KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 -- Yong Hui Yoong loves to run and has participated in marathons and even 50 kilometre trail runs.
When she joined the Malaysia Women Marathon last year, she noticed booths selling sports apparel. She realised that not only were they expensive but they weren’t in styles that she liked. The sports bras also did not have the right padding.
“I started doing my own research on sports apparel. As a runner, I need more than one set of apparel and it would be very expensive to buy more. I started talking to different people before getting factories in China and Malaysia to start producing for me,” said the 28-year-old entrepreneur.
At this year’s Malaysia Women Marathon, Yong launched her sports apparel company Ash Be Nimble. Named after the “Jack be nimble” nursery rhyme, Yong chose the name Ash instead because it’s her husband’s nickname. Also, she said the name was unisex so it could mean anything.
“When I launched in March, I had two types of sports bras and shorts. My website was up by April. I did marketing and advertising through social media. So far, I have not spent any money on regular advertising so I’m happy that we’ve been getting very good response so far,” said Yong.
Priced at less than RM100 per item, it is no surprise why her line of sports apparel is doing so well. With attractive designs, comfortable fit and quality material that absorbs sweat, Ash Be Nimble is perfect for the active woman.
Yong left her job at an airline to concentrate on Ash Be Nimble. She decided to work part-time for a tech innovation company to support herself while working on her sports apparel label.
“I think every woman needs a good pair of running shorts and sports bra. I’ve been participating in pop-up stores in bazaars and I design based on customer feedback,” said Yong.
One of her best-sellers is the Annapurna Sunrise sports bra and 3/4 pants. The name was inspired from her travels to Nepal. Most of the designs and names of the outfits are inspired by her outdoor activities and travels.
When Yong first started Ash Be Nimble, she used international sizing for all her products but she soon found out that the bigger sizes were not selling well. She then decided to start producing in Asian sizes.
Next year would be an interesting one for Ash Be Nimble because she will start a line for men. Her husband is an avid runner as well and he would be her inspiration for the men’s line.
Her male friends also encouraged her to start something for men.
“I will design tops and gym shorts for men. I think those are the basics,” she said. Ash Be Nimble offers free shipping in Malaysia. Find out more about Ash Be Nimble at www.ashbenimble.com