A native of Lahad Datu, Abel grew up in the 90’s without the distraction of social media. Less structure, more creativity, actual conversations and screen time provided by ubiquitous VHS tapes.
When he moved with his family to Kuala Lumpur in 2007, it was a challenge switching modes from Sabah’s laid back and relaxed culture to the hectic pace of city life. But that’s how you learn to be flexible to immediate conditions, he says. Adding that at the end of the day, you’re only ever competing with yourself. “The challenge is not to compete against others, but to focus on improving what you can do everyday”.
When lockdown happened, Abel adapted and took up weight lifting. A spin and boxing enthusiast, his ethos for life can be summed up in Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. “This message was very real for me. I have a tattoo that spells this out. It’s about celebrating who you are and shining your light on everything you do”. Here’s Abel in his own words:
What’s life’s most important lesson?
There’s always somebody else who can do a better job than you. It’s not about just what you’ve got right now, but how you can develop yourself further, your sense of drive and the heart to get back up no matter what hits and setbacks life throws your way.
Tell us about your business.
FA Hair Therapy’s mission is simple: to create a spa experience for your hair that you can enjoy from home. The product itself speaks of personal attention, warmth and sincerity. It was named after my sister (Feon) and I.
Many shampoos in the market have high levels of sulfate. We lowered the sulfate level to the bare minimum that still delivers the same results. Plus our products are infused with lavender and rosemary oils, which helps in generating a serene state of mind and reduces anxiety. Plus it contains ginseng as it improves blood flow to the scalp and fights hair loss.
What’s the worst and best part of running your own business?
Many people go into business with the impression that they will be better able to manage their own time when they are their own boss. That’s not necessarily the case. I sacrificed a tremendous amount of time and energy in building the foundation of this brand to ensure things would run smoothly.
The best part? The ability to create something that I love and care about, making my own decisions and I answer to no one. I get to meet and work with extraordinary people that helped and supported me throughout the years- it’s a great community.
Abel is wearing a leather jacket by BOSS; TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300