How to Start From Zero – Justin Yuan, Melbourne

November 2017. I just arrived in Genève for a Porto Design Factory project.

A great opportunity to meet students from Italy and Australia.

Justin is an Industrial Design student from Melbourne. He really loves archery, a sport which he practices since last year.

He also loves the design. I saw him draw during our project, during the breaks, and during the dinners.

So, it was not a big surprise when I saw he appeared in a magazine, presenting his own product of archery.

I contacted Justin and we had a small interview:


L – Just to understand your story Justin, what is your school background?

J – I study diploma of design for 8 months straight, then jumped into the second-year bachelor of Industrial Design. Throughout my university bachelor degree, I did two placements with a total of one-year work experience and through that experience led me to Design Factory.


L– Great opportunity! Here in Porto, I feel Design Factory as an amazing experience. The pace of work is really high. Do you feel the same in Melbourne?

J – I felt that Design Factory offered a more blue sky thinking, more team building and more forward thinking. However because I’m also a person of understanding business and manufacturing product, Design Factory I found doesn’t strengthen that area of the field in this specific project.


L – Yes, I feel the same. Probably they would be the next steps if our project continues. You say you understand about business; some specific area?

J – I see business in a sense of selling products. Making a name of what your idea or product becomes. In my case, an example is my archery business. Making custom products for each individual.


L – Just one more thing about the university. Did you have business classes? Or it was your interest to know more?

J – It’s a bit of both. I had one to two business design classes. But now doing my own business, it has made me realize what I need to do to make it worth doing.


L – Looking now for your business. I remember when we met in November you had just to practice archery some months ago, right?

J – Yes, now about 10 – 11 months. I begin my business in January. The name is Alkon Archery.


L – Do you remember what made you start?

J – Finger tabs. It’s a tab which allows your finger to go around the string, protecting your fingers. I designed one for myself cause I didn’t know which existing product would suit me and I would have to buy many to find out. So I decided to make myself one.


L – You should go to Shark Tank! Well, you are in business since a few months ago…

J – 4 months. My business is moving slowly but allows me to test and do more R&D testing in order to come up with more designs. I’m using 3d printing as my method of production. More controllable and perfect for custom gear.


L – Great! I don’t know too much about archery. You’re just making a product? The finger tab, right?

J – Also the service is doing more custom parts for individuals. Finger tabs, bow grips, weights, dampers, sight shades.


L – I’m just googling the names to see what they are. So, you had the idea. But how did you start to make it real?

J – I started making them to myself, then I had people come up and ask what I did to my bow and they were interested in. Sometimes is word of mouth.


L – You make the product in a specific way just thinking about measures or also the design matters?

J – Yes, I would of ergonomic measuring and then design and refine it.


Justin comes up from zero. He started practicing archery and loved it. He tried to find products for himself but unsuccessfully. Instead, continue searching, he created his own product to practice archery. His colleagues saw that and wanted to test them.

Actually, Justin is doing personalized and individualized products for people who also love archery. He joined the hobby and the knowledge about industrial design. One year ago he was just starting to practice archery.

Follow Justin’s work here.

[You can sleep or you can build. The choice is yours, every morning.]

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Photos – Justin and Cathie Chou

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