A Young Kim
Eye Define Optical
Starting a business as a woman entrepreneur can be daunting. For A Young Kim, that was only one of the many challenges she faced since emigrating from Korea with her husband Nam.
“I had a dream to learn English when I was young. When I first came to Winnipeg as an international student at Red River College, I didn’t know how to speak it at all. I thought it was a good time to learn another language and learn about another country,” says A Young.
After graduating in 2005, Kim returned to Seoul to organize the couple’s immigration. She returned to Winnipeg two years later with Nam, a qualified optician in Korea.
Coming from a family with a background in the optical industry in Korea, opening an optical store seemed like a good fit. But where to start?
“I walked by the Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba and was curious about what they did. I’ve since met with them many times and they’ve helped me put together my business plan. It is a really awesome organization for women wanting to start a business and they’ve been very helpful.”
A Young and her husband opened Eye Define Optical in September 2012 and word of the company’s products and services along with the determination of these newcomers to become a Winnipeg success story have helped the business to grow.
“For now it’s step by step. I love the business here. It’s a different kind of business here than in Korea. Marketing is totally different – almost everything is different! We’re focusing on a multicultural market and many of our customers are Canadians with a Chinese, Thai or Asian background. Now our customers are bringing their family and friends to see us.”
A Young is training to be an optician with the Opticians of Manitoba and is excited about what the future holds. She continues to view her language skills as her biggest challenge, but like all entrepreneurs, is persistent in her efforts to learn. “I study every day and go online so I’m improving all the time.”Visit Website