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INFORMATION. IDEAS. INSIGHTS. 

CHI-SAN WAN, CO-FOUNDER, THE PRESSERY

Along with business partner Natali Stajcic, Chi-San Wan is the co-founder of The Pressery: a London-based almond milk company that is set apart by the quality of its product and the elegant simplicity of its branding. Since founding the company in early 2014, Natali and Chi-San have raised £150k in crowd-sourced investment (!) and are now sold in some of the UK's best food shops and cafes, including Ace Hotel, Selfridges, and Daylesford Organic. Here, Natali explains how she Makes It Work,

Listen to Natali and Chi-San share further insights at The WW Club's recent food and drink-focused panel conversation at Rita's restaurant in London.

NAME

Chi-San Wan

LOCATION

Hackney, London

OCCUPATION

Creative Director of The Pressery

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

That I control my own time and how and what I do with it. 

AND THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF IT?

Trying to let go of the guilt that still comes, even though I have no-one else to answer to other than myself. 

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D KNOW ABOUT YOUR CAREER OR INDUSTRY WHEN
YOU WERE FIRST STARTING OUT?

Having no previous experience in the industry, it’s been a massive learning curve for the both of us. But I don’t think I’d change a thing. It was important for the both of us to learn from scratch and not be influenced. It’s a constant evolution everyday and I believe that’s what keeps us interested and also interesting. 

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT THUS FAR?

It comes and goes, so I try and celebrate even the smallest victories now, but like Natali said already; our crazy Crowdcube campaign success was a proud moment. 

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY UNIFORM CONSIST OF?

It definitely is a uniform - which usually consists of whites, creams, navys, greys or blacks! Currently, I am obsessed with oversized shirts with oversized culottes/wide trousers, an ACNE jacket or cotton sweater…and if I’m not still traipsing around in my black Birkenstocks, I’ll be in my white Vejas (from The Acey). 

THE INDISPENSABLE TOOL OF YOUR TRADE: (EQUIPMENT/BOOK/SOFTWARE/PERSON)

My gut. E-V-E-R-Y-T-I-M-E. 

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?

The vibrant cities I visit, including London itself but also beyond. It’s necessary to leave the big cities. I’ve just got back from 6 days in La Graciosa (an island north of Lanzarote where there are no cars and wifi) and I feel refreshed and inspired just by leaving that hectic city-lifestyle feeling behind for a few days. 

WHO’S YOUR PROFESSIONAL HERO (AND WHY)?

My dad, the entrepreneur extraordinaire who inspired me to always work for myself! He has a small restaurant in Sheffield, so I was surrounded by food since day 1, but obviously did not make the connection until after a stint in design school and working as stylist for 8 years. He works hard, but also knows that you need to make time to relax and hang with friends and loved ones. Balance is key. 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’VE LEARNT ABOUT MONEY AND
FINANCE?

Always put away at least 30% of earnings, but do treat yourself from time to time as we only do this thing once. You can’t spend it once it’s all over.  

HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANISED? ANY TIPS OR TRICKS OR ‘HACKS’ TO SHARE?

I keep one notebook for work with me at all times and have discovered over the years to make new lists everyday, but I have to date it, so I can flick back through and find things again, not just a bunch of crazy writing. I am also going to try and implement keeping a notebook by my bedside so when I suddenly have a thought about work (or anything else) that’s keeping me up, I can write it down and drift off to sleep soundly. 

WHAT BOOKMARKED WEBSITE OR ONLINE ARTICLE DO YOU ALWAYS REVISIT?

For when I need a visual feast for the eyes, I head to katemonteith.tumblr.com for a break.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Less is more. It’s my answer to everything. 

WHAT’S YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS?

Being able to live everyday with intent, vitality, love, laughter and plenty of delicious food and drink to share with friends, family and loved ones, with no regrets whatsoever.