Sylvia Yin

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Fashion forward

Article from the Sun daily by Amanda Lauren Lee (posted on 26 Nov 2015)

WHAT started out as a short trip down to Leicester, United Kingdom to visit a former college mate during summer break became the catalyst for Sylvia Yin’s start-up, Shopprapp.

Envisioning a platform for women to easily find and share wardrobe inspiration, Yin and her two friends created a mobile application in 2013 to unite and form a community of fashion lovers.

It was a steep climb for all three founders. Starting off from scratch, they conducted surveys with women regarding their sense of style before bringing Shopprapp into the picture.

Now the application is steadily garnering users by at least 50% every month, boosted through its fashionista ambassadorship programme.

On top of user growth, the trio has been steadily developing Shopprapp, often improving it in different ways based on shared ideas. Recently, the company incorporated a new software that enables users to purchase clothes off the application.

What made you create Shopprapp?
My co-founder Kendrick wanted to establish his own business. Knowing my love for fashion, he called me after we returned from our studies in the UK and suggested I bring my expertise into a new venture which would allow us to build something new and exciting.

Could you briefly share the journey of making Shopprapp happen?
It was highly challenging at first. Targeting female shoppers was my idea. On the way I gained a lot of understanding of technical anddevelopmental aspects but it was a steep learning curve. We went through protracted stages of drawings and prototypes until we reached the end product. It was not easy but ultimately satisfying and rewarding.

What has been the hardest challenge so far?
I was a fresh graduate with little knowledge in technology, and zero experience in entrepreneurship. Everythingwas foreign to me. I had a hard time catching up with myco-founders, the industry, and adapting to the working environment. From the get-go, I had to make a lot of changes in order to overcome this. What I did to improve was to make sure I read four business articles before I get out of bed so I can learn many different things. Then I also learned from my co-founders in the way they work and solve problems.

What do you hope to achieve with Shopprapp?
We plan to be a girl’s best friend when it comes to fashion shopping – being able to help when they do not know what to wear. With Shopprapp, they can search through many inspirations that could help get them fashionably prepared.

Best advice you have received when it comes to building your own business?
I came across an article about Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘move fast, break things’ philosophy. It taught me to take risks, be more daring, and try different things quickly.I’ve always been too careful and planning things meticulously. But this advice has changed the way I handle different situations.

What else is in store for the Shopprapp brand?
We want to create the possibility of easily purchasing similar outfits via the application.We’re also planning to give the shopper an all-inclusive browsing experience; for example, for them to be able to search for thelatest trends. We hope for girls to gain confidence in the way they dress so that theyfeel amazing whenever they step out the door.

Trivia
Her cup of tea: English breakfast
Current read: An Almanac of Words at Play by William R. Espy
To give up shoes or bags: Bags
Achilles' heel: Babies
Personal style: Classy minimal

 

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