Growing up in small town Salak South, young Amber Leong surely didn’t imagine that one day she would be winning RM3.36 million. And yet she has! Her moving story touched the hearts of investors on Shark Tank while her products stole their interest. Here’s what happened.
Growing Up As Amber Leong
Her story begins in Salak South, Kuala Lumpur, where Amber Leong grew up poor and without indoor plumbing. However, at just 19-years old she was given the opportunity to study overseas. She received a scholarship to study at Bemidji State University.
Her parents were super determined to give her whatever great opportunities they could. Therefore, they cashed out their retirement savings and even borrowed money from family and friends. All so they could send her to Minnesota to receive a higher education and new experiences.
Unfortunately, poor Amber Leong suffered from toxic shock syndrome just nine months after she got there. It is a rare and complicated bacterial infections that can be potentially fatal. She was only given a 50% chance of survival due to the severity of the infection.
Thankfully she stayed strong and beat the odds. She then went on to graduate from university and received a six-figure job. And of course she could never forget her roots and how she got there which is why she made sure to send money home to her family.
The story of her journey was enough to make some of the investors shed a tear. Amber Leong then continued her pitch with how she decided to to choose creativity over certainty. This is the story behind her company Circadian Optics.
The Story of Circadian Optics
While working her job in the U.S she noticed that she was feeling tired and struggled to concentrate. It was the lack of natural light that was affecting her greatly. After doing some research, she discovered that there was a lot of importance on getting sunlight and how therapy lamps could help.
And so she decided to test out a model therapy lamp which was a huge and boxy device. Despite the fact that she noted positive effects from the lamp on her mood, her coworkers began to tease her about having an ugly lamp.
After doing some brainstorming and searching around, Amber Leong thought to herself “there has to be a way to make good looking light therapy lamps. So I did!”
As soon as she had enough savings stored up, she began her own company called Circadian Optics. Together with her husband, the pair have grown the company to be what it is today.
Circadian Optics sells light therapy lamps made for desktops that mimic the colour of the sun. Furthermore, it also tries to replicate the brightness of the sun. All this helps to regulate a persons sleep and wake cycle which is very important for energy levels.
Moving on, she successfully managed to receive USD800,000 (RM3.36 million) in a deal with Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner. In exchange, they will also receive a 20% stake in her company.
You can check out more on Circadian Optics and browse through the five different variants they have now. Also, note that one of them is called Lampu! Guess she really keeps Malaysia in her heart despite working so hard overseas.