It’s been a couple of years since the Korean wave hit the coasts of Singapore, but Korean personalities and products have become no less popular.
Fans of Korean beauty, fashion and lifestyle products would already be familiar Ksisters, a market for everything Korean.
Today, the brand has about 41,700 followers on Instagram and accumulates an annual growth of 150% in sales revenue.
In contrast to its current popularity, Ksisters started small as a platform carrying South Korean children’s clothing.
It was founded by South Korean Jungmin Lee in 2015. She had wanted to spend more time with her children, who were then only two and three years old, so she left her full-time job at Procter & Gamble to start Ksisters.
At the time, there were virtually no companies importing Korean fashion items for children. She wanted to present beautiful Korean clothes to her mother’s classmates in Singapore and at the same time dress up in matching dresses with her two daughters.
Inspired by the “Korean sisters”
At first, Jungmin’s main motivation was the desire to wear matching dresses with her daughters. After all, the name Ksisters was inspired by both: “Korean sisters.”
However, Ksisters now provides many more products from other categories, including K beauty products such as skin care and hair care, even food and even products for life and home, such as now detergents.
It currently stores products from between 20 and 30 South Korean brands.
According to Jungmin, the change was mainly due to comments and requests from customers asking the team to bring more Korean products, especially K-Beauty.
It also has its own brand called Jung Beauty, which currently focuses on hair care products. It bears his name and the Korean word “Jeong” refers to the warm feeling of affection that people with a close relationship feel.
Since then, the brand has gone from being a K fashion conservation store to curing all Korean things that are fashionable and suitable for Singapore’s needs.
Jungmin told Vulcan Post that he routinely keeps pace with the lives of his Singapore clients via Instagram Stories or Facebook. Through your observations, try to determine the needs you have not met and use this information to decide which product category you will introduce next.
After learning about the needs of its customers, its team studies the Korean market and looks for trending or much-loved brands. They then ask for samples from the different brands to test them internally.
When the team has confirmed that the products are of good quality, they move on to establish partnerships with Korean brands and launch their products on the Ksisters platform. In the past, the brand has even collaborated with international brands such as Disney.
The longer I do this business, the more I understand the importance of product quality. A good product can be distinguished from an average product, as the former will have a single point of sale that cannot be easily replicated.
Customers always return to the same product if it is good because it is what has really helped or made a change in their lives. Therefore, when we buy products, I always make sure to test the product myself and read the opinions of Korean customers.
Jungmin Lee, founder of Ksisters
Although the business has grown significantly since its inception, Jungmin still takes its daughters into account when it comes to curing the brand’s products.
For example, when she brought skin care for babies and children, it took almost two years to choose a suitable shampoo and conditioner, as children’s hair is thinner and easily tangled.
In fact, for the brand’s first collaboration with Disney last year, they chose Ariel from The Little Mermaid, who is the favorite Disney princess of Jungmin’s daughters.
It also takes into account your feedback on each fashion collection that the brand brings. All her clothes are designed at home and made in South Korea.
“We will try the clothes together and see the functionality of the product, as if it has zippers, buttons or pockets,” Jungmin added.
Building a strong community
Ksisters is known for the strong community it has created with Singaporean mothers and fans of Korean products.
“I started this great adventure to return to our united Ksisters community by producing products that work and that I personally love,” Jungmin said.
He shared that the small scale of the business initially allowed him to meet with clients to learn more about what Singapore’s mothers wanted, and those clients suggested incorporating K’s beauty and lifestyle products.
As the business grew, he began organizing VIP events and pop-ups at Takashimaya and Tangs department stores, which gave him the valuable opportunity to connect with his customers.
I think building a strong community is also about knowing what customers want. All mothers want the best for their children, always. Yes, there are things that can be shared in the universal world of parenting, but there are different needs arising from different cultures and weather contexts.
Jungmin Lee, founder of Ksisters
Jungmin is also an expert in understanding which products are best suited in the Singapore context. For example, due to the hot and humid weather, Singaporean mothers prefer a light moisturizer for their children that can moisturize their skin enough but also prevent uncomfortable grip.
Due to the weather, children here shower more often than in South Korea, so the consumption of shampoo and body wash products is much faster in Singapore, which makes Singapore parents more cost sensitive. of these products.
These are just some of the factors that Jungmin takes into account when curing products for Ksisters.
He always feels agile
Running a business is not easy, especially with two young children, which is why Jungmin shared that she needs a “team of avengers” internally and externally who can meet the existing challenges without her always being present.
When the team was smaller, Jungmin spent a lot of time on administrative tasks, such as making cross-border payments to his many overseas suppliers, an experience that seemed expensive, slow, and problematic to him.
Initially, he used a bank to pay suppliers in Korea, but he found that there were many logistical problems that involved long waiting times and additional costs, and he had to take time out of his schedule to go to the bank to solve them.
He then decided to switch to Wise Business, an account dedicated to companies, which helped him shave off his precious working hours and save him 20% of commissions.
This freed him a lot of time, which gave him more time to make strategies and plan the growth of the company. Another challenge he had was to discover the best way to market his brand and products, so he had to do experiments and research frequently.
I am very happy to have a small but strong and smart team that entrusted me with their future at Ksisters. I don’t know what they saw in us, but I always think the only way to pay for their love is to work hard and smart to be a better leader as well.
Jungmin Lee, founder of Ksisters
While he doesn’t have a “very accurate” answer to what he expects Ksisters to be in the next ten years, his promise is that “Ksisters will always be agile when it comes to learning what customers want.”
“From our big milestones like the launch of beauty products, our own brand Jung Beauty to the launch of the MUKBANG MART food category, it all started from us doing our best to understand our customers and there are many more scheduled in the coming years, ”Jungmin said.
Featured Image Credit: Ksisters