Gifts with a personal touch
BY Debby Ling
With the rapid growth of the e-commerce industry in Singapore, many businesses have been struggling to find their niche and stand out amongst the competition. The Edged, an online business started by a team of undergraduates from the Minor in Entrepreneurship program, has found theirs – they add a personal touch to the bags and accessories they sell by personalizing it through nametags and engravings.
Within five months of their launch, The Edged has successfully collaborated with Mr. Bean for the promotion of the soybean chain’s products through the provision of key chains from The Edged. The team had also launched an impromptu event on Christmas where they surprised the service staffs working on that holiday with customized passport holders as gifts of appreciation. Despite the short lead-time between conceptualization and execution, a video of the heart-warming event gained much traction on social networking sites and is regarded by the team to be one of their best publicity efforts to date.
This can-do spirit evident in their ambitious projects and collaborations is a belief that the team cherishes. “You have to start doing something. It might not be as fantastic as you planned, but as long as you start working, something will change and more doors will open,” said Randall Cheng, Analytics Manager.
The success that The Edged has seen is backed by solid teamwork and division of labour between the members. Each member in the team takes charge of a specific stage of the production process – ranging from price setting, marketing, creative, to operations - such that the process is streamlined and efficient. “We all started equally, but along the way each of us actually got better in a very specific area, and it became a very special set of talent that cannot be replaced,” said Adrian Ang, General Manager.
The team credits the Minor in Entrepreurship (MiE) program as giving them the push in the right direction to start out on this business. “If not for MiE, maybe we would still be stuck at the planning phase,” said Jesley Lim, Creative Director.
What had initially started as the fulfillment of a course requirement has grown into a fledging business initiative that continues to flourish under the continual efforts of the team. “We still rush our work overtime, but it’s no longer about grades. It’s about maintaining the image of our company - everyone is sacrificing their time to make sure the business can move forward,” Edmund Shao, Operations Director.
In fact, for the team, cultivating the willingness to sacrifice for their dreams is one of the key qualities behind a successful enterprise. “We’ve met a lot of people who have lots of dreams. Sadly, we’ve felt that most people actually stop short of wanting to sacrifice to make it happen,” said Adrian.
“You must want to win, and yet not be afraid to lose.”
Moving forward, the team is quick to emphasize that they still have much to learn - both collectively as a young business looking to expand their sales, and as individuals. They are working towards a special Valentine’s Day offer that would delight customers looking to find the perfect gift for their loved ones.