Young Entrepreneur Star Chi Ni Hsieh of Melbourne on Innovative Sustainable Fashion
Chi Ni Hsieh, recipient of the Overseas Community Affairs Council's (OCAC) 2023 Global Young Entrepreneurs Stars Award, is currently based in Melbourne, Australia. She's a trailblazing figure in sustainable fashion, exemplifying her passion for work, innovation, and dedication to environmental causes through her self-founded brand, X NIHILO.
Growing up in a household deeply involved in commercial businesses, Chi Ni developed a profound admiration for her parents' dedication to their careers and resilience. She understood that only through unwavering commitment could one reap corresponding rewards. Today, she applies the same ethos in managing her fashion label, X NIHILO, demonstrating her love for innovation while nurturing its growth.
Before X NIHILO, Chi Ni Hsieh's academic and professional journey had been smooth sailing. However, after a few years in the fashion industry, she became gradually more aware of the substantial resource consumption within the sector and the industry's significant contributions to pollution and waste. Chi Ni was no longer able to stand by as the industry she loves continued to burden the global environment, and so she contemplated abandoning her passion. To realign with her initial intentions, she started conducting business research, aiming to create an avenue that would satiate her innovative zeal while easing Earth's burden. This turning point could be a brand, a product, or even a new culture.
During her decade-long experience in the fashion industry, Chi Ni honed her skills in development, procurement, and design. Building on this foundation, she ventured into entirely new domains like business operations, accounting, marketing, and public relations. Like many startups, X NIHILO's inception traces back to a garage. Through two relentless years of effort, continuous learning, and internal organizational development, the brand gradually took shape. Despite facing numerous challenges and hurdles, Chi Ni remained undeterred by setbacks. She embraced challenges and found solace in the process of overcoming obstacles, relishing the incremental emergence of hope along the arduous path forward.
"Establishing a brand and maintaining a strong sense of brand identity is the primary challenge in starting a business," shared Chi Ni as she recounted the numerous times she fell into self-doubt and questioned herself during the early stages of her venture. After all, it was crucial for Chi Ni, as the founder and soul of X NIHILO, to have the confidence to that could persuade and captivate clients. Beyond that, a perceptive understanding of the market and unique marketing strategies are also indispensable cornerstones for a brand's success. Exceptional products relied on forward-thinking marketing and promotion to stand out in the fiercely competitive fashion industry.
As a business centered around e-commerce, X NIHILO relied on precise data at every stage of its business development to aid decision-making and execution. Chi Ni and her team meticulously observed and researched, leveraging digital and influencer marketing to naturally expand opportunities in the global market.
Today, nearly seven years since its inception, X NIHILO faces an ever-changing market landscape vastly different from its early startup days, especially amid increased turbulence in the post-COVID era. Confronting these unknown challenges, Chi Ni and her team are actively exploring and eager to expand into new marketing methods and channels, investing in product development, and planning to delve into new craftsmanship and AI technology.
Chi Ni Hsieh also mentioned that while the initial goal for establishing X NIHILO was to cater to a niche market, the brand is now planning to expand its product range and pricing structure in response to evolving consumer behaviors and habits and to accommodate the growing consumer base. Looking ahead, Chi Ni and her team hope to increase product sales through direct shipping, bulk wholesale, boosting online sales volumes, and establishing pop-up stores.
As a Taiwanese raised overseas, Chi Ni humbly acknowledges the need for continuous learning and adaptability. Whether integrating into the local mainstream society, fostering a multicultural work environment benefiting team members, or embracing diverse ways of thinking influenced by cultural backgrounds, cultural learning is an integral part of her daily work. "One of the best aspects of running your own business is the opportunity to engage and interact with many talented and successful individuals," Chi Ni added. Melbourne's Taiwanese compatriot, to her, serves not only as a platform for mutual learning and contribution but also as a bridge to connect the business sectors of Australia and Taiwan through volunteer service or commercial collaborations, fostering deeper and broader interactions between the two countries.
2023 Global Young Entrepreneur Stars Award recipient: Chi Ni Hsieh.
X NIHILO Founder Chi Ni Hsieh is passionate about fashion and pays attention to details.
X NIHILO's incredible products and unique marketing successfully propelled the label into global markets.
Chi Ni Hsieh and her team continues to expand X NIHILO's business.