In Conversation with Jeannie Pang, Tracyeinny
March 16, 2009 by Gwendolyn Regina T
With a few thousand blogshops in Singapore alone, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Tracyeinny manages to do that and is now one of the more popular blogshops in Singapore. We hear from one of the co-founders, Jeannie Pang and hear her thoughts on the business behind Tracyeinny.
What is Tracyeinny?
Tracyeinny offers women apparel that is inspired by the moment and inspired by our passion. It is a joint partnership between two cousins: Jeannie Pang and Pamela Goi. Both are graduates and doing this full-time.
Are all your items are designed and manufactured by Tracyeinny?
Currently we don’t design or manufacture our products ourselves. In an average month, we churn out about 200-250 designs. We try to update two collections in a week and each collection has about 30-40 designs.
What is the motivation behind building this business?
Initially was mostly about our passion for shopping and clothes. But now our passion has turned into a full time job. Money is always a strong incentive to keep us going.
What are the difficulties that you have faced so far? Technical issues like setting up your own .com, hiring programmers? Business processes like handling money? Legal issues?
Difficulties initially were time constraint. We had to juggle work/school and maintaining the website to our best abilities.
To streamline our business processes is a continuous process. Here and there we try to incorporate new systems to streamline our work to improve efficiency. We do hire someone to take care of our accounts/packages/pettycash etc.
Blogspot, livejournal, wordpress, yourowndomain.com – there are many ways to set up a blogshop or store. What is your own preference? Why? What experiences can you share with us about using some or all of these?
In my opinion, the only reason for you to choose your internet platform is your target audiences.
For us, we started out with LiveJournal. Through mainly word of mouth, we have established ourselves. Recently we migrated to a .com.sg and the reason for this is because our LiveJournal site was not able to efficiently manage our growing customer base. We had gmail account for mailing list and some of our emails constantly went missing (hotmail). However, to allow for a smooth transition for our customers, we made our website similar in look as LiveJournal.
Any figures to share? Eg, no. of people on your mailing list? No. of items sold since opening your business? No. of pageviews? No. of visitors on your website? Feel free to share whatever you are comfortable with.
Number of pple in our mailing list is about 15,000. And our new domain, Tracyeinny.com.sg has been live for about 1.5 weeks and so far we have about 78,513 hits. To date, including our old LiveJournal site, Tracyeinny has attracted more that 1.9 million unique visitors and counting.
Considering the large number of blogshops in Singapore, how do you differentiate yourself from others?
We pride ourselves with a good system. We record every thing step by step. To customer’s order to when customer’s order are out of our house. We file our registered slip and consistently record down every package. Service and a good solid system allows us to be differentiated.
What is your marketing strategy? How do you try to obtain new customers?
The truth is, we never really market ourselves extensively. Everything is done by word-of-mouth.
How do you handle customers who are practically faceless to you? Any good or bad experiences to share?
Faceless or with a face is the same. We have to response to their needs and demands to our best of our ability. In any industry, there are definitely good and bad experiences. It is with such experiences that we learn and move on. It is with these experiences that we improve our system and management.
What is your biggest satisfaction in this business so far?
Biggest joy is to be recognized for our efforts. For one of our jacket designs, we managed to sell over a 1,000 pieces. So whenever we see someone wearing our jacket and we go up and asked, they would say tracyeinny and we would be beaming with pride.
If you have a wish for something to happen in order to help your business, what would you wish for? Eg, Singpost to have a tracking system for items sent? Internet banking to be more effective in some way? Mainstream media to cast blogshops businesses in a better light?
Singpost for now is quite an efficient portal to deliver mails. To have a complete tracking system also means that the postage would definitely increase and pass on to customers. We strongly advise customers to opt for registered mail. But here at Tracyeinny, we have a strong recording system. Customers are reassured that we do help them track their mails. We do call up the post office to enquire and consistently track their lost packages. 99% of our packages do not go missing.
What would you advise entrepreneurs just starting out?
To be patient. Nothing happens overnight.
Thanks, Jeannie and Pamela!
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Kim Sia of Spree2Shop for helping me out with this interview! Do look out for more interviews with various blogshop owners in the coming weeks. [Disclaimer: Gwen and BL are with Thymos Capital, an investor in Spree2Shop.]
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About The Author
Gwendolyn Regina T - Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Gwen is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of SGE. Previously, she was a partner of early stage technology investment firm, Thymos Capital and she has had two exits, one of which is iHipo. She is also an investor in Padlet, a Y-Combinator startup. Gwen also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Singapore Innovation & Productivity Institute, Steering Commmittee for the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation Awards 2013, and Board of Advisors for Social Media Week 2013. A frequent public speaker, mentor and judge at various startup bootcamps, events and competitions, Gwen loves meeting founders, developers, designers and scientists across all ages. An alumnus of the National University of Singapore and its University Scholars Programme, Gwen also spent some time in Silicon Valley and is a graduate of the NUS-Stanford University overseas college programme. She is also a mentor at Polish tech startup incubator Gamma Rebels, the Singapore curator for US-headquartered StartupDigest and the Singapore Ambassador for the Sandbox Network - the leading global network of innovators under 30. Gwen has also been a Worldwide Judge for Imagine Cup - the premier student technology competition helmed by Microsoft. She has also spoken in Hong Kong at one of its largest youth conferences, MaD Asia, and was recently in Austria to help envision the future of the country's economy in 2032 on invitation from an Austrian governmental organization. Gwen speaks 3.25 languages, loves physics, travelling, dance and adventure sports. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Gwendolyn Regina T