Jane Lu, 2012 Anthill 30under30 Winner

Jane Lu, 2012 Anthill 30under30 Winner

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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.

Jane Lu, NSW (b. 1986)

Name: Jane Lu
Age: 26 (Born: June 1986)
Gender: Female
State: NSW
Known for: Show Pony

Count Jane Lu among the entrepreneurs who see failing as the luckiest thing to ever happen to them. Her current success in fashion can make it hard for one to believe it, but then again, fashion and image boosting are part and parcel of her game.

Show Pony is an online boutique retailer that offers a savvy spin on fast fashion to young Australian women. Lu takes to categorising it as an affordable, sophisticated alternative to brands like Sportsgirl and Supré.

Lu’s real love, however, is marketing. “We’re always quick to embrace new social media trends as part of our integrated marketing strategy,” says the 26-year-old, “which has been crucial in not just selling clothes, but in building a following.”

As an example of a social media campaign that was maddeningly successful, Lu cites her “Face of Show Pony” contest, which encouraged competing models to generate the most Facebook “likes” from friends. Lu attracted 17,000 Facebook fans through that competition alone.

Show Pony now operates out of an office in the Sydney CBD, with four full-time and seven casual employees. The company is poised to turn over $2.2m this financial year, while seeking to target more international — and, wouldn’t you know it, American — audiences.

It’s all the more impressive knowing that Lu got the business up and running by the skin of her teeth. Her first business, an agency for emerging creative talent, flopped. Out of money but desperate not to return to her corporate office job, she decided to power up Show Pony with a combination of credit cards and cunning.

To stock her online store, she found a wholesaler who agreed to sell on consignment. She ditched professional web designers and built her website from scratch. And for advertising? Facebook only.

Evidently, it worked. Quite well.

In hindsight, Lu calls her initial failure “the best crash course in business and entrepreneurship possible — more than my four-year Commerce degree could ever teach me.”

As to what gives her the strength to pursue an entrepreneurial career, Lu credits many factors: her gratitude to her parents, with whom she emigrated from China at 8; her pride in winning a gamble to quit a ‘safe’ job for something greater — and, she adds, “because I would drown in boredom otherwise.”

Because a life without success, or failure, is very boring indeed.

Anthill asks: Jane Lu, what’s your super power?

My super power is my ability to morph from the owner to the customer. I am my exact demographic. As are my friends. It allows me to know exactly what my customers want!

Jane Lu, Women as Entrepreneurs Sydney Meetup

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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

Count Jane Lu among the entrepreneurs who see failing as the luckiest thing to ever happen to them.

Her current fashion business, Show Pony, makes it hard for one to believe it. Yet fashion and image boosting are part and parcel of her game.

Show Pony is an online boutique retailer that offers a savvy spin on fast fashion to young Australian women. Lu takes to categorising it as “Sportsgirl but not as expensive, Supre but not as trashy.”

Lu’s real drive, however, is marketing. “We’re always quick to embrace new social media trends as part of our integrated marketing strategy,” says the 26-year-old, “which has been crucial in not just selling clothes, but in building a following.”

As an example of a social media campaign that was maddeningly successful, Lu cites her “Face of Show Pony” contest, which encouraged competing models to generate the most Facebook “likes” from friends. Lu attracted 17,000 Facebook fans through that competition alone.

Show Pony now operates out of an office in the Sydney CBD, with four full-time and seven employees. The company is poised to turn over $2.2m this financial year.

It’s all the more impressive knowing that Lu got the business up and running by the skin of her teeth. Her first business, an agency for emerging creative talent, flopped. Out of money but desperate not to return to a corporate office job, she decided to start Show Pony with a combination of credit cards and cunning.

To stock her online store, she found a wholesaler who agreed to sell on consignment. She ditched professional web designers and built her website from scratch. And marketing/advertising? Facebook only.

Evidently, it worked. Quite well.

In hindsight, Lu calls her initial failure “the best crash course in business and entrepreneurship possible — more than my four-year Commerce degree could ever teach me.”

For her entrepreneurial drive, Lu credits many factors, including her gratitude to her parents, with whom she emigrated from China at 8; her pride in winning her gamble to quit a ‘safe’ job for something greater — and, she adds, “because I would drown in boredom otherwise.”

Because a life lived without success, or failure, is very boring indeed.

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