When it comes to fashion, we all dress to impress and we find ourselves becoming a show pony from time to time. This 25-year-old entrepreneur is making it easier for all show ponies to turn heads at a time when other retailers are reporting record lows.
Jane Lu, former Ernst & Young accountant, behind the successful retail chain Show Pony says, Show Pony’s success is simple; stocking on-trend items and not hurtful on the wallet. Jane launched her very first store during September last year on Broadway’s busy Pitt Street after returning back broke from a year long world tour. Within a year of operation, Jane opened another two in Sydney’s CBD Pitt St, and Bondi Junction Westfield.
Maxing out three credit cards to open her first fashion house, Jane although quite sceptic, was quick to realise what consumers were in demand for and saw a marketing opportunity through the creation of an online presence. Thanks to the increasing number of broadband connections and social media fan pages, greater confidence in online shopping and a broader selection of clothes available online; have been fundamental to the growth in Show Pony’s online space.
“I didn’t really believe in online shopping but I gave it a go as there was demand and theoretically it should work,” says Jane. “I think the fact that we have a physical, social and online presence, allows Show Pony to have a personality which ensures an online shopping experience.”
Repaying the debt in no time at all, Show Pony was finding it extremely difficult to keep up with online requests after its online launch. Over 30,000 fashion enthusiasts follow Show Pony on Facebook and on average, per online customer spends approximately $100 in one transaction.
“We knew then we were doing something right and we increased our efforts immediately,” says Jane. “I can’t believe that some retail stores don’t have an online presence. It’s essential to have.”
With the sky being her only limit, Show Pony aims to open its first store in Melbourne and is on the lookout for fashion lovers who want to franchise or become a licensee.
Not too bad for a girl who, for the first half year, didn’t have a dollar to her name, and lied to her parents when she quit her accounting job. “They still think I’m on extended leave from E&Y, and I make sure we don’t talk about it,” she laughs.
Photo credit: Ben Scott
[Story first published in FEB issue of Shoe String]