Snappity Snap – Irene Chin

Story by Irene Chin – Snappity Snap

I’d completed my studies overseas but while I was out there, I met the love of my life and had decided to get married. So … in the midst of a new job, I was also preparing for my wedding.  However, the unexpected happened and I realised I was pregnant with our 1st child a few days before our customary. And due to pregnancy complications, I’d made the decision to leave my hectic work life and concentrate to nurture our baby.

Why I started my own home business. I guess the main reason is that I want to feel that I am still useful or capable to achieve something even though I am a SAHM now.  Another reason probably also because I had not really achieved anything from my short career life and kinda felt that what ever I’d learned had gone to a waste if I don’t channel my brains to somewhere else.

A trip to USA in 2006 is what spark me off to start my own business.  I had a chance to go to the states with the whole family just before my 1st child turned one.  On a shopping trip to the shopping outlets there make me realised that I am paying much more for similar clothes back in Singapore.  Back then, all I could think is “Why the hell did I have to pay so much for a similar item if I am to get from the retail store.”  No way I will be paying such prices since I know how cheap those items can be.  I shopped like crazy over all the cute kids clothes there and how I wish my friends back home could benefit from it.  With that though in mind, I’d picked up more designs and variety and started my own business of selling kids clothes when I returned.

Starting up wasn’t easy.  Taking photos of the heaps of clothes I’ve bought aside, I have to source a way to market the items.  Back then, Yahoo! Auction was my 1st choice.  After putting some effort and referencing from existing auctions, I finally came up with my own transaction terms.  After awhile, I kinda realised that if I’d a website to promote my products, not only it will be more convincing, people would also be more confident in purchasing.  As it was still an initial stage of my business venture and I do not wish to really spend too much money on setting up a website. Hence off I went and did my studies on selling my products in a Blog.  I also realised than then traffic in Yahoo! Auction was not sufficient enough to help build my business. I then channel to parenting forums to promote my business. In the midst of building up traffic and awareness, I also had to source around for products to build up my stock. This was quite a tedious process and it also meant that I’d got to spend hours at the computer.  Switching between roles, it took me awhile to get used to.

As pace built up, I still do noticed that consumers not that comfortable shopping in a Blogshop as compared to a proper .com website.  Due to that fact, was created.  True enough, with the introduction of the .com site, traffic and sales naturally increased and got more people came knocking at our doors.

However, over the years, more and more similar shops appear on the internet, it gets more difficult due to price competition. Due to that fact, I felt that it is time to diversify my original business plan.  Thereafter, I aim to be a one-stop shopping place for all busy mums like myself who no more had the luxury to shop leisurely in shopping malls.  I started to organise sprees and conduct pre-orders to give a wider choice to my customers.

Starting up home business is not easy. Lots of homework and finance planning need to be done before you jump in else you will get yourself stranded with stock on hand and cash all locked in existing stock. Balance between family and business is also very important.  To me, family always comes 1st. Last thing, must always be flexible in your business plan. Got to learn to move with the flow and always think of new business ideas to keep your customers attracted.

Irene Chin
One-Stop Shopping Paradise – Snappity Snap

Filed under Mompreneurs Story #

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