Client Spotlight Q&A: Austin Group Furniture and SV Lim Holdings owner, Janet Gan.
What makes Triad Business Bank different from our competitors is we offer big bank expertise while providing community bank service—focusing not only on the needs of our business owners but also on supporting their business. This Q&A series will shine a spotlight on different clients of Triad Business Bank as they share their industry background, experience with Triad Business Bank, and personal insights.
As AAPI month comes to a close, it is a reminder to celebrate the stories, the traditions, and the culture of those AAPI community members. For the second installment of our client spotlight we recognize, Janet Gan, owner of Austin Group Furniture and SV Lim Holdings. “Many minorities or immigrants can be intimidated by banks or struggle with communication. Working with someone who is patient and accommodating is very helpful,” says Janet. Read more highlights in her Q&A responses.
Q: Did you grow up in the Triad? If not, how did you end up in the Triad?
Janet: I grew up in Malaysia as part of a large family, then migrated to the USA with my husband to find opportunity and raise children. We chose to move to the Triad because Greensboro was ranked the best city to raise kids in a survey done sometime in the 1980’s.
Q: Why do you feel it is important to celebrate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) month?
Janet: Asian Americans are a valuable part of our community. Celebrating AAPI month shows that we welcome diversity and other cultures.
Q: What are some challenges or obstacles you feel you have faced as a person of AAPI descent? How have you overcome those challenges or obstacles?
Janet: Learning English as a second language was a difficult challenge and made it hard to communicate. I learned the language while I was working part-time jobs and raising my two sons.
Q: What led you to become an entrepreneur?
Janet: We worked hard to earn money and took every job and opportunity we could find. Starting a business seemed like the best path to success.
Q: Tell us about your companies:
Janet: I own the company Austin Group Furniture and SV Lim Holdings. Austin Group furniture is run by my business partner Scott Ostrander and my two sons, Vincent and Steven Lim. SV Lim Holdings is a real estate investment company with some residential and commercial holdings.
Q: How can the entrepreneurship industry be more welcoming or inclusive for people of AAPI descent?
Janet: Starting a company is the most difficult part of entrepreneurship. Mentoring programs for people of AAPI descent would be valuable, especially for those who struggle with speaking English. Also, financial assistance especially for minorities would be helpful.
Q: Why did you choose TBB to work with?
Janet: We have a longstanding working relationship with Leah Price and when she joined TBB, we moved our primary banking relationship to there.
Q: How can financial institutions encourage people of AAPI descent or other minorities in our community?
Janet: Having staff that is familiar with working with minorities is very important. Many minorities or immigrants can be intimidated by banks or struggle with communication. Working with someone who is patient and accommodating is very helpful.
Q: What life lesson have you learned that you think will be beneficial to others?
Janet: Relationships are very important. It is always helpful to make friends, you never know who you might need in the future. If you do good things for others, then good things will come to you.
Q: What words of wisdom do you have to encourage younger generations to pursue careers in business?
Janet: Starting a business is very difficult. Make sure that you have people that you can trust to help you run it. Once you have a plan, then you can work on finding someone to help you raise the money.
Janet, thank you for helping us celebrate your story! We are glad to have you as a client and celebrate the invaluable impact you are making in our community.
Austin Group Furniture is located at 441 N Chimney Rock Rd, Greensboro, NC 27410.