Nestled in Bangsar Shopping Centre is a hidden retail gem for artisanal menswear. WJ & Co. offers a space where artistry converges with refinement. At the helm of this charming boutique is Wen Yeunh, who starts his work day on a straightforward yet revitalising routine. In conversation with The Peak, the founder of WJ & Co. walks us through the cadence of an ordinary day in his life, sharing insights into the meticulous details that distinguish the WJ & Co. experience.
WJ & Co. is a curated selection of international menswear brands emphasising relaxed elegance and enduring designs. The name was a work in progress, combining two initials, and despite initial plans to change it, it stuck and became a legacy.
We have 15-18 brands, each specialising in specific product categories. Our emphasis is on craftsmanship, ensuring each brand aligns with our design principles and quality standards.
Starting with a finance background and lacking real experience, I stumbled upon Azmir Hamzah, my teammate through a series of chance encounters. With his extensive decade-long experience in luxury retail, Azmir expressed genuine interest in WJ & Co. and I’m grateful for the fortuitous circumstances that brought us together.
Most days, my routine kicks off with a delightful morning ritual – having a cup of coffee with my wife and going on a refreshing run. After that, I head straight to the grind at work. Usually, I make my way to the boutique just before lunchtime. Once there, I catch up with the team, engaging in discussions about the day’s agenda. By the time I step in, the team is already in, and the day’s activities depend on client engagements. We often have clients coming in for fittings, consultations, or to pick up items.
My role has evolved, and I’m less involved in front-of-house interactions now. We set up, discuss urgent client matters, and focus on supplier and product-related tasks.
The clients bring me the most satisfaction on a daily basis, without a doubt. Seeing the impact of helping someone find the right clothing and witnessing their excitement is incredibly satisfying. Particularly with weddings, guiding clients through the process and delivering something they love is truly enjoyable.
People are crucial. It’s impossible to be good at everything, so assembling a skilled team is essential. Know yourself and your business, resist the temptation to accommodate too much, and stay true to your core values.
While not trend-focused, we attend trade shows, engage with brand partners, and stay abreast of global trends. I think striking a delicate balance between client preferences and our design principles is considerable, ensuring relevance in our unique climate.
Craftsmanship is paramount. We partner with high-quality makers who excel in their respective areas. For example, we insist on either Goodyear welted or hand-welted construction in footwear, prioritising durability. Our brand partners not only excel in the art of craftsmanship but also exhibit a keen eye for aesthetics, ensuring a seamless blend of both aspects in our offerings.
Our clientele is diverse, united by an appreciation for craftsmanship and a personal shopping experience. They value the human connection and our commitment to making clothing relevant for Malaysia’s unique climate and culture.
Know why you’re doing it and stay optimistic. Turning a hobby into a business can be challenging, and understanding your motivation is important. Focus on the journey, and don’t let the business consume your passion.