOSS: Mimi Tsang
BRAND: hello shiso
YEAR FOUNDED: 2011
BASED IN: Berkeley, CA
WHAT WE CARRY: her adorable and stylish hair clips designed for all personalities and seasons
Inspiration comes when I am being consistently creative, and not letting myself get too focused just on the everyday business matters. I’ve found that my creativity is a muscle and it needs constant exercise or else it gets flabby.
The most exciting part of this job is when an idea that I’ve been working and working on finally comes together.
The most challenging part of this job is promoting myself and my business. It is so hard and makes me sweat each and every time, though it’s such an important part of my business.
A goal we hope to accomplish in the near future is move out of my beloved backyard studio and into a larger studio space. The dream would be to be closer to a community of makers and businesspeople.
A great compliment our line has received was every time I see an order come through and I can remember hand-writing that customer’s address in the earliest days of my business. I have several of these customers, and I feel happy and grateful each time I see their name.
Before launching hello shiso, I was teaching in museums.
The last great book I read was A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
The music I listen to when I have to knock out work is the only music being played in my house right now, which is the Hamilton soundtrack!
After work, I most enjoy eating a leisurely home-cooked dinner (with wine!) with my family and friends.
Best parenting advice I’ve received so far is “Pick your battles.” I’ll let you know how it works if I can ever make it happen consistently!
My job would probably go smoother if I delegated work more.
On a rough day, I tell myself “Take a break, and come back to it later, when I feel refreshed.”
I’d like to give a shout out to Baby Jives because the founder Jahje has been really smart about how she uses social media and has built a really great community of customers and makers. She’s so inclusive, and I wish I were able to do more of what she does.
My philosophy of business growth, in a nutshell, is be conservative and make choices that feel true to yourself, though I wish I were more of a risk taker!
The most difficult part about getting this line started was figuring out production that had the quality I was looking for, using business practices that I felt good about.
My advice to anyone looking to start a business is find a way to consistently be positive. It’s so easy to get discouraged by NOs, unanswered emails or the perceived success of other businesses, and you have to just try to stay on track and keep working at it. Success never happens overnight, just keep working away!