Popular fashion blogshop BonitaChico divulges the secret behind its success.
Contributed By Delvina Su
|PHOTO COURTESY OF BONITOCHICO|
On Aug. 21, popular online fashion blog, BonitoChico celebrated its 4th anniversary at Zirca with more than 1,000 attendees in tow. Who would have thought that what started out as an avenue to earn more pocket money would evolve into an international online fashion business four years later?
Rachel Lim, 23, started BonitoChico in 2006 with her friends Velda Tan, 23, and Viola Tan, 26, selling their “pre-loved” items just so they could earn some spending money. Little did they know that their fashion style was so popular among the blog’s visitors that the venture soon snowballed into a full-fledged business.
Just four years into the business, BonitoChico has been featured on Urban, The Straits Times, and Her World magazine. Having started off with importing fashion wear from overseas, BonitoChico has since moved on to designing its own label, supported by its factory in China. According to Lim, she and her partners get their inspiration from magazines and runway shows, and thereafter tailor the designs to cater to young Asian women’s tastes and sizes, keeping in mind the tropical and temperate climates in different parts of Asia.
The designs carried by BonitoChico have been so popular that it has attracted not just local customers, but overseas customers as well. The diversity of the designs is one important factor that has helped open up the business to a broad base of clientele. At BonitoChico, the online shopper can find anything to suit their every whim and fancy as updates are available every four days.
But it has not been all a bed of roses. “The initial setup was very time consuming, as we had to do everything ourselves. We had to take note of all the details—from handling the customers’ requests to responding to their demands, in addition to coordinating fashion shoots. Doing all this on our own, it is definitely not as easy as it sounds or looks,” stresses Lim.
Nevertheless, BonitoChico is a firm believer of producing apparel with quality material and providing excellent customer service. It is no wonder then that the online fashion business has seen its mailing list and customer base grow steadily to 42,000 local and overseas customers, based solely on word of mouth. Besides attracting customers, sponsors such as Calvin Klein Jewellery and L’Oréal Professional have also sought to advertise through BonitoChico.
To those aspiring to start their own online fashion business, Lim says that the key ingredient is to have passion. “It is what prevents the daily operations of an online fashion business from becoming a chore.”
What about technical savvy? “You do not need to be a technical expert, I am not technically savvy myself but one does need to know the basics like uploading photos and utilizing an e-mail account.”
Definitely, passion for the business and commitment to customers are the cornerstones of BonitoChico’s success. For fans of BonitoChico and potential customers, more can be expected in the next couple of years. According to Lim, the business is going to start producing its own line of accessories such as shoes and bags. Customers can also expect to patronise BonitoChico’s brick-and-mortar store in the near future.
Check out BonitoChico at www.lovebonito.com.