Kate Low aims to perk up your day with her lingerie brand, which she started, as she said, “out of a personal obsession and necessity.”
What’s your story?
As a digital marketer who has been in this industry for over 10 years, I felt I had to attempt something on my own and put my learnings to good use. As such, perk by kate arose from a decision to start something of my own, and I chose lingerie out of a personal obsession and necessity. At the core of the business, we sell comfort, and it is done by sourcing for, or creating good pieces of lingerie people can wear over and over again. We identify a problem, then look for, or create, the right lingerie pieces to solve that problem.
Perk by kate aims, as its name suggests, to perk up someone’s life or day. We are recognised as a lingerie retailer with a heart, and often associated with happy thoughts. This unorthodox means of doing business has allowed me to gather a group of loyal customers who help to spread the good word of perk by kate around.
What excites you most about your industry?
The ability to make someone’s day by listening to them and helping them solve an inherent intimate problem. The fringe benefit of listening to that customer is that the solution to one is often a solution to many, and there are business benefits in that. I thrive on the strategic thinking and outcome of problem solving, where resources, speed to market, experience and expertise all come together really nicely.
For example, lingerie has always been perceived as a necessity, or as a luxury. I have had customers telling me they only wear padded bras because they are concerned about showing too much, and I have had customers telling me they hate underwire bras because they are seriously uncomfortable. I have also had customers telling me they love the comfort of bralettes, but wish that they were padded. Thus, the first problem I helped solve was merging the idea of a traditional bra and bralette, and created padded bralettes. I have the widest range of padded bralettes anywhere in the world today.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am based in Singapore, and I work with a fashion studio-come-workshop in Vietnam.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I would say Singapore, for its ready infrastructure, support and consumers with high disposable income.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Take care of your customers, and they will take care of you. This has proven itself many times over.
Who inspires you?
Seth Godin for his marketing and business expertise. He simplifies business and marketing logic into such a consumable form.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The resolve and need to walk away, regardless of the emotional attachment or the relationship to that idea, that partnership or that business unit. It saves a lot of money in the long run.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I have had the time of my life working on every bit of this business. I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything.
How do you unwind?
Yoga, coffee, investigative journalism and travelling.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan. The food is great, the scenery is amazing and the people are true craftsmen.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Seth Godin Purple Cow. This book made my entrepreneurial instincts kicking in.
Shameless plug for your business:
Try my lingerie – they are really good. Or get a return or refund!
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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