From humble beginnings in her parents garage to a multi-million dollar empire, Jane Lu’s Showpo is a shining example of what perseverence and hard work can lead to.
More than a decade since launching, the fashion brand continues to take the industry by storm, providing on-trend, fashionable and vibrant designs that allow everyone to be authentically and unapologetically them.
Below, Lu shares some business insights, including what she wish she’d known before diving head first into the Showpo world and the words of wisdom she lives by.
“Well I probably did it for the wrong reasons… I quit my corporate job to work on another business (running pop up stores selling emerging designer products). I made that leap mainly because I hated my accounting job, so I needed an out. And the idea of starting a business was just so exciting. It was really naive of me because that business model wasn’t great and the business failed and I was left with nothing. I was unemployed, in debt and ashamed.
“And because it was in the middle of the Global Financial Crisis, I couldn’t get another job. So by default, I had to start another business. That business was Showpo!”
“When we won Online Retailer of the Year at the Online Retail Industry Awards in 2018. Hearing our name being called out amongst big brands that I’ve grown up with, that are massive and have heaps of funding was amazing in itself, but then to see the Showpo logo on the big screen announced as the winner was surreal.
“I mean this is a company that I started in my parents’ garage. And the Showpo name is just something I made up. To see us being recognised as the Online Retailer of the Year for the entire country was just beyond incredible.”
“The people that talk down on you for starting a business will probably be the first people that come to you for advice when business takes off. They have such a strong opinion about your new venture because you are doing what they’re so afraid of doing!
"Enjoy the journey, not the destination. I know that sounds a little bit cheesy, but hear me out, a business is not about having an endpoint, set yourself goals and targets to work towards! Ultimately, the fun is watching your business evolve and seeing the career you’ve created for yourself come to fruition! I’ve been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience so many amazing moments in my career which would have never been possible had I stayed in my accounting job.
"Business is all about making mistakes. It’s okay to make the wrong decision within your career, we’re only human at the end of the day! I always say, trust your gut on these big decisions, but if things do go wrong at least you can take it as a learning opportunity. It’s the decisions where you don’t trust your gut that will haunt you later!"
“As a female-founder myself, it’s so important to me to support businesses from women who are trying to make their mark in the world. I truly believe that by openly supporting other female entrepreneurs, we’re creating role models for future generations of women and girls. Seeing women in leadership positions and running their businesses can inspire young girls to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams! Let’s uplift each other and work towards a better future together!”