Angeline featured in Business Today
While online e-tailers are doing fine in many fronts where a growing segment of customers are comfortable to buy their ware without having to insect them at all, relying on reviews and product pictures, there is still a large portion of te market, who would still like to look and feel the things they are about to buy.
Understanding this exact sentiment is online e-tailer, Angeline Khoo, who is the founder of a line of playful, flirty and feminine kimonos - Rosie On Fire (www.rosieonfire.com) - and has been enjoying online success for her fun ready-to-wear kimonos and is now in renowned malls in the Klang Valley after hearing the need of wanting to touch and feel her products firsthand.
Says Khoo: "Originally Rosie On Fire was supposed to be online only, with international appeal an we have always been lucky to have as many international customers, as well as local ones. But I also wanted to be true to my background.
"We quickly had interest from retail platforms and wanted to carry our brand. So our growth was rather organic... and so far, it has been really good. We found that the local market would really want to see, touch, feel and try out the product - I found it unusual - but then we adapted and came out to see them (via pop up stalls). It was great and I love it because we get to talk to our customers and get feedback." Lesson learnt for Khoo. It pays to listen to your customers.
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPARK
Rosie On Fire is a line of playful, flirty and feminine kimonos that flatter every body shape through its signature flow and drape. These kimonos are extremely limited as each and every one of them are carefully handcrafted and are made in small quantities.
Khoo, daughter of Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng and beauty queen Pauline Chai, has deep roots in fashion retail and wants to make the world a little better through Rosie On Fire for marginalised communities such as the folks with autism and single mothers - something she holds close to her heart.
An Oxford law graduate turned fashion entrepreneur, Khoo created his homegrown fashion line for almost a year and came up with this quirky named brand "Rosie On Fire". She stumbled upon it with the help of a secret admirer, who gifted her a pretty pink cake that tasted sweet yet spicy, and indirectly inspired the name for her kimono brand.
Having come from an industrious family herself, Khoo has always wanted to venture out of the family business and do something meaningful on her own.
"Since my little brother has autism and mom worked with women's rights and all, this has always been something I am quite passionate about and I wanted to do something that was meaningful and gives back (to society) too," says Khoo; thus the inception if this online fashion store that incorporated her passions of doing commercial stuff, as well as helping people.
While it was difficult to find for that one venture, seeing as the family were always involved in the fashion retail industry and she liked clothing, especially kimonos, and loved using them since it was really flattering to a woman's body; this was something she liked and wanted to take and share with everybody.
"You virtually throw them over anything you are wearing and you literally look like you took an effort, when you actually didn't." opines Khoo, on the versatility of the kimonos.
So what made this lawyer turn into a fashion entrepreneur? She candid;y laughs and explains: "Because I am a failed lawyer and didn't practice law. I actually got out of it before I failed at it."
While the rationale for studying law was something she could potentially fall back on if she failed, there a future after all for those who feel certain fields do not suit them.
So taking kimonos online was what Khoo decided to do. Yet, what makes her product different from others in the market?
Kimonos that I used before did not have a very flattering cut," she explains, "and I wanted something that would work no matter what. This cut works for all shapes and sizes - curved at the bottom and cut on the bias, so you get a nice silhouette."
In addition to the complimentary cut, her kimonos are also known for the way it drapes the body - its flow and the materials it is made of. So it should not surprise you if you find that most of Khoo's apparels online are out of stock as soon as they go up online You better be quick, if you want to buy her products.
Ups and downs, but super fun is what Khoo believes her entrepreneurial journey with Rosie On Fire has been so far. "When you do your own thing, it begins and ends with you. So if you don't do something, it's not going to get done. Even if you have a team, the responsibility is solely yours. You make a mistake or a bad decision, it is your responsibility - all that is super scary.
"But then when you see people really responding, especially when you meet the artisans... and see the appreciativeness from the people you are helping, it is super exciting. And it is all a big mix of emotions happening, sometimes all in a day," shares Khoo, as she believes the effort is all worth it.
Seeing as the e-tailer is also a social enterprise, Khoo has been helping marginalised people gain meaningful income and greater opportunity - particularly women at risk,low income families and autistic individuals.
She shares: "A portion of our garments are made by single mothers or women who work from home who would otherwise have to choose between caring for their children or earning an income."
Having shipped her products internationally and with the potential of helping such women from other parts of he world, Khoo believes that she can take her production activities anywhere and help them as well.
Besides draping women beautifully, Khoo is blazing with desire to empower women with her "Rosie on Fire" platform - a true social calling for fashion and women.
Source : Business Today