TMB actually met one of the lovely ZAOZAO ladies towards the end of last year in August at Hong Kong Fashion Bloggers. One month later, their online platform was launched and Hong Kong has watched Vicky Wu and Ling Cai go from strength to strength, eventually becoming one of Hong Kong’s most successful startups. It’s been a joy to watch ZAOZAO grow into a successful platform and see the ladies increasingly feature in HK media. We were one of the lucky winners from their 2013 giveaway and wanted to take this opportunity to speak to Vicky from this awesome emerging platform.
Tell us more about ZAOZAO and how the idea came about.
ZAOZAO is a crowdfunding platform connecting emerging designers with shoppers around the world. The idea came about when we found there was a lack of access to unique, affordable shopping plus all the issues faced by local designers (especially those just starting out) to obtain startup capital and distribution, among others. Matching the demand for independent design with the supply of creative talent, ZAOZAO was thus born.
What problems did you face while building the company and the platform?
Finding talent (esp with regards to tech), identifying honest and professional services/contractors.
Is there a more level playing field for aspiring female entrepreneurs in today’s business world, or is it male-dominated?
Some may argue that there are inherent inequalities that apply to females in the business world, but I wouldn’t say we have felt significantly disadvantaged as a result of that.
Tell us about the value of having communication skills for female entrepreneurs.
This applies to all entrepreneurs, but being able to communicate is on the top of the list of skills that will take you far, even if you have nothing else going for you.
What advice would you give to fellow ladies looking to start their first business?
Make sure you really love what you’re doing, and that you’re being led by your dreams and passions rather than being pushed by dissatisfaction elsewhere.
Describe ZAOZAO in 3 words.
Fund designs now!
The platform works by allowing designers to upload their latest projects onto the ZAOZAO site. Buyers can pre-order the design that they desire, which also funds the production. If items generate enough orders within 29 days, then designers get an idea of how successful their items will be. What we love about ZAOZAO is that it gives a place for emerging designers to feature their projects and gives talent a voice, as well as potential funding. It can be difficult to get design ideas off the ground, especially when creatives aren’t sure whether they’ll work – ZAOZAO solves this problem. If you’re interested in the platform, then check out the site here. You can also follow the ladies on their journey via Facebook or Twitter.