The brains behind Australian Fash-tech label Modibodi™, Kristy Chong inspires us with this quick Q&A
- What makes you the most proud to be a woman?
I am most proud to be a woman because now more than ever in history women have choices and we have a voice. So even if things aren’t always equal eg. pay levels, and representation at top levels of business or there are still issues facing women only eg. domestic violence, it is us women who can change that. We must all stand together to empower and build up other women, not to bring them down, and to make it even better for the next generation of women.
- Who are some of your biggest female icons and why?
There are many women in business who inspire me, but my mother is my true icon because she is always there for me personally, she adores my children, and she is my number one brand advocate. She has always encouraged me to reach for my dreams, but at the same time told me to go easy on myself. She is my perspective.
- What are some of the challenges you have had as a businesswoman and mum?
As a mum and businesswoman the biggest challenge is there is just not enough time. And while I sometimes feel guilty on either sides, I know that I am most happy being both a mum and a businesswoman. I am confident that one day I will work it out.
- One piece of advice to the next generation of female entrepreneurs?
To think big, to seek connections early on, and to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable because the journey is not for the faint hearted.
- What gave you the drive to start your own brand and product range?
Ever since I was young I had wanted to start my own business, but it was a personal problem that led me to developing Modibodi™. It all began after the birth of my second child, while living in Seattle, and I experienced an embarrassing mishap on one of my regular runs. It was not fun and it got me thinking about all the times my underwear had failed me. Whether it’s when I’d been working out, a hot Summer’s day, managing a little bladder weakness, travelling, or that time of the month, regular underwear might look nice but for millions of us women it fails to give us the protection we need. So what do we do about it, we turn to irritating, unattractive, costly, eco-damaging disposable hygiene. I thought with all the advances in technology surely it was time that our underwear evolved beyond just looking nice. So I mentioned the idea to my husband of creating an exceptional line of underwear that were stylish, comfortable, and protective and he said ‘that actually sounds like a great idea.” Two years of fibre technology and product development and a third child later, Modibodi™ was born.
- What sacrifices did you make to be where you are today?
I gave up a well paid corporate career, that was comfortable and most days quite predictable. Now each day is unpredictable, with 100 competing priorities, less pay, and it is truly a rollercoaster ride. But I absolutely have found my dream job. I also wanted to do something that made a difference, and while I never thought years ago that would be through giving women a better of line of underwear, I feel truly committed to this cause now. So when I receive feedback from customers or see a new post go live on the website, I get super excited. Making the business more profitable is important of course for me and my family, but knowing that I am making a woman’s life better with Modibodi™
, that is what makes the heart sing with joy.