Tell us about The Soko Edit?
The Soko Edit is an online platform to discover and shop female-founded brands from around the world and read about the start-up journeys of these female entrepreneurs. We also host monthly webinars with expert speakers and create online resources for our female entrepreneur community to help them on their business journey.
How did you begin the brand and business?
We (Avni, Emily, and Lucy) are three friends who started The Soko Edit during the lockdown in Singapore. Avni is a project manager, Emily is a brand strategist, and Lucy is a copywriter and content editor. We have over 10 years of experience in the marketing, brand, and retail industries. We all had friends and acquaintances that were starting interesting businesses and creating amazing brands, and we wanted to give these small female-founded businesses a more global platform. Currently living in Singapore, we could see how hard it was for the small UK and US-based brands to enter the Asian market (and vice versa) without support and knowledge of the area.
We began in May with a content site of interviews and articles with these female-founded brands we had found and slowly grew our following on social media. We then launched our e-commerce platform The Soko Edit in November to sell these unique products from around the world. We like to think of shopping with us as a whistle-stop tour around artisanal markets of the world, and we hope to explore the small brands we feature that will bring the joy of discovery to customers.
How has The Soko Edit grown?
We began in May of this year, and in the past six months, we have evolved our content site and created an eCommerce shop that sells six of our female-founded brands. We have also grown a female entrepreneur community of around 50 women from all over the globe. The brands we sell on the site currently are based in Europe, South Africa, India, the US, and Colombia.
What have you learned about entrepreneurship?
Through our many interviews, we have found that although entrepreneurs all start in different places and can have different journeys to build their business, we all go through the same struggles, and we all have wisdom and advice that we can share with each other. Especially during the global pandemic, but also more generally, starting a business is hard work, and there’s so much you don’t know when you are doing it the first time around. This was why we began the monthly webinars with our female entrepreneur community, as we strongly believe that we can all learn so much from one another. The same topics come up again and again: time management, how to avoid burnout, imposter syndrome, how to avoid comparing your business to others, etc.
Tell us about who or what supports or inspires you?
We find endless support in our female entrepreneur community. They all have such inspiring stories and have each built an amazing, interesting brand and business. We love how supportive the community members are – we recognise there is room for all of us, and we can help and empower one another.
What’s the best advice from entrepreneurs?
It is funny how the same advice crops up again and again from our community. One thing everyone mentions is the importance of surrounding yourself with a great support system with your family, friends, peers, and fellow entrepreneurs. The other most common pieces of advice we see are along the lines of “just get started, and you can learn everything along the way” and “progress is more important than perfection.” We are trying to follow this advice every day!
And does everyone make similar mistakes?
The most common mistake is, without a doubt, trying to do everything yourself. The glorified image of a Silicon Valley start-up where people are said to single-handedly build a technology empire in their bedroom is just not true for the majority. Outsourcing your weaker areas is tough on a small budget but essential to creating a quality product and maintaining your sanity!
What are your hopes for the future?
Moving forward, we’re looking to expand our range on the e-commerce side and offer more support for more businesses in the form of regular webinars and resources.