“Chop Suey Club was intended as an e-commerce project, but through some unforeseen circumstances, I inherited the lease to a commercial space in Chinatown from a landlord I have a close, personal relationship with. So, I decided I’d start with a brick-and-mortar store first, then develop our online presence afterwards. Honestly, it was super scary. I don’t come from a retail background and at that time, our location was pretty bleak — there were only a small handful of stores and restaurants nearby. Opening a brick-and-mortar store in New York was a huge challenge because the overhead cost was enormous, but I did some math and figured out I had about five months to really make it work. If it wasn’t working by then, I’d have to close the shop. But lo and behold, five months later, it was working. We were getting more and more customers, and growing our inventory by the day.”

Originally posted on www.refinery29.com