It doesn’t matter what region of the world or what industry you are in. If you don’t innovate you will get left behind. Someone who clearly understands that is Charlie Brazier who see’s where the furniture industry is going and is happy to lead the way (and provide meatballs for the journey!)
What’s your story?
A successful start to setting up BW in HK in 2005 meant our clients wanted us regionally so I moved to Singapore in 2008 and set up BW Pte Ltd. Recently we have needed to get ahead of the game so have set up a restaurant and cafe inside our furniture showroom. This will change our marketplace worldwide. We have offices in 8 countries around Asiapac. I have also set up Westofmay.com which has gone live in Australia and will go live in Singapore before the end of the year. This business brings all designer furniture and accessories that are in stock in that country to the consumer who wants products Immediately. Authentic- Immediate. We have a 20 countries in 3 years roll out plan.
What excites you most about your industry?
Relationships world wide is what I like. Travel, people and design is something I find interesting and something this industry brings. Our industry changes. Not alway for the best but it is always moving which is why I am heading to online. That is where the industry will go. It is only a matter of time.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I arrived as a naive 24 year old with no idea but a willingness to learn. Through the quality of people I met in Asia I learnt through the University of life in a hurry. I could name 10 mentors in Asia who helped me along the way and most of them are still in or around Asia. Asia is the centre of the world and likely the future of the world.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore has to be one based on my last 7 years but Jakarta will be my new favourite soon. Hong Kong was great as well as it was where my business started. Each of them have been places I have learnt a lot about myself and business. HK and Singapore I have learnt what I know and Indonesia is the opportunity to learn more.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There is no point doing what you are doing without an end game. Choose where you want to be, what you want to do and work out a way to get there.
Who inspires you?
I have looked up to many people in my life but they are all people who do what they say they will do. Back themselves and do it. Not talk about it. These are not all famous people but friends or family of friends who I have watched as I have grown and learnt from them. Just by watching. To receive the best piece of advice I received I got a business coach and mentor, He inspires me by making me ask myself the right questions. His name is John Vamos from Business Coaching solutions in Australia ( plug). Other names Rob Wall ( JEB- first business partner), Lang Walker ( walker corp- friends dad and worldwide developer sensation ) and Michael Prenzlau ( deceased- first mentor ).
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Not sure how recently but I learnt the best piece of advice but only a few years ago from the guys above. Before that I was cruising along only thinking about making money, not of the future. What blew me away was how effective that advice was and still is.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Get mentoring earlier on in my business life. It has been a huge help.
How do you unwind?
Golf, hanging out with my kids and date night with my wife Sally, not in that order.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, the people not the beaches.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Elephants and the Business Laws of Nature – John Vamos. My life guide.
Shameless plug for your business:
MEET-DINE-DESIGN – www.bwfurniture.com / www.facebook.com/clubmeatballssg
Authentic-Immediate – www.westofmay.com
How can people connect with you?
linkedin – charlie brazier is the best way to get in touch.
This interview is part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur: