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Prof’s unique business sense is a bonus

Judy McNeil

Yip-Chuck’s father played an influential role in his life

Richard Yip-Chuck brings the experience in creating his own business to his entrepreneurship classes at Humber College’s three campuses.

The director of Humber’s Orangeville campus, Joe Andrews, said “The students here have positive things to say about Yip-Chuck’s teaching.”

Kulvinder Pal, a third year business student, said, “He makes learning easy. I want to open my own business one day and the skills he taught me, I will put them together and open my own business.”

As president of Tarax Infinity Ltd., Yip-Chuck attends to the managerial duties.

“I’m always looking at different opportunities to increase sales or to develop new relationships with other companies and other salespeople.”

Yip-Chuck said he got into the business of paperweights because it’s a niche market and his company has a unique way of making the product.

“We are the only company with our process and we were featured on Discovery Channel. We take items from nature such as dandelion, preserve them and encapsulate them in a clear medium and make it a decorative item and sell them to specialty shops,” said Yip-Chuck.

Independent salespeople market the products across Canada, the U.S., Europe, and other overseas markets.

“We sell through catalogue and over the Internet. ”

Yip-Chuck who attended the University of Waterloo, was born in Trinidad and came to Canada in 1967 at the age of four. He said his father had a great influence on him, “My dad was always very entrepreneurial. When we were very young, he started some businesses and from then I knew I wanted to work for myself.”

Yip-Chuck is married and has two sons and a step-daughter.

“Getting the business started was hard because we didn’t take any loans. We bootstrapped. Bootstrapping means that you start off with very little investment and you basically use the company’s sales to fund its own growth,” said Yip-Chuck.

Yip-Chuck said there are sweet rewards. “You reap the rewards of your own hard work, you get to do something you really love to do; you can make decisions quickly that impact the business directly. As an employee, you would have to give it to your manager and wait for evaluation and that takes long.”

“To be in business for yourself, have a passion for what you are doing. Money can be a motivator but it should not be the main motivation. The passion comes first, because it’s that passion that’s going to help you overcome the challenges of the business,” Yip-Chuck said.

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