Modvier founder Sarah Shah Nor relates how her online shopping habits turned into a booming business.
Sarah started her online shopping habits after becoming a full-time homemaker. — Pic courtesy of SME BizFest Facebook Page
An addiction — for shopping — has transformed Sarah Shah Nor into a successful businesswoman.
The founder of local online fashion collective Modvier, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education and lectured at a local college before becoming a full-time homemaker following her marriage.
When she’s unoccupied with housework or caring for her child, Sarah started indulging herself in online shopping. She loves shopping for baby clothes, and it soon became a sizeable mound.
“I was spending my husband’s money and when he saw how much I spent, he jokingly suggested selling some of the items. I then thought ‘why not?’” shared Sarah at a presentation during the TM SME BizFest 2017 recently.
Sarah started selling women's garments after finding success with baby clothes. — Pic courtesy of Modvier Facebook Page
Sarah started re-selling a part of the items online. The year was 2009. “At that time, online shopping wasn’t really big. But I carried on because I really wanted to do something to ease my boredom.”
A few hundred ringgit of profit was made from Sarah’s sale. Elated, she went on a roll, buying and selling the goods.
Sarah then started selling women’s garments by getting her supplies from wholesalers.
Although she was new in the industry at the time, Sarah relishes fashion and was astute enough to get the picture of the potential market she can serve: career-oriented young Muslim women with disposable incomes who are particular about modesty and fashion aesthetics.
“There weren’t many shops or establishments selling modest clothing for Muslim women (at that time) and many who need to buy it lack access to such shops. I also developed a passion for fashion after selling women’s clothing and I started to dream of my own Muslim women’s fashion label. Why not?” remarked Sarah.
Sarah tapped into the fashion market for Muslim women. — Pic courtesy of Modvier Facebook Page
Partnering with a like-minded friend, they designed their own clothes, bought fabrics and sourced for tailors before selling them online. Making outfits like cape jackets was nothing unusual. “If it’s something I’ll wear myself, I know there are others who buy it too.”
It was hard work but Sarah admitted it was fun. Her label, Ammara, was launched in 2012, receiving extensive print coverage and popularity.
However, a spat with her business partner resulted in a fallout the following year and the business suffered. Sarah had to re-start her business in a more competitive modest fashion market populated by many more players.
“I noticed that these labels have their own followers. Some would even queue up overnight for that special hijab. I decided that putting all the businesses under one roof is a great way to get fashion lovers to converge at the same establishment.”
Modvier is a multi-label store specializing in modest but fashionable garments. — Pic courtesy of Modvier Facebook Page
Thus, Modvier was born, and the rest is history. The multi-label store boasts more than 40 fashion labels at retail centres in Bangsar, Bangi and Kuantan.
Among the brands sold at the stores include Bokitta, Bella Ammara, Minaz Boutique, JubahSouq, Imaan Boutique and Naelofar Hijab.
“It’s really about sharing. From the effort (of opening a multi-label store), I share business knowledge, develop friendship and collaboration, and harness the power of collective responsibility.”
“I want to do something related to me. Many people are already selling hijabs but I want to sell more than that. I want to sell what I love and feel for, and that’s important for me.”
Want to shop for Hari Raya outfit? Watch this space for our next article: Five fashion brands to buy online this Raya.
Meanwhile, visit Modvier website and Facebook Page for more information and special offers.
And don’t forget to download Yellow Pages Malaysia mobile app on Google Play Store (for Android) and App Store (for Apple iOS) to gain access to a wonderful spectrum of home-grown brands.