As we come to the end of another year, we took some time to reflect on this year's journey. 2017 was a milestone year for us by any measure. We found a nice and affordable place to house our operations. We had two young employees join us full time. We held our first overseas pop-up in Hong Kong. We made strides in product development. We sent off five huge boxes of donations to Project Uplift, thanks to the generosity of everyone. We had a great Black Friday "Mystery Bag” campaign that turned into a fastest-fingers-first event.
None of these would have happened without your support. This is our year-end letter, to you, our bedrock, our thank you to everyone who made things possible, and our I’m very sorry :( to people whom we may have let down in one way or another over the past year.
In 2017, we had the aim of making small and gradual improvements to every part of our product. Be it pads, band, lining, hooks or the lace, we hunted down better quality raw materials for all of our components this year. We even produced our own batch of lace in the colours that we wanted. These were all ‘dream’ possibilities that were not open to us previously due to our minuscule size.
Some of these improvements may have gone unnoticed by many of our customers. But we don’t mind that at all. A good piece of lingerie should be so comfortable that you don’t notice it.
In our view, each improvement – every small, consistent step forward – when aggregated, will make all the difference in how our products feel and perform when worn by our customers.
While we may not be able to assure you that we have the best product money can buy, we can promise you that it will keep getting better.
As we grew with your support, we were required to undergo GST registration and start forking more money over to the tax man. And what does this mean to our Singapore customers? Other than the fact that your invoice looks a little different, nothing actually.
We dug deep and considered our options but in the end we decided to keep prices constant and absorbed GST.
Home base Perk
Around August 2017, we moved our operations to a place in the east, where we store our inventory, fulfill orders, and basically work out of. It may be a small space but it is something that we are incredibly happy with. We expect to call this home for the foreseeable future.
Come by and visit us if you would like. If you do decide to come by, we strongly recommend that you drop us a note beforehand because we may not be in all the time.
We are human, too
We are a small direct-to-consumer brand run by a lean but very hands on team. We attend to every aspect of the business on our own.
While we tried our hardest to make the best of everything and accommodate everyone’s requests, there were certainly moments when we fell short. We know there were times when we did not live up to your expectations.
To those we may have disappointed over the past year, we sincerely apologise. But know that we stand behind our shortcomings and we will do better.
2018 and beyond
Come February 2018, we will be 6 years old. Perk by Kate is like a baby to me. I am really glad we made it this far but there is still much to be covered.
At times we have been asked why we absorb GST or why we take the trouble to produce special Christmas wrappings, yet provide it for free to customers who request it. Well, yes, this reduces our bottom line but truth is, we don’t really mind the hit.
As a small and intimate brand, we have the flexibility to focus on quality and satisfaction that larger corporations often can’t. Our aim is to make a great product and deliver it to customers in the best possible way. At the end of the day, this is all that matters.
On my part, despite our progress as a brand, I remain deeply involved in everything we plan and do. While this may limit our ability to scale, this is the only way to deliver on our promises without being just another corporate bogged down by rules and protocol.
This may sound weird, but our goal here is not to maximise profit. Our goal is to maximise satisfaction and happiness - for our customers, employees, suppliers, basically everyone that we deal with. And when our stakeholders think well of us, that makes us happy.
From the Perk by Kate team, we hope to serve you better in 2018.
Be kind, be generous, be happy. Have a great new year ahead!