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Bringing the beach lifestyle to Singapore

Posted By Administration, Monday, 3 March 2014
Updated: Thursday, 20 February 2014

Seafolly is one of the world’s most recognised swimwear and beach lifestyle brands, spanning the broad international market in more than 30 countries. This fully-owned Australian family-run business has been at the epicentre of Australian beach lifestyle since its inception in 1975. AustCham member and Business Development Manager for Seafolly, Gina Astee, has been responsible for bringing this iconic Aussie brand to Singapore.

"Seafolly epitomises Australia’s beach lifestyle, so being Australian is who we are – we are proud of our beach culture and the role that Seafolly has played in introducing that culture to the world and now Asia,” says Gina.

Seafolly Singapore launched at Takashimaya Department Store in November 2010. Following the success of its space in Takashimaya, Seafolly opened its first flagship store outside of Australia in June 2011 in Wisma Atria.

"The success of Seafolly is without question its ability to suit everybody, every age and equip every woman or girl to hit the water with its mix and match range,” says Gina.

"We cater to size DD to petite and, rather than sell swimwear in sets, we sell in pieces so customers can not only find the perfect fit, but also create their own style by putting together different pieces from the range."

Like many expats, Gina was surprised by the lack of swimwear choices available and the high cost of what was on offer when she moved to Singapore.

"The distributors were charging almost double of what I would pay for the same swimsuit at home. When we opened at Takashimaya we were offering fashion forward swimwear and beach apparel in sizes to fit the local customer, but also the bigger expats at price parity. It was a win-win,” explains Gina.

Working in Singapore has definitely bought its challenges. Gina explains: "The paperwork is overwhelming – the signatures, the chops are all very frustrating to someone embarking in retail in Singapore for the first time. Finding good staff has been key and it is a rocky road to find local staff that understand your requirements. It was difficult setting up, but it was a huge learning curve and I’m now getting ready to do it all again”.

"It has been very exciting watching Seafolly become so accepted by the locals, but also the visiting Asian tourists – the Chinese are really starting to understand Seafolly and that is very exciting,” says Gina, who adds that another highlight is seeing Australians pleased and relieved to discover Seafolly is in Singapore.

In terms of marketing its product, Gina explains that Seafolly is an international brand and it follows an international strategy with a few tweaks for local festivals such as Chinese New Year.

"We have created a red-inspired window specifically for Singapore. We don’t have winter here so we don’t follow the Australian time line completely by ranging the winter wear and so on. We also buy stock slightly differently for each market.

"Although we stock the full range in Singapore, we do tweak the sizes and styles – Singaporeans tend to be a tad more conservative than the average Aussie beach goer.”

Gina describes Seafolly’s launch in Singapore as "an amazing adventure”.

"I feel very excited and honoured to be part of the birth of such a great brand in Singapore and I am super excited to see how the brand continues to grow,” says Gina.

Seafolly’s next opening in Singapore will be at Robinsons at Raffles City so, as Gina says, "the adventure continues”.

seafolly.com

For more stories about 'The Singapore Story', click here 

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Tags:  Bringing the beach lifestyle to Singapore  Gina Astee  Seafolly  The Singapore Story 

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Starting up in Singapore

Posted By Administration, Sunday, 2 March 2014
Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Lessons from business leaders about growing your business in Singapore. What you can expect and key considerations for your business. 

For more stories about 'The Singapore Story', click here 

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Tags:  Adam Lyle  Derek MacKenzie  Guy Scott  Philip Forrest  Singapore Strategy 

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Recruitment in Singapore and the Foreign Worker Levy

Posted By Administration, Saturday, 1 March 2014
Updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2014

HOT TOPIC! Singapore's foreign worker policy changes - what does it mean for business? 

For more stories about 'The Singapore Story', click here 

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Tags:  Adam Lyle  ANZ  Employment regulation  Foreign worker  Kurt Vella  Leighton  Ministry of Manpower  Neil Dyball  Productivity  Singapore  Talent management  Talent2  Vishnu Shahaney 

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Un-Divided

Posted By AustCham Singapore, Friday, 28 February 2014
Updated: Monday, 10 March 2014

Singapore based Australian artist Melanie McCollin-Walker at work creating a spectacular vision for the AustCham Singapore office. 

Tags:  Arts Australian in Singapore  Creative industries  Melanie McCollin-Walker 

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Making light work

Posted By Administration, Thursday, 20 February 2014

In the 1970s, Paul McCloskey began to imagine the possibilities for lasers in the entertainment and major events industries. In 1984 he patented his inventions, including an innovative and unique way to harness the power of laser energy, and founded Laservision. Since then, many millions of people around the world have experienced a spectacular laser light creation from Laservision.

According to Laservision’s Singapore-based Director of Projects and Marketing, Shannon Brooks, Laservision’s projects now range from one night events to multimillion dollar permanent installations located in exotic locations all around the world.

Laservision has had a presence in Singapore since the 1990s, when they designed and completed the famous Musical Fountain at Sentosa. With a large proportion of their enquiries originating from the South East Asia region, and the launch of its most recent flagship project ‘Wonder Full’ at the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, Laservision established a branch office here in 2010 to provide full support for the show and increase its on ground presence in Asia.

"One of the challenges of opening a new business in Asia is finding the correct human resources; people who excel at their jobs, but also fit within the company culture that has developed from more than 30 years’ experience in the entertainment industry,” says Shannon.

"Often we look for attributes like enthusiasm, tenacity and lateral thinking skills when looking to hire new employees, as these extraordinary individuals will help the team achieve extraordinary results.”

Having opened a highly successful business in Singapore, Shannon has a few tips for others.

"When staffing the office, ensure you are thorough with your screening process and take your time interviewing potential candidates to find out what makes them tick. Once you employ the candidate, invest time in training and educating them on what the business is about.”

And, when it comes to openings, these people are the experts. Laservision is all about creating an impact and wowing the audience.

"On opening nights you experience a wide variety of emotions, from terror or fear that the show will not run as planned to a feeling of ecstasy or joy at seeing all the hard work that has been put into creating the spectacular show pay off.

"Due to the highly visible, and time critical nature of our attractions, prior to every launch we complete multiple rehearsals and system checks to ensure 100% reliability and repeatability of the attraction. We also have redundancy measures in place ensure the show will continue should there be any unforeseen technical hitches.”

Laservision currently has projects in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Russia and Singapore. These range from a multimedia attraction for a major religious group in India to an installation in a high end shopping mall in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympic games.

Looking forward, Shannon says Laservision plans to: "further develop our presence as the leading provider of multimedia attractions in South East Asia, grow and develop the Singapore office as our project hub, establish additional branch offices in Asia and keep enjoying being at the forefront of the entertainment industry and build a energetic and happy team”.

laservision.com.au

For more stories about 'The Singapore Story', click here 

To learn about the benefits of membership to AustCham, click here

To check out our coming events, click here

Tags:  Laservision  Making light work  Shannon Brooks  The Singapore Story 

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