Ideal Founder Series 006
Allen Chiang, Co-Founder & CEO of
Projext & Co.
May 29, 2023
《To be someone different! 》
也正是在這樣的背景下，Allen、Jabez和 Denny 決定將永續時尚的魅力傳遞給更多人，Projext & Co. 因此誕生。
In this era where information and trends are ever-changing, fast fashion has been a convenient and affordable choice for consumers. However, we have become increasingly aware of the irreversible environmental damage caused by this convenience.
It is against this backdrop that Allen, Jabez, and Denny decided to introduce the charm of sustainable fashion to a wider audience, they decided to start Projext & Co.
Q. 請用三個詞形容你自己 / Use three words to describe yourself
帶有保守的侵略性、帶有 Old School 的創意、帶有謹慎的樂觀
Aggressive but Conservative, Creative but Old School, Optimistic but Careful
Q. What was the biggest surprise or obstacle you encountered while building your startup and what did you learn?
One of the most challenging aspects we have faced is making critical decisions in completely unfamiliar territories, which is inevitable. In fact, we have made some less-than-ideal choices as a result.
However, we recognize that every startup encounters such challenges, so we have been consistently striving to learn how to adapt and embrace the process of constant innovation, failure, and getting back up. Over time, Projext & Co. has become more resilient and courageous, willing to keep moving forward when facing unknown challenges.
Through this journey, we have come to realize that even with meticulous planning, unexpected challenges can still arise. Therefore, learning to improvise the unexpected is a crucial lesson!
Always expect the unexpected!
Q. 你是怎麼衡量你的成功? 你衡量的標準是什麼? / At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your metrics?
對於我們和整個 Projext & Co. 團隊來說，成功的定義並不是一個單一的標準，而是在持續前進中的一種狀態。每個人對成功的看法各有不同，但對我們而言，我們努力提供更好的產品給消費者這件事情，只代表了一件事情，那就是我們還沒有失敗。
For Projext & Co. and our entire team, success is not defined by a single standard, but rather as a continuous state of progress. While everyone has their own perspective on success, our definition revolves around our commitment to continuously improving our products and never giving up.
Although we set milestone goals, we don't view them as the sole measure of success. We recognize that success and failure exist on a spectrum rather than in absolute terms. What matters to us is our ability to adapt, grow, and embrace challenges and setbacks as integral parts of our journey.
We acknowledge that success is an ongoing process rather than a final destination. We dedicate ourselves to learning, improving, and persevering, even when faced with difficulties. This belief and understanding shape our perspective on success.
Q. 如果在創業過程中你可以做一件事情不同的事，那會是什麼? / If you could have done one thing differently while building your startup, what would it be?
有太多可以做得不一樣甚至更好的地方。但就像我們對成功的定義一樣，我認為只要我們不停下腳步，繼續向前，現在的 Projext & Co. 就是我們最好的版本
Looking back, there are so many things that could have been done differently, so many areas for improvement.
My background in production has provided me with a solid set of skills, and bringing that experience to the realm of sustainable fashion has certainly been beneficial. However, since starting my own business, I've had to expand my knowledge and skill sets across various fields. From learning about new processes and materials, such as our own development of recycled leather, to marketing and bringing fresh perspectives to classic products like white sneakers.
There are so many ways we could have done things differently, even better. But, just as we define success, I believe that as long as we don't stop moving forward, continuously pushing ahead, the current Projext & Co. is the best version of ourselves.
Q. 你會對其他的有野心和熱情的創業家說什麼? / What would you tell aspiring startup founders?
It's simple yet incredibly important: embrace your passion.
Even with rich experience in this professional field, I've come to realize that building a company from scratch is no easy task. The ups and downs along the way are inevitable, but what matters most is holding onto that inner passion and continuously propelling ourselves forward.
About Projext & Co.
Q.Projext & Co 是誰? / Who is Projext & Co.?
Projext & Co. 從自然獲得靈感，我們認為我們與自然的互動不應該只是單向的「取」。
Projext & Co. is inspired by nature, and we believe that our interaction with nature should go beyond mere "taking." In addition to providing high-quality sustainable fashion products, we strive to minimize waste and consumption in every aspect, from production processes to packaging and sales. We hope to challenge people's idea of fashion.
Q. Projext & Co. 是怎麼誕生的？ / How did Projext & Co. start in the first place?
我們希望人們在享受時尚的同時，不需要以環境的健康做為代價。這就是Projext & Co 成立的原因。
The rise of fast fashion has gradually shaped the consumption habits of the majority of people today, and it’s heartbreaking. The excessive waste of materials such as fabric and leather not only increases costs and prices but also places a significant burden on the environment.
We aspire to change this narrative by offering people the opportunity to enjoy fashion without compromising the health of the environment. That is why Projext & Co was founded.
Q. 用幾句話說明你的公司還有你要解決的問題 / What is your company and problems you are addressing in a few sentences?
The problem we aim to solve is actually quite simple: to allow people to pursue fashion without compromising on environmental health.
Based on this belief, we have invested a significant amount of time in developing our own materials, such as Japanese washi fabric and recycled leather, among others. We also hope to continue integrating this concept into more of our products in the future, and work together with our customers to incorporate sustainability into our everyday lives.
Q. 如果沒有開始你的事業，現在的你會是在做什麼事情？ / If you hadn't started your business, what would you be doing now?
如果我從未成立Projext & Co.，我應該還是會在原本的產業繼續工作。但當時我的小孩剛出生，我意識到如果我繼續在原來的公司服務，可能無法兼顧家庭和工作。
同時，我對 Projext & Co. 的理念有著堅定的信念。這些因素促使我決定和我的夥伴一起創立 Projext & Co.。
If I had not established Projext & Co., I would probably still be working in my original industry. However, at the time, my child had just been born, and I realized that continuing in my previous job might make it challenging to balance family and work.
Additionally, I had a strong belief in the ideals and principles of Projext & Co. These factors led me to make the decision to co-found Projext & Co. with my partners.
Q. 用簡單的句子形容，你能為誰提供什麼服務 / 產品? / In a few sentences, what do you offer and to whom?
因此，我們致力於開發Projext & Co. 獨特的環保材料和資源，包括再生紙、再生皮革、有機棉花、天然及回收橡膠等。我們希望能為消費者提供最佳的永續體驗。
Our products are designed for everyone, from shoes to clothing, as they are items that everyone uses. However, it saddens me to see that the fashion industry has not fully utilized resources and contributes to excessive pollution.
That's why we are committed to developing environmentally friendly materials and resources specific to Projext & Co. This includes recycled paper, recycled leather, organic cotton, natural and recycled rubber, and more. Our goal is to provide consumers with the best sustainable experience possible.
Q. 為什麼現在是你的公司存在的時間點? 是什麼讓你的服務受市場如此的歡迎？ / Why is now the time for your company to exist? And what’s most exciting about your traction to date?
在這個強調體驗和永續性的世代中，Projext & Co. 給消費者帶來的不僅僅是愉快、便利的時尚體驗，也不僅僅是對材料和製程的要求。更重要的是，我們追求著一種簡約、永續的精神。我相信也正是因為這個原因，我們才能擁有如此忠實的顧客群。
Before the pandemic, a few well-known sportswear brands held dominant positions within the industry. However, the impact of the pandemic hit these big players the hardest, opening a door of opportunity for small brands like ours to be seen by a wider audience.
In this era where experience and sustainability are emphasized , Projext & Co. offers consumers more than just a pleasant and convenient fashion experience. It goes beyond material and manufacturing requirements.
What we truly pursue is a spirit of simplicity and sustainability. I believe it is for this reason that we have been able to cultivate such a loyal customer base.
Q. 你認為在今年你的成長里程碑會是什麼 ? / Where do you think your growth and milestones will be for 2023?
我們計劃開始布局實體零售通路，從台北的快閃店開始，讓更多人逐漸認識我們。同時，我們也將在日本的大型百貨公司開展實體快閃店活動，踏出Projext & Co. 線上線下的結合的第一步。
Since our establishment, our sales have primarily been conducted through online channels. However, relying solely on online operations is like having a store located deep in the mountains. We need to find ways to guide consumers to our brand and create sales opportunities. Advertising and online marketing have become crucial in attracting customers to our "mountain store".
However, this approach comes with significant long-term costs and limits our ability to establish genuine interaction and connection with consumers. Therefore, our goal this year is to proactively reach out to consumers and build relationships with them.
We plan to expand into physical retail channels, starting with pop-up stores in Taipei to gradually introduce ourselves to more people. Additionally, we have plans to execute physical pop-up store events in major department stores in Japan in the near future, taking the first step in truly integrating Projext & Co. both online and offline.
Q. 目前你的公司正在尋找什麼? (例如:資金、新市場擴張、人才?) / What would be the 3 things that your company is looking for now? (e.g. Funding, new market expansion, new hires?)
如同之前提到的，我們希望能夠讓更多人認識Projext & Co.，這也意味著我們需要更多與消費者互動的機會。
Expanding our market presence will be our top priority going forward.
As mentioned earlier, we want to ensure that more people get to know Projext & Co., which means we need more opportunities for interaction with consumers. In addition to increasing brand exposure through physical stores, we also aim to engage with consumers in different markets and with diverse demographics.
Meet The Team
Q. 你有團隊嗎? 請介紹一下團隊成員，以及你是如何找到他們並且建立現在的團隊? / Do you have a team? If yes, who are they, and how did you go about building your team?
我們大部分的團隊目前都在台北辦公，台北辦公室的成員主要包括由 Jabez 帶領的行銷團隊，以及我和 Denny 共同管理的營運部門。Ryan 負責管理公司的生產和物流規劃。
Most of our team is currently based in Taipei. The Taipei office consists of the marketing team led by Jabez and the operations department, which I manage along with Denny. Ryan is responsible for overseeing production management and logistics planning for the company.
Our team is youthful, filled with energy, and brimming with creativity. What sets this young team apart is our unwavering ability to maintain enthusiasm!
Ｑ. 你會如何和其他新創公司的創辦人分享你的經驗和感想，關於成為理想Ideal 社群中的一員？ / What would you tell other startup founders about being part of the Ideal community and your experience here?
而這也是我看到 Ideal 團隊每天都在努力的事情，因此我強烈推薦其他團隊來參觀 Ideal，你絕對會有意想不到的收穫！
I believe that an excellent co-working space can bring tremendous benefits, especially in creating more opportunities for interaction among different teams. This interaction can be in the form of collaboration between teams or communication with the space management team.
Such exchanges not only enhance the overall comfort of the work environment but also spark unexpected creative ideas and valuable collaboration opportunities.
This is exactly what I see the Ideal team working on diligently every day. That's why I highly recommend other teams to visit Ideal and experience the unexpected rewards it offers!