This is Kate here with our annual letter. Hope you are all keeping well 😊
The past year was a pivotal period for Perk by Kate.
When we first started out, we were physical retail skeptics. We planted our feet in online retail and thought we had it all figured out. Yet, in 2019, we opened and expanded our lingerie studio, occupying the entire second floor of a shophouse along Telok Ayer Street. The response we received has, thankfully, been reassuringly positive.
When we see customers unreservedly walking out from the changing room, in lingerie, asking us and other customers present for opinions, we know we made the right choice creating this safe space for our customers where they can lower their guard and urge to be self-conscious.
Today, we are converts, convinced that a thoughtfully planned physical space still has a meaningful role to play, connecting us to our customers and establishing community.
We are also especially proud that we managed to work on a "Body Beautiful" photo campaign with Rock The Naked Truth featuring 10 of our customers, all of whom gamely stepped up to encourage women to cast aside self doubt and be comfortable in their own skin. This was an exceptional highlight for us, which we hope to repeat for years to come.
2019 also brought us some sobering news. Aijek and Choo Yilin, brands we admired and looked up to, announced that they were taking a hiatus. While we may never know their full reasons for calling time out, I wish I could reach out over cyberspace to give them a hug. Because we know and understand - behind the apparent glamour of running your own brand is the stress and pressure of keeping everything afloat, fresh and relevant. The truth is, at any point in time, something is wrong. We can only keep fixing and hope that things don't fall apart all at once.
I do not know the founders of Aijek and Choo Yilin personally. But I admire what they stood for and achieved. I wish them well and hope to see them back in this space someday.
For Perk by Kate (10 Feb 2012 to 10 Feb 2020), eight years have come and gone. As we step into our 9th year of operations, I am still surprised and feel exceptionally lucky that we made it this far. Truth be told, we thought of taking a break a couple of times. But deep down, I don't think our time is up yet. Our objective from the beginning has always been clear – to serve all of you intimately, maintain our personality, and always be kind and generous to all we touch. If we can keep doing this, and as long as customers continue to walk in, we will serve to the best of our abilities.
In 2019, we made several strides forward with our product line up by offering a much more comprehensive maternity range, strapless bra styles, full cup options, and greater versatility with our evergreen Celine and Alexis styles.
For 2020, you can expect the launch of Perk by Kate seamless underwear and an underwire bra. It really depends on how much bandwidth we have. This will be a challenging year for us as we push ourselves out of our comfort zone and work on products we have never done before. Your expectations and hopes keep us going and we continue to look forward to your views on where we should take our product line-up for the coming years.
Now that we have our own studio space, you can also expect more pop-up events organized by our team in conjunction with other brands we admire. Some of the brands we partnered with in 2019 include Amber Swimwear, Bells and Birds, Esse the Label, Fossa Chocolates, Furniche, Gold Gild Ice Cream, Nilo Nilo, Oleah, Senreve, Source Collections, Sugar & Tease, The Headless Baker, Wine Stories and Ying the Label. We have more new partners lined up for 2020 events where we hope to focus on self-love and care.
Perk by Kate is also now a team of five – Stacie, Celesta, Amabel, Madeline and me. Amongst us, we take care of order fulfilment, studio management, marketing and creative work and events. Say hi to us when you drop by the studio. If there is anything you feel we can do better, do let us know as well.
This letter would not be complete without my heartfelt appreciation for the Perk by Kate team and our long-suffering collaborators, all of whom are rock stars who toil to present the brand in the best possible light – Franz, Hosanna, Airin, Timothy and Alexa. It truly takes a village to raise a baby.
On a more personal note, my husband and I are expecting a baby girl in May 2020. Even then, I will find it hard to let go of Perk by Kate, my first born. These days, I split my time between our warehouse and the studio. If you would like to catch up, drop me a message beforehand so we don't miss each other at the studio.
Finally, thank you to all of you for being part of our journey, year after year. We are truly blessed to have your support. Stay safe, healthy and happy, everyone. Treat everyone with love, empathy and generosity (especially in these times!). A smile goes a long way 😊