#MYSUPERFEMALE: Shuen Chiu – Founder of Rent A Dress

The entire experience of starting up my own business has taught me that no one should ever stop themselves from learning and growing.” – Shuen

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Background

Think of attending an event and the first thing that comes to mind is a beautiful dress (preferably a designer one) to wear. This was the dilemma Shuen faced when she started getting invitations to different events. Besides running out of wardrobe space, she felt that it was pointless to buy a new dress for every occasion when she ends up wearing it just once. And this gave her the inspiration to launch Rent A Dress.

“Everyone back then believed that being in the science line was more beneficial, but personally, I liked the creative fields more. I did my pre-med in Sydney, Australia, but when I got back, I didn’t want to pursue medicine. I worked in a manufacturing company, and then did my Master’s in Business in Melbourne, Australia. When I returned home, my friends started to get married. We were all complaining about how we had so many weddings to attend and it was so tiring to find new dresses to wear each time,” says Shuen.

Rent A Dress

That inspired her to do research in sustainable fashion consumption and find good quality apparel at affordable prices. Personally, she also wanted to build her own business, which would help women feel good about themselves. As much as most of her friends told her the idea was not going to work in Southeast Asia as people here were not ‘ready’ to rent dresses, Shuen decided to go ahead and test the waters in 2014.

She bought 40 designer dresses on sale and things started to snowball after that. “After six months, the number of people who were renting and the revenue started to double. I decided to do it full time and began networking with designers from the USA by going for trade shows so as to have more to offer my customers,” explains Shuen.

“I started the business alone but recently got a co-founder to come on board. Within nine months of launching in Malaysia, we launched it in Singapore. For now, we are purely a renting model where ladies come in and pick their favourite designer dresses. It’s also a place for people to see if they are in favour of a particular designer.

Advice

I must say, the entire experience has taught me that no one should ever stop themselves from learning and growing,” she concludes. For more information about Rent A Dress, log on to their website.

PHOTOGRAPHY RAISA RAIZZAM STYLING JASMINE LEONG ASSISTED BY ADELE SAGAYAM AND ALYA ZULKERNAI ART DIRECTION SARAH TAI AND CHERYL CHONG MAKEUP JERRY THAM @ SASA MALAYSIA HAIR CKAY LIOW WARDROBE BERSHKA, FOREVER 21, H&M, MANGO, TOPSHOP, UNIQLO AND ZARA

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