Over the past 12 months, we have all been put through the test. How we’ve remained standing tall, how we’ve kept on going strong, and with a hopeful smile on our faces, how we’ve kept our wits about us—these are testament to a job well done by the remarkable fathers and father figures who’ve raised and taught us to be who we are. The opportunity we’ve had to spend more quality time with them and watch and re-learn from them up close this past year has made us even more appreciative of the values, wisdom and skills they have imparted to us.
This Father's Day at Bynd Artisan, we'd like to show our appreciation for the three men who have been mentors, role models and father figures to all of us at the company. We’ve introduced you to Mr BC Chong, now get to know our Founder and Chairman, James Quan.
Leading the corporate aspect of the business, James values interpersonal relationships with his clients. He always says: “Business goes beyond buying and selling a product. It must first be built on relationships.” His belief has over time become an important value of Bynd Artisan, and extends to the relationship he has with his staff, too. His outgoing and friendly personality makes James an approachable boss. He cares deeply for his people — often checking in personally to make sure the members of the team are doing okay and well taken care of. The Bynd Artisan Team is glad to have a leader who looks after them, and takes them under his wing like the father figure he is.
In a conversation with us, James also talks about being a dad to his two children, what fatherhood has taught him and his Father’s Day gift pick this year.
Being a father is a blessing because “it means I’m in a position to make my family happy”, says the founder and chairman of Bynd Artisan
How many kids do you have, and how old are they? How do you usually spend time with them?
James Quan: I have two children. Vera is 24, Josh is 20. With covid restrictions in place, I make sure we spend quality time together over a meal now. One sure way is to enjoy their favourite food together with them. Our go-to is Korean BBQ because they both love it.
How has being a dad been in the last 24 years, and how do you think your life has evolved since then?
James Quan: Fatherhood has always been quite a chill experience for me. It helps that my wife, Winnie, shares the same chillax attitude. It has made me more grounded, and I have learned to prioritise my children before myself. But to me, I don’t see it as a sacrifice, but a blessing — that I’m in a position to make my family happy.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned after becoming a parent?
James Quan: That it can be very expensive raising a child a Singapore! I always tell my son that he needs to get me a super car when I retire because that’s probably how much I’ve spent on them, counting inflation.
Is there a message you’d like to give fathers and father figures as we celebrate you this month?
James Quan: This is usually a day that plays second fiddle to “the other parent’s day”, isn’t it? Jokes aside, being the dad and a hubby, I believe I speak for all fathers when I say I have no issues with that at all. Let’s celebrate with a simple dinner at home (Covid restrictions still in place at press time), and be thankful that we live in one of the safest places on earth.
We can’t talk about celebrating Father’s Day without talking about gifts. What is your current favourite Bynd Artisan product for a Father’s Day gift idea?
James Quan: The Metropolitan Work Pad (MWP). I developed this product during the Circuit Breaker. We are now working more from home and most of the time, we are closest to our phone, com mouse, and that cup of coffee. I’m glad that the MWP has been widely received. In fact, a few corporate clients loved it so much they have requested to adopted this design for their corporate gifting, and I’ve further customised the MWP to make it more exclusive. So yes, I think the MWP is definitely going to make a lot of dads quite happy.