Sitting at her dull, work cubicle surfing Facebook and online shopping sites, three-years ago young entrepreneur Jane Lu suddenly struck an idea for an online store offering fun, affordable and on-trend party dresses for young women.
That store is now the crazily successful "SHOWPO" fashion.
Despite being a compulsive shopper, at the time she founded SHOWPO Lu struggled to find clothing online she wanted to wear out on weekends, could be delivered next-day and didn't chew away at her savings!
SHOWPO became the answer to all three of Lu's dilemmas.
NSS Editor, Michelle Larin, caught up with SHOWPO's Chief Executive Pony at a recent shoot to talk life, style and Lu's foray into fashion.
Q: Jane, tell us about you and what you were doing before SHOWPO.
A: I was working as a business analyst in corporate finance at Ernst & Young and, before that, in accounting at KPMG. It's sometimes hard for me to say whether I prefer my life back then or now, given how busy I've become...!
Q: Besides your online store, what are some of your interests?
A: My interests? Well, besides watching TV, going on Facebook, drinking red wine - which is pretty much what I do with most of my recreational time - I love travelling! I've been to 40+ countries so far, but I am definitely not just checking countries off a list! For my last European trip I visited my old favourites, like the south of France and Amsterdam. My absolute highlight was going on exchange in Lund, Sweden!
It was after I came back from exchange I realised I couldn't go back to my old life. After a few months I just had to quit and that's when SHOWPO was born!
Q: How do you go about buying the items for your online store?
A: Oh it's VERY systematic and methodical... NOT; it's not in the least! I just buy whatever I like and, now that the team has grown, WE buy whatever we like. The growth of our team has seen the store take on a wider variety of styles and our customers have responded really well. For example, I'm absolutely flat-chested, and never need to ask the question "how would you wear a bra with that?" But other girls do concern themselves with that - as my teammates remind me!
Q: Describe the SHOWPO girl.
A: The SHOWPO girl is, well, a Show Pony. She's a chameleon. A rockstar! The SHOWPO girl loves and embraces life; she's passionate about the things she does and her friends. She's fun, confident and quirky. Our clothes are about making girls feel comfortable and confident so they're ready to take on the world!
Q: What will be your quintessential “go to” outfit this summer season?
A: I always love anything A-line or backless!
Q: Describe your personal style?
A: I really still don't know! I dress to suit my mood, but I guess the SHOWPO "What's New" page is a pretty good representation of my current style.
I should say when I like something, I wear it to death! I'll wear it every second day for two weeks straight, but then it disappears from my wardrobe forever. I don't throw it out... there's just some kind of a laundry black hole in my house!
Q: Who are your style muses and why?
A: Ooh, that's hard to say! I love how fashion forward Rumi Neely is; I love how classy Olivia Palermo is; I love how outrageous Rhianna is... but I could never pull off over the top! I look frumpy when I try to dress classy and I'm not even going to attempt fashion forward!
Q: Your favourite fashion designers are…?
A: I'm pretty mainstream. I love Sass & Bide, Camilla, Alice McCall, Zimmerman and One Teaspoon.
Q: What do you love most about working in fashion?
A: My endless wardrobe! But it's crazy how I still have so many days where I'm complaining to my boyfriend "I have nothing to wear and nothing fits me"! Haha.
Q: How do you define success?
A: A sense of fulfillment with what you do; loving what you do; making a difference in the world…it's all a bit vague and somewhat clichéd, but success is such a subjective notion! I don't know whether I've achieved success yet, but I definitely love my job, my team and the fact that Facebook has become an everyday part of my job!
Q: What’s next for SHOWPO?
A: We have so many ideas and big things planned, but it's all hush, hush for now! Just follow us and enjoy the ride: http://www.showponyfashion.com!
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