Owner, Haute Avenue
1) Why did you set up Haute Avenue and what do you love most about the work you do?
The business was founded in November 2009. I had a romanticised dream of passing my luxury handbags as heirlooms to my then two-year-old daughter, when she’s ready to tote her own Chanel. When I saw the high prices at local boutiques versus what we were getting from our contacts overseas, I immediately saw a void in the market for discounted luxury handbags. If you ask my husband, he will think the business is my excuse for buying bags to the power of infinity! The thing I love most about my work? It’s the delicious smell of leather in the office. Whenever I feel frazzled at work, all I need is a good sniff inside a Bottega Veneta wallet and I will feel better instantly. (Wow. I know! I should probably see a professional about this.)
2) How do you differentiate your business from the other companies offering similar discounts on branded bags?
Haute Avenue, being the first company to bring into Singapore the guerilla warehouse sale concept for designer handbags since November 2009, has the first-mover advantage of top-of-mind recall when it comes to designer handbag warehouse sales. Not one to rest on our laurels, we are constantly working on enhancing our customer value proposition and improving our touchpoints. Our launching of www.hauteavenue.com in March 2011 to offer a more convenient way for our customers to shop with us was part of our value creation, as well as offering free doorstep delivery within Singapore for all online purchases.
3) What plans are in the pipeline for your company’s expansion/growth? Venturing overseas perhaps?
Having spent two months fine-tuning our online model, we are ready to open our website to shoppers from Asia and Australia by June 2011. As for other expansion plans, we are keeping our cards close to our chest for now. There are some exciting projects we are working on now is all that I can say.
4) Which are your favourite bags? Your biggest splurge item?
My favourite bags? They have to be the Hermes Birkin and Chanel Classic Flap. My biggest splurge is a $21,000 Chanel J12.
5) Do you expect the recent Tin Pei Ling episode will affect Kate Spade bag sales?
Where’s the indemnity clause for answering this question? I can see where this question is steering me to, you sneaky girl! Seriously, I don’t think people will dislike (or like, depending on which camp you are from) the brand by association. The matter of that fact is, Kate Spade is an extremely bold brand that pushes the envelope each time they launch a new collection. Just when you think they’ve outdone themselves in the last season, they will come up with an even wilder (in a good way) collection this season. Who isn’t in love with the brand’s quirky and whimsical designs, not to mention candy colours that beg to be the centerpiece of your look? There is no such thing as bad publicity – in the fashion arena, at least. See what Monica Lewinsky did to the blue Gap dress. More power to Kate Spade, I say!
Grace says: Florence is such a fun person to interview! You can tell from her replies what a cool person she is, right?
Best of all, she has this gift for you: a $10 coupon code. All you need to do is to click through this link to claim the discount: http://on.fb.me/iM57CN Happy shopping, folks!
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