We kick off the first part of our Influencers Series with an interview with the Taikor of Malaysian streetwear, Shen, owner of the widely loved The Swagger Salon.
When you started in 2010, there were no bazaars or blogshops. Tell us a little bit about that time…
Actually, there were bazaars, but it was all very girly – handbags and handcrafts, that kinda thing. These days, you have all these clothing festivals specifically for local clothing, which didn’t really happen back then.
Now, with Facebook, everything is just easier. Back then; we started an online shop because no one wanted to put our caps in their stores as there were not that many local brands, so most of these owners did not want to carry Malaysian brands due to “perception” reasons. They would rather have international brands.
So, if the Swagger Salon was launched this year, as opposed to 2010. What kind of strategy would you devise to crack the market?
Good question. It will definitely be much harder to break. Although, the resources are there. Everyone is connected now. Everybody has a Facebook or Instagram account. Its easier to reach, its just whether people take notice of your brand.
What advice would you give someone starting his or her own brand?
Do something different.
Social commerce is booming in Asia. People are utilizing Facebook and Instagram to leverage more customers. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think its here to stay?
I think it is. At the end of the day, it’s still the most direct way to reach out to your audience.
Do you think people who usually shop on their desktops will move to their mobiles?
Most definitely. Everything is moving to mobile, not just e-commerce. It’s a really convenient way to buy and sell. From my point view, I can use it to sell some of my old stock. I don’t think there’s any harm in having an extra platform.
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