It is the last day of 2016. This year was a significant one for me. I took the plunge and left my corporate job in February 2016 to focus on this baby full-time. With all the hopes, plans and dreams that I set out to achieve, how did this year turn out?
One of the first and most important things I did was to gain more control over the quality of our bralettes. Every detail matters, and our aim is to keep making small but gradual improvements to our products. We produced our own padding for our bralettes and did a replacement campaign for them. We also began purchasing lace directly from source. In the coming year, we will produce our own bands and straps for better consistency and transition to better hooks, rings and sliders. The lingerie market is huge and fragmented with competition. We want you to know that every detail of a piece we create is well considered, and you can always count on us to offer sincere after-sale service. While designs can be replicated, we hope the Perk by Kate sincerity will be one of its kind.
At times, I was too ambitious and idealistic. We bought a whole bunch of really good silk for production. But we haven't actually used them yet. We promise we will get to them in the new year. There were also plans to launch more styles to cater to more of your intimate needs, but we decided to slow our pace because projects done in haste often produce bad results. I hope to complete these projects next year! –wink-
Making friends with our customers
Every letter, every small gift, every email of encouragement, every comment on Instagram, every like, every feedback – they keep me going. I had always wanted to know my customers better, and preferably, as friends. Through the #Perkify Challenge, we discovered the incredible talent that is hidden amongst us, and I can't wait to produce the three winning designs. I also had a blast meeting everyone of you during our October meet-and-greet with customers at Prep. You blew me away with your enthusiasm and support. I am really looking forward to the next meet up, hopefully on a larger scale. :)
Things that made 2016 memorable for us
Most of you don't know this, but we experienced a lost shipment this year. Our shipment was mixed up with another and an entire batch of production was sent mistakenly to a small nursing home in France. We, in turn, received a whole batch of disposable pillow cases meant for the nursing home. I wish I was making this up. It was five heart-wrecking days before the shipment was returned to us and the nursing home received its pillow cases. For some of you out there, you have a bralette that made its way from Saigon to Germany by air, across the border into France by truck, and finally to Singapore by air. That bralette might be more well-traveled than I am. One of our most sobering experiences was our visit to Shanghai Interfiliere. Our intention was to chart our progress and 'network and chill' with the industry. Alas, pretty much nobody wanted to chill with us because we were, well, nobodies. It was slightly ego bruising but at least we made contact with a band and strap specialist. The husband says that if he ever feels my ego getting out of hand, he will book tickets for Interfiliere. That will show me... We started a small fun project early in the year to create an affordable and good looking leather bag. We needed something to keep our minds engaged and creating again. The direction of the bag was driven in part by (confession time!) my love for soft and supple leathers. We learnt a lot over 8 months and the Nikko capsule collection, constructed entirely out of lambskin, was launched before Christmas. We are highly encouraged by the response. It seems I am not the only one in love with soft leathers.
Increasingly, we feel the need to give back to society. We are glad many of you share our sentiments. On behalf of the Uplift Project, we collected and sent 200 bras to the Philippines in December, and we will continue to do so over the course of the next year. This will be an 'evergreen' campaign and will be our little contribution back to society. We also made a commitment to donate a portion of the proceeds from Nikko to the Star Shelter, a temporary home for women and children who are victims of family violence. After speaking with the shelter to understand their needs, a donation in kind (diapers, milk powder and cooking necessities) worth S$1480.40 was made on 27th December 2016. Our efforts may be a drop in the ocean but we hope it amounts to something meaningful to the people on the receiving end.
Happy New Year!
Time to take on 2017. My gut tells me it won't be easy, but I will put up a good fight. On our end, here's wishing every one of you luck for 2017. All the best! Ps. the people on the Titanic had money, wealth and happiness, they just lacked a little luck… :)