My name is Chhin Lee and I was born in Vietnam but immigrated to the US at 6 years old and grew up in multiple cities there. I love to read and have lots of hobbies from knitting to baking and cooking. I also have a 2 year old daughter who is very outgoing and a ball of energy. So if you see a mom out with her laughing, jumping, and screaming daughter, that might just be me.
My husband and I actually met in HK when we were both studying abroad through the Syracuse University abroad program at City University of HK. We both fell in love with each other but only after we fell in love with the city first. So when my manager in NY asked me what I had in mind for a next step, I told him I wanted to improve my Chinese and learn how the financial services market is in Asia. I particularly requested to transfer to HK.
When I had my daughter, I was thrown into a whole new world discovering breastfeeding and all the other challenges a parent comes across. I was lucky that I befriended a lot of other new mommies and there’s so many resources out there to help us through some of these challenges. However, on one particular day when my daughter was 9 months old (at that age my daughter was very curious and cannot breastfeed unless she’s in a quiet environment), I couldn’t find a breastfeeding facility for us until afterwards, I discovered that there was a breastfeeding facility at the next shopping center over. By then, I’ve already fed her on a stool in a small corner of a shop that was kind enough to help. Thinking back to that moment and the emotions and feeling of helplessness, I had hope that there must be a better, quicker and easier way for parents to find facilities around them. Then one day the idea for Little Monkey came to me when I began to think about what to do next after starting my sabbatical at the end of last year.
The positive responses that I received from every parent and the light bulb that goes off whenever I’ve introduce LM so far, is so inspiring. The creativity and ideas of how to keep innovating LM, and knowing that I am helping others. In addition, pushing for a better experience when going out with the little ones so that parents can consistently create precious memories. Guess there’s a lot of love about my role in starting Little Monkey!
I have always wanted to help people. I grew up with a strong family influence of always being helpful to others. I still remember my dad always going above and beyond to help friends and these uncles and aunties telling me how much they appreciated his help after he passed away.
When I got older, I was also fortunate to discover and graduated from the University of San Francisco. One of the most important lesson I received from USF is being “men and women for others” and creating a more humane world to live in. So while I was happy about my career in the financial services helping clients, I always wanted to create something that can help people daily.
So far, every project and sprint upgrade that we’ve done has been a really fun experience. But I would have to say creating events for our members and seeing how happy they are with their kids on the day of is the most rewarding.
The most challenging part of LM would be choosing which new features or functionalities to upgrade first and how to push for more exposure on the marketing front. There are so many suggestions and ideas that I encounter weekly, but unfortunately I do not have a magical wand and unlimited resources so I am working very hard with the developers and web designers to pick and choose the right enhancements to prioritize. I am very happy that we’re already on our 3rd sprint in the website, with some major enhancements to be announced soon!
Marketing is the second challenge for me because it is still a learning experience on understanding which marketing channel is most receptive to parents and which channels to push LM first given the way social media has evolved today. But I have a lot of friends helping me out so am very thankful for them teaching me.
Well, here’s a sneak peek at the new enhancements I mentioned before! There’s the Chinese version which is in the testing phase while we work out the kinks on the tech side before it goes live. Then there’s the upgraded searching capability to give parents more options on location search and keyword search. We recently gave each facility the ability to have their own proprietor account so they can now respond to the reviews posted by our members. There’s also expansions to the tagging library for improved searching and many more functionality that are not noticeable but makes the experience a lot smoother for parents as they use our site.
Little Monkey can only work when parents are willing to share their experiences with others. So my hope is that every parent would give back to the community by sharing their experiences of using the child-friendly facilities in HK whether it is reviewing one of the places they’ve visited or suggesting a place for us to research and post on Little Monkey.
Furthermore, as a reward for being a member, you’re invited to our unique bespoke events to create more memories with the little ones!