Entrepreneur

With 9 Years Of Successful Swimwear Sales, This M’sian Startup Has No Plans To Change

When a brand has been around in a market for long enough, most would start to expand their product categories to appeal to new markets; in the process, increase their sales and profits.

Look at H&M for example, who stocked their shelves with in-house beauty products in 2015 to expand on their existing product range.

While Marks & Spencer diversified to sell food in 1931, on top of their apparels.

Pink N’ Proper takes a different approach.

This homegrown Malaysian brand has been operating since 2011. For the past 9 years, they’ve stuck to one thing, and one thing only. 

Fashionable and affordable swimwear. 

Getting A Good Fit

Pink N’ Proper could not position themselves the same way they did when we last wrote about them 3 years ago, as being the only accessible swimwear brand in Malaysia. 

Every other swimwear brand around the world has become their competition.

“The only advantage we have is that we are located locally in Kuala Lumpur and customers can drop by anytime to try our swimwear out before making their purchase,” co-founder Vivien explained.

The location she’s describing in Kuala Lumpur is their new boutique the brand moved into in late 2019.

“Back then, our first location was not meant for walk-ins as we initially thought it would just be a working area and a warehouse,” she said.

“It was not presentable and parking was a nightmare!”

With a growing team and more customers requesting to go in for fitting sessions, they soon outgrew that location and decided to invest RM50,000 into a more presentable boutique in Kuala Lumpur. 

“We also grew our team and invested more into digital marketing,” Vivien added.

Some of their brand influencers pulling off the clothing line in the sea / Image Credit @EmmaMaeembong and @Jestinna

Since our last interview, she told us that the team has now been adding a wider range of products to their inventory by sourcing them internally and working with other local brands. 

But they’re still adamant about sticking to their category of swimwear products.

“We currently have no plans on carrying items out of our category but if we do, building another brand for that purpose would be a much better plan,” she said.

Surviving The Deep Sea

Though there was an increase in online shopping during the lockdown, I assumed swimwear products were definitely not a big seller at the time. 

“What you mentioned was spot on,” said Vivien. 

“With us being closely related to the travel industry, our sales were greatly affected. We had to stay afloat by using our reserves.”

As survival became their main priority, all their plans for new collection launches had to be put on hold immediately.

We knew the pandemic would not last forever, so we focused on planning our comeback once it was over. 

Vivien, co-founder of Pink N’ Proper

True enough, 3 months after the announcement of the travel ban being lifted domestically, sales started picking back up. 

The team invested every last cent into advertising and marketing, which paid off. 

Vivien said that they managed to not only stay afloat but also grow their reserves for the unavoidable second or third wave that’s happening right now.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

Besides the new boutique and bigger team, Pink N’ Proper has stuck to what they’re doing best.

The Pink N’ Proper team / Image Credit: Pink N’ Proper

On average, the brand is able to sell about 1,000 to 1,200 sets of swimwear a month.

In our last interview, Vivien shared that the brand is able to relate to their local customers by using Asian models whose main profession isn’t modelling.

This is to instil a “everybody can pull off this look” mindset into their customers.

They have since still kept this marketing strategy as it’s been working out well for them locally.

“Our customers don’t only want to look good in our products but feel good when wearing them as well,” she added. 

The brand chooses down to earth local social media influencers as their models / Image Credit: @yvonnechua and Pink N’ Proper

However, she admits that it has been difficult to relate to markets outside of Malaysia, which happens to be their main challenge as of now.

Already shipping their fashion line all over the world since starting out, the only changes they’ve made since then was refining and streamlining their entire fulfilment process. 

Noticing that their swimwear line only caters to women, we asked Vivien if she had any plans on expanding to male markets in the future.

To which she replied, “At the moment we do not have any plans to move into the male market as we would like to stay focused on the female market for now. Maybe next time!”

With their brand positioning as the “One-stop shop for all your holiday needs” in Malaysia, they’re aiming to become the go-to brand for swimwear for consumers in neighbouring countries and hopefully, the rest of the world.

  • You can find out more about Pink N’ Proper here.
  • You can read about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: The team of Pink N’ Proper

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