Welcome to this episode of Les McKeown's podcast - 


...with Predictable Success

In This Episode: Jennet Chow on Adapting to Change

Dave Brandon

In today's episode of 'Scale! with Predictable Success' our guest is

Jennet Chow

Founder/Co-CEOEvolution Design Lab

Listen    |    Read    |    Connect   |    Subscribe

Guest Bio

Jennet Chow is the Founder and Co-CEO of Evolution Design Lab and Jellypop Shoes. She is a second generation Taiwanese-American native to Southern California, and her story embodies the “American Dream” of grit, determination and innovation. She was most recently named one of Inc. 2021 Female Founders 100.
Jennet went on to start Evolution Design Lab in 2009, a tech focused company that manages the entire supply chain of shoe manufacturing from design all the way to production using their novel software StyleManager and Segovia and safe and ethical factories. Jennet also created Jellypop Shoes, a shoe brand focused on creating comfortable, stylish, and affordable vegan shoes that women and girls of all ages can enjoy.
Because of her humble beginnings, Jennet is passionate about empowering women, making style accessible, and giving back to the community. She acts on it through donating shoes, mentoring other women, working to increase diversity in the footwear industry, and championing the AAPI community.

↑ Toggle to read

When I went to Los Angeles to speak at a YPO event earlier this year, it was with the usual eager anticipation of getting to spend some time with the people I serve - growth-minded founders and leaders.

What I didn't anticipate was learning a genesis story so powerful that I just knew I wanted to bring it to our podcast.

Listen today as Jennet Chow tells the remarkable story of how she founded her business out of the ashes of family tragedy, then completely flipped her business model to meet massive disruptive change in her industry.

(By the way, Jennet had a cold on the day we spoke, but we both wanted to get this story out to you, so pardon some coughing!)

"It is important to adapt and change with the times and not 'be the hem in the haw of the old days’.”- Jennet Chow, Founder/Co-CEO of Evolution Design Lab

Click to Tweet

In our interview today you'll hear share about:

  • How her father’s massive heart attack helped helped Jennet uncover the one thing she was meant to do.

  • The greatest challenge she personally faced as a leader taking a business from first generation to second generation ownership.

  • How Jennet and her husband Mike split their responsibilities as Co-CEO’s and management of their organisation - what has worked and what hasn't.

  • Her number one tip on how to succeed running a successful organization with your spouse.

  • How Jennet has grown Jellypop Shoes with very little marketing.

  • What she sees in the future, for her personally and her business.

  • How she used the Predictable Success Leadership Styles to develop a thorough understanding of her team and how that knowledge has improved team interactions.

“Everything is in our product. We put all the money we would put in marketing and, the money that we've saved from having a more efficient supply chain, into our product.” - Jennet ChowFounder/Co-CEO of Evolution Design Lab

Click to Tweet
Tony Hsieh

 On The proactive steps They Took to develop Their team During COVID

When COVID first started, it was a very scary time. On March 12th, we told everyone to just pack their bags, especially the design team and everyone had to work from home.

So my husband Mike and I decided we wanted to create forum groups where we educated our employees during this unpredictable time.

Actually Mike found your video, where you talked about Predictable Success and you were one of our lessons for the week for the whole group of employees that we have.

We made everyone watch it, take notes and then we came together to discuss as a group.

And we also determined which of the team were Visionaries, Operators, Processors) and Synergists. 

We had a whole Excel sheet to determine what each was.  And it just made sense of a lot of the things that we did together as a group, because it helped us also team build more, and understand why team members are  the way they are.

It explained a lot.

Jennet ChowFounder/Co-CEOEvolution Design Lab

Click to Read or Download The Transcript

Download the transcript PDF

Or read it directly below...

Les McKeown: Hi everybody, and welcome to the latest episode of Scale! with Predictable Success, where we talk with leaders who are on the way to that stage that we call Predictable Success in scaling their organization.

And today I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Jennet Chow. Jennet's the Founder and Co-CEO of Evolution Design Lab and Jellypop Shoes, which you're going to hear about a lot later, but for now welcome Jennet. 

Jennet Chow: Thank you. I'm so happy to be here. 

Les McKeown: It's great to have you on, we met in LA at a YPO event where your husband, Mike Chan, who is also your Co-CEO, had invited me to speak. 

And it was there that I got to learn a little bit about your remarkable journey to where you are now as Founder / Co-CEO of, particularly Evolution Design Lab, and then we'll talk a little bit about Jellypop Shoes. 

Every Founder story is a personal one, right? We all have a personal story, but yours is uniquely personal in that it's very tied up with your family history and your own background. And I'd love if we could just start with you just sharing that. How did you get here? 

Jennet Chow: Oh my goodness. It's a long story. I'll try to be as concise as possible. First of all, I loved everything that you taught, because it really resonated with me from what I've observed as a little kid. 

Because I saw my parents go through the whole process from the Early Struggle, the Fun stage, every single stage that you had mentioned to the very end. 37 years in business. 

So I was four years old when they first started their business. they started off at the swap meet. My mom was a waitress. My dad was a civil engineer. That was their day job. And on the weekends, we went to swap meets and I just followed them because they couldn't afford a babysitter. 

So I really grew that resilience and watching them struggle, waking up at four in the morning, going to swap meets, trying to sell five pairs of shoes even, and I would help them lay out the shoes. And it was just natural to me that this is hard work. This is what we have to do. 

Les McKeown: Right. 

Jennet Chow: And then they got really lucky, they met a third business partner who was the charismatic, Visionary leader that you talk about, who ended up talking to them and seeing if they could manufacture shoes for him in Taiwan. 

Les McKeown: Huh. 

Jennet Chow: Yeah. My father Harry, he has since passed and Bobby, who ended up being the head of sales, who has since passed. And my mom who is still around. They were the perfect Trinity. And I see them as the V, the O and the P and now I understand after seeing your VOPS as to why they were perfect together.

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: So I would watch how they grew and grew. He ended up selling shoes to some of the biggest retailers, Bullocks, I Magnin at the time, Saks Fifth Avenue, you know, unfortunately, a lot of department stores that are no longer around. 

And I witnessed that and I helped along the way. When I was 14, my father had a heart attack, a massive heart attack. He was the only one who could draw. So, because he had the quadruple bypass and just was very weak, he couldn't work anymore. 

At the time we only had 20 some employees and we didn't really have a designer. So I would go in and help draw. They were just really starting up and winging it. 

So I would draw. Mind you, I never received an award in school, no trophies, nothing. But when I drew, people would compliment me and my trophy was the next season when they said, "oh my gosh, we sold a million pairs of this design". 

And it was then that I was hooked! Since I was 14, 15. And I was like, "oh my gosh, I have a talent".

Les McKeown: Did I hear you right? A million pairs? 

Jennet Chow: Yes. 

Les McKeown: Wow!

Jennet Chow: And sales reps who still remember that time, will bring that up. And they would always encourage me, these sales reps. They would ask me to come in. Summertime, come in, whenever. 

They even wanted to start a label with my name. And I always felt like it was a joke. Bobby would always say, "let's have a label under Jennet".

And it was really Bobby who mentored me and believed in me. Because my parents of course were like, "don't go to art school. Don't go to design school. You need to get your degree"

Les McKeown: Get a ‘real job’.

Jennet Chow: So I was just loving the design process. It was just kind of like that vision of me as a kid, I really wanted to continue my family's legacy in footwear because I was good at it. Cause I had that 10,000 hours that people speak about. 

And so when I went to college, my parents were very happy, but within three months I decided to drop out. 


Les McKeown: As all best entrepreneurs do, right? 

Jennet Chow: I was so sure of it because I felt like I was wasting so much time. My dad eventually would write me letters and say, (this is back in the day when email was not as popular), "we're starting a factory in China, from Taiwan"

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: And then that would make me even more excited than learning the new and old Testament, at the time. 

So I packed up my bags and I said "Dad, I really want to follow you now that you're healthy, travel to China and Europe with you, to design and to just help you out"

This is what I really wanted to do. And at the time only a few entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, didn't go to college. 

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: And I think Bill Gates is not known to drop out of college, especially for Asians. 

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: I was one of the few at the time, and my dad was thankfully very encouraging. And my mom was not, but I somehow convinced my mom. 

So I did everything. We started off in the sample room in China. Our sample room was a dining table. They only had two or three employees and I just loved how efficient everyone was. 

And at that time in China, it was rubble. It was like a third world country still. That was '97, '98. But the people there, they were just so excited to do things. 

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: What you could accomplish in two weeks in America, you could accomplish in one day there. So that excited me. And I started detailing with materials. I had assistants helping me left and right. 

I had found my passion and I wanted to continue. 

I came back to America and I started hiring people at the age of 18 to 21. I grew our design team to six, seven people from local fashion schools. And some of them are still with me today. 

So I just loved the design process and leading the design team. And we just kept growing from there. That was our Fun, Super Fun stage. 

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: And then Whitewater. Oh my goodness! By the way, I do have a yellow pad that you speak of.


Jennet Chow: I watched your YouTube video again. I was like, "oh my gosh, I'm sketching on the yellow pad that you speak of"

But, I went through that with them where, you know, there's legal aspects of branding. We had Mudd footwear as well as Kenzie footwear. We were licensors.

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: And there's lawsuits, little legal stuff, but I went through all of it, but I still loved it. 

Les McKeown: Even in Whitewater?

Jennet Chow: Yes. And then we had to have a new team. We ended up going to 80 some people.

Les McKeown: Wow!

Jennet Chow: And unfortunately when my father and Bobby passed away, I was heartbroken. And I wanted to continue the business still. 

So in 2009, that's around the time Bobby passed away, I said, "we need to continue". We still had the employees that we needed to take care of. My father was still around for a year or two after, and it was just my mission to continue to do what I knew I was good at. 

So that's why I founded a solution to sign up. But with the mindset that it was important to adapt and change with the times and not 'be the hem in the haw of the old days'. That's my 'Move My Cheese' reference because that was kind of my mom at the time, she was unwilling to change systems and processes.

Les McKeown: And you really have completely changed, not a hundred percent, but the focus of EDL Evolution Design Lab, as you've been telling the story about your dad and your mom and the business that they grew that was, you know, basically an old personal shoe business.

But this is very different. So share with the listeners a little bit of what you do in EDL. 

Jennet Chow: So at Evolution Design Lab, we manufacture and distribute women's, kids and toddler shoes throughout the U S. But we focus on five major parts. We're pretty much a one-stop shop for a lot of our accounts. 

Number one, we develop and do line building for shoes.

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: Which is part of what we did not do back in the day. Two, we do a lot of 3D design and 3D printing. Any new technology that comes out, we hop on it right away. 

And three, we do account management. We take care of the purchasing and sales. 

Four, we do logistics; we do inbound and outbound.

And five, we do a lot of the engineering. So we engineer hardware to take photos in a turntable. We engineer cameras. We also have engineered software to help the whole supply chain process. And that's a lot of Michael Chen's work. 

He's one of the people who started when I was about 21 years old, as well and he's been with us ever since. But he was a programmer before at Pixar and Disney, and also helped in merger and acquisitions through software. 

So he was someone I knew we really needed. My mom though, did not think we needed it and didn't trust the software system. 

So it was just kind of, you know, first generation, second generation, that battle, like how do we do this seamlessly. And it was actually timing wise, a good time for my mom to retire. 

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: She couldn't handle it emotionally anymore. It was too much. 

Les McKeown: It would have been really tough for her to carry it on after she lost both her husband and someone who was clearly from how you shared it, not just a business partner, but a really good friend. In fact, I think you've said that he was like part of the family eventually. 

Jennet Chow: Of my goodness! Yes. He was my best mentor; best friend to my mom. 

Les McKeown: So, you were able to take the business and much more into the tech side of things and far more deeply integrated with the supply chain. 

Jennet Chow: Yes.

Les McKeown: What sort of led you in that direction? Did you just see needs? Were you hearing people saying to you, "but we need this"? Or were you seeing failure? Were you just interested in it? 

I get it about the design enjoyment and selling a million pairs of shoes of something that you designed, but that's, that's still quite a shift. Had you seen a pressing need?

Jennet Chow: Yes, definitely. So when we first started, when I was 18-21, that time period, we were still only doing Excel sheets. We were faxing paperwork. It was very archaic. 

And we were talking, there must be a more efficient way. Because we were growing so fast. It was taking so long. We would count one out of 20, two out of 20. The whole process of that was like two hours longer on top of everything else. 

We went from maybe ten styles to a hundred styles every season, and sometimes even eventually 200, 300 styles, because we were working with so many accounts. 

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: So how do we keep it organized? So it was based on a need and my husband would sit next to me and some of the designers and try to figure this out. And for him it was so, just intuitive that we have software.

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: So he would design the software based on our needs, sitting side by side. And make the software so easy to use for designers and purchasing, and every department within our company. Easy to search. He designed it for us basically.

And like you said, today, it's pretty much our Fun stage where we're spinning off our business.

Kind of like what you all also talked about with Flickr, Stewart, Butterfield, where he was designing games, but then ended up Slack or Flickr. It became more profitable, or it became the business in itself. 

So we're being asked because our accounts see how we work so efficiently. And it's just word of mouth. They're telling other vendors like us, "you've got to use Evolution Design Labs software", because a lot of people are struggling now with that side. 

Les McKeown: That's great. And you and Mike are also husband and wife. I'd like to talk about how that works in the co-CEO role, but were you married at the time that he first joined the business? 

Jennet Chow: So we were together already, and we got married soon after, two years after. 

Les McKeown: The reason I ask is, I can see from your journey; your journey perspective, the decision then to start up Evolution Design, and take on the role of Founder; there's a very natural, albeit with a tragic backdrop, there's a natural progression there. 

What sort of discussions were there around Mike jumping ship and coming in as well? Was that a no brainer or were you sort of half in half out? Share with us a little bit about that because it's a big step, right? 

Jennet Chow: Yeah. That was a huge step and a lot of drama, to be honest. And I love being frank with you because this is what you're all about. 

It was a very tough decision because he could have done much bigger and better things, very early on, but it was really important to me and he knew it, that he helped me as a business partner and a partner in life, as well as the son-in-law.


Les McKeown: Right. No pressure. 

Jennet Chow: And my father would call him all the time for his advice about what he should do about legal issues, he just became a confidant for my father as well. And so it was a lot of social, family pressures. 


Les McKeown: I can imagine! The reason I asked Jennet is because, co-founders, as a rule is a tough thing to make work. It's really, really hard. Spousal relationships are tough in business. I've been there. I know what it's like to make work. I mean, I'm not prying and I'm not asking you to go into any detail... 

Jennet Chow: No, I'm open

Les McKeown: How's it worked out with you and Mike over the years? 

Jennet Chow: Well, it's definitely a rocky road. You know, it's funny at the CEO Summit, a lot of the men said the same thing as you, "How do you guys work together? I can never work with my wife"


Jennet Chow: That was one of the biggest questions I got. Well, first of all, we have a therapist.


Jennet Chow: That really helps. 

Les McKeown: That helps, right? 

Jennet Chow: Not only that, we completely do two different things. He's on his very geeky software mind. 

Les McKeown: Right

Jennet Chow: He helps a lot in that area and I am very creative and love design and I love working with the designer side. 

It's very hard for him to work with designers. My Visionary aspect, we're both V's (Visionaries) by the way. 

Les McKeown: Right

Jennet Chow: My Visionary aspect is very different from his Visionary Style. His is all about software and coding and this and that. So we do kind of our own expertise. We kind of respect each other.

Les McKeown: Right. Complimentary. You're not stomping on each other's toes.

Jennet Chow: Exactly. 

Les McKeown: Right. And did it take a little while to bed that down and sort of build, you know, sort of guidelines, however soft they would be? Like, "this is really the area I need to be looking at. I need you to look after that". Did that take a while to evolve? 

Jennet Chow: Honestly it was kind of natural. 

Les McKeown: That's fantastic.

Jennet Chow: I prefer not to look at legal paperwork. 

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: He could do all that and he can work with lawyers. We both stay in our lane and that we really did not need to have someone to help us with it. It just came naturally for us. 

Just like cooking, you know, I let him do the cooking and I'll be his sous chef if needed. And if I want to cook, he'll do the opposite. It kind of has worked out. 

I mean, this year will be our 20th year anniversary. 

Les McKeown: Congratulations.

Jennet Chow: It's been kind of natural. I think honestly, the therapist side, it's mostly, "how do we parent our children?" That's the hardest, hardest thing.

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: Me saying this, him stepping over that. But for work it's definitely helped, talking about certain issues a little bit at work, but we rarely have to work things out.

Les McKeown: And final point in this topic, how do you set boundaries? It must be easy to sort of bring it all home every evening, spend all weekend talking about stuff. You know, I've been there, my ex wife and I worked together for eight years and I know what it was like. 

And we had to be pretty strict about, you know, even going so far as to, there were certain rooms in the house, we would not talk business, just cause we had to have some sort of respect. But for you, and with bringing up the kids, have you been able to set healthy boundaries? 

Jennet Chow: So growing up, my parents talked about work all the time. 

Les McKeown: Ahh, you were used to it.

Jennet Chow: Yes. I was used to it and I actually learned a lot from it. So I thought in the beginning that we should do the same, but it does become too much. And the kids have brought it up to us - "why do you guys always talk about work?"

So we try not to talk about it too much, but it's very difficult because we, as owners need to solve issues 24/7.

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: Because we're also working with China and that's later on in the day. We're always working and they see that. But when they do say, "can we talk about something else, other than work", we'll try to respect that. Especially during meal times. 

Les McKeown: I think it's something that, anyone who hasn't isn't, or hasn't been a Founder at some time, it's really hard to get just how baked in it is. Just how much a part of your identity it is.

In fact, there's a long time when there's just no separation. I am the business. The business is me and I'm not making any judgment. I'm not saying it's good, bad or indifferent. But that if you don't get that, there's something wrong with you. 

It's just a very different sort of internal motivational spring that's coiled up when you're the Founder and you don't get to waken up at four in the morning and say "oh forget about it. I'm not going to worry about that issue". You don't get to do that because there's nobody else. 

I'm very sympathetic and empathetic too. 

Jennet Chow: Oh, thank you. Well, it is very true what you say. And that's why I love meeting other entrepreneurs because there's this unspoken understanding for each other. 

Les McKeown: Exactly.

Jennet Chow: And what we have to go through because people look at us like, "wow, you guys are so amazing, how lucky you are". It is 20 years of marriage. We haven't even gone on our honeymoon yet.

Les McKeown: Oh my word. 

Jennet Chow: Because there's no time. And in fact, our 20 year anniversary, we're going to spend it in North Carolina with buyers and sales reps. It's so baked into our lives.


Les McKeown: I think we need to call your therapist and put in an intervention for long enough to get your honeymoon. That's amazing. Well, let's change tack just a little bit. Tell us about Jellypop Shoes. What's that all about? 

Jennet Chow: Jellypop Shoes, we founded it this because in the past at Prima Royale, we always did the licensing. We worked with iconic span boot. Sometimes they were very difficult contracts with a lot of clauses in there. 

And we had learned from that art, especially from our buyers, that we could have our own band without us having to worry about having a license. 

So we started Jellypop Shoes based on what we felt and what our buyers told us was a need to fulfill that junior market with a good price point.

Les McKeown: Right. 

Jennet Chow: So we continue to do what we did best, which was, we resource the best materials for the best price for our consumers at the end of the day. So our price points are very good, $19.99 to at most $59.99. And we try to keep it at a reasonable price for the second tier department stores. 

Les McKeown: Right. 

Jennet Chow: And we don't do much marketing, which I'm now thinking maybe we should, but we don't do much marketing. 

Everything is in our product. We put more memory foam. We were the first junior band that did memory foam. We just put all the money we would put in marketing and, the money that we've saved from having a more efficient supply chain, into our product. 

Les McKeown: Right. 

Jennet Chow: And so consumers see it on the shelf and they'll compare on their own.

Les McKeown: Right. 

Jennet Chow: So that's kind of our business model for Jellypop Shoes. And we do kids and toddlers, and now people are asking us to do boys' shoes. 

Les McKeown: And you designs are beautiful. Are you still doing shoe design? 

Jennet Chow: I lead the design team. I work with them. A lot of them, like I said, we're very big on change. A lot of them could do 3D design, 3D printing. They do catting very fast. 

So these younger designers, who are in their early twenties, are much faster than I am. So I just work with them, guide them, let them take ownership of the design, but I worked very closely with them. 

Les McKeown: Right. And you support quite a lot of foundations and charities through that work. Tell us a little bit about that side of your life.

Jennet Chow: Yeah. So Mike and I are very much, "why do we do this? Why do we continue doing shoes?" 

Les McKeown: You're mission driven. 

Jennet Chow: Yeah. We're very mission driven. As you can see Mike and I would love to teach. In fact, one of my goals in life is to become a teacher in my future. 

But, for now, as we're doing shoes, we're very much wanting to help, especially women and kids who aren't as privileged with what they wear. 

So we donate a lot of shoes whenever people are in need in other countries, whether it be a hurricane or a big earthquake, we're always shipping shoes directly to them through Soles4Souls or a union rescue mission. 

There's so many resources out there where we could donate shoes. And it makes us feel a bit about what we do. In addition to just designing shoes, I mean, you could only have a passion for designing shoes for so long. What's the purpose of all this? 

And of course, as an Asian, by the way, this is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month month, so thank you for having me. 

Les McKeown: That was a coincidence. Because as you know, we had originally scheduled before, but it's a wonderful coincidence.

Jennet Chow: So I just love helping the Asian community because even my mom, when I was growing up, I would tell her my visions of my future. One day I want to own a shoe company too, and be the face and this and that. 

She's like, "no, no, there's no one who will want you. They'll only buy from you if you were a white male". She would tell me this as a kid. Asian parents typically; I don't mean to generalize, but they kind of stomp on dreams like this. If it's not a doctor and accountant...

Les McKeown: Irish mothers were not that much different, I can tell you. Has she finally admitted that she might be wrong about all of that?

Jennet Chow: No!

Les McKeown: No?


Les McKeown: She's still living in denial?

Jennet Chow: Yes. So I just love the fact that I could prove her wrong and at least I know, but as an Asian female.


Les McKeown: The listeners can help prove her wrong. We'll put the address in the show notes, but it's jellypop.la and the shoes are just remarkable and you do sell direct to consumer from the website. 

So it would help out with, not just, making Jennet able to tell her mother that she's wrong, but also help those many charities that she and Mike support. Pop over there and take a little look. 

Jennet both you and Mike have been very kind in expressing to me a couple of times that there are parts of the Predictable Success model that you find helpful in navigating the growth of your business. 

So, I'd love to let the listeners hear a little bit about that. Share a little bit about, how did you find this thing in the first instance and how has it been most helpful for you.

Jennet Chow: Yes. Oh my goodness. Super helpful. And you're like a celebrity to me...

Les McKeown: [laughter] 

Jennet Chow: I mean it. When I first saw you, I wanted to take a picture with you. 

Les McKeown: That's right, you did. 

Jennet Chow: I did. When COVID first started, it was a very scary time. On March 12th, we told everyone to just pack their bags, especially the design team. Everyone had to work from home. It was a very scary time because we didn't know what was next. 

So my husband and I decided we wanted to create forum groups where we educated our employees during this unpredictable time. 

Actually Mike found your YouTube video, where you talked about Predictable Success and you were one of our lessons for the week for the whole group of employees that we have.

So we made everyone watch it, take notes and then we came together to discuss as a group. 

And we also determined who was the V (Visionary), O (Operator), P (Processor) and S (Synergist).

Les McKeown: Right. 

Jennet Chow: And we had a whole Excel sheet to determine what each was. And it was so funny because we ended up finding that the people in operations or sales, and a lot of the purchasing people were, O's. 

And a lot of the people in logistics were P's, and then the leaders were V's or V/S. So I'm more of a V/S and Mike was more of a V/O.

And it just made sense as a lot of the things that we did together as a group, because it helped us also team build more, and understand why so-and-so was the way she was, why Jennet is the way she is or this and that. It explained a lot. 

And when we work together, a lot of times we'll joke, "oh, okay, she's going to take the notes because she's the P". Or, "that's why Peter is the way he is"

It just explains a lot. 

And like what you said, the shared vocabulary has continued throughout the time that we worked together. We're still working from home. 

And if we say "we're in the Whitewater right now, the production is not being taken care of as well as we would like", they (the team) would know that, okay, there's something that could happen after Whitewater. We may need you to have a new team of people help us. 

It just gives us perspective. It's kind of like a personality test for people at work. 

Les McKeown: Yeah, it really helps, I think, in a team environment to de-personify some of the, what could be conflict issues...

Jennet Chow: Yes!

Les McKeown: People show up, why they respond to certain things the way they do. And you get to the point where you're saying, "oh, it's not that Evie is, non-contributory, she's just not a Visionary"

Jennet Chow: Exactly.

Les McKeown: So why put that onus on that person when it's not necessarily, not required.

Well, I'm really glad that's been helpful for you. And just on a personal note, you came out as a Visionary/Synergist I recall. Did that echo with you? Did that feel right? 

Jennet Chow: Oh yeah, definitely. It was so accurate.

Les McKeown: You and Mike together, as Visionaries, are creating a vision. It's your job to sell it to the team then and make sure everybody's on board.

And then Mike, as the Operator goes out and makes it happen, does what I call the dirty fingernail work. Is that how that works? 

Jennet Chow: Well, you say a lot of things that made sense. Because Mike is a V/O (Visionary/Operator) and his biggest issue is the VOPS that goes in a circle.

Les McKeown: Right.

Jennet Chow: And he needs the O (Operator) to be separate, or he needs another P (Processor) to help him on that side.

Les McKeown: This is the Artisan Trap. He's trying to go to all, he comes up with it and then tries to go and do it as well. Yeah. 

Jennet Chow: Right. So the problem right now with his software side is he can't really scale because he's the V/O. And going in circles. So right now we're trying to fix that. We'll have to keep in touch with you and let you know what happens. 

Les McKeown: Yes, please do.

Jennet Chow: So he right now is on the operations side. He is the Visionary for that. And he communicates very well with everyone there. And I'm on the design side, communicating very well with the design team. 

So that's how we're separating the V's. What's so helpful about your graph also is when we realized, "oh, Mike has another idea about this", it's not to be frustrated so much it's to understand it's innate in him as a Visionary. 

He just has to have all the ideas and it's okay to have these ideas because if we don't have the V, like you said, without the V if you just have the P and the O the company will go down.

Les McKeown: Without vision the people will perish is what the good book says.

Jennet Chow: Yes. So a lot of times it's just understanding for all of us, not to be frustrated about him wanting to do another software system; we just have to keep riding that train of change. Change is good.

Les McKeown: Right. And also finding ways to just let things sit for a while, let them percolate, and the good ones will stay up, still be there. 

I tell people all the time that when you come back from a great conference or event, don't go in and projectile vomit all the fantastic ideas you had, because if they're worthwhile, they'll still be there percolating a couple of weeks later. 

And people listen to you more rather than doing what they expect you to do, which is to come back and throw a ton more new squirrels for them to chase after. 

Jennet Chow: Yes.

Les McKeown: So on that note, Jennet, you and Mike have got exciting things happening, bubbling up on the software world.

You've got Jellypop, you've got Evolution Design Lab. When as I'm hoping, we will bring you back here, let's say two, three years from now, what would make you feel really good to be able to share has happened. What's your vision for the next couple of years?

Jennet Chow: Well, definitely on the Jellypop side, I want to continue providing shoes that are affordable for women, kids, and toddlers. So that I want to definitely sustain. 

On the software side. I want to grow that even more and help companies kind of like what Slack did and help companies be more efficient work with overseas without having to necessarily fly there or have issues. 

And also work online with retailers. Back in the day, when we had one hour meetings, we would have to spend three days traveling, for that one hour meeting and packing shoes. It was just a lot of waste with planes and gas and this and that. 

So I really hope that there's a new way of selling shoes online, as well as merchandising. And it's not just shoes, this software, could go with clothing, any kind of product, really. So I hope I hope the software side will grow. 

Les McKeown: If the past is any indicator of future performance, I'm sure that will happen.

And Jennet, I hope that you and Mike will come back and tell us about your journey in a few years from now, but just for today, thank you so much. And thank you for being so honest and sharing your journey as a Founder. 

Jennet Chow: Oh, thank you so much for having me. This has been really an amazing experience and I seriously want to thank you for helping us during the two years without knowing that you really helped us. 

I'm glad I could tell you in person, that our employees have all benefited from watching your videos and learning from you. So thank you. 

Les McKeown: That means so much to me. Thank you very much, indeed.

Connect with !

web site

Subscribe & Download

Want to get notified of new episodes directly on your phone?

Subscribe to our podcast using your favorite app and download episodes to listen to at your convenience!

Other Podcast Episodes You May Like

Megan Hyatt Miller on Growing a Family Business and How to “Mind Your Mindset”

Megan Hyatt Miller on Growing a Family Business and How to “Mind Your Mindset”
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!