a After years of being and consulting
carrying a very heavy shoulder bag I experienced a lot of excruciating pain
and that was a wake-up call for me. My name is Phuong and I’m the founder of P. Mai we make stylish and functional work bags for women so that women don’t have
to sacrifice style for comfort. So I started off as an analyst in
management consulting — you’re working very late hours and you’re often
traveling Monday through Thursday living out of a suitcase. At a certain point I
realized I was less interested in solving the problems of other people or
other companies and more interested in solving a personal problem that I felt. I
always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur ever since I was a kid and
it was a matter of okay what’s gonna be that problem that I want to solve and I
didn’t know that until I had this doctor conversation who identified that I had
misaligned my own collarbone as a result of wearing a bag on one shoulder and so
I wanted to create a solution that was able to combine both form and function
so that women didn’t have to make that choice. So that’s when I started talking
to more women, throw into like research the industry started to sketch some
things on my own. Walking away from a stable, cushy career was a little
nerve-wracking at first but I remember after launching my Kickstarter campaign
that was a really exciting time. Dollars rolling in week by week suddenly it was
something much more tangible you’re getting a lot of money for this, there are
people who want to buy your product this could be something! And so I decided to
take that leap and start a company where I was kind of the patient zero. The
beautiful thing about having an e-commerce business is that you can work
from anywhere and I always had a desire to live abroad. In Berlin I love the fact
that you have a lot of creative people here and at the same time you don’t have
the same pressures and you might have in Silicon Valley,
you can build a business organically and sustainably here which is something I
really enjoy. My own creative side has been able to blossom a little more since
since being here. I feel now I cry prioritize those things because I realize how
having these creative outlets make me more calm and allow me to then focus on
what I need to get done for my business. Before I became an entrepreneur I felt
like my time wasn’t my own that doesn’t necessary time to make the decision of
where and when and how I want to work that’s something that I find priceless. you

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