The Fashion Business
By: Olivia Xiao, Catalina Zuo
While working as a personal shopper, Ms. Jing Leng found a problem. When Ms. Leng shopped for her clients, she had to do the same things over and over, because there were hundreds of online luxury stores around the world, with huge amounts of stock keeping units, limited inventory, and huge price differences. Google was no longer efficient, making customers spend frustrating hours online, and making them wonder if there is a better price somewhere else. There was a supply and demand, but not a sufficient way to connect the two. Ms. Leng and Mr. Brian Li created a solution to this problem: ModeSens. Mr. Li used his computer science knowledge to code the website, ModeSens, so they could aggregate information about a product to one page so a shopper can easily make a purchase decision. This fashion business has helped customers save time and money, two of the most valued things today. On April 23, 2022, YES invited co-founders of ModeSens, Jing Leng and Brian Li, to speak about entrepreneurship, technology, and fashion.
Mr. Li shares the stages of starting a business: 1) Survival: create a product and team from the ground, solve problems, secure partnerships, and find product-market fit. 2) Formalization: grow the company from a startup to a more established business. 3) Expansion: focus on more market expansion and promotion. Their company’s vision is to be a trusted concierge for everyone, providing the ultimate, effortless, and worry-free shopping experience.
As Mr. Li and Ms. Leng went through the journey of starting their business, they learned a lot about entrepreneurship and shared some of their thoughts with us. First is to think about why you want to be an entrepreneur. Is it financial freedom? Work-life balance? Passion to change the world? For those who want to become entrepreneurs, Mr. Li suggests building on a growing industry with light demand on capital and assets (like computer science), with low legal risk and long-lasting core values.
After the keynote speech, YES members met up to finalize their launch ideas, which will be presented at the end-of-year party. Entrepreneurship, as seen by Mr. Li, is not gambling. It is more like an experiment. You test something and see how it can improve. Stay positive and enjoy the journey!