updated 14 Nov 2012, 18:28
Login password
Sun, Aug 07, 2011
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Her blogshop makes up to $45k a month
by Maureen Koh

Six years ago, it was just a chance for them to earn extra pocket money.

Today, My Glamour Place (MGP) is a blogshop - which sells only apparel - with an average monthly turnover of $30,000.

Festive seasons such as Chinese New Year and Christmas can easily bring in up to $45,000.

Co-owner Angela Ang, 24, told The New Paper that she orders only 100 pieces of each item from manufacturers in China.

The new designs sell out within hours, if not minutes, once they are uploaded on the blogshop.

That's no mean feat given that Miss Ang and her business partner and sweetheart from their days in Singapore Polytechnic, Mr Keith Tay, started the venture with capital of just $500 each.

Mr Tay, 24, recalled: "We got into the business when we were in our last year in poly. We got so busy - from procurement (of the apparel) to photoshoots to fulfilling orders.

"I didn't even join a CCA when I was in university. MGP was my CCA."

Mr Tay studied at the National University of Singapore.

But it was not all a bed of roses for the couple at first. They started out selling cosmetics but ran into losses.

Said Miss Ang: "We had issues with the products' expiry date and realised it didn't make money sense."

But when they switched to clothes, they made only two transactions the entire week.

Mr Tay said: "We had a little squabble because I had less risk appetite, so I suggested that we stop and resume what we were best at (cosmetics).

"But Angela was adamant that we should take on new stocks instead."

Her reasoning was simple: What was not selling that week would not sell the week after either.

True enough, by the next week, MGP sold 10 pieces.

Still, it was another three more months before they managed 100 pieces in a week.

Overseas suppliers

Encouraged by the responses, Mr Tay said they decided to hunt for alternative suppliers from overseas instead of taking their stock from local wholesalers.

He added: "We also wanted to explore if it was viable to produce our own label."

Today, after six years, Miss Ang designs 90 per cent of the apparel, which includes ruffle dresses, bustiers, casual tops and jackets.

Prices go from as low as $22 for a top and $33 for a dress.

She says she draws inspiration from an extensive selection of fashion magazines for her designs.

With the blogshop going well, she quit her job as an auditor with Ernst & Young after six months in February this year.

She had found it tough to do both roles simultaneously and struggled for a couple of months.

Miss Ang said: "I felt I should pick and focus on just one job, so it was either my audit job or MGP."

MGP was the obvious choice, she added, "because we built it from scratch over a few years".

"Right now, I should take the opportunity to expand the business and see what we can do," said a feisty Miss Ang.

While Mr Tay was initially more active in running the blogshop with Miss Ang, he has since taken a backseat after starting work as teacher a few months ago.

MGP has also ventured into taking up shop spaces in concept stores at Bugis Junction, Plaza Singapura and Far East Plaza.

Mr Tay said: "People who aren't confident about buying from us online can always go to the retail stores.

"Having a physical presence also helps to build up the brand."

Their customers are mostly tertiary students and young working professionals aged between 18 and 24.

That number could well grow as experts are expecting online shopping to boom.

Mr William Klippgen, executive director of Tickled Media, which represents LiveJournal in this region, said: "E-commerce is seeing a major uptake in Singapore - online shopping here (came up to) more than $1 billion last year, according to Paypal.

"This number is expected to reach $4.4 billion in 2014."

But if you are thinking about jumping on the blogshop bandwagon, think again, said Mr Samuel Teoh, who provides consultancy services for online start-ups.

Mr Teoh, 47, said: "I've seen blogshops here today and gone tomorrow. It takes time and a lot of hard work to get the online business going because credibility is the key criterion.

"There's also a limit to what they can offer until the brand has established itself."

He added: "And it's not like you can 'close shop' for the day. Running a blogshop also means that you are expected to be working 24/7."

Mr Tay agreed: "Even when we take our short breaks or go for holidays, we'll take along our laptops and make sure that there is Internet access at the hotels.

"You can't afford to take too long to respond to your customers."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

Related stories:

Singaporeans spent $1.1 billion on online shopping in 2010
Nearly 2 in 3 Singaporeans shop online
The good and bad of online shopping
readers' comments

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.