Founder, Bynd Artisan
Father of two children — his daughter is in university, while his son will be conscripted next year — James Quan was a recordbreaking runner for his school as a teenager. While in college in the US, Quan started bowling for fun and it “rolled” into a rather competitive pursuit. “We played almost every night and the intensity was very strong as we pitted against one another. (Yes, money was involved!) A few went on to bowl in the Professional Bowlers Association. We became that good,” he reminisces. What do you enjoy about bowling?
It’s a solo game yet can be a team sport. It is always about improving your scores and being good at it consistently. As a team event, one learns how to rise to the occasion when a teammate falters and also understand that individual failures can be nullified by teammates who support you wholeheartedly. There is always another game to play, another chance to make good. any special ritual or gear?
A lot of stretching. I once bowled 10 hours from 12am to 10am. Yes, the things you could do when you were younger! I had the baddest “Robocop” glove. I felt more powerful with it. how obsessed are you With bowling?
Obsessed enough to have bowled every night for eight months without intermission — until I tore my shoulder ligament. We were very competitive. It became a nightly mini United Nations ritual. The Koreans had 20 cheerleaders every time. Teams from other cities in California drove over to compete and it became very serious when the prize money of US$1,000 was introduced. do you play any other sports?
I played badminton with my children when they represented their primary school. any vices?
Nothing extreme. I’d rather spend more time catching up on sleep. greatest fantasy?
Driving a really fast convertible that has two doors and seats five adults comfortably. success to you is…
Sleeping at 11pm and waking up fresh at 7am, then enjoy everything I do after that. It’s that simple. greatest challenge ever faced?
Getting my wife to say “yes” after three weeks of knowing her. proudest achievement?
Starting Bynd Artisan almost four years ago. We received accolades like the President’s Design Award, Design of The Year and Singapore Tourism Awards Best Shopping Experience within three years of inception — we remain the youngest company to have gotten them. What motivates you?
From the business perspective, happy clients. Whether it is an $35 retail sale or a million-dollar corporate bespoke order, I’m extremely excited when I see people enjoying what we have done. I met President Halimah Yacob at the Community Chest Charity TV Show recently and she told me how foreign dignitaries loved the state gifts we designed and crafted for the Istana. My clients drive me to go the distance. What We didn’t know about you?
I’m an introvert. My Mandarin is better than my English and my Cantonese is better than my Mandarin. I can’t dance to save myself. What’s on your bucket list?
List Bynd Artisan on the Stock Exchange before I turn 60. Stay in a traditional ryokan with my wife before I turn 70 — we talk about it every time but shopping always got in the way. Learn to play a musical instrument before I turn 80. favourite app?
Does Whatsapp count? Deliveroo? We use it at least once a day. It’s more like a life-saver app. cause you feel strongly about?
Senior workers and the important roles they play in business. your idea of a perfect date?
Chilling in front of the ocean with a glass of whisky in hand. It’s happening soon because we are heading to Ibiza!