There’s a lot of talk about work-life balance, with professionals and companies seeing the value of a recharged, well-rested workforce.
Amidst more flexible working hours, work-from-home options and offices with rooms for naps, we’d probably not expect to hear that becoming an entrepreneur is one way to achieve that work-life balance.
But that’s exactly what co-founders of online fashion store RoseValley have done in order to spend more time with their son. So we couldn’t help but find out more on their young business, family, and just what it takes to balance the two so expertly.
The Beginnings Of RoseValley
Founded in 2014 by husband-and-wife team Hadi and Dian, RoseValley is an e-commerce venture that caters to the Muslim demographic with celebrity-centric modest wear.
The couple shared that since they started, they’ve even received orders from countries like Brunei and Australia. And as of March 2016, they have served an estimated total of 8,000 customers and about 15,000 orders from both online sales and offline events.
Their site reveals a wide selection of hijab, dresses and perfumes available for sale with new stock almost every week. Items were designed through collaborations with various celebrities, giving their inventory of everyday wear a touch of exclusivity.
Hadi and Dian share that the hijab tends to be their most popular item, selling out in as little as 30 minutes after a launch. And it’s not hard to see why.
In addition to their website, the enterprising pair also started an Instagram account to engage with their customers. Today, they have a strong following of about 27.9K, with clients spreading the word by tagging them in pictures of the clothes they buy.
Quite The Success Story
Running such a successful business can be difficult, says Hadi and Dian.
“Since Hadi and I have been using our own savings from the beginning, ensuring that we have sufficient products for our growing customers can be quite challenging.”
The hardest times, they say, is when demand exceeds supply and they are unable to meet customer requests. At the same time, they also have to deal with customer service, and ensure that their customers receive their items in a timely manner.
Still, the couple is quick to point out that there are happy moments to match each of the tough ones.
“The happiest moment for us was when we won the Shopify Asia Build A Business Competition in 2015. Winning the competition helped to boost our confidence and it was definitely a morale booster for us since we are a young company,” they said.
“The knowledge that we gained was extremely invaluable and it further motivated us to keep growing the business.”
In addition, RoseValley organised the massively successful Celebfest – a trendy Malay fashion bazaar – in 2016 that saw over 50,000 attendees.
And this Ramadhan 2017, they are bringing CelebFest back at the Suntec Convention Centre.
It Takes A Village To Raise A Child
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur (or even a parent) to know that balancing a new business with family is hard work.
So it was surprising to find out that Hadi and Dian started RoseValley precisely so they could spend more time with their young son. And it makes a lot of sense if you think about it.
With their online business, the pair has greater flexibility with their time, and can schedule meetings around their family commitments.
Dian shares, “my family is overseas, so we get to visit them and at the same time, continue this business. We are not limited to working from 9 to 6pm.”
Hadi agrees, and credits Shopify with providing them the infrastructure to automate various aspects of their business.
“When we were looking for a online platform to use, we were looking for something really simple and easy to use, and Shopify fits that criteria. It’s really even simple for non IT-savvy person.”
This in turns gives them more time to spend on their personal lives.
Still, the couple explains that simply being entrepreneurs do not mean that their problems are solved.
“There are times when it can be difficult, especially during peak periods and when we travel overseas to meet up with suppliers, as we have to leave our son behind.”
“Therefore, it can be quite challenging to balance it out. However, we try to make sure that we spend as much quality time as we can with our son after every busy period — to make up for the time lost.”
Becoming an entrepreneur is not a sure-fire way to having more family time. Ultimately it boils down to careful planning, sacrifice, and loads of hard work.
The trick, Dian reveals, is to find a support group.
“We are fortunate to have family support that enables us to concentrate on our business and have peace of mind whenever we are busy with the business.”