PMQ Entrepreneur Series: Interview with A Day with Fé
PMQ brings creative space to Hong Kong on a scale never previously experienced. Over 100 creative designers, businesses and entrepreneurs occupy the light and spacious Aberdeen Street location. Some of the first to experience the challenges and successes of this new, untested venue talk to us about their experiences as part of this exciting and innovative venture.
Bringing a sense of calm to the city, A Day with Fé specializes in elegant yoga inspired clothing designs. More than just a fashion brand, the space offers workshops on a wide range of topics including yoga, style and health.
Tell us about your company
I launched my yoga-inspired clothing line in June 2013. The idea was to create an elegant and chic active wear collection that you could wear outside the gym without having the athletic look with neon colors. The yoga-inspired bit is that each piece of my collection has a mantra or positive affirmation in the inside, that nobody can see but the wearer. I learned about mantras when I first discovered yoga and wanted to empower other non yogis with these words of wisdom.
What has your experience been like having a shop at PMQ?
PMQ has been a great way to gain exposure. During the PMQ's soft opening, daily media tours were organised by the local and mainland media companies. Interviews and video shoots by various media platforms gave me the opportunity to increase brand awareness in new market segments. Traffic is good in the evenings and during weekends, and PMQ can even be a little overcrowded during special events such as the PMQ Night Markets or the 1600 Panda exhibition. Moving from online to offline, sales have increased a lot for me since I opened in PMQ.
The challenges of running a shop for me is the need to be present in the shop. The opening hours of PMQ are daily from 1pm to 8pm. Working from home or remotely has been very convenient in the past and now I am managing a team of part-time sales staff to run the shop.
Tell us about the process for applying for a spot in PMQ
My application included my design portfolio, my key design disciplines, my business plan and how I could contribute to the PMQ community. The whole process, between the date I submitted my application and the date I received the result, was less than 2 months. I have signed a 2 year contract with PMQ.
Tell us about the process of setting up your shop. Can you do anything with your space?
PMQ is the former Police Married Quarters, so in order to preserve the building's heritage (which I fully support because this is quite unique in Hong Kong), we had a number of guidelines to respect in terms of setting up our space such as a certain weight of furniture we could not to exceed or the studio façade that could not be altered. The interior design is then entirely up to us. I chose a minimalist interior with a wooden flooring so I can host yoga or other wellbeing related workshops in my studio.
Any thoughts/tips for potential shop owners that are thinking of launching in PMQ?
I would recommend first time shop owners or entrepreneurs in the creative field wanting to engage with the customers to open a shop in PMQ. There is increasing traffic and a variety of customers from tourists to young local hipsters. I use my "shop" as my office in the mornings when there is no traffic and love to engage with my fellow designers from PMQ.
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