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A Sneak Peek of Peep Boutique
Jaideep Patel checks in with fashion entrepreneur Wei Ni to find out about what’s new in her world.
We’ve all bought one thing or another online. It’s just so simple these days – long gone are the days of maddening traffic jams, frantic car park antics, and endless cashier lines. For Wei Ni, founder of Peep Boutique (www.peepb.com), online stores are heaven sent. And that is exactly why she endeavored to start her own online business back in 2008. Since then, she has ventured into brave new frontiers, having just opened her first physical store in Atria Shopping Gallery.
How was your transition from running an online store to operating a physical store?
The transition from an online store to a physical store has been quite challenging, to say the least. There were loads to think about before even starting up the store, such as renovations, MBPJ permits, mall restrictions, costs and staffing issues, as well as understanding how to manage both our online and offline inventory.
Another challenge I faced was the time it took me to hire my staff. The good thing is that now I've got two part-timers who are dedicated and hardworking. They won't be staying long, sadly, but they have been helping me tremendously thus far especially in keeping my schedule a little bit more open. This allows me to run around and focus on the other parts of the business.
Has it been a rewarding process so far?
Yes! I can gladly say that one of the most rewarding things about having a physical store is actually seeing people purchasing your items and walking away happy! There's something really satisfying about seeing in-person how you can change a person's day with the right clothes to match their personality.
Do you consider Peep Boutique to be a startup?
I've never really thought of my brand or business as a startup. I don't see a reason to really define it and as such never really thought about what a startup actually means! For me, it's just about doing what I love, running the business, making sure everything goes as smoothly as it can and generating enough sales to maintain a business.
What do you think about young entrepreneurs who want to start a business without having dreams of opening a physical store?
It’s entirely possible to start your business without even thinking of having a real store. In fact, starting an online store is so much easier especially in the early stages as there isn’t a lot of capital involved. However, sustaining it is a different story!
Do you have any advice for people who want to bring their products to the masses?
First of all, you have to be consistent – with the products you put on sale and with the prices you place on them. Secondly, you should only offer products that can interest people, and price them in a way that is appealing to them. Then, you can start building your customer base.