The e-commerce industry has taken the world by storm, especially in Southeast Asia, where online shopping has become increasingly prevalent among consumers.
In Malaysia, the industry is on a growth trajectory, with an annual growth rate of 12.5%. As such, the e-commerce industry has presented a huge opportunity for female entrepreneurs to scale greater heights, given the fact that the e-commerce market is flooded with personal care and beauty products.
In today’s article, we look at how Vivy Yusof co-founded FashionValet, an online fashion site that carries some of Asia’s leading designer brands.
Who is she?
Vivy Yusof is a law graduate from London School of Economics (LSE) and is the Chief Creative Officer at FashionValet, a fashion e-commerce site she co-founded with her husband when she was just 23 years old. Today, FashionValet is a multi-million dollar company with over 150 employees and carries 500 brands, including designer labels, and has offices all over Southeast Asia.
With several awards and accolades under belt, such as the Bella Business Award 2013, Prestige Magazine’s 2015 List of Top 40 Under 40, Young Entrepreneur Award from Tribute to Women Malaysia, it is no surprise that Vivy was listed on Forbes as one of Asia’s Top 30 under 30 in April 2017.
Vivy has also been featured in international media channels such as BBC, The New York Times, and Forbes, and is currently making waves in social media with over a million followers on Instagram and her very own Youtube channel.
How FashionValet started
While studying in the UK, Vivy realised that she was using online platforms frequently to buy even groceries in her daily life. The convenience of shopping online and the glaring lack of e-commerce platforms in Malaysia inspired her to create her very own online platform to spur Malaysia in the direction of online consumerism. By creating FashionValet, she managed to not only develop the e-commerce platform in Malaysia, but was also able to promote local designers and their products.
Challenges she faced
Other than the fact that she and her husband had little to no knowledge of e-commerce, Vivy had to face several roadblocks in her entrepreneurial journey.
“Starting your company and creating a whole new “comfort zone” is terrifying, you’re constant;y trying thinking “will this work?” “is there another way we should be doing this?”, but with the right determination, support, and a little bit of luck, I believe we can take on any difficulties that come our way.” she says.
One of the most pressing challenges she faced was the lack of capital. She had to allocate resources efficiently, with just a limited amount of starting capital, to pay for the office renovation and rent, and purchasing stock, when she was just starting out. But she managed to find suitable venture capitalist who was willing to invest in her company.
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