For this week’s #WomenCrushWednesdays, we’re bringing you a real-life fashion icon: Bunny Yan!
Bunny has worked in the fashion and marketing industry for more than eighteen years. She founded the Squirrelz after a visit to China allowed her to witness the true magnitude of the waste problem in the fashion and textile industry.
Bunny is dedicated both to finding new, creative ways to reduce waste (such as upcycling!) and to educating key stakeholders in the manufacturing and the design community about sustainability.
But that’s enough of the introductions — it’s time to meet Bunny!
Describe your business. What is its main goal?
Bunny: My company, the Squirrelz, consults fashion brands, helping to turn their marketing or fashion waste into new products or marketing strategy. My goal is to show how sexy and profitable sustainability can be!
Why did you decide to become a female founder? What inspired you to start your business?
Bunny: I have been in the fashion industry for almost 20 years.
I like the whole concept of reuse and enhance: the idea of being able to transform something that was deemed useless to something sexy and valuable is very fun for me.
What are the greatest challenges of founding your own business?
Bunny: Finding focus and saying no.
Because you have a million things you need to do when running your own business, if you end up chasing every single shiny object, it’s very hard to pin-point your company value or your core customer.
How have your experiences as a female founder shaped you?
Bunny: Being a founder overall changes you, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a female or a male. You learn through your mistakes, learn how to deal with failure, and learn how to get up afterwards.
It makes you stronger and hopefully teaches you how to see and admit your own short-comings!
Growing up, what were your goals in life? Did you ever imagine you’d create something like what you created?
Bunny: I don’t think any kid will list upcycling as their goal in life!
My company and service has evolved over time and who knows what it will look like in ten, twenty years. The key for me is doing what makes me happy.
What’s next for your business?
Bunny: Sustainability is still pretty young, and I feel that most content out there regarding sustainability is way too serious. I’m planning on branding myself into a voice for sustainability; light-hearted, fun, and innovative without the guilt.
What advice would you give to the next generation of women and girls looking to make an impact?
Bunny: Listen to what you really want, not what people say you should want. Try different things, you will find out more about yourself during it.
And you don’t have to set a goal to make an impact — you doing what makes you happy will already impact people around you.
Special thanks to Bunny Yan for sharing her story!
Want to reach out to Bunny personally? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Squirrelz at email@example.com.
Don’t forget to follow Bunny on Instagram at @thatssooobunny or on twitter @the_Squirrelz. If you want to learn how to look good while saving the planet, there’s no better place to learn ;)