Trev Ng, Chief Executive Optimist (CEO) of The Optimist KL shares the story behind his entry into the coffee industry and explains his focus on positivity.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I worked in the corporate world for four years. I didn’t like it and started a part-time job at a speciality coffee shop. I loved the interaction with customers and decided that was something I would love to do for the rest of my life.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
The Optimist was founded because of my personal experience. I was depressed and not happy with my life. Hence I decided to start a brand that can influence and add value to people. The dream started as a takeaway coffee kiosk at Ampang Park LRT. The whole world around me disagreed and discouraged me, by saying it’s impossible for me to get a prime spot like that and I really didn’t have much money to do it. Well I guess as they say, when you never try, you never know. I got the spot after tonnes of emails and phone calls and follow-up. I applied for a government loan from the Young Entrepreneur Fund for capital to start and got it! Of course, the process is more complicated but I am always a believer of when there is a will, there is a way.
What’s the best part of your job?
Freedom. Freedom lets me do what I love, lets me unleash my creativity and the fulfilment I get is beyond words.
Name a fun fact about yourself or brand.
You should probably check out our sense of humour at our daily chalkboard message. 🙂 We love it and so do those who read it. We have never repeated the same message in four years!
What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
The journey has always been crazy and scary. But it’s part of the package. That is why it is fun.
The perfect day off would be…
Trying something new for the first time.
A day in the life of an entrepreneur is…
… always enjoying the moment. All the ups and downs.
What do you do for fun?
I love design. Besides that, of course, it’s gonna be travelling!
What’s something you’d like guests to know about The Optimist?
The Optimist is a brand that aims to spread positivity and encourage people to do what they love. Remind them life is full of setbacks, but never forget to focus on the good things in life.
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Living in Malaysia, I have a problem to choose my most favourite food pairing. There are too many choices to narrow it down.
What’s your take on the coffee scene in KL?
It’s getting mature and most of our coffee shops serve very good coffee. I am proud to be part of it.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
We always have new merchandise coming out. Check out our website www.theoptimist.co to stay up-to-date.