There’s nothing that shouts ‘follow your passion’ more than the entrepreneurial journey of Jane Lu.
Jane’s the incredibly talented mastermind behind the pages of fashion site Showpo, and one half of the genius behind the successful 55,000 member strong Facebook group Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine (LMBDW).
While we’re stalking the pages of Showpo finding our latest outfit and fashion inspo, Jane is working endlessly to create a brand and business that radiates innovative success and thrives on a strong, influential culture.
From her parent’s garage, to now, Jane is the definition of an entrepreneur who has taken on the world and made the world her own.
It is so easy to be lost in Jane’s words as she passionately tells the story of a journey that saw both success and failure get her to where she is today.
Be inspired by the story that is Jane Lu, and be prepared to make the magic happen.
From your parent’s garage 2010 to now, you have accomplished so much. Tell me more about who you are and what you stand for.
When I started Showpo we literally worked out of my parent’s garage, we hired staff, at one point we even had 3 shops. We slowly began to work out of a larger office, moved into a warehouse, switched to using a third party warehouse, hired staff, hired more experienced and senior staff, launched new ranges, launched extended sizes, switched offices again and expanded our operations globally.
It's been a whirlwind, and I’ve had a lot of fun along the way. Never in a million years did I think that I would accomplish so much at such a young age. Through this crazy journey I now know that anything you want in life is possible if you just work hard for it. I think I stand as a good example for young entrepreneurs, through my experiences I share my successes and failures to motivate others never to give up working hard for what they want to accomplish.
What projects are you currently working on? Are there any future events we should keep an eye out for?
When aren’t there any projects should be the question!
We have quite a few exciting tech initiatives in the pipeline, as well as furthering our international expansion. We also have an increased focus on being more than just a retailer, but rather a producer of content to entertain our community. And of course, there are always fun projects like our trip to Coachella, I’ve actually just purchased tickets for the event, I can’t wait!
Success and failure, both hold important lessons. I’d love to hear more about your successes, failures and the things that drive and inspire you.
With the failure of my first business, Fatboye Group I’ve learned a really valuable lesson, well - there were many lessons to learn from that venture, but the biggest one for me, was that no matter how much passion and hard work you put into a business, if the business model doesn’t work, it’s never going to work. If you’re selling a product that’s not in demand, there’s not enough PR in the world you could generate to make it work.
What my experience has taught me is that failure isn’t so bad. It sounds cliche, but the tough times have taught me and helped me grow. The advice I would give to myself when I first started Showpo would be that there will be things that won't go to plan or that won't succeed, but always use those mistakes or failures as a learning block to improve and make you stronger.
From working in accounting and corporate finance, to creating Showpo and LMBDW, how do you use words to get your message out to your audience/followers/fans?
I’ve presented at numerous events like the Premier’s Harmony Dinner, NAB IWD Event, Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs Event and plenty of LMBDW events! I released my vlog series which I hope inspires budding business owners.
Being an entrepreneur can be challenging, when I started out, there had been many instances when my peers didn't believe/support me, and for someone who’s just starting out this can truly be discouraging. However, with the success of Showpo, I strongly believe anyone can achieve their goals and aspirations through hard work and determination. I set up ‘Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine’ - a platform for entrepreneurial women to chat about their ideas and encourage each other to succeed. Since the creation of the LMBDW group, I’ve had hundreds of meetups with fellow bitches and made so many industry contacts.
What’s your favourite quote?
My favourite quote is “Believe in yourself and you’ll be unstoppable.” I love it so much that I even go it printed in the inside front cover of our staff Showpo notebooks.
I just think it’s always important to stay true to yourself and do what you believe in and what makes you happy. If I listened to what everyone told me when I started Showpo, I would never be where I am today.
Your positive attitude to entrepreneurship and startups is infectious. What do you believe are the three most important things when starting a business?
1. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with supportive people - don’t let anyone make you second guess yourself.
2. Don’t let failure stop you. You will fail, it's never an easy ride, but use your failures as lessons for the future.
3. No matter what you do, have fun doing it. If your business is not something you're passionate about or something you enjoy doing you’ll never be truly satisfied.
You are the goddess of social media. How do you believe words impact business?
Words hold great power, they have the ability to communicate messages but above all they trigger emotions within each and everyone of us.
In Business, it is important to use words that align with your brand positioning so that you have a strong brand identity. Don’t you ever find yourself reading something and automatically thinking of a particular brand, it happens to me quite often.
If you could choose three words that showcase you/your brand to the world, what would they be?
The three words I would chose that describe myself and Showpo would be energetic, girly and confident.
Given the spectacular success of Showpo and LMBDW, what Words of Wisdom do you have for inspiring business professionals who want to succeed, while doing something that they love?
As a business professional myself, my role has changed drastically from being the hustler to the leader, a role that I have far from prepared for and am still perfecting. The best piece of advice I have received and I regularly pass on is that instead doing everything by yourself, you have to learn the value of delegating and hiring and understand the importance of weighing up the opportunity costs.
*Find out more about Jane, Showpo and Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine.