Meet Shawn Yong, the 11-year old entrepreneur that’s running his own greeting cards business
Shawn Yong is a junior entrepreneur who believes in the beauty of the written word and the joy of receiving a handwritten card. In fact, he places so much faith in it that he decided to start his own business, Shawn Box.
In our interview with him, Shawn tells us more about his business and his journey as a young entrepreneur.
Hi, Shawn. Tell us about yourself before we get into more about your business.
My name is Shawn and I’m 11 years old. I am currently studying at St Margaret School in Seria.
You’re not even a teenager and you’re already running your own business. How did you start the business?
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. In 2014, I won a gold medal in an oratory competition at my school where I spoke about my ambitions of becoming one. Two years later, I started Shawn Box and we sell handwritten greeting cards.
What made you want to sell handwritten greeting cards?
I started Shawn Box because I wanted to retain the beauty of the written word and the joy of receiving a handwritten card. A handwritten card shows loved ones that you’ve taken your time to tell them how much you appreciate them.
Where do you get all your cards from?
To date, I get my cards from Vietnam, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Singapore. Some of the cards I get on trips to these countries but most of them I get online to resell here.
My mum helps me a lot by helping me choose which cards to pick online so I do get lots of guidance from her. She also helps me keep track of sales.
What are the most popular cards based on your sales so far?
I find that the ‘Happy Birthday’ cards are the most popular.
And how many cards are you selling every month?
We sell about 15 cards every month.
Once you’ve sold the cards, how do you spend the money?
Some of the money will go to charity through Caring Cup at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. The rest of the profit will be reinvested into the business.
How do you see your business growing in the coming years?
I’d like to branch out to start selling other stationery like notebooks, pencils, pens, rulers and erasers. They’d also have to be as unique as the cards.
What’s the hardest thing about running your own business?
Nothing’s easy because when I come home, I just want to play. But I have to focus on my business as well as doing well in my studies. So it does require a fair bit of discipline.
You don’t have to be scared. Be yourself.
It certainly does. Before we end this interview, tell us how we can find out more about you and your business.
You can find me @shawn.box on Instagram.
And lastly. What would your advice to kids and young people that want to get into the business?
You don’t have to be scared. Be yourself. My mum has always encouraged us to work hard from a young age so that in the future, we can be successful and be able to have options.