Rachel Lim from the founder of Love, Bonito was the guest of honour who very kindly agreed to come down to SIMYEN’s Penny Talk to give a talk amidst her packed schedule. Love, Bonito is one of the pioneers of the blogshop scene in Singapore. Rachel first started selling second-hand clothing with 2 other friends on a live journal platform. It was well-received and soon, it got very hard to juggle between school and the online business.
When Rachel left NIE to start the business, she had to start from ground 0. She had to borrow some money from her parents and her stocks used to be kept at home. Back then when LoveBonito was still known as Bonito Chico, it started off wanting to target women of all ages. But Rachel soon learned that it is better to build a brand that 1 person loves than 10 people like. Don’t be greedy, find a niche market and focus on it because the right people are needed for the building of a business.
Tips from Rachel:
As a girl boss herself, she feels it is important to learn what motivates to push herself. She has to know every aspect of the business from marketing to even accounting, and it is important therefore, to be self-aware, to know your strengths, focus and develop it, as well as find someone who complements you in your weaknesses.
A lot of young people at the age of 20s want to start their own business because of the glamour. Though money is essential, but it is not the reason LoveBonito exists today. We should think beyond the monetary gains and instead do good to the community and bless and impact people with the business you are running. As for LoveBonito, it’s clothes help women in confidence. Rachel has received emails in the past from women telling her that her clothes have impacted their lives.
Rachel also enjoys and often read books and to learn from experienced people. When she is too caught up with life, she listens to podcasts, reflect, stop to think, take a step back to analyze the situation.
Some of Rachel’s reading recommendations are:
Max Lucado’s Leadership
Marcus Buckingham’s Discover Yourself
Jean Collins’ Businesses
Moving on to the highly anticipated part of Penny Talk which is the question and answers section where we open up to the floor of aspiring entrepreneurial audience who might be seeking advice from our blogshop veteran.
Eden, our first bold audience to ask a question, has been selling vintage female clothing on Carousell the past 1 year. He was unsure of what his next step should be. It is good to know why and what the purpose of doing business is and to always garner feedback on products and services. LoveBonito still keeps in contact with key customers to understand how the brand can improve so as to plan its next step. It is also good to step out of Carousell as it should not be depended on for too long. Rachel also advocates following your gut to know when you are ready to move on to the next phase.
As for other questions, Rachel has answered them by sharing some of her experiences and more tips in life. For example, she stays focus in her goals by being accountable to somebody at work or in life. She is honest with herself, and keeps honest friends close to her heart. She encourages internships as we are at the best age to go out, to be hungry to learn, and to be daring in trying new things. She also believes in good competition as it pushes her to give very best. Having a great deal of work to do, it is good to find a partner who understands and believes in your dream as well. People who work with Rachel inspire her greatly as they take her brand as their own. It encourages her to want to improve and better herself. As a leader, understand what recharges you and what ticks you off. Do not at any point of time wish you were someone else. A leader does not require a dominant personality and it would not matter if you were an introvert. It is not how loud you are but rather, it is the sheer tenacity within you. A good leader is humble and takes time to listen to her people, as they usually give feedback with underlying ideas of improvement. When faced with personal obstacles, she allows herself to self-pity but snaps out it quickly and tells herself that she can overcome it. We will fail more than we succeed and reflection is important. We should never waste those failures and we should instead always take those failures and turn them into learning opportunities.
Lastly, thank you once again to the following sponsors!
Author: Jamie Koh (Vice President)