Cover story: Peter Chen, founder of CzipLee

He sits down with Options for a rare interview to talk about the stationery store’s beginnings and the transition of a family business to the next generation.

Founder of Czip Lee and his family (Photography by SooPhye)

A push of the door reveals to the first-time customer a wonderland of paper and art and craft materials. These range from the award-winning Kokuyo Kadokeshi 28-Corner Eraser for intricate drawings to the aspirational Mission Gold Watercolors by Mijello. Enthusiasts know from experience to set aside a full hour or more just to browse, flitting from shelf to shelf in search of the kind of ecstasy only a new creative find can bring.

Homegrown brand CzipLee has been serving the stationery needs of offices, schools and art aficionados for 50 years now, branching out from a humble stand in Kajang to establish a formidable presence in Bangsar in 2006. Today, the Kajang branch is still in operation and comprises four shoplots while the Bangsar store is a two-storey corner-lot landmark in the commercial neighbourhood of Telawi.

Should you happen to visit the Bangsar branch, you might spot a gentleman with a pleasant smile industriously tackling a loose shelf with a screwdriver or analysing the arrangement of a display. Until June this year, some visitors might have assumed that he worked there or was a silently critical customer. An Instagram post by CzipLee identified him as the founder, Peter Chen.



For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (Aug 27, 2018) at your nearest news stand. Save by subscribing to us for your print and/or digital copy. 

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