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Woman Business Owner Adrienne Ma, CEO and Founder, Shouke.com

Adrienne Ma (AM): The whole world knows that China’s a huge market, right? It’s a huge, relatively untapped market. Now the challenge is: can you crack the nut and go in and take your reward? AM: I was born in Hong Kong, and I was raised in Hong Kong as well for the earlier part of my childhood. I went to Boston for my university. And after I graduated um I didn’t really want to come back yet but my mother lured me back. I joined Joyce in 1989 and uh – it was a 20 year journey.

Card: Adrienne’s mother, Joyce Ma founded Joyce Boutique.

AM: When it opened in 1970, it was the first store to represent European fashion designers in Hong Kong.

Question: So did you always sort of know that you’d end up at Joyce?

AM: I wasn’t consciously paving the way for that. And my parents were very nice, you know they never really forced us or insinuated that this is where we should so called end up. But the older I got, the-the more I felt it is a very unique opportunity whereby you know a business starting from 600 square feet shop, growing to be you know at one point well over 50 stores around Asia and Hong Kong. And it would be a pity not to learn something about it. I was at the helm of Joyce for about ten years, then I started wondering uh what I could do with the experience I have.

CARD: In 2009 Adrienne left Joyce and launched Shouke.com

AM: Shouke is a multi-label designer, fashion, and lifestyle e-e-commerce website with online flash sales. Customers have six days to choose what they like. If you miss it, too bad. You have to come back again for another group of brands the next week. There are a lot of commonalities I think between physical retail and virtual retail – especially with the products that we sell. It’s like any stores, any luxury stores. Your website has to look luxurious, right? Your brands have to be like all physical stores, your brand partners want to be with the right brand peers.

We’ve always have been looking China as the majority of the business. They are the number two biggest luxury market in the world. You know they have the highest internet users, they are now very E-commerce savvy. So it’s a perfect time – and they love brands of course. I’m learning really a lot everyday. I’m learning a new market which I’ve never touched.

CARD: An abundance of riches

AM: There are a lot of similar websites okay. This is one of the hottest so called new businesses that is popping up in China like mushroom. So our challenge for China basically is that with luxury websites how do we bring ourselves up front and also differentiate ourselves – why should they shop with us?

CARD: More than a billion people

AM: The size of the market is just mind-boggling. I mean Hong Kong is just one city, so we want to start with 200 cities. And then we eventually you know grow ourselves into other cities. Yeah I mean it is overwhelming, overwhelming.

CARD: Click now Pay later?

AM: China has COD, cash on delivery. So customers don’t have to pay until you deliver it. I think we’re going to have some fun and fields day.

Question: How are you going to rise above noise?

AM: How are we going to do that? Well, um thanks to my heritage again – I really do thank my mother a lot actually. You knowI was telling her the other day, I said look you know, our secret weapon is that you know we have her as our consultant. You know it’s a huge learning curve. Hopefully I come out of it above the waves. If I get dragged under for a while then I’ll try and pedal myself up.

I’ll give myself you know a good you know at least 3-5 years, a fair chance and a lot of hard work, and then we’ll take a look, and hopefully it’ll go somewhere and I’ll go, “Yes!” No fear, no pain, no problem.

And we’re done! Bye, bye.

Credits

Producers – Victoria Wang and Sue Williams
Director – Sue Williams
Editor – Merril Stern
Director of New Media and Outreach – Karin Kamp
Director of Photography – Jerry Risius
Production Assistant – Erika Howard
Assistant Editor – David Scorca
Graphic – Robin Brunelle
Music – Killer Tracks

Photo Courtesy of:
Diane Pernet – A Shaded View of Fashion.com

© Ambrica Productions

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