BUYin Indonesia is the first brand and online shop collection site in Indonesia which focuses on social media online shops. They provide various fashion products for women, men and children.
BUYin started in 2018. Unlike other e-commerce platforms, BUYin provides a variety of the latest fashion products from various brands under one roof. Consumers can find products at once without having to open several online stores. This is interesting and definitely makes it easier for buyers to browse through a wide product range.
Until now, there are at least 80 brands registered on the platform, ranging from established brands like Hush Puppies, to fledgling local online stores. Mischelle Frederick, founder of BUYin, also made a new breakthrough this year by presenting her own in-house handbag brand.
Human Asia has the following exclusive interview with Mischelle.
Tell us about your business. How did you come up with the idea for BUYin?
Mischelle: It all started when I came back to Indonesia for-good after completing my studies overseas. Since I was buying everything online when I was in the States, I found it difficult to do shopping in Indonesia. I realized that people tend to buy from online shops, since it provides more up-to-date items with more affordable prices. I founded Buyin because I believe there is a huge market opportunity for online fashion shops especially in Indonesia.
Obviously there are many other shopping platforms and marketplaces online. How is BUYin different from other fashion startups?
Mischelle: We believe that we need to grow together as a platform, nothing left behind. We do help the brands that already joined us with a free endorsement from influencers, as well as free advertisement on our social media platforms. We make sure no brands are left behind. They will immediately see sales increase as soon as they join Buyin as we will purchase their products and give them to the influencers.
Tell us a bit about BUYin’s journey. How has it grown thus far, and what are some of the challenges you have faced while scaling up?
Mischelle: We have 70+ merchants by June 2019, however we decided to not add more merchants as we will focus more on our in-house brands. We believe by doing so, we can focus more on the quality of our products, provide faster shipping time, and understand our customers’ needs better.
So you’ve just launched your first in-house brand for handbags. Tell us more about this.
Mischelle: We have been working on our first in-house brand since last July and could finally launch it last month. The brand is called Goddess Duty. With this brand, we want to deliver a message that we are passionate about women with big dreams; the ones who work hard, love deeply, laugh a lot, and enjoy their lives.
The ones who are highly confident about themselves, yet still believe in luck. Therefore, we create enchanting bags to augment their charm and make them feel like a Goddess wherever, whenever, and in everything they do.
How do you see the fashion tech industry changing in the future?
Mischelle: Fashion industry is changing the customers’ experience. While people may think that online platforms are currently popular and that no one goes to retail stores anymore, the fashion tech industry shows that ‘offline is the new online’.
Nowadays, with tech, retail stores are building virtual apps so that customers can have the experience to access personalized products, curated recommendations, discounted offers, customized packaging, and storytelling that connects to the individuals digitally while shopping offline. In that regard, Goddess Duty by Buyin is currently attracting offline stores too. Our products are now available in 4 department stores in Jakarta.
Read also : How to Get Your Startup Off the Ground Quickly
What are the next big steps for you as a company?
Mischelle: We will be more focused on our in-house brands, selling not only on our platform, but we will also be partnering with local and international platforms, as well as department stores. We are also planning to build more brands in the following years to compliment our first product, Goddess Duty.
We want to find out more about Mischelle Frederick
Mischelle, please tell us a little about yourself.
Mischelle: I used to be a young artist who spends my weekends joining art competitions. I gathered my 100th trophies by the age of 9 and went international as a representative of Indonesia by the age of 12. However, I decided to go to Business Economics school in the US, where I also completed a minor in Art.
I believe that business skills are needed to fulfill my passion in art if I want to be an entrepreneur. Since then, I see my daily-life and career will always be connected to creativity in one way or another. After completing my degree at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I worked in a startup company in Jakarta in Product Development before deciding to start BuyIn.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your entrepreneurial career?
Mischelle: Earlier this year I was invited to attend a Symposium & Project Signing Ceremony in Singapore. There were a lot of successful entrepreneurs, and directors from successful companies around the world; so obviously I was very nervous.
When I arrived there, what made me more surprised was that I am the youngest amongst them, and the person in charge there prepared me a seat at the first row nearest to the projector as a special guest. Even the Senior Vice President of Lazada sat behind me. So, I guess age is no barrier, it’s just a limitation you put in your mind.
What are your “Things I wish someone told me before I started” and why?
Mischelle: Just like the classic proverbs “All roads lead to Rome and “If there is a will, there is a way.” You must have several long-term plans and not depend on others. In other words, if one plan is not working well, don’t feel down because you have already prepared other backups plans. And even if you need to start over, you are not starting from scratch, you start from experience.
Which principles or philosophies have guided your life or your career?
Mischelle: There’s not much you can achieve in one night, everything needs to go through a process. So, don’t freak out if everything you have planned haven’t worked yet. Your moment just hasn’t come yet.
How do you define success?
Mischelle: For me, success means being able to do something that I fear – when I can execute something that was once only in my head. Believe in yourself, but keep an open mind. Do not fully listen to others because you have your own opinions; but keep an open mind and gladly receive advice from others too.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
Mischelle: It’s okay if you are not sure about every step, you will go through trial and error moments where you will be figuring things out. Sometimes what works for others, won’t work for you. So never compare your journey with others.
Thank you, Mischelle.
The interview was conducted by Human Asia’s contributor Barto Gunawan.
Visit BUYin Indonesia : http://www.buyin.id/