Exclusive interview with Blogshop Magazine

Exclusive Review: Lavender Lane

1. Is this the first time that you start your own online business?

Yes.

2. How long have you been in this industry?

We have just turned two.

3. What was the reason for you to start this business?

Tiffany, my partner at Lavender Lane, and I have always had a common passion for fashion and would talk extensively about our latest purchases and trends. We have an eye for vintage and unique stuff but found the things offered in most blogshops either too common and not unique enough. We decided to set up Lavender Lane, which aims to offer unique vintage-inspired stuff, which hopefully will inject a fresh breath to the online fashion scene here in Singapore and beyond!

4. What future plans do you have for this business?

We, being vintage lovers, have recently launched our third vintage collection. Our vintage pieces are specially handpicked and sourced from overseas suppliers. We have received good response from our launches thus far and will be continuing to bring in good quality quirky vintage pieces without burning holes in people’s pockets.

At the same time, we are working hard on our modern chic collection, and are constantly on the lookout for unique pieces not found on other blogshops. We source for stock not only locally, but from Hongkong, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Bangkok. We aim to provide overseas shipping in time to come as we have received requests from Indonesia, Malaysia etc.

5. What is the business current situation?

We have been blessed with very supportive and faithful customers thus far and have experienced some breakthroughs recently, which have spurred us on to continue at what we are doing. We have also just launched our 25th Collection.

6. What are the difficulties faced?

Getting people to know about us and stay with us for launches. The reason is because the market is just so saturated with thousands of blogshops, both local and overseas, and customers are totally spoilt for choice! Hence the need to create a sense of awareness is crucial.

In addition, Tiffany and our models have full time jobs, hence it can be challenging to find time to manage the business, from sourcing of goods, organizing photoshoots, photo editing, updating and maintaining the website as well as responding to enquiries, which require a considerable amount of time. There were many late nights spent to complete and launch a collection, which is worth all the effort as this is what we truly enjoy!

7. What other benefits do you have by starting this online business besides money?

Fulfilling our passion in exploring the different facets of fashion and bringing our customers nothing but the best in the market.

8. What do you have to sacrifice in order to continue with this business?

Valerie quit her previous job in order to fully focus on Lavender Lane, to devote more time to this business and think of ways to help bring the business to a higher level. And not to mention, the compromise on our sleep and social life due to the many hours and efforts put in, since we strive to deliver absolute quality in each and every collection.

9. Where do you seek for customers?

Through social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our very own blog.

10. What exactly makes your online business stand out from the rest?

We aim at providing the best personalized customer service, in terms of our speed at responding to enquiries and orders. We try to continually surprise our customers with personal notes with discount codes, skincare and make up samples in every package to let them know that we truly appreciate and value them.

11. What are the most memorable events or lessons learnt from starting this online business?

Learning to work together is a very different ball game from hanging out as good friends. The dynamics are so different and we are constantly learning to adapt to each other’s working style and communicate in a way that is constructive and beneficial to the business, whilst keeping our friendship intact.

We are constantly tackling the different obstacles of doing business, encouraging each other to overcome each hurdle that comes and brainstorming on ways to better serve our customers.

12. Do you think starting this online business has impacted your life?

Definitely. We love interacting with people from all ages and life stations, and receiving invaluable feedback from them from which we have benefited much. Setting up a business is no easy feat and it has helped us horn our skills at prioritizing, time management and being more driven in pursuing our passion in the process.

Other interesting events you would like to share

We participate regularly at fleas and it gives us a chance to interact with our loyal customers face to face, as well as give them fashion advice. Sometimes these customers become our friends!

Like us on Facebook and join our mailing list to be kept updated about our launches and events!

Cheerios to Blogshop Magazine for featuring us!!

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Pores no more?

Just like every other girl, I’ve always yearned for a porcelain-like complexion, and all the more so since I’ve been hooked onto Korean dramas for the past 4 years or so. For those of you who are K-drama fans like me, you will agree on how blemish-free and spotless (and not to mention – fair!) are the complexion of these gorgeous actors and actresses. And yes, I’m not deluded and am well aware that there’s this thing called make-up but well, make-up and colors will only go well on clear skin agree?

Out of the many woes which I face on a daily basis, the two which stand out (literally) the most would be my huge pores and high sebum level, which in layman terms mean, oil on my face which can serve as a mirror for anyone!

I wonder how people’s faces can remain matte for the entire day when mine starts to oil up minutes after I’ve patted on my loose powder. It gets worse. Many think I don’t put on make-up (boo hoo hoo) because my face oxidizes so quickly. Do they really do frequent touch-ups (cos I don’t)? Or is it because they have normal skin type whereas mine is combination? Or are they just blessed with good skin?

Whatever it is, it has been my resolve for years to discover good, reliable products which will minimize my pores and keep the oil at bay.

And good news! After years of trial and error, these are some of the products which have worked magic (to a certain extent) for me! All I did was read up extensively on reviews about facial care products online and voila! My skin is a lot better now 🙂

#Product 1 – Dr Young’s Pore Eraser Balm

I literally stumbled upon this product at Sasa a few years ago, when they were having a sale and after a very convincing talk by the salesperson, I decided to get it and try it out. John Little sells it too and they usually have 20% off during their sale time, which is really a steal for members like me!

As the name suggests, this wonder balm really does erase the look of my pores and gives a smooth yet natural finishing touch in just a few swipes on the concerned areas. My pores disappear right then and then! I usually apply over my make-up and the effect lasts up to 2 hours when another retouch would be necessary.

No major complaints about this product except for the slight difficulty in the application part. One way is to use a small spatula or use your fingers to take whatever amount is needed.

Other than that, this is definitely a keeper! It’s now a staple in my every day touch up pouch.

#Product 2 – Clinique’s Instant Perfector Pore Minimizer

I read about this in a magazine and had a feeling that it will come in handy. My sister bought it for me when she was in the US. It comes out as a thick mousse and dries to a velvety finish and application is almost a breeze without any wastage. It softens shallow skin depressions and minimize the look of large pores. Not too bad, just a little on the dry side if I over apply, which can work to my advantage since a little goes a long way then. All you need is a little squeeze and it will hide your pores and deliver that matte finish. Still quite a steal in my opinion and especially since it’s so cheap in USA!

#Product 3 – GoodSkin Labs Z-PORE Instant Pore Refiner

I read about this product in Urban. I really enjoy reading this weekly publication – don’t you? You can get this at Sasa for not more than $35, and it promises to refine the look of pores, control oil and reduce shine. I thought it’s a bit on the pricey side for its size and it made me a bit sad to find out that it dried out my combination skin too much, which made my skin look flaky instead of the intended smoothness I wanted. I reckon it might be more suitable for oily skin/ acne prone skin types.

#Product 4 – Shiseido’s Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence

I totally forgot about this till I found it hidden in my basketful of products (time for spring cleaning :p), which explains why this is missing from the very first photo in this post! But it’s so good that I just have to tell you about it! The brand itself was already a main drawing factor for me. This range of products is a more affordable range under Shiseido and was first introduced here in Singapore back in 2010. You can find them easily at most Watsons outlets. This was one of the very first pore products I ever tried out and I give it a 4 out of 5 stars. This product comes in a transparent paste form and targets to conceal uneven skin surface caused by dilated pores. Its lightweight yet moisturizing texture gently rests on the skin and gives a plumped up appearance. Only con is that it doesn’t come with an applicator too, so remember to take a liberal amount and massage with your clean fingertips in rotating strokes.

I remember raving about it to Tiffany and even gave her a mini demonstration. She wasn’t all for it though but it works wonders for me.

So there you go. Four products which has worked to a certain extent for me according to my skincare needs and some are still on my to-buy list till this day. Hope this has helped widen your horizon on some of the anti-pore products in the market. I am sure there are more to come and I cannot wait to check them out! Share with me what products you use to minimize the look of large pores too!

As the old adage goes, we still gotta work from the inside. A daily consumption of at least eight glasses of water, fruits and vegetables is the best thing to do to get good skin.

Love
Valerie