GWOT 2016 Winnie Chan
Winnie Chan, in her 40s, Founder and CEO, Bynd Artisan

Words such as “artisanal” and “traditional” can often be overused or misused, but they perfectly describe the business of Bynd Artisan, the brainchild of Grandluxe’s third-generation scion. “I want stationery to be looked at in a different light because we have upped the ante and made it sexy,” Winnie reveals. “Bynd Artisan is my way of providing our younger customers a tactile experience of choosing and making their own notebooks – something I want to preserve even as we enter a digital world.” Winnie’s strategy has given Grandluxe’s craftsmen – some of whom have worked at the 71-year-old book binding company for over 40 years – the opportunity to be retrained as artisans. Bynd Artisan products can now be found at Tangs, as well as its uber chic ateliers at Chin Bee Avenue and Holland Village, where popular weekend notebook-making workshops are conducted. The homegrown brand made its first international launch in Hong Kong last month.

“It’s no longer enough to just ‘work harder’ or ‘be more efficient’…
Bynd Artisan was borne as a retail concept that builds on the company’s old craftsmen’s experience in book binding and leather crafting. As an ‘old-school product’, we had to reinvent ourselves with a new business to stay relevant in a digital world.”

“Many customers have found us via social media…
When we first opened our Atelier, senior management staff told me to ensure that no customer took photos of the store in case they copied it. I had to change their mind-set, because we do want people to take photos and post them on Instagram. In fact, the number of Instagram hashtags has now become a KPI for the marketing department.”

The nicest gesture of appreciation I’ve received for my work was when…
An 80-year-old retired printer, who used to work for my grandfather, visited me and gave me a thumbs up for the changes I have implemented and turned into reality!”

If Winnie Chan inspires you, vote for her in The Most Inspiring Award here. You will stand a chance to win prizes worth up to $1,230!

The Great Women Of Our Time 2016 is presented by Skin Inc and co-sponsored by Swarovski.