Sunny Chuah believes that passion is the most important quality for a person’s success. By combining his own passion for travelling with his skills in entrepreneurship, Mr Chuah eventually founded his own company, Bamboobee. His company produces a range of bicycles handcrafted from bamboo. The bicycles’ eye-catching design was inspired by one of Mr Chuah’s travel expeditions around Asia.
Having embarked on a series solo adventures across Asia on motorcycles, trains, and buses, Mr Chuah wanted a new way to travel on his next journey. Instead of purchasing a mass-produced bicycle from the store, the entrepreneur decided to build his own from bamboo.
The self-built bamboo bicycle carried him for 9 months across many countries in Central Asia, and garnered much attention for its unique appearance. Furthermore, the unusual creation also allowed Mr Chuah to interact and strike up conversations with strangers across the world.
Encouraged by the amount of interest people had for the bike, Mr Chuah thought it might be a good way for people to connect to each other and travel. Additionally, the bike also promoted the use of more sustainable products by using a natural material like bamboo, which was strong and environmentally friendly.
After he returned from his journey, Mr Chuah decided to expand his idea into a business in hopes that his customers will find the same passion for adventure. However, mass-producing these bicycles prove more challenging than expected. Although Bamboobee’s bicycles are unusual and attractive, the natural qualities of bamboo make for an inconsistent material. The bamboo has to be carefully selected and treated before they can be used to manufacture the bikes, and each bicycle can take up to 30 hours to assemble.
This does not faze Mr Chuah, who stresses that a successful business cannot be had without the determination and persistence to see it through.
The bicycle’s design was slowly perfected through constant revisions and innovative building methods, and the company now boasts eight different designs available for purchase on their website.