Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julia Zhu, founder of Few Moda, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Few Moda is a membership-based manufacturer-to-consumer online marketplace where members enjoy direct access to shop even the most elevated fashion pieces from premium manufacturers for 50-80% less, plus free shipping and returns. Our customers are fashion focus and quality-conscious women who aren't willing to sacrifice quality for styles.
Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised in China and moved to the U.S. when I was 18 for college. After graduating from undergrad, I worked in investment banking at Barclays, JPMC, and UBS, as well as retail management at Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors.
I launched Few Moda in 2014 as a wholesale business initially. Through years of working with retail industry leaders and from my personal experiences as a consumer, I decided to launch fewmoda.com in 2021. fewmoda.com started as a solution to a problem that many consumers and I were facing- we were tired of overpaying for products we knew were insanely marked up. Like any fashion-obsessed women who love to constantly replenish their closets with classic, elevated, on-trend yet quality pieces- we kept finding ourselves asking the same question- "Why aren't their premium quality clothes at an affordable price point."
I wanted to create something that democratizes access for consumers and provides the best value for their money.
At the same time, I also wanted to disrupt the traditional retail business and help manufacturers to sell directly to a new market of consumers in a more profitable and sustainable way.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest accomplishment and also challenge was that I actually started with 0 experience in supply chain and retail. Everything I know today I had to learn from scratch, from doing, and from trying and failing and trying again. I am still learning every day and hope to be an expert in the industry to not only change the traditional way of consumer shopping for the better but also to create a profitable and sustainable business for everyone in the ecosystem.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think leadership is one of the hardest things - being able to manage several teams in different countries and make sure everyone's communication and goals are aligned.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Assess if there is a product-market fit before investing your energy/time/money.
- Put consumer needs before everything else, invest in them, and build a long-term relationship with them.
- Understand that VC is a plus but not a must, and you can create an amazing enterprise that can inspire people and change the world by getting your product and market right.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.