We would like to introduce you to Abby and Shan Shan, the talented co-founders of the fashion rental service, Yeechoo!
YEECHOO is one of Asia's biggest online designer fashion sharing platform. It was successfully funded by Alibaba in 2016 and 2018. The Company partners up with over 300 top designer brands across the globe, and offers 5,000+ latest season styles to customers.
Hello Abby and Shan Shan! We love the idea of fashion rental! What's your inspiration?
Thank you! We were driven to start YEECHOO first through personal experiences. We moved from overseas, went to various occasions in HK. We realized that we ended up buying many dresses but only wore a few times. What a waste! We then asked ourselves why not create a sharing wardrobe for all the ladies. Not only we can switch outfits frequently at an affordable cost, it is also a new lifestyle to Hong Kong, that is fashionable, smart, convenient and environmentally friendly.
Amazing! So how do the rental works?
We aim to provide intimate and convenient services, you only have to select the dresses that you like online and open to book an appointment to try on the dresses in our showroom in Central! We have different plans, with our OCCASION RENTAL, you can enjoy the dress for 4-day, 7-day or even longer! Returned item will be sent to professional dry cleaning and maintenance after rental, and it’s all on us!
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE
On growing teams…
We really cannot emphasize enough on the important of getting a great team together. How efficient your company is, how resilient it can be, how flexible it is, everything, it really is all about people. As management, we really should spend significant time finding the right people, then getting to know them in depth and helping them find the right position in the company, cultivating their potential. it is a long term thing.
On fundraising: mistakes to avoid and best practices…
We have finished 3 rounds of fundraising, both from individual and institutional investors. We will suggest entrepreneurs to spend time thinking about long-term vision, building a solid team, collecting feedback from target customers before going out to meet investors. It's always good to practice with mentors and friends first before pitching to investors. It's also important to take positive things out of rejection. Try to think about whether the investors' concerns are valid points, and how you will be able to resolve the issue. Fundraising can be a long journey, so do not give up until you meet the investor who can give you not just capital but also strategic value add.
On time and efficiency…
Abby: I have to be ready to make changes in an extremely time-sensitive, efficient manner. Doing startups is racing with time as you only have limited capital, and competitors won't wait for you. There is no right or wrong sometimes, I just need to make an educated decision, and give it a legit try, but need to stay open to adjust as soon as I have more results or data.
On long-term visions…
Shan Shan: It's important to have a clear long term vision for the startup you are building. Do you want a billion dollar company? Or you are aiming for a high margin profitable lifestyle business? Being clear on this would really help assess 1) is this the right product to offer? 2) is this the right market to launch it? 4) Am I targeting the right customer group? 3) Should I go for external fund raise?
We will suggest entrepreneurs to spend time thinking about long-term vision, building a solid team, collecting feedback from target customers before going out to meet investors. It's always good to practice with mentors and friends first before pitching to investors. It's also important to take positive things out of rejection. Try to think about whether the investors' concerns are valid points, and how you will be able to resolve the issue. Fundraising can be a long journey, so do not give up until you meet the investor who can give you not just capital but also strategic value add.
On top three things we should consider before starting own business…
1) YOU - Do you have a "startup" mindset? Execution driven, try everything possible to make things happen, determined but also open minded to make changes along the way. Whether you are a resilient hustler, you never take no for an answer, very result driven, can hustle things around to achieve the goal. It takes enormous amount of resilience to be an entrepreneur
2) PRODUCT- Whether your idea has the right product-market fit. Does your idea/product have a big enough addressable market? Have you done enough market research and know roughly who the first group of core customers are, and are they a big enough group of people across the regions you are looking at
3) TEAM-Who will be your team. No one can build a business alone, we all need partners and team. It is important to find people who share the same vision with you, and who can complement your skillsets. Have you found a team that shares your vision, with complementary skillset and culture-fit?