Jennifer Margolin, Founder of BYDEAU Hong Kong

As the founder of BYDEAU, a curated online gift and flower shop, Jennifer Margolin aims to make gift-giving much more fun. 

The serial entrepreneur explains how her passion for petals led to BYDEAU and how she networked her way to success.  

A FEW WORDS ABOUT BYDEAU

Launched in February 2016, BYDEAU is on a mission to take the stress and hassle out of finding the perfect gift. The online store sells gorgeous bouquets and curated gifts to make the process quick, easy and enjoyable. 

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A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE

Love what you do

"You need to love what you're doing because you will be spending a lot of time on your business. As a wife and a mother, it's important to find that work-life balance."

"Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. Customer service is a big deal for us and we do our best to always deliver an amazing product and experience. But of course we have made some mistakes along the way but we go out of our way to make it right with the customer. It’s surprising sometimes what people ask."

Make friends, ask questions

"I’ve learned to make friends, ask questions and offer up what you can without expecting things in return. You can be helpful to someone, but they may not be able to reciprocate in an immediately obvious way."

"But they may know someone, or they’ll remember how you helped them, and that can create a really collaborative environment."

"I’ve been very fortunate that people have been very receptive to answering questions. I always try to reciprocate and offer advice, or listen to someone who is starting their own business."

Make time to network

"I network as much as possible. Sometimes as you get busier you don't have enough time to network."

"It's important to make time and get out there. Those times when you feel isolated it's important to reach out."

"Just saying 'yes' to more events and networking has been great for meeting new people. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day and not have energy to head out after work."

"I’m currently embracing all kinds of events, including FEW, TWF, cocktail hours -- you never know where you’ll meet someone to collaborate with."

Get a team on board when you’re ready

"I took a little bit longer to get someone else in to help out. I can see the growth and what I’m able to pass off and what other people are able to do -- part of that was being careful with our spending, but I think I could have onboarded faster."

Enjoy the ride

"Go ahead and set up your business. One thing that's great about Hong Kong is that it's a growing community for start ups on all levels and if you're passionate about something, why not go for it?"

"If you don't know the answers and don't know where to turn, there are a lot of amazing organisations that would be more than happy to help. People are really friendly and helpful."

"Don't worry too much about mistakes -- I think if you don’t make mistakes along the way you aren’t really learning or innovative. That being said, listen to your gut and don’t let people tell you it can’t be done."

Delegate, delegate, delegate

"When I first started, it was predominantly myself and one other person. But I've since hired more staff. As far as managing my time, I've gotten to the point where I've learned to delegate."

"Part of that delegating is also teaching, stepping back, and being there to answer questions along the way."

"The hardest part about being a business owner was realizing that I can't do everything. It's been good to pull away from the day-to-day operations and focus on the growth of the company."
 

A FEW MORE QUESTIONS

How do you unwind?

"I unwind by hanging out my husband and my daughter. Weekends tend to be just about the family, if we can help it."

"We either go to the pool or go on hikes or hang out and have some alone time. I try to stay away from my emails during dedicated family time."

"During the week, I try to go out and meet up with friends, as well as go to a networking event or an educational event if it fits in to my schedule."

"During the week, I try to go out once a week and meet up with someone friends and other entrepreneurs as well as once a week go to a networking event or an educational event if it fits in to my schedule."

Who is your female entrepreneurial icon?

"I love Jessica Alba. She’s the modern woman that creates what she wants and makes it happen. She’s also a great role model that you can have it all but also need to know how to prioritize. A mother, wife, successful business owner, philanthropist and actress..."

"I saw her speak one time where she mentioned that in each stage of her life when she wanted to get to the next step she was always met with resistance and push back but how that fueled her to succeed. But it also pushed her to be even more supportive of those around her. I love that message and try to do that as well."

What is your go-to power breakfast or morning ritual?

"My husband and I are on this crazy workout diet plan -- it's a slice of toasted sourdough bread, a latte, a poached egg and a ton of vegetables. It's a balanced diet and the caffeine to get me going."

Where do you shop for professional or stylish clothing?

"I do a lot of online shopping. I love Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion."

"I attend private trunk shows by Pair -- she will bring in a lot of clothes from amazing designers that you can't find in Hong Kong."
 

What helpful apps or resources do you use?

"I use Slack and Evernote. I find that a lot gets lost in translation via email so Slack has been amazing for us."

"We have just tried to use Trello to list out projects."

We noticed you have a gorgeous Instagram page -- how crucial is instagram to an online lifestyle business? 

"Thank you! For us IG is very important in helping us tell the story and experience with our brand. We want to be more than just a place you order flowers and gifts from. We want to make the experience fun for the the gifter and receiver."

"We have created a BYDEAU muse where you never see her face but she is someone you can see yourself in from the flowers she carries, places she dines and drinks, travels, the food she eats...."

 "Since our flower products are so colorful we tell the story of BYDEAU through seasonal color stories. We create an editorial calendar based on holidays and seasons and then plan our flower designs and gift boxes around that. Then we plan our marketing and Instagram around the seasons and designs. It all goes hand in hand."

Any Instagram management tools you can recommend? 

"We love Planoly for laying out, manipulating and scheduling posts. It’s been a life changer to see how our IG will look in the future and make changes as needed."

"Iconosquare is great for more detailed stats: best time to post, filters followers like, story analytics."

Any fave meeting spots?

"Metta is amazing. I tend to like to meet at Duddell’s -- I love to look over the garden upstairs in the library. They do great coffee and it’s good to have a meeting in amazing surroundings."

Any parting words?

"I think it's important to read as much as you can. I’m always trying to learn as much as I can and set myself a goal of reading two to four books a month."

"Also, get your sleep! Bad decisions are made when you’re tired."