This S’pore model makes masks worn by Girl Gaga, earns report gross sales of over US$10K in a day

Carol Chen is one powerhouse of a girl. She has constructed 5 totally different firms throughout 4 international locations and is now on a mission to create “The Greatest Face Masks in The World” in our new pandemic actuality.

Her newest enterprise, Maskela, was constructed shortly out of her condominium, only a week earlier than Circuit Breaker was imposed in April 2020.

She scrambled to place all the pieces collectively on her personal and at this time, Maskela has grown to change into a world model. It ships to greater than 15 international locations worldwide, and has earned over US$10,000 from only a single day of on-line gross sales.

In accordance with Carol, they’re one of many first pure trend masks manufacturers in Singapore with the largest vary of over 100 designer kinds, focusing purely on trend masks and mask-related merchandise.

She has lately secured a contract for her masks to be offered at American luxurious retailer Neiman Marcus, making Maskela the primary Singaporean masks model to take action. Her masks have additionally been seen on A-list celebrities like Girl Gaga and Sarah Jessica Parker, amongst others.

Girl Gaga carrying Maskela / Picture Credit score : Simply Jared

She at all times had a factor for trend

On the younger age of seven, Carol was already making attire for herself out of blankets and security pins. As a baby, she spent all her free time sketching attire or styling her siblings, so it was inevitable that she would find yourself with a level in trend design

“I like trend as a way to specific oneself and assist construct confidence, however I’m not an enormous fan of traits or extreme materialism,” she stated.

Rising up, she at all times felt insecure about her look and her skills. She tried to beat this by studying how one can look put collectively, giving her finest to all the pieces that she did and consistently trying to find methods to self-improve.

This ultimately led to loads of confidence-boosting achievements, reminiscent of successful a magnificence pageant, which helped her progressively really feel extra comfy in her personal pores and skin as she developed her private strengths and id.

carol chen singapore stories 2020
Carol Chen successful designs for Singapore Tales 2020 / Picture Credit score: Carol Chen

Final 12 months, Carol managed to win Singapore Tales 2020, a trend design competitors organised by The Textile and Vogue Federation (TaFF). The win awarded her with a runway debut at Paris Vogue Week, an exhibition of her designs on the Asian Civilisations Museum, and a retail alternative with Asian fashion-focused retailer SocietyA.

Similar to how she began Maskela, she entered the style competitors based mostly on a direct intuition. Regardless of having a background in trend design and dealing round trend most of her life, she isn’t a full-fledged dressmaker.

Acknowledging her rusty design abilities, she stated that she was up towards respected and proficient trend designers in Singapore. Nevertheless, she was unfazed and went on to create lovely designs out of upcycled material for the competitors that gained the jury’s admiration and approval.

Together with Maskela, she has now launched her personal eponymous label referred to as Carol Chen.

A serial entrepreneur

carol chen maskela founder
Picture Credit score: Carol Chen

Born in the US, Carol got here from a household of entrepreneurs so being her personal boss was a pure step for her.

Her first enterprise was a clothes model based mostly in Los Angeles that ultimately shut down as a result of weakening US financial system. The second was a cheerleading uniform firm that’s at present nonetheless thriving underneath her co-founder’s management. Then there was additionally a blended martial arts (MMA) model she did together with her ex-boyfriend earlier than they break up.

It wasn’t at all times simple, however it wasn’t exhausting both since I’ve a excessive tolerance for danger and discomfort. All you want is an optimistic angle, numerous resilience, and a powerful perception in your self.

Preliminary capital can come from financial savings and buyers however I imagine that when you have an excellent enterprise thought and willpower, your path will open up and sources will come to your help.

– Carol Chen, founding father of Maskela

She defined that the rationale she moved out of her security bubble in her residence nation to launch enterprise in unknown locations is as a result of she thinks that world has a lot extra to supply.

Some strikes had been made due to love, some had been out of necessity, others had been simply because she wished a brand new journey. There are such a lot of superb locations and unimaginable alternatives all around the globe that she feels it might be a disgrace to only keep in a single place.

She moved to Singapore for love, however ended up falling in love with the nation itself.

She stated that the pleasant, environment friendly and reliable regulatory and bureaucratic atmosphere in Singapore could be very conducive for establishing and working companies. Now, she plans for her companies to be based mostly in Singapore for the foreseeable future.

Maskela seemingly grew to become successful in a single day

Proper earlier than Maskela, Carol ran Covetella in Singapore, a designer costume rental retailer which permits ladies to borrow and purchase attire, or customise bespoke attire. Sadly, Covetella have needed to droop operations since March 2020 as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.

She determined to shut the showroom and swap her focus to Maskela. With occasions getting cancelled final 12 months, she reasoned that it didn’t make sense for her to maintain paying hire indefinitely when there was not a requirement for his or her companies. Actually, she nonetheless has many signature robes in storage that is still unused.

Recounting the beginning of Maskela, she stated that originally of the pandemic, masks weren’t obligatory however she nonetheless wished to put on one to guard herself.

Surgical masks had been the one choice on the time, and as a fashionista, she felt embarrassed carrying them as a result of they had been so unpleasant. This was how she got here up with the thought of slicing up a few of Covetella’s unused attire to make aesthetically-pleasing face masks.

maskela out of her living room
Picture Credit score: Carol Chen

A few week later, Singapore introduced the Circuit Breaker and she or he was scrambling to get all the pieces she wanted as quickly as attainable to construct a enterprise out of her condominium.

All material retailers and factories had been closed throughout that point, so it was extraordinarily exhausting to get uncooked suppliers and scale up manufacturing.

Maskela was one of many hardest companies I’ve ever constructed as a result of I used to be caught at residence and the nation was shut down. However out of sheer will, it nonetheless managed to occur.

– Carol Chen, founding father of Maskela

Then she proceeded to rent three interns, who labored alongside her out of her front room. It took her solely two months since Circuit Breaker to hit a six-figure income.

maskela out of her living room
Picture Credit score: Carol Chen

In addition they had loads of company orders that introduced in important income. Property administration agency Frasers Hospitality for one, ordered 1000’s of masks for all their world accommodations. Different big-name shoppers embody Bulgari, Pores and skin Inc, 1880, Design Orchard, TaFF, Tindle and Neiman Marcus.

In the present day, Maskela has change into essentially the most complete mono-brand masks, promoting all the pieces associated to masks: masks chains, masks clips, masks sanitisers, masks filters, and masks present units. 

What made it so successful

Picture Credit score: Maskela

True to Carol’s dedication to construct socially and environmentally accountable companies, identical to Covetella, the origin of Maskela is rooted in sustainability. Their preliminary masks had been upcycled from slicing up outdated Covetella attire.

Even at this time, most of their kinds are made out of leftover materials which implies as soon as the material is completed, they can not produce extra — this makes their restricted version masks really uncommon.

I had the fitting product on the proper time. I used to be one of many first manufacturers in Singapore to do trend masks in March 2020 and I labored incessantly on making certain it was the perfect masks I might make by way of high quality, consolation, and design.

I additionally frolicked constructing the model itself in order that it additionally had worth. There are loads of masks on the market, however you don’t see loads of ones like Maskela, and our excessive repeat-customer fee proves that we’re doing one thing proper. We additionally bundle our masks like presents to encourage individuals to purchase them for his or her family members to maintain them protected and trendy.

– Carol Chen, founding father of Maskela

She additionally shared recommendations on her profitable advertising and marketing methods for client items. The primary is to create a superior product and repair that can communicate for itself. When individuals adore it, they’ll promote it for you thru phrase of mouth.

The second is to launch a digital advertising and marketing marketing campaign by means of social media, influencer engagement, content material creation, in addition to utilizing conventional advertising and marketing methods through public relations (PRs) and partnerships

For Maskela, Search Engine Optimisation (search engine optimization) and Search Engine Advertising and marketing (SEM) was truly not accessible to them as an choice since Fb and Google initially banned something Private Protecting Gear (PPE)-related, so that they needed to depend on different inventive methods to get their model on the market.

She invested in hiring a good PR agency within the US to get her masks worn by A-list celebrities and influencers. That is essential in order to determine the posh model picture for her goal market viewers.

She targets A-listers and the elites to make sure increased revenue margins that can make her enterprise extra worthwhile.

Climbing as much as be the highest luxurious masks on the earth

In accordance with Carol, her aim for Maskela is to change into the highest luxurious masks model on the earth.

bridal luxury masks
Picture Credit score: Maskela

She plans to broaden her choices to an even bigger market and extra number of use instances, citing examples like masks for males and children. She additionally desires to supply extra bridal masks, masks equipment, in addition to introduce extra customisable choices. The checklist is countless for her.

Even when the pandemic is over, Carol feels that folks will proceed to be well being acutely aware, so they’re taking a look at launching a line of hand sanitisers and journey kits, in addition to incorporating different protecting merchandise like sun shades.

For now, Carol desires to take issues one step at a time, however she has absolute religion in herself that when the time comes, she is going to know what to do, as she has confirmed to herself time and time once more.

“I put myself in conditions the place I do know I can shine. Doing any enterprise is hard, so you need to play the place you’ll be able to win. To compensate for my weaknesses, I encompass myself with people who find themselves higher than me and attempt to study from them,” she mused.

Her recommendation for different ladies all around the world who wish to do their very own factor is easy: begin small and take it one step at a time, however don’t ever wait till you’re feeling “prepared” since you by no means will likely be.

Simply observe your coronary heart and know that if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the tip of the world – you’ll simply have some good tales to inform. Don’t be afraid of failure, however relatively embrace it as a studying and progress alternative.

Life is brief, so that you higher do what you’ll be able to whilst you can. I additionally imagine that in the event you’re going to do one thing, it’s best to do it effectively and provides your finest. In any other case, why do it in any respect?

– Carol Chen, founding father of Maskela

Featured Picture Credit score: Carol Chen

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