Category Archives: Interviews

Mad Cooking Fusions – Interview Part 2 of 2

nepchin - stained glass cookies

nepchin – stained glass cookies by Mad Cooking Fusions

Here is the final half of the tasty interview with MAD Cooking Fusions.

Lap, co-founder of nepchin, continues his food journey with Anamika!

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nepchin: “You have a great blog and featured in Huffington Posts and numerous websites. When did you know that people were interested in your food expertise?”

Anamika: “I started my blog with the intention of keeping my kitchen experiments in a journal so that when my kids grow up it can be a help to them, they should not struggle learning to cook but with time I started getting responses from various sources and that’s when I felt YES this is it for me :). I felt great seeing myself featured in Huff Post and other renowned newspapers and emazagines. Not only my food but the food photos also got recognition. Now for me it’s my passion to cook and capture Food.”

nepchin: “What are the most popular questions you get from your followers? and do they send in photos of creating your recipes?”

Anamika: “I try and keep my recipes simple, using basic ingridients and that’s what is most liked by my followers. I get various queries and it varies from person to person. For example questions like can we use a particular spice in place of the one mentioned in your recipe or what can I substitute it with. I have a wide range of collection for Navratri Indian Fasting recipes and Indian Festival recipes and my readers love trying those and share the pics and feedbacks too. I love to take both positive and negative feedback from my followers as it helps me improve further.”

nepchin - mango icecream

nepchin – mango icecream by Mad Cooking Fusions

nepchin: “Are you a food critique? and do you help restaurants with their menus?”

Anamika: “To be a food critique one needs to fall in love with the food and from that angle if I see myself then yes I am a food critique. I do provide online reviews if required for any food or food photography related projects, from whatever little expertise I have achieved through my inhouse cooking experiments but I have not started helping restaurants yet.”

nepchin: “For the budding food critique out there? what is some advice you can give to those who want to be their own MAD blogger?”

Anamika: “Chase your dreams, just be yourself, love what you cook and be MAD ( make a difference) about it and rest will follow.”

nepchin - Mango Pomegranate Parfait

nepchin – Mango Pomegranate Parfait by Mad Cooking Fusions

nepchin: “Anamika, really fantastic to speak with you and MAD Cooking Fusions. Keep MAD!”

Anamika: “Thank you so very much, I enjoyed being part of it. Happy Learning & Cooking! After all it’s all about being MAD – Making a Difference in
lives of your loved ones! Here’s Anamika signing off :)!”

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Mad Cooking Fusions – Interview Part 1 of 2

This next delicious interview is courtesy of MAD Cooking Fusions.

Lap, co-founder of nepchin, talks to the one and only Anamika!

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nepchin: “Hi Anamika, and a very warm welcome to Mad Cooking Fusions’

Anamika: “Thank You so much, It’s indeed a pleasure to be here.”

nepchin: “You have all these delicious recipes and amazingly you have no formal training in cooking! How do you go about coming up with your recipes?”

Anamika: “Coming up with a new recipe creation is much, much easier for me now. I simply go by my instinct. Since my childhood, I have always seen my Mom cook, I use to stand and see her while she use to cook for us. I now feel that helped me a lot in a way. On top of it, my husband gives me a lot of encouragement to follow my dreams.”

nepchin: “All your food is vegetarian! Where do you get your ingredients from? Do you have a special market or favourite place to go?”

Anamika: “Yes I do a vegetarian cooking and I love buying farm fresh veggies for my cooking. Sometimes I buy my ingredients online and they are delivered to my home, it is an effortless exercise but I personally feel it’s much more fun to go to the farmers market and it’s such a feast to the eyes with everything so fresh and lively. I am in my control to pick up the freshest and tastiest available vegetables and fruits. For spices I prefer using best of the Indian Brands and for few recipes I prefer grounding my own spices to make a masala mix to be used in the curry.”

Boondi Ladoos

Boondi Ladoos

nepchin: “When you put the food together, how do you go about the presentation and creative process?”

Anamika: “According to me the food platter should appeal to the eyes as much as it appeals to our taste buds. I not only love to cook but I love to serve my food in style too. It gives my food a wow factor and I honestly enjoy that moment. And when I have to blog about a dish, I start imagining about it and accordingly I do the layout, I prefer to shoot my food fresh, I love to play with the colour combinations around the main dish. I try to use less of props so that the focus in on the main dish more than anything else and last but not the least I play with my camera well keeping in mind the external light and other techniques.”

Mexican Salad with cheese and nachos

Mexican Salad with cheese and nachos

Oreo Ice Cream

Oreo Ice Cream

nepchin: “If only had one vegetable and one spice to make a lunch meal? What would it be and why?”

Anamika: “I will prefer to pick Potatoes and salt in such a given scenario. To me potatoes play a very versatile role in Indian as well as International cooking and one can really experiment loads of recipes with it. To name a few that I can think of with just two things would be – Baked Potatoes, Baked Potato french fries, Boiled Potato veggie, Potato cutlet shallow fry , Mashed Potatoes.”

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Hungry for more? The next post, Part 2, will have the rest of the interview with Anamika.

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‘I Heart Gallery’ – Interview Part 2 of 2

‘I Heart Gallery’

nepchin co-founder Lap continue his chat with M. Sunflower of ‘I Heart Gallery‘. Read Part 2 of 2  now!

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nepchin: “For your gallery, do you have works available from different artists?”

M. Sunflower : “We originally started out that way. Our shop in Newtown was a co-op with about 50 local and international artists selling their wares, but we’ve evolved into a tighter operation. Now we just sell wares from the artist(s) in residence.”

I heart gallery man with camera

I heart gallery man with camera

nepchin: “so if I was a local artist and I was starting out, or one from overseas trying to break a new market, is it possible to do some sort of collaboration with ‘I Heart Gallery’?”

M. Sunflower : “Absolutely! We’re starting to use our custom gift making skills to sell wholesale to artists and creators. We print their own images or artwork on items they can sell at their own shops or market stalls. For instance, I’ve had one lady order a whole lot of custom printed felt jewellery (necklaces, earrings, badges, bracelets and fascinators) to sell in her online Etsy shop. If anyone out there is interested in ordering please contact us at info@iheartgallery.com for a wholesale price list!

I heart gallery vintage dress

I heart gallery vintage dress

We offer some unique items that I haven’t seen anywhere else, such as custom printed doilies, gloves, and felt craft sheets for making jewellery, plushies, wallets, bags, clothing, etc.

We’re also very interested in collaborating with stores, wholesaling our own original designs, particularly our spectacular neckties. I have a long term goal of one day starting my own custom print clothing line of neckties, tshirts, dresses, skirts and leggings, specialising in plus size fashions. A girl can dream!”

I heart gallery neck tie women collage

I heart gallery neck tie women collage

I heart gallery neck tie designs

I heart gallery neck tie designs

nepchin: “What about if I liked one of the designs and I thought it would look great on a flowing dress? How would that work?”

M. Sunflower : “We can’t do that yet but we hope to in future! The machines we use aren’t big enough to print our own fabrics yet, so at the moment we specialise in smaller items.”

nepchin: “How did ‘I Heart Gallery’ come about and the name, where did that come from?”

M. Sunflower : “We brainstormed many names over a few days, from Sunny & Sons (haha!) to Artist In Residence (which I quite liked as I lived in the shop at the time), but when I heard I Heart Gallery, I said that’s it! That’s the one. I love art, I love hearts (or do I love love?) and I love the witty wordplay on “Art Gallery” in the title. It just fits.”

i heart gallery logo design

i heart gallery logo design

nepchin: “finally, have you ever had any exciting or strange requests from clients about art pieces to create?”

M. Sunflower : “We often get weird and wonderful customers through the door! They’re the best kind. To be honest though, I am probably the weirdest one in the room at any given moment. I’ve made stranger things than anyone has ever asked me to make! From embroidered genitalia and antique porn jewellery, to artworks and sculptures made from human hair, you could call me eccentric. Or you could call a psychiatrist!

I’m currently working on snowglobe jewellery, with tiny crabs claws I’ve collected at the beach. That’s quite exciting and strange.”

nepchin: “Wonderful to get to know about ‘I Heart Gallery’ and thank you for joining us here on nepchin”

M. Sunflower : “My pleasure! It’s been lovely sharing my story.”

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‘I Heart Gallery’ – Interview Part 1 of 2

‘I Heart Gallery’

nepchin co-founder Lap talks to M. Sunflower of ‘I Heart Gallery‘, about their love of the Arts, Craft and Vintage. Here is Part 1 of 2 in our interview with M. Sunflower.

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nepchin: “Hi, nice to speak with ‘I Heart Gallery‘ today.”

M. Sunflower : “Thank you, I’m looking forward to sharing the I Heart Gallery story with your lovely members!”

nepchin: “The ‘I Heart Gallery‘, what kind of gallery is it?”

M. Sunflower : “‘I Heart Gallery‘ is an eclectic variety of art, craft, vintage and curated kitsch. We’re a roving retail shop selling a heady mix of handmade jewellery, homewares, custom made gifts, clothing, artworks, vintage collectibles, rockabilly pinup style clothing and more! It’s a Smaug-esque treasure hoarde!

I heart gallery - teapot dress

I heart gallery – teapot dress

I heart gallery - penny farthing earrings

I heart gallery – penny farthing earrings

Sometimes we’re also an art gallery and events hub, having put on events in the past such as Off The Wall, a light graffiti exhibition for Fringe Festival Sydney, and various popup market and popup cinema nights.

I heart gallery - panda taking picture

I heart gallery – panda taking picture

We started out as a market stall and Etsy store, which led to opening a retail shopfront in Newtown. Then we decided to head down the south coast to Ulladulla where we had a popup shop in Rowen’s Arcade, which we used as 1/3 shop, 1/3 art/photography/film studio and 1/3 music recording studio. At any given time we had an artist painting artworks and book illustrations in the corner, a photographer using her photo studio, a dye sublimator making custom print gifts, a film and app maker working on what he’d been filming in the studio, an author working on his books, a crafter sewing or making various crafty things like jewellery, pillows or embroideries, and a musician either teaching students or recording music for albums, apps and various other media.

We’ve just ‘popped down’ the popup shop (so to speak), so now we’re back to doing market stalls and selling online again. Phew! I Heart Gallery is never boring!”

nepchin: “Are the art pieces all hand crafted? I mean what kind style does the gallery like to work with?”

M. Sunflower : “The majority of our wares are hand crafted, either by me, my friends, or artists in the local community. We also find vintage collectibles and treasures, and curate new stock that fits in with our weird and wonderful aesthetic.

I heart gallery - mug design

I heart gallery – mug design

Our style is wild and all encompassing. From rockabilly to kawaii to punk to girly to pinup to family oriented to just plain weird. We’re colourful, we’re kooky & we’re fully customisable – we can print your own photos and artworks onto various products such as: tshirts, gloves, bibs, neckties, tote bags, wallets, phone covers, tablet covers, laptop covers, mousepads, messenger bags, pencil cases, pancil caddies, mugs, beer steins, stubby holders, drink bottles, all sorts of jewellery and badges, magnets, jewellery boxes, tiles, tin signs, cushions, rock slates, doilies, plates, plaques, placemats, oven mitts, compact mirrors, puzzles, porcelain ornaments, piggy banks, coasters and more. What a mouthful!”

I heart gallery - globe doily

I heart gallery – globe doily

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That is the end of Part 1. Next month we will bring you the rest of the interview with M. Sunflower! see them also on instagram, facebook, twitter and tumblr.


What is Intellectual Property? Part 3 – What are the steps to commercialising your Intellectual Property?

In Part 1 we got a taste at a helicopter view what IP is.

In Part 2 we discussed the major different types of Intellectual Property.

In our final installment Part 3, we find out the steps to take in order to commercialise your IP.

Lap, co-founder at nepchin, finishes our chat with Brendan Cheong, qualified patent attorney from Indigo IP.

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nepchin: “So if nepchin, as business came up with an idea, what are the next steps to protecting that IP, is it protected everywhere?”

Brendan: “If nepchin came up with an idea, and put enough effort into turning that idea into an invention, my personal advice as for a next step is to do a bit of market research and business analysis to see if it is advantageous in a business sense to apply for a patent. Of course, many patent attorneys won’t tell you this as in doing so they might well be talking themselves out of a job! But let’s say that you have done all your research and analysis and determined that a patent application is the right way to go, your first steps would be to:

1) find a good patent attorney;

2) explain to him/her what your invention is and what you intend to do with it and who your main competitors are; and

3) get him/her to prepare a patent application for you and have it filed with IP Australia.

Once your application is filed, it will take a number of years for your application to go through the examination process, and if your invention is indeed a new and inventive invention, you should have a patent at the end of the process.

Unfortunately, patent protection has to be sought in each and every country that you want to obtain protection in. There is no such thing as an international patent. There is a process known as PCT that simplifies the administrative and logistical process for obtaining patents in multiple countries around the world, but it does not give you a ‘worldwide patent’.

The good news is that you really only need to obtain patent protection in the largest markets that you intend to sell your invention in. A good attorney who spent the time learning not just about your invention, but also about your business, should be able to advise you on this.

One thing that I would strongly recommend against is trying to write your own patent application. Unless you have received training in how to prepare a patent application you really shouldn’t try doing so, as it is very likely that you will end up with a pile of scrap paper, or worse still, end up with a patent that you paid a lot of money for but cannot use.”

nepchin: “What should one look out for when working with a Patent Attorney?”

Brendan: “I think most people know of the two basic measures of a patent attorney, namely experience in patent law and knowledge in the technical field of your invention. You should of course find a patent attorney who is sufficiently experienced in drafting and prosecuting patent applications and who understands the technology you are trying to patent.

In addition to the above two basic measure, however, I feel that it is extremely important that you find an attorney who is also able to:

1) spend the time learning about your business;

2) find out what your niche in your market is;

3) work with you to develop an IP strategy;

4) plan with you to integrate patents and other forms of IP protection into your business plan;

5) help you shape and define your invention in a direction that compliments your business plan; and

6) work with you to commercialize, monetize, and exploit your patent when you get it.

Brendan Cheong - Indigo IP

Brendan Cheong – Indigo IP

nepchin: “what are the pros and cons with working with different types of attorneys, such as big firms, small and freelance?”

Brendan: “That’s a great question, and what’s right for you is quite dependent on what kind of service you are seeking.

With big firms, you get the security and resources that only such entities can provide. Big firms will draft your patent for you, file it, take care of all administrative and financial transactions with the patent office, remind you of all critical deadlines, and provide you with legal advice. With big firms, you can essentially leave everything in their care and rest assured that if there is anything that needs your input, they will contact you for it.

What big firms perhaps do not do that well, or at all, is taking the time to learn about your business, finding out what it is you are trying to achieve with a patent, investigating who your competitors are, and working with you to develop an IP strategy that is best suited to your business. Their core business is to provide you with all the legal expertise needed to obtain a patent, and they do that brilliantly. However, anything outside of this core business is generally seen as detracting from their main effort. I am generalising here, but with big firms, the scope of their service tends to start from the drafting of the initial patent and end at the obtaining of the patent. They assume that you have already determined that a patent is right for you, and that once you have your patent you will know how to exploit it to give you the competitive advantage you seek. Big firms also tend to charge more.

Small firms are not dissimilar to big firms, but tend to provide a more personal level of service. Many small firms will sit down with you to learn more about your business, and put more time into tailoring your patent application to better suit your business and the environment your business operates in. Small firms, like big firms, will also take care of all administrative and financial transactions with the patent office, remind you of critical deadlines, provide you with legal advice, and so forth. Small firms provide a good combination of personal service and security.

Like big firms, however, the core business of small firms still is to provide you with all the legal expertise needed to obtain a patent. In this regard, the scope of their service also tends to start from the drafting of the initial patent, albeit with more time spent in understanding your business, and end with the obtaining of the patent. Small firms will also have a narrower range of technical expertise. So if your invention is in a very niche field (for example, carbon nanotubes for use in culture cultivation), a small firm may not have the technical expertise needed to properly advise you and draft a patent application for you. Small business do tend to be noticeably cheaper than big firms however.

With freelance attorneys, it is actually very hard to collectively describe their pros and cons as each freelance attorney has a different focus. Some focus on providing an ultra-low cost, minimalist service, whilst others focus on providing an extremely personal level of service, whilst others still focus on something else entirely.

Personally, I focus on providing a highly personal level of service that begins at a very early stage (well before the drafting of a patent application) and ends at a very late stage (well after the obtaining of a patent). What I seek to do is to thoroughly understand my client’s business, including their products, competitors, business plan, marketing strategy, financial resources, expansion plans, future plans, and so forth. From this, I work with my client to develop an IP strategy that details the kind of protection we want to achieve, and how the patent, when obtained, will be used to generate an income or otherwise secure a competitive edge. Only then do I begin on the traditional attorney work of drafting and prosecuting.

The main advantage with this type of service is that the client get a thorough understanding of how the patent fits in with their overall business, and understands what needs to be done with the patent to make the patent earn its keep. The strategy is laid out well before pen is put to paper, and all decisions made as the patenting process unfolds are made in consideration of this strategy. Accordingly, all time, costs, and efforts are economized to achieving this strategy.

The biggest disadvantage with working with freelance attorneys is probably their lack of infrastructure and management resources. The freelance attorney will be able to advise you of your critical deadlines, but management of these deadlines and reminders will likely be your own responsibility. You will also be more involved with and exposed to the administrative and financial transactions required to file a patent with the patent office. The freelance attorney will do the majority of the work for you but there will be tasks such as signing of documents, paying of fees, creation of accounts, submission of documents, faxing, photocopying, emailing, and so forth that will require your involvement. Freelance attorneys do tend to be cheaper than small firms and big firms however, as you are essentially taking on some of the tasks that would otherwise be done by the small and big firms.”

nepchin: “Brendan it is a pleasure to have you talk about IP today and we learned a great deal.”

Brendan: “It’s been my pleasure Lap. I love talking about IP, and as usual rambled on for too long. Thank you for having me.”


What is Intellectual Property? Part 2 – What are the major different types of Intellectual Property?

In Part 1 we got a taste at a helicopter view what IP is, now we do a deep dive into the major types.

Lap, co-founder at nepchin, continues our chat with Brendan Cheong, qualified patent attorney from Indigo IP.

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nepchin: “In Part 1 of our interview you mentioned there were 4 types of IP. Copyright, Trade marks, Patents and Design. Can you describe them to us?”

Brendan: “I’ll try to briefly cover each of the major IP types and what they protect.

Copyright is probably the most well known form of IP protection, and is the one that gets misquoted the most. I like to describe Copyright as an instrument for protecting your expression of something. This description covers the majority of IP that comes under Copyright, though it needs to be stretched somewhat to cover some other forms of IP that also come under Copyright. Copyright covers, for example, your painting of the flower in the park, as the painting is your expression of the flower. Similarly, the photograph you took of the flower, story and poem you wrote about the flower, the song you composed about the flower, and the sculpture that you made of the flower are also all your expressions of the flower and protectable under Copyright. Copyright prevents others from copying your painting without your permission. It does not however prevent them from creating their own painting of the same flower (even if it happens to look like your painting). But if they created a painting of the flower using your painting of the flower (instead of painting the flower directly) they may well be infringing your Copyright. Brilliantly confusing isn’t it?

Trade marks are relatively more straight forward. I like to describe trade marks as an instrument for protecting the identity of something. So things like a brand name, a product name, a certain colour scheme, graphic, logo, phrase, jingle, or even a 3D shape or smell can be protected as a trade mark. The only requirement for a trade mark is that it be able to distinguish the product/service it is assigned to from other similar products/services. Companies spend a lot of money in distinguishing their products/services, and themselves, from their competitors and trade marks are one way to protect their unique identity, and the reputation and goodwill that they have built up in their identity.

Brendan Cheong - Indigo IP

Brendan Cheong – Indigo IP

Let’s take a look at Patents next. Patents protect inventions. They don’t protect ideas. What’s the difference? Well, essentially an invention works whereas an idea has yet to be proven to work. Further thought needs to be put into an idea before it can be made to work, and if/when that time comes, you can then call your idea an invention and seek patent protection for it. I like to describe patents as an instrument for protecting something that produces an effect. You should not be able to obtain a patent for something that exists for the sheer sake of existing (e.g. a photograph, sculpture, brand, or mathematical algorithm). Rather, this ‘something’ should achieve a new effect such as curing a disease, causing less side effects, doing things more efficiently, doing things quicker or with greater accuracy, etc. Things that can be patented (assuming they produce an effect) include devices, chemical compounds, methods, processes, and systems. Software can also be patented in some forms, and only in some countries, but that’s a can of worms that we don’t have time to open right now.

Lastly, we have Designs. Designs made the headlines fairly recently in the Apple vs. Samsung patent wars. Oh, by the way, Designs are sometimes referred to as patents by the media because their full name is “Design Patents”, and journalist don’t know any better. Normal patents as we know them are really called “Utility Patents”, and these are the patents that attorneys and seasoned inventors are talking about when they use the word “Patent”. Designs protect the look of something, and that’s pretty much it. Industrial designers rely on Design protection a fair bit to protect things like the headlights of a car (ever noticed how unique BMW headlights are?), the shape of a bottle (Coca-cola any one?), the look of icons on a phone (Apple vs Samsung), and so on.
Well that went on for a bit, but I hope I manage to give a simple overview of how and why companies might want to protect their IP.”

nepchin: “That’s great to know the difference between utility patents and design patents since we will be better informed when we read the news!”

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In Part 3 we find out the steps to take in order to commercialise your IP.


What is Intellectual Property? Part 1 – Protecting and commercialising your ideas!

IP – stands for Intellectual Property.

What does this mean?

We have a fascinating 3 part interview to help you commercialise your ideas.

Lap, co-founder at nepchin, is going to talk to Brendan Cheong a qualified patent attorney from Indigo IP to find out!

Part 1 – What is Intellectual Property?

Part 2 – What are the major different types of Intellectual Property?

Part 3 – What are the steps to commercialising your Intellectual Property?

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Part 1 – What is Intellectual Property?

nepchin: “Hi Brendan welcome to nepchin and thank you for your time.”

Brendan: “Hi Lap, thank you for speaking with me. I am very glad to be here.”

nepchin: “Over the years with more and more technology, we hear the term IP being mentioned more and more on the news. What is IP?”

Brendan: “In the broadest sense IP, or Intellectual Property, is the concept that something you build with your mind should be treated no differently to something physical that you build with your hands. For example, just as you would own the house that you built with your hands, so too should you own the story, painting, inventive concept, or design that you created with your mind. The concept of IP tries to give these intangible and non-physical creations the sense of being ‘property’ and allows them to be sold, traded, rented, stolen, and destroyed just like their tangible and physical counterparts.”

Brendan Cheong - Indigo IP

Brendan Cheong – Indigo IP

nepchin: “So what types of IP exist?”

Brendan: “IP generally exists as Copyright, Patents, Trade Marks, and Designs. These four types of IP are almost globally recognized in most developed countries in one form or another. In Australia, they also have Plant Breeder Rights and Circuit Layout Rights.”

nepchin: “In the business world I guess, we hear companies talking about protecting their IP. What does this mean?”

Brendan: “Companies often go to great lengths and invest large amounts of time and money in the creation and pursuit of IP, whether knowingly or otherwise. This ranges from money spent in marketing and developing a brand, to the research, development, and infrastructure costs required to invent new technologies such as drugs and electronic devices.

When a company has invested such a large proportion of its resources, and taken up so much risk, in the creation and pursuit of these intangible but necessary products, they naturally want to protect and reap the rewards that these products bring. They also want to be able to prevent their competition from freely benefiting from their hard work. Companies achieve this by protecting their IP using one or more of the legal instruments provided by the various forms of IP protection. The various types of IP that we spoke about just before, provide different types of protection for different types of IP.”

nepchin: “Have there been any patents that you have been involved with that are used everyday by us?”

Brendan: “I have been fairly lucky in this respect, and have been able to work on quite a few inventions that most people today have in their homes. Back in the early 2000’s, I was working in Japan for a number of firms who represented clients like Sharp, Panasonic, and Nintendo. I had the opportunity to work on a lot of the Sharp patents that allow us today to have LCD/Plasma screens to have an almost 180 degree viewing angle. I also had the opportunity to work on many of Panasonic’s HD-DVD patents, which unfortunately we don’t see much off today as they lost to Sony’s Blu-Ray technology. And probably two of the coolest inventions I worked on were Nintendo’s Wii controller (you know, the one that can sense your movement) and Sharp’s 3D television technology. I actually remember the large volume of 3D television technology patent work coming across my desk, and me grumbling about what a useless invention it was as who would really want a 3D TV?? Now, close to 10 years later, I just have one thing to say…..Oops!”

nepchin: “apart from IP, we understand you have a keen interest for cars!”

Brendan: “Oh yeah! I love sports cars, and have a particularly soft spot for Japanese sports cars made in the 90’s and early 2000’s. I own a 1995 MR2 myself, which I brought over with me when I came back from Japan. I was lucky enough to get a chance to race my MR2 at the world famous Suzuka circuit in Mie prefecture. It is an amazing circuit, and easily the most technical circuit I’ve ever raced on.”

In Part 2 we do a deep dive into the different types of IP then in Part 3 we look at the steps you can take to commercialise your IP.


Customer Service – Sonya of Allegra Jewels

Summertime ear rings from a 'allegra jewels'

Summertime ear rings from a ‘allegra jewels’

nepchin: “Today, we are delighted to speak to Sonya from Allegra Jewels, to find out where it all began and their philosophy on customer service. Sonya, welcome and nice to have you with us today”

Sonya: “hi nepchin, it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to share my experiences with you today.”

nepchin: “You have some fascinating pieces. Have you always been creative and where do you get the inspiration for your designs?”

Sonya: “I believe the creative side has always been hidden somewhere though I had not truly discovered my passion for making jewellery until recently. I find it very meditative when I work on a piece of jewellery after coming home from my day to day job which is mainly involves numbers.

My inspiration comes from my mentors, family and friends. My mentors share their knowledge and experiences with me. They run a small jewellery store in Sydney which I discovered one day. It has amazing materials in store that has allowed me to design my own. My family and friends have supported me every step of the way and are right behind me which makes me feel very blessed. There are also friends who have shared their creative success stories with me that are truly passionate, motivating and inspiring.”

pearl ring from 'allegra jewels'

pearl ring from ‘allegra jewels’

nepchin: “tell us how you decided to take the plunge to do your own jewellery designs?”

Sonya: “About two years ago, I was given a beautiful jewellery set for my birthday except the set came in loose pieces and actual tools. That was the moment I had learned the basic skills of making a beautiful v-shaped chained necklace with purple swarovski beads and a pair of earrings to match the necklace. I wore my newly designed jewellery set with a beautiful long purple silk dress for a special night out.
Last year in August, I had my mind set on starting a business and wasn’t sure of what I could be doing. I wanted it be something creative and something I am passionate about – a choice between cupcakes or jewellery. The memory of making my gift and wearing it on that special occasion kept reminding me of the wonderful experience I had and my decision was finally made!

I have said to my mentor before ‘visiting the jewellery store is like being in a lolly pop shop’ There are lots of nice beads to choose from and they come in different colours (rather than flavours). As you can see, it doesn’t take too much for me to get started. It’s fun!”

nepchin: “What was the feeling like when you created your first bracelet?”

pink pearls necklace from 'allegra jewels'

pink pearls necklace from ‘allegra jewels’

Sonya: “I felt really happy after designing and making my very first bracelet which had 3 strands of purple and blue Swarovski beads linked to a dainty silver O/T clasp. It was certainly a great sense of achievement and fulfilment when I saw the finished product. I went straight into designing the next!

nepchin: “and how about the first time you made your first sale?!”

Sonya: “there are 3 words to describe it – exhilarating, fun and rewarding!”

nepchin: “from your experience, how have your customers gone about purchasing your jewellery?”

Sonya: “My customers have purchased from me face to face at the markets (Balmain and Glebe), word of mouth referrals and on my website http://www.allegrajewels.com.au

Velvet Charm Bracelet from 'allegra jewels'

Velvet Charm Bracelet from ‘allegra jewels’

nepchin: “What is your approach to customer service and how do you keep your customers coming back?”

Sonya: “My approach to customer service is to ensure the product is made with quality materials and It must be made well. I ensure my customers are fully informed of the product quality they are purchasing. What are the materials used, where does it come from and give customers ideas on pieces that compliment their outfit? In addition, Allegra Jewels offers beautiful packaging options: gift boxes wrapped with purple ribbon or classic organza bags with gold print (where product is wrapped in paper). When passing on my business card and after connecting with my customers, they are keen to contact me directly to place additional orders or ask any questions they may have.”

nepchin: “If we flip the coin the other way around, as a customer, what was the best service you experienced?”

Sonya: “The best service I have experienced was at a restaurant where I had dropped my earring. All the wait staff stopped everything they were doing and started looking for it on the floor for me, even switching on the brighter lights. It is about going above and beyond and delivering exceptional service to meet your customer’s needs. Food and service were brilliant and I will be going back again.”

nepchin: “A real pleasure to hear your thoughts on customer experience, thank you for sharing.”

Sonya: “Thanks nepchin. It was a delight to share my story with nepchin.”


Customer Service – Lyndon Turner of ChinaFind

Lyndon Turner of ChinaFind

nepchin is catching up with Lyndon Turner of ChinaFind on how they are and their approach to customer service.

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nepchin: “Lyndon, great to have you with us.”

Lyndon: “It’s great to be here, thank you.”

nepchin: “It has been a while since our first interview a few years ago, tell us what has been happening?!”

Lyndon: “Time has flown by. Since we last met our business has continued to expand and we’ve been excited to work with some really great clients around the world. I’ve been particularly pleased that as well as working on building material and construction projects, we’ve also handled some very interesting projects including electric vehicles, medical devices – even statues and I’m looking forward to working on some projects connected to the World Cup and Olympics!”

nepchin: “From China, how is the business climate looking in Asia pacific?”

Lyndon: “It has been really interesting, especially as an expat living in China. Despite an obvious slowing down, an after effect that has been really important in our line of business is how businesses worldwide are searching for ways to lower their expenditure by looking to new low-cost markets for procurement. While this isn’t across the board sometimes when I talk to factories expecting the worst they’re actually the opposite, claiming unprecedented growth – one forklift factory I visited claimed 70% growth and sure enough their production lines were running flat out. Companies that usually purchase their forklifts from Japanese or German manufacturers are switching to China to remain competitive. I’m sure there are many other factors but this partly explains why China’s economy continues to grow at around 7 or 8%”

Fork Lift stationary

Fork Lift stationary

 

Fork Lift Extended

Fork Lift Extended

Fork Lift and Pipes

Fork Lift and Pipes

 

nepchin: “At the moment, the world economy is becoming ever more competitive and one area the every person and business can make unique is customer service. What are your views and approach on customer service?”

Lyndon: “That’s right. I guess it was drummed into me early on when paying my way through university in retail that the customer was always right. Coming to China was a bit of a shock, in Shanghai for example where depending on who you listen to there are upwards of 30 million people, there simply isn’t a shortage of customers so to a certain extent customer service isn’t required. This is rapidly changing with the internet and flow of information and reviews meaning that customer service is suddenly very important. I place high importance on customer service, our business is focused on service a few clients very well rather than many poorly. ”

nepchin: “Has there been one instance of customer service you have experienced and said ‘hey, that’s good, we will definitely be back’ that sticks to mind?”

Lyndon: “Certainly, and it’s always refreshing going back to Australia for friendly smiles and greetings when you walk through the door. But it’s always the time’s when someone goes completely out of their way to ensure you are completely satisfied. I’ll admit though, that while I will return to a place of good service, I definitely will not return to a place where I received bad service.”

nepchin: “Really fantastic to catch up and best wishes for the coming year.”

Lyndon: “Thank you, it’s also been great seeing the success of Nepchin, congratulations!”


Catching up with SUAMS

SUAMS Vice President Lily Sia with nepchin co-founder Lap

SUAMS Vice President Lily Sia with nepchin co-founder Lap

On Tuesday 20 Mar 2013, nepchin co-founder, Lap, caught up with Lily Sia the 2013 Sydney University SUAMS Vice President at Sydney University. Last year Lily was responsible for PR and Media Relations for SUAMS and we are delighted that she is continuing further with SUAMS as Vice President after being nominated at the last SUAMS general meeting. Congratulations Lily.

It was really great to catch up with such an energetic individual. Apart from her SUAMS duties she balances that with studying a double degree in law and commerce and if that is not enough, she has found time to help out with the annual Malaysia Festival in Sydney and helping fellow students through SUAMS. It is really great that students live life to the fullest and embrace the opportunities to grow and become better persons. If there are any prospective employers out there, keep an eye out on this talent.

Our partnership with SUAMS is entering its fourth year, which we are really proud to give back to the community. During the catch up we talked about how we worked with some past presidents, Logan, Andrew and the famous mamak nights, nepchin sponsored prizes and give aways. We also talked about the different challenges there are in particular the time to support activities outside of Uni and the goals for the coming year. All in all it was a great catch up.

It has been great to have their support to help nepchin grow from the very beginning and we look forward to working with them in the future.