Kimberley Woo is the CEO of one of Hong Kong’s fastest-growing eCommerce start-ups – Galton Voysey. Kimberley was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. In 2016 she moved to Hong Kong to pursue business opportunities.

How did Kimberley Woo become Galton Voysey’s CEO?

In 2016, Kimberley joined Galton Voysey and became an inseparable part of the first successful launch of a direct-to-consumer brand. After 5 years of dedicated work and innovative ideas, she is now leading Galton Voysey to become the industry leader in the direct-to-consumer space.

Galton Voysey has become a home to more than 45 in-house brands. Galton Voysey’s team builds, grows, and scales the brands within its internal teams across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. All brands are entirely owned by the company.

Kimberley Woo’s exact words on why she is passionate about their products:

“I have always been passionate about building a company where we create products, so amazing, that our customers would dream about them in their sleep. We do that by hiring very smart and young people who are passionate about the products we make and are obsessed with providing legendary customer experience to all of our clients.”

In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit, or behavior change has had the biggest positive impact on your life?

In the last couple of years, I have adopted the idea of “being brave enough to suck at something new”. I do this by constantly taking up new hobbies and activities where I start at level 0. Some of these hobbies include Ultimate frisbee, handball, singing, tennis, and swing dancing. It’s a great feeling to feel like you are a student, the apprentice who doesn’t know anything and is ready to absorb whatever new information that comes through.

It also flexes a different muscle in your brain, to ask for help from people are better than you or know more than you. There is always the hurdle of being rejected, but at the end of the day the worst-case scenario is that person saying no, which is the same as if you didn’t ask. I am grateful for everyone who leaned in and said yes, whenever I asked for help.

By constantly flexing the muscle of trying something new and reaching out to people in my personal time, I am inevitably going to flex this same muscle in areas that are related to the business.

I highly encourage everyone to take up new hobbies, activities, or work-related projects where they are uncomfortable with or are not an expert in and just give it a go.

When you feel unfocused, what do you do?

Generally, when I feel unfocused it’s mostly linked to the specific task that I am doing. Therefore, to get myself in the “zone”, I would start off with very quick tasks that are very fast to finish and get me on a roll.

Once I finish 3-5 tasks that are relatively quick to do, I am generally on a roll already, and I can get myself to start the bigger things that I was trying to procrastinate or distract myself with other things.

Finishing smaller tasks builds temporary motivation and momentum. This could easily result in you completing tasks quicker and more efficiently.

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

You don’t need to have everything figured out by the time you graduate, and it is OK to change your mind when you realize what you studied didn’t turn out to be a great fit for what you want to do now. I studied accounting and realized that I would not be a good accountant, and I am now not doing that.

If you are a smart and ambitious recent graduate, I would highly encourage you to try and start your own business whether that is starting an online eCommerce brand or starting a tutoring service where you hustle to get clients.

You will learn a lot of invaluable skills by just doing and figuring things out on your own and using the power of the internet. Problems you may face and hopefully learn from are:

  • Product selection
  • Building a website
  • Customer service
  • How do you sell the product
  • Logistics
  • Customer acquisition
  • Scalability

All these areas would be quite hard to get hands on experience from school, but if you are able to get your hands dirty and just go at it you will learn a lot.

What kind of lifestyle trend excites you?

From all recent trends, virtual reality is what excites me most. With constant advancements in technology, VR will only become better.

The possibilities are endless. You could have improved video games, online meetings, even courses, and events can be held that way. I just can’t wait to see what the future brings in that regard.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

My father’s work ethic had the biggest impact on my life. He was someone who was not afraid of hard work, he would work 7 days a week from morning to evening. I have never heard him complain about being overworked.

I have immense respect and gratitude towards what he had gone through from his youth to now in giving my siblings and O the education and life that we were fortunate enough to grow up with.

Growing up with a father who worked tirelessly without complaint also inevitably had an impact on me and how I view work. I got my first part-time job at the age of 14 and by the age of 18, I was working 3 part-time jobs as a cashier, tutor, and waitress along with a full course load and being part of the student council. At the time it may have seemed like a lot but looking back at this time it was some of my best years in shaping the person I became today.

What’s one of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned?

It’s OK to not be good at everything and it’s certainly impossible to be good at everything, but surrounding yourself with people who are better than you or who can do the things that you are bad at is how you keep growing the business and also to keep yourself growing.

As the cliche saying goes, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

What do you think it is that makes someone successful?

The definition is quite different from person to person, but for me, I think it’s the constant want to keep improving and learning. A perpetual strive for success not only improves our attitude toward others but toward ourselves.

How do you stay motivated?

Being surrounded by an all-star team really keeps me going. I only want to surround myself with people I admire whether that is work-related or in my personal life. Everyone that is part of our all-star team I admire in one way or another and we are all here to build an amazing company together.

It’s hard to stay motivated if you are constantly surrounded by people who are not your super fans and vice versa.