John Teoh and Michael Lim

Business: Oscar Wylee

Age: Both 23

State: New South Wales

 

John Teoh and Michael Lim met at university in their first year of studying commerce/law and became best mates.

 

A few years later, and in their final semester, they dropped out to focus on their interest in online retail.

 

The pair are the co-founders of Oscar Wylee, an online retailer of fashion sunglasses and eyeglasses inspired by vintage styles.

 

Since launching just over a year ago, they’ve sold more than 15,000 frames.

 

The company sells prescription lenses and frames for $98, significantly cheaper than other fashion brands, by cutting out middle man costs such as licensing fees.

 

Teoh explains the unusual name for their business came from a trip he and Lim took around Asia that saw them end up in a Japanese fishing village.

 

He says that while there, they met a western expat whose name was Oscar Wylee, although spelt differently, who was wearing Harry Potter-style glasses.

 

The randomness of meeting someone with a quirky name in a small village appealed to them and they took the name.

 

Teoh and Lim have just opened an Oscar Wylee optometrist store in Sydney and a showroom.

 

Teoh says they’d like to expand and have a physical presence in every city in Australia in future.

 

Teoh’s advice for other young entrepreneurs is to “just do it”, pointing out there’s “a lot of paralysis” among start-up entrepreneurs who talk about doing something but nothing happens.

 

“If it doesn’t work out at the start, just pivot.”

 

Lim suggests doing something that’s your passion.

 

And will the pair go back to uni and finish their degrees?

 

“It’s the last thing on my mind right now because I’m flat out,” says Lim, while Teoh says he doesn’t think so.

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