It’s a tale that’s as old as time – from little things, big things grow.
Innovative ideas have always been a part of Ringo Chan’s story and from small beginnings he is now tasting global success with his latest venture – a disruptive bedding company called Ecosa.
Between 2011 and 2015 Chan started selling gadgets on eBay tech while in his mid-20s.
This is when his entrepreneurial mindset began to take flight. His early sales success led to the launch of Ecosa – now a $30 million international bedding empire.
During that period, Chan learned valuable lessons on how to run a microbusiness which have been critical to Ecosa’s success.
This isn’t to say that he had never dabbled in business before.
“I was always selling lollies and CDs to my peers in school to try and double my pocket money,” he admits.
“But I always knew I wanted to run a larger business with an important purpose at the heart of it.
“That’s where the idea for Ecosa came from – I realised we could create a brand that improved sleep and therefore the lives of everyday people.”
Quest to find the perfect mattress
The inspiration to create Ecosa was born from his difficulty of finding a perfect mattress.
“The whole showroom model when buying mattresses didn’t make sense,” he says.
“People don’t have the time to go out and aimlessly lie on over-priced mattresses while being spun lines by salespeople.”
So, Chan was determined to “make the bedding industry his own.”
Ecosa launched in Australia in 2015 and expanded to Hong Kong and New Zealand the following year.
In 2017, he began selling bedding products in the US.
Doing his own deliveries
In the first year of business, Ecosa achieved a turnover of $1.5 million, but Chan admits most of the earnings went back into the business to pay expenses.
“In the beginning I was driving my old van as the delivery man,” he jokes.
But in four short years, Ecosa has achieved an annual turnover of $30 million.
“It’s this growth that allows us to keep reinvesting in the business, in our staff and in our R&D. All our growth is focussed on continually improving sleep for our customers.”
Giving to people in need
Chan has integrated philanthropy into the business model.
Mattresses returned under Ecosa’s 100-night trial period are donated to one of a variety of charity houses, including The Salvation Army as well as receiving a refund. Ecosa also fits out Sleep Bus, a Melbourne based women’s refuge organisation.
Ecosa staff also benefit from Chan’s people-oriented approach. Chan gives staff the option of sleeping in and coming to work after a good night’s sleep.
You could say working for this bedding company is pretty “laid back” where customers and staff alike can rest easy knowing they’re valued.
To learn more about Ecosa visit: ecosa.com.au