Canadian born-and-bred entrepreneur, Lindsay Jang has co-founded Hong Kong’s go-to modern yakitori restaurant, Yardbird, along with three other companies — Ronin, a refined Japanese restaurant, Sunday’s Grocery — an online liquor and lifestyle shop; and e-commerce editorial platform MISSBISH — with its sole purpose on publishing strong, female-driven content, as well as selling fierce fashion designs.
Jang and business partner, Chef Matt Abergel, founded Yardbird back in 2011. The restaurant specializes in all parts of the chicken — skewers to be exact. From gently grilled chicken thyroid to their XO fried rice made with their in-house bacon XO sauce.
Since then, Yardbird has climbed its way to the top of the food chain — making it to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017. The idea of Yardbird came about when Jang and Abergel were both still residing and working in New York. In 2008, Abergel was offered the Executive Chef position at Zuma in Hong Kong; from that moment on, all signs pointed towards the bustling Asian city where they would start their journey to success.
Other than Jang’s specialties as a restaurateur, she helped create an online platform called MISSBISH in 2014, with the aim of providing information on topics that educate, inspire and motivate women. MISSBISH’s audience witness the perspective on these topics through the scope of women with powerful titles. With the slogan “FEEL GOOD. DO GOOD. LOOK GOOD.” MISSBISH is a platform where like-minded individuals communicate, as well as showcase product and services that celebrate and empower women everywhere.
Jang and her team recently launched their first-ever MISSBISH Apparel: Winter 2018 clothing collection. The collection features bodysuits, leggings, hoodies, track pants, and bomber jackets with the goal to fit the modern woman and her fast-paced lifestyle. Each piece is designed to feel comfortable for the gym, yet at the same time flattering enough for a girls night out. “We want you to feel your best, do your best, and look your best.”
However, Jang doesn’t stop there. She’s also a mother of two and keeps up an active lifestyle as a certified yoga instructor. If Jang isn’t tired, jetlagged, or traveling, she then does yoga for at least an hour a day and uses her sauna religiously. If Jang is indeed abroad, she tries her best to find a local fitness center to stay active and fit regardless of the timezone.
Electrify had the chance to catch up with Jang and spend a day with this wonder woman–experiencing her meticulously scheduled days and learning more about how she found herself in in the multitude of industries she’s currently involved in.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up in Hong Kong?
I grew up in Canada, my parents owned a restaurant, so I have been working in hospitality for almost my entire life. I moved to New York when I was 19-years-old, after dying of boredom in university, to take a stab at living in what was the most exciting city in the world to me at the time. I went to theater school for a few years and then ended up at Nobu, back in hospitality. After my daughter was born in 2008, we decided to leave New York, travel for a year, and we eventually settled down in Hong Kong where my partner (baby daddy) at the time got the Executive Chef position at Zuma.
How did MISSBISH and Yardbird come to be?
Yardbird was always in the plans. Matt and I had been writing the business plan and menu since 2007. MISSBISH was born out of the friendships I made once we opened Yardbird. A lot of serendipity.
How did the new MISSBISH clothing collection come about? What was your inspiration behind it?
We knew from the beginning that we wanted to make product. So, we raised capital and honed in on what we really wanted to create for our audience. We worked with a great designer and production partner – and arrived at our goal of having high quality, high functioning, flattering AF garments that all women would feel great in.
How would you describe your personal style?
Comfortable. Black. Tight. Fun.
What are your go-to restaurants and bars in Hong Kong (other than Yardbird of course)?
The Upper House, Ho Lee Fok, Chino, Grand Hyatt Steak House, and the Captain’s Bar at the Mandarin Oriental.
What dish would you recommend to someone who’s never been to Yardbird?
The chicken tail skewer because it’s my fave. But, there are so many signature dishes, so you’d have to try more than one thing!
Being a mom of two, how do you handle both the family and the business at the same time?
I have a great support system and I am hella organized. Matt and I split up over six years ago and we share the kids 50/50 which gives us both a lot of freedom to work and travel as needed.
What’s a Lindsay Jang kind of day like?
I wake up at 6:30am, drag my kids out of bed for school. Heat up my infrared sauna, make black coffee with collagen, sweat it out for 30 to 45 minutes while clearing my inbox. Then I usually have a call or two, go to Pilates or another class, head to the restaurant for meetings, work service or hang out with my kids – depending on the staffing level. Spend some time with my boyfriend, Alex, until I pass out!
Any future plans or projects coming up for MISSBISH and Yardbird?
Lots! We’re working on Birdyard in Los Angeles, our Yardbird book is being published by Phaidon and our MISSBISH collection 2 will be starting soon…
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur who’s looking to grow their business in the competitive world we live in now?
Photos by Shawn Kei