We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandra Hong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandra, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Weird circumstances actually led me to start Desk of Sandra. Up until March of 2020 I was living and working in New York. However, when the pandemic started I lost my job and visa status in the US and within a week I was back home in Toronto. Just like everyone else, the start of quarantine was a really difficult time for me so I turned to illustrating as a coping method as it was the one thing that helped ease my anxiety. I was seeking something to keep me busy so I started my business on a whim. What I didn’t expect was for it to take off and expand the way it did, but here we are. Best spontaneous decision i’ve ever made.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I would say that I got my business to where it is now with a lot of resourcefulness and a little bit of luck. I got lucky that early on in my business, I made a TikTok that went somewhat “viral.” This helped to build my audience at a really quick rate. However, virality only lasts for a moment, so I had to find ways to not only keep that audience but also build upon it. I learned to be patient and worked the important things like branding, packaging, quality of product, and inventory, which helped to quadruple my average value per order and triple my conversion rate. I’ve also since opened my wholesale business where I sell my products to retail stores. It’s only been a month but Desk of Sandra is now selling in 10+ stores in Canada, the US, and the UK. My biggest takeaway since starting my shop is that it doesn’t matter what business skills you lack. If you are resourceful, passionate about your business, and willing to take time to learn, you can take your business wherever you want.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Is it cheesy to say my mom? I’ve made a decision and changed my mind, and made a decision and changed my mind so many times and she’s remained my biggest supportor through it all. Deciding to start my own business was one of the best decisions i’ve ever made, but at the time it was super scary and I wouldn’t have had the courage to do so without her encouragement and belief in me.