29-year-old entrepreneur and self-professed oddball, Chia Su-Mae caught our attention when she announced on her personal Instagram account (@sumaehdi) the launch of a male vitality supplement she founded, by way of a testimonial (of sorts) featuring her and her husband – a fine example of leading by example, and quite literally “eating your own cooking” if you ask us.
You’re curious, we’re curious, so we asked her for a sit-down to find out more about the kind of SheEO she is and looks to become. Su-Mae also shares some great business tips that will help those looking to launch their own product.
How does one fall into entrepreneurship like you?
I’ve always been a bit of an oddball kid, super creative, but very over the top. My first “business” – I must have been seven or eight – was buying empty pots and soil, and digging up plants in my mom’s garden, repotting them and selling them to neighbours – cheaper than the local flower garden of course.
When I was 10, I launched my second business. I bought footscrubs and masks from Watson’s, and accompanying tools like foot file, and offered foot massages in my parents’ bathroom to paying customers. I would make my customers sit on the toilet bowl with their feet in the bidet!
I studied law and started out practising commercial law – which offered me a great foundation. I spent three years helping business owners navigate their entrepreneurship. It was my time here that crystallised in me the desire to be sitting on the other side of the table.
What is your career vision?
I’m not concerned about career in the traditional sense of the word – to me, titles and monetary returns are nice to have, but are not must-haves; I don’t do business with the sole focus of making money.
I’d like to touch the lives of as many people as possible, whether by improving their health, their skin, their confidence; to empower each of them to achieve their personal goals, whether it be happiness or success.
What is your personal mission?
To harness my over-the-top creativity to back the underdogs. I’ve always been a fan of the imperfect, stood up for those who were struggling, spoken to the mis-fits; the ones that no one wanted to talk to… I love it when these people smash through society’s expectations and emerge victors.
In part, this stems from the fact that I had self-esteem issues growing up and had low self-confidence. I want to reach out to others to make sure no one ever has to feel that way.
Would you say your career vision and your personal mission are aligned then?
Definitely. Yes. The business is a platform by which I can reach out to people, and the products to help change their lives.
Go on then, tell us about this male vitality supplement you founded. What made you want to pursue it, and how does it work?
I’ve heard it from more than one friend, about modern stresses taking its toll on their sexual health, and a very close friend who is in her early 40s was one of them. She and her husband were trying for their third baby, but he was facing a great deal of stress at work, which affected their sex life.
Studies have shown that psychological factors are the most common causes of erectile dysfunction – more so than physical ones. Stress and anxiety impedes the brains messages to the penis for extra blood flow. (Read also about ways not to crash and burn due to stress).
One cause of low libido or low sexual desire is low testosterone, and unfortunately, testosterone levels in men peak in their 20s and slowly decline throughout life.
Well-known sex pills – like much of society, hitherto – seem only fixated with performance, and do not actually address the drop in testosterone, or address the underlying issue which is sexual desire, where the key issue to be discussed should be about the participants’ general health and well-being – which are crucial to healthy sexual function.
After understanding this, I set out exploring how we could create a supplement that would enhance physical performance but also boost testosterone.
We worked with doctors on the formulation, and also worked with them on trials with patients.
And what’s so awesome about your awesome sauce?
We are using our proprietary blend of bee ingredients, called propoelix – a propolis extract that’s unique to our company, royal jelly and pollen – that helps enhance the key active ingredients, which include: Korean ginseng, ashwagandha, tribulus terrestris, wild oats, and improve assimilation and bioavailability
Is it certified?
In Singapore, we comply with all safety requirements and limits set by the HSA. There is no certifying body for health supplements – since Bee Ultra isn’t a drug (it’s only got natural ingredients), it isn’t required to be registered with HSA.
[The product is registered with BPOM in Indonesia (National Agency of Drug and Food Control of Republic of Indonesia which stands for Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan as a health supplement, and certified halal, and in the process of being registered with the FDA in Philippines so we can launch it there.]
So, it’s not a drug, it’s a…?
To eliminate the stigma attached to “sex pills”, we market it as a supplement that men could take daily, not just for sexual performance, but also for energy, stamina, and immunity.
The effects are?
Bee Ultra is a male vitality supplement that acts as a natural testosterone booster, while also supporting immunity, increasing energy, and helping to improve sperm quality.
It’s not meant to give you an immediate or unnatural erection when you pop a capsule, instead, it ensures you are ready anytime the mood strikes.
Male vitality supplements are traditionally targeted at men with “performance issues” like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, but we want to remove that stigma.
It’s positioned as a supplement – to be consumed daily – to maintain energy levels, boost immunity, and also supercharge your performance at night. Any sexually active male seeking to pleasure his partner should take it.
Like… your husband?
[Laughs] As a responsible business owner, I only want to put forward products that I believe in, so yes, my husband takes Bee Ultra and I’m loving the results!
Are there any side effects?
Unless you count a more active sex life as a side effect. *wink wink*. Happy to report zero side effects, it’s even safe for those with high blood pressure.
What do you say to those who might be offended by your product?
Sex is a very natural thing, and I can’t imagine why people would be offended by our product. We are sensitive about our marketing – we’d like to be cheeky about it, but never crass or crude.
I tell people to think of Bee Ultra like any other health or nutrition supplement – the only difference is that this one benefits both parties.
Su-Mae shares some great business tips to help those looking to launch their own product:
Be Bold: There’ll be a lot of second-guessing but go with your gut and instinct.
Be Quick to Pivot: A lot of business is trial and error, be aggressive about experimenting, and be quick to pivot if something isn’t working. You don’t have to get everything perfect before you launch.
Be Responsible: Never create a product that you’re not happy or confident to use/consume yourself; you should be your most authentic testimonial.
Be Cool: It’s natural to compare yourself with peers who have stable jobs and successful careers, and question if you made the right decision to explore entrepreneurship. Everyone’s path to success is different (here are some tips to make it in life).
Su-Mae Chia is the Co-founder of Bee Ultra and the founder of BSKIN – a range of skincare she founded before Bee Ultra.