In the Spotlight: A Dose of Sunshine
Children are such joy and what beats seeing their happy faces when they unwrap their gifts! But shopping can be nerve-wrecking when looking for the right gift gets time-consuming during the haunt and discovering that it costs lesser online can be pretty disheartening. In 2012, an idea sprang up in the heads of SMU Alumni, Matthew Pan and Jocelyn Chua – why not have all these wonderful kid’s stuff at one place for hassle-free shopping to minimize gift-hunting stress? Soon after, the duo embarked on web development and product sourcing to kickstart their dream. In 2013, the website was officially launched, and The Sunshine Kids was eventually birthed after they graduated.
“The idea first struck when we were scouting for gifts for our little nephews & nieces! After our research, we decided to dive in to fill the gap by creating an online departmental store dedicated to kids fashion,” shares Jocelyn excitedly over our wired correspondences. “Plus, after experiencing life in the corporate world, we decided to let loose & live life a little by taking a leap of faith to carve out our own business. As the saying goes, “you’ll never know unless you give it a try! Kids are such precious gifts – getting to meet ’em is the best part of our job. Dressing them up in pretty clothes couldn’t be more wonderful. We’re blessed to have the opportunity to be able to serve the community of little ones in such fun ways.
The Sunshine Kids houses children apparel (for both boys and girls!) kids-friendly bags, accessories (check out the owl hairbands – we like!) and gift cards that are great as presents! Clothings are available for kids from age 0 to 8 and choices are aplenty – cute pretty dresses for flower girls are oh-so-sweet too! Ordering online is easy-peasy and if you’d like your little ones to try them on first, simply arrange for a fitting session with them.
Indeed, parents shopping online is a burgeoning trend and a natural phenomenon. Oftentimes, parents are strapped for time, balancing work and valuable time with their kids. With increasing number of e-retailers targeting parents sprouting up, this makes it a more competitive platform as compared to brick and mortar stores which are plague with high rental costs. With every new venture, challenges are common. The duo had to build everything from scratch. With zilch knowledge in website coding, the end product was definitely a morale booster. Language posed a barrier too, when it comes to product sourcing from different countries. Fortunately, luck was on their side – they met a few good people who helped with translation. Matthew, a graduate in Business Finance, takes care of the numbers (“Matt’s a real geek for numbers!” reveals Jocelyn), business strategies and plays photographer for product shots (he does photoshoots too – contact him at Pantography!); while Jocelyn who majors in Psychology and Business Communication, lends her penmanship and design skills to the marcoms aspects.
Now that the business has taken off, The Sunshine Kids, have big plans ahead with their rocket energy and passion to learn. “We’re currently building up our integrated platform for mothers, consisting of a content and an ecommerce platform. So apart from shopping with us, you can surf and read exciting news on parenting, kids fashion and trending topics as well. There will also be an extensive directory listing and hot deals to enjoy. Do stay tuned!” Jocelyn reveals to THP. That sounds like fun, we think – but it doesn’t just end here.
Jocelyn adds, “Right about next year, we aim to launch our own fashion label. It includes an array of adjustable and customizable dresses for little girls! Kids outgrow their clothes very quickly, so it’s just one of our ways for them to hold on to their favourites for longer. Our Mobile app is also coming your way so you can do all of this on the go.” How cool is that? Convenience at your fingertips PLUS, parents get to save and stretch their dollar further too.
Sounds like it’s gonna be a busy year ahead for The Sunshine Kids team. To relax and recharge, the sun lovers enjoy ultimate Frisbee and have been playing competitively since University days. Jocelyn believes exercise and getting outdoors is really important despite a busy schedule. And their job requires travelling, which is also a great time for them to take the chance to tour on-the-go.
Jocelyn counts happy customers as motivationto keep them going. She recalls a memorable moment: “We were doing a pop-up store at MBS, and this little girl from really far ran all the way to our flower girl party dresses and started flippin’ through them like a young adult!! I even caught a pic of her! When her mum asked her which was her favourite, she hugged her fav and squealed “this one!!!!”, and wouldn’t let it go! She was an absolute cutie pie. We are so lucky to meet with ultra cuties all the time!”
To parents who love shopping online, don’t forget to bookmark The Sunshine Kids! Better yet, get on their mailing list and follow them on Facebook so you don’t miss out on any promotional news or latest launches. Support local startups and help our brood of entrepreneurs grow! Don’t forget to catch Matthew and Jocelyn at events too – fleas, corporate sales and other events too.
Psst! Drop by The Sunshine Kids kiosk at Compass Point (9:30am – 10pm, daily) from now till end March! Pretty frocks and cute stuffies are waiting for your little munchkins!
Supporting local business is one of THP’s objectives. Having worked at SMEs and MNCs, the feeling of being in an SME team is different – being a part of a company that makes a difference to our local community and country is indeed heartwarming. Great to have the chance to know about the young peeps at The Sunshine Kids! If you know someone or a group whom you think should be featured in this exclusive interview section, let us know!