Covid-19 has disrupted life for businesses around the world in an unprecedented manner. But, despite the huge challenge, some entrepreneurs were able to pull it through it hanging to their strengths and unstoppable dedication. Christopher Chong is one of these examples we can learn something from, especially for those who are starting out. He had a vital role in his clothing store’s exceptional growth during the pandemic and today he is sharing some insights with us. It all comes down to the company’s values and an ambitious vision for the future, this is the key take from this friendly meetup.
Growing despite all odds
Starting from nothing and growing to a team of more than 30 employees and counting is Giti’s biggest success, as you all can imagine. In the face of colossal challenges, some companies literally flipped the circumstances and managed to find a way out. A way to success. What’s better than creating jobs during the most tragic times since World War II?
The coronavirus crisis has caused unprecedented damage to businesses around the world and unemployment hit an all time high. But it has been a different story for those brands that pivoted online and found new ways to connect with customers globally. Successful companies focused on innovation and adapted in an exceptional manner in the face of Covid-19. Believe it or not, 2020 has been a growth year for most online retailers and this has been an incredible example. What made the difference was having a united and determined team and our interview is grateful for all of the loyal customers who come through week after week thanks to his team’s dedication, no matter what the circumstances are.
Challenges = Opportunities
As the ancient Japanese mantra reminds, in every challenge lies an opportunity to catch. When the pandemic started to strike the globe, we saw all types of different reactions. Most people panicked. The majority of business owners literally lost their mind and fell into depression. The minority who had the guts to react promptly instead have left 2020 behind their back as one of their best years ever. It still amazes how the same exact negative circumstance has generated such different outcomes. We’ll see in the next paragraphs how our interviewee has managed to build a brand focused on customer satisfaction, despite the circumstances.
Putting customers first
The business launched in 2003 from a small retail branch in The Oaks Mall in Gainesville, Florida with the goal to supply highly fashionable wear at affordable prices to the young adults in college towns. As soon as the store opened, they quickly became the source for the most current fashion in Gainesville. Now based in Miami, Florida, it sells unique clothing in a vast inventory of trendy styles. After talking to them, we clearly understood that the trait that identified them the most was the mantra of “maximizing customers’ shopping experience” by offering incredible customer service. Furthermore, post sale assistance is as important. In a digital world with tens of millions of retailers, most of which are dropshipping and have no “human touch” at all, if you are planning to start your own brand, put your focus and resources on the customer support department.
A founder’s armoury must be filled with a vast range of traits that enable them and their companies to succeed. But there are two main factors that led founders to owning a prominent company – consistency and studying the market. Founders must understand trends change all of the time and that it is all about keeping up with the current market trends. Shifting from brick and mortar to almost fully online is still a challenge for most business owners – but it’s proving to be the biggest reward too. Throughout massive transformation and ever changing circumstances, successful companies are often going from “locally known” to “worldwide renowned”. When that is achieved, they must keep accelerating towards new goals and refuse to ease up on their efforts.
Learning to adapt
We are all overwhelmed by this ever-changing, always-evolving society at some point. Whether we are seeking some relaxation time or needing some comfort and accomplishments, 2021 has proved more than ever that nowadays society changes at a lightning fast pace. Trends that took 5 years to develop, establish and then die off in 1980-90, now take 3 months. It’s one trend after another, in a non-stop loop. And it’s not just fashion, literally any industry and vertical is affected by this frenzy. Because of this, many services came up to help “insiders” navigate through this crazy world and allow us to not get outdated from one day to another. So, the vital attitude to have is the “adapting” mindset. We need to learn to notice what happens around us, learn fast and adapt even faster. Imagine what would be in 20 years from now ? Trends popping up on the daily. Old (yesterday) trends dying off today. Madness. Hopefully society will learn to take it easy at some point but learning to adapt is for sure a good mantra to live by whether the society will keep speeding up or slow down.
While he has absolute focus on his own vision and goals, Christopher has also made it his mission to help and inspire others. There are two powerful quotes which continue to inspire him – and he wants you to read the words carefully and take note of them. The first quote from Denis Waitley is: “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
The second quote from Ellen DeGeneres is: “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.”
Take a note of these quotes and use them to inspire you on your journey.