Angela Ang shows how her blogshop looks. (Photo by Angela Tan)
Successful MGP online business
While most of her peers have just embarked on their career path, 24-year-old Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduate Angela Ang is already making waves in the fashion industry.She posts an average of $30,000 in revenue a month through her blogshop, and over $45,000 a month during festive periods like Chinese New Year and Christmas.
Together with co-owner and her sweetheart Keith Tay, 24, they started My Glamour Place (MGP) in 2006 when they were still studying in Singapore Polytechnic, in hope to earn extra pocket money. The venture began with capital of only $500 each, and they initially sold cosmetics imported from Taiwan.However, losses and issues with the products' expiry dates forced them to make the transition to selling female apparel a few months later.
"We suffered losses selling cosmetics, so we then decided to jump into the female apparel bandwagon, and I'm glad that we made that right decision back then," said Angela in an interview with Yahoo! Singapore.
She declines to say how much profit they make, but she credits her relative success in terms of revenues to strong perseverance in overcoming obstacles and challenges, and good time management skills during her polytechnic and university days when she had to juggle school work and MGP.
To make MGP unique from others, she designs 90 percent of the apparel, which includes ruffle dresses, bustiers, casual tops and jackets. Moreover, they have their own professional photography studio to snap photos of models posing in MGP's clothes and accessories.
After graduating from NTU, Angela worked as an auditor at Ernst & Young for six months, but quit her job in February this year with MGP gaining a steady source of income. Keith, on the other hand, is currently a teacher while handling the blogshop's business operations.
Undoubtedly, female tertiary students and the young working professionals between the age of 19 to 24 make up the main demographic of her 50,000-strong customer mailing list. However, the figure is expected to rise significantly over the years as more Singaporeans are open to spending money online.
A MasterCard survey conducted earlier this year revealed that 64 percent of Singaporeans shop online, with women's apparel and accessories among one of the most popular items.
Singapore online shoppers cited convenient payment methods, secure payment facilities, and price and value of the items being purchased as the top three influencing factors in their online shopping experience.
A few teenage girls Yahoo! Singapore spoke to purchase goods from blogshops once a month on the average.
When asked why she prefers blogshops to conventional retail stores, Toh Qian Yu, 16, said the prices offered in blogshops are much lower, and they sell a variety of items that satisfy her wants.
"I buy from blogshops very often like twice a week, and I usually purchase accessories, bags, and polaroid films, and their prices can be as low as half the prices advertised in shopping malls," she said.
However, Secrene Neo, 16, warned that while lower prices offered on blogshops are attractive, it is still important to check the credibility of the blogshop before purchasing an item from it.
Five years down the road, Angela and Keith hope to gradually build the brand and move from a blogshop to a professional online fashion store, which will then allow them to tap the huge potential of the international market.
The writer is a 17-year-old student and technology blogger who loves social media and gadgets. He is also Singapore's top Twitter user with over 220,000 followers.