We would like to introduce you to Maggie Wu, Founder of Maggie Wu Studio, a beautiful luxury lifestyle silk womenswear and accessories who's self-care gift box was recently featured in US Vogue, Forbes and other international publications.
About Maggie Wu Studio
Maggie Wu Studio is a luxury lifestyle brand celebrating life's moments- both big and small. The brand releases beautiful silk womenswear and accessories throughout the year based on celebratory events & dates.
Hello Maggie, what made you want to become an entrepreneur?
I was born in Taiwan, grew up in Canada, went to university and worked in the US. Most recently I relocated from New York to Hong Kong, via a brief year in Singapore. While I studied Economics at UCLA, I was always interested in fashion and retail. I did merchandising for several years in the US and worked at brands such as Barney’s New York, Prada, and Carolina Herrara.
However, I was always more interested in startups and when a lot of digital native direct-to-consumer brands such as Glossier, Everlane, and Warby Parker started popping up in the States, I was really drawn to their business model. It felt fresh, modern, and appealed to the millennial consumer who is interested in understanding how products are made and being a part of a brand community, instead of just blindly following a designer brand.
I have always known that I wanted to have my own business/brand, so when the timing was right, I launched my business as an e-commerce only brand. Maggie Wu Studio is a luxury lifestyle brand celebrating life's moments- both big and small. The brand releases beautiful silk womenswear and accessories throughout the year based on celebratory events & dates. For example, we are currently working on a Chinese New Year collection that we will be launching at the beginning of 2019.
You started as a wedding brand but rebranded the concept after, why?
When I was planning my wedding, I couldn’t find headpieces that I liked, so I created my own, and it became a business. And it grew. A year in, however, I became uncomfortable with the message that I was sending out into the world.
My best friend is 33 and she is not married. I can see the constant pressure she has from her family and the toll it has taken on her. Every time I posted a photo of a bride whilst promoting my business, I felt that I was going along with this unreasonable expectation of women and sending this message that women can only celebrate themselves or be celebrated if they are getting married. This unsettling feeling became so strong, that I could no longer bear promote my business as what it was.
I took a few months break to look deep into my heart and discover what kind of message do I want to send out to the world. Through a long and painful rebranding process, I came up with a new vision, about celebrating women, and all of their moments big and small. In honour of this new brand vision and messaging, I recently launched a Celebrate You Self-Care Set which is a perfect gift for anyone in your life who you think deserves some celebration for all the hard work she has done this year, including yourself.
So far, what's the most challenging part of your journey?
Embracing the unknown. As someone who has always liked to plan ahead and make sure everything goes perfectly and according to plan, I am slowly learning that nothing will always go 100% according to plan, and as an entrepreneur it is something you just have to embrace.
Can you name the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When I first started, I wanted to do everything myself, from the logo design to the website to the email newsletters. As the business grows, it is impossible for one person to handle everything and do it all well. As a business owner, one of the biggest things I have had to learn is to know when to ask for help and when to delegate certain tasks to other people so that I am utilizing my time most efficiently.
As a startup or new business, how do you build credibility and trust with your customers, your stakeholders, your business partners, etc.?
With social media nowadays, I am so glad that I get to share my brand messaging with anyone across the world through various social media platforms. The most important thing that builds credibility with our followers and customers is to have consistent messaging throughout all platforms and brand touchpoints. From our Instagram photos and copy to our products and packaging, from the moment someone discovers our brand to the moment they receive our products, everything has to be consistent. Consumers nowadays are very savvy and smart, if anything is slightly inauthentic, they will notice.
Personal success to me is doing something I love and believe in every day. Company success to me is being able to share a positive message with the world, either through our products or the content we produce as a brand.
In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?
1. What is your long-term plan and end goal?
2. What are you offering that nobody else is offering in the market?
3. What kind of message do you want to send out into the world with your business?
What's your favourite motivational quote?
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ~Maya Angelou. I believe everyone has a unique story to tell, and everyone deserves to share their authentic story with the world. It makes the world a much more interesting place. This quote motivates me to stay true to who I am both in my personal life and in business.