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Model sisters have success in the bag

 | February 12, 2017

Malaysian models cum entrepreneurs aim to style, inspire and empower women with their brand of handbags and accessories called Livlola.


modelSUBANG JAYA: With an eye on grabbing their slice of the international fashion market pie, two sisters have taken a leap of faith by launching a website selling handbags and accessories.

Models by profession, Sim Li, 27, and Sim Hui, 25, decided to venture into the challenging business of fashion after visiting a manufacturers’ exhibition in China.

Considering themselves fashionistas by nature – Hui is a regular on the local catwalks, including KL Fashion Week – the enterprising pair settled on the name Livlola for their brand of imported handbags and accessories catering to twenty-somethings.

“Liv means life. Lola is Spanish for confident woman. Put together, Livlola means to live life to the fullest in your most comfortable self and be very proud of it,” said Hui.

Li and Hui explained that women should not be afraid to take risks and “live a little”.

“It is also why our handbags are very colourful and not just in black and white. We want women to always add a little colour into their lives and to never be afraid to take that big step, especially in wanting to be an entrepreneur,” said Hui.

Drawing inspiration from their father, an entrepreneur himself, the two said there was nothing more gratifying than “watching your own brand grow”.

“Our dad pushed us really hard to come out of ourselves. Holding a corporate job is fantastic but he told us that we should have something of our own – something we started from scratch and watched grow.

Hui admitted being an entrepreneur was taxing at times but said it was a “positive type” of stress. “Because you’re doing it for yourself, it is very different from the stress of working for a corporation,” she said.

“But it can be a lonely road. Everyone else’s lives seem perfect with stable jobs compared to yours. As an entrepreneur, you are bootstrapping, you are constantly cutting costs… and when you fail, it takes quite a bit to get back on track.”

She said it was important however to pick yourself up, no matter how bad the setbacks were at times.

Li added that drive and perseverance were the two important traits of an entrepreneur as well as the ability to roll with the punches.

“You need to be able to live poor for months, years. When you first start out, your parents are not going to agree to it. That’s normal as your parents want you to have a stable job.”

She said most parents however would come around once they could see for themselves that their children could satisfactorily sustain their business.

To the girls however, Livlola has become more than just a business – they see it as a form of empowerment.

“I believe that empowering women means a different thing now compared with 10 years ago.

“These days, we see many women in high corporate positions, which was unheard of 10 years ago.

“(Female) entrepreneurship is growing. If you are a woman and you have a passion or interest that you want to turn into a business, give it a go.

“It is important for women to stand out,” said Hui.

Li said both sisters were inspired by the many successful women holding high corporate positions today.

“They give us strength to build our own brand. We hope to do the same for other women starting out.”

For style, inspiration and a whole lot of handbags, visit www.livlola.com.


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