The Perfect Fit
FedEx customer Christy Ng has tapped local artisans and the power of online customization to build a global brand from scratch.
Six years ago, Christy Ng was a pharmaceutical rep with a daydream of creating her own shoe company. Today, the 27-year-old Malaysian entrepreneur oversees a shoe and apparel business that’s emerging as a global brand.
What happened? It started with a social media post. Shortly after taking the pharmaceutical job in 2010, she uploaded a handful of her shoe designs to Facebook. The response was swift and overwhelming — people wanted to buy the shoes. That was the spark Ng needed. She used her savings to launch an e-commerce site and recruited local artisans to create her products.
Individualized options for a mass audience
Several factors have since helped drive the company’s growth. E-commerce has been critical, allowing ChristyNg.com to reach customers as far away as the U.S. Another significant element is the company’s “3D Shoe Engine.” That allows you to customize shoes, choosing style, color and accessory options and viewing your creations and revisions from all angles.
The concept isn’t necessarily new. For instance, Nike has offered an online customization option since 2012. And venture capital has been flowing to startups that offer, for example, personalized fabrics and home goods. But company size is a critical difference. Ng has 12 full-time employees, including seven shoe artisans. The nimble operation can turn projects around quickly, sending shoes in as little as two to five business days, no matter where you are in the world.
To get products to customers, Ng turned to FedEx. She uses FedEx® packaging that works well for the fashion industry and relies on FedEx International Economy® service for less urgent shipments.
The next goal: Expand cross-border e-commerce sales. She’s aware of the challenges — how to stay agile in the face of increased global demand, grow without sacrificing customer loyalty and move goods across global borders, to name a few. “There are so many different customs procedures in each country, especially in terms of product classification and taxes,” says Ng. “FedEx helps me clear products through customs quickly and with minimum cost.
“I’d always wanted to be a shoe designer, but I never imagined my dream could materialize,” she adds. “When we started seeing people from other countries ordering from our website, we knew we were onto something. We identified an unmet demand in the global shoe marketplace and acted quickly to fulfill it.”