Starting at the age of 15, Madelyn Chin already had a passion for fashion and she turned her passion into a business with Happy2U.
Founded in 2009 when she was just a student in high school, she went out to make a fashion brand that was affordable for everyone.
No stranger to the fashion industry, she’s been an active member for 10 years. Now 25 years old, she has built Happy2U into a successful brand that is specialised in selling shoes.
The O2O Model
As fashion continues to grow its presence online thanks to the help of e-commerce, Madelyn has also taken steps to grow the company in the e-commerce space by offering a dropshipping programme and also transforming their physical store to a fulfillment center.
“By having a physical store we aim to improve customer purchase experience and increase basket value of the customer,” she explained.
One of the objectives of eRezeki programme is to educate Malaysians on how to earn extra money by doing dropshipping businesses. The way the programme works is by registering as a dropshipper with Happy2U, they can sell the products to customers via social media or marketplaces.
“Happy2U will ship on behalf of the dropshipper to their customer; the dropshipper actually saves their time and effort on managing warehousing, packaging, photoshoots and product sourcing,” explained Madelyn.
Keeping Prices Down
Following their motto of “Fashion Ain’t Expensive”, the prices of products on the platform that range from shoes to clothes are at an average of RM50.
When asked how she manages to keep her products affordable she said, “We believe small is beautiful and also flexible.”
“Our team only has 10 staff which consist of customer service, sales, marketing, design, human resource, warehousing, and accounts,” said Madelyn.
Currently, all of Happy2U’s employees are female.
Retaining talent is also her key to building and growing a company. Furthermore they monitor their inventory constantly and avoid slow moving designs. When they do encounter one they will aim to clear it as soon as possible.
As the fashion space is incredibly saturated, Madelyn and her team have to make their products stand out. They focus on branding and content creation to ensure that customers always have trust in them.
“We always believe added value can make you stand out from competitors,” she said. “Besides, the decision of opening a physical store/ flagship store has great branding impact on our brand.”
She explained that with a physical store, customers will be more confident to shop with them as they can get after-sales service if needed.
Although the store is located in Melaka (and that could hinder some customers), Madelyn mentioned that she decided to run the business in Melaka after considering the costs involved and finding manpower.
“Happy2U’s warehouse is based in Melaka and it enables us to enjoy cheaper rental and it just takes me 1.5 hours just to reach KL if I have any appointments there,” she added.
Surviving A Decade And More
Since 2009, Happy2U told us that they now have over 40,000 registered members on their platform, helped more than 1,000 sellers sell their products online and offline, and has around 200 different Stock Keeping Units (SKUs).
“Funding is the most challenging thing while running Happy2U as we don’t have investor or partners,” Madelyn explained.
As Happy2U doesn’t have any investors or partners, all the capital is funded by Madelyn herself and from the company’s profits throughout the years of operating.
Throughout her years of operating the business, her biggest accomplishments would be having her factory as the warehouse and opening the flagship store within 2 years after graduating from university.
Furthermore in 2018, she told us that the business brought in 6 figures in sales, and she’s not planning to stop there yet as she believes that “new retail” will be the next big thing in Malaysia.
Editor’s note: The figure in the previous paragraph has been updated based on new information from the founder.
The term “new retail” is coined famous by Alibaba as their strategy to redefine commerce by enabling seamless engagement between the online and offline world.
It’s about building a retail ecosystem that blends online and offline channels in a unified way that features the consumer at the center.
“Utilising the benefits of both e-commerce and physical store provided to the business can definitely improve overall performance,” she said.
With the ultimate goal of bringing affordable fashion to customer’s doorstep, Madelyn plans to open up a few more flagship stores in other states in the near future.
Feature Image Credit: Happy2U