It’s exhilarating to purchase a fresh new pair of sneakers, but to cop that particular OOS, limited edition piece that you thought you’d never have a chance to lay your hands on is a whole new ballgame.
One haven that can spark the kind of joy you’d get from the latter is Novelship, a passion turned business venture that focuses on reselling sneakers and streetwear garbs to aficionados from all around Southeast Asia.
Founded by Singaporeans Richard Xia (he’s CEO) and Chris Xue (he’s COO) in Oct 2018, Novelship has gone from being a bootstrapped startup to an e-retail paradise that amassed over 40,000 fanatics who are responsible for more than 10,000 of its sales in just two years. More recently, the business has achieved its first US$1 million (S$1.3 million) monthly revenue milestone despite the recent pandemic.
Founders Richard Xia (left) and Chris Xue
“Covid-19 has actually been a boost for e-commerce as a whole. Initially, we were quite worried as to how it would negatively affect our business,” says Xia. “Instead, our revenue has consistently grown since the circuit breaker was implemented in Singapore. Sometimes, [our revenue goes] over 100 per cent month-over-month.”
With a sea of resale e-platforms, like Carousell and GOAT, from both regional and international shores, how does Novelship set itself apart? Richard suggests that authentication is their trump card for local competition, while limiting its reach to Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific markets allows it to stand out from global retailers.
“For local competitors, we focus on authentication as our key value-add since other platforms do not have the expertise or experience to spot fakes, and oftentimes buying from them can be quite risky,” explains Xia.
“In terms of global competitors, we’ve adopted a hyper-local approach towards market expansion. Since a lot of Southeast Asia and APAC markets have been neglected by international companies, we’ve adopted localisation to ensure that our customers have a great buying and selling experience on Novelship.”
To fully understand why Novelship was founded, how it actually works, and how the team authenticates all of its incoming products, we speak to Xia to find out more.