ALL DRESSED UP
“Your business has to have a purpose and you need to be clear about that purpose. Ensure that your product creates value in the eye of the customer.”
In the field of affordable luxury, Jo Kilda is a name that shines. The two-year-old boutique is the brainchild of proprietor Jyoti Singh, who founded the company in 2016 with a focus not merely on fashion retail but to offer an experience where women are empowered to feel classic and stylish.
With a vision to grow across Asia, Jyoti, 40, aims to expand its distribution through multiple stores and outlets, while retaining the charm of Jo Kilda’s retail as well as online experience. Her passion for dressing women stands uncompromised, with an eye toward continual evolution and development that would allow the business to be scaled and make its presence felt across the leading fashion capitals of the world.
Jo Kilda distributes through its flagship retail store FlyingSolo in New York located on one of the most prestigious addresses, West Broadway in Soho, as well as an e-commerce platform. The origins of JK can be traced back to my global travels, living in Singapore, Australia and London. It probably goes even beyond that, back to my childhood. I loved the sheer satisfaction that people got when I dressed them up. The inflection point was in Melbourne, Australia, where it was probably one of the most amazing assignment relocations we had as a family. Rohan my husband was posted to Melbourne from 2011-2015, and it was here that I studied fashion. Melbourne will always be Australia’s style capital. From the “Paris end” of Collins Street to the labyrinth of laneways, style is inherent in the city’s design and psyche. I found Melbourne really astonishing with broad streets full of interesting shops and crowded with bustling well-dressed people. The glitzy week of Melbourne spring carnival, the most elaborate cheese boards, and the aroma of coffee beans in gorgeous cafes never disappoint.
JK is all about a lifestyle experience. We want to give every woman that experience, which is why price is key. We are uniquely positioned in a manner that it occupies the space between mass fashion and high-end luxury. It has its own distinctive active style through its fabrics and styling, and is viewed as a mid-luxury label in the eyes of the consumer. My personal involvement with the brand also means that the consumer is not associated with mass fashion, but rather a real and living brand. The consumers associate with the brand right from seamstresses to ateliers, thereby experiencing Jo Kilda as an experience rather than just a product.
A brand has to deliver a meaning to its buyer, and JK does that. JK’s passion for dressing women is a key attribute and one we never compromise on. The other attribute is grit or sheer perseverance. JK has faced many challenges in its journey but continues to progress.
Your business has to have a purpose and you need to be clear about that purpose. Ensure that your product creates value in the eye of the customer, beyond competing products. Know what is different about your product. Be passionate and true to your brand; this will rub off on customers, staff, suppliers, the industry and so on.
There is nothing more powerful than reading and hearing about positive reviews of JK — it tells me that the brand is delivering on its promise and this motivates me to do more.
Besides spending precious time with my family and friends, I engage in my guilty pleasure, Netflix.
The key to developing a sound business foundation is cost management and brand awareness. I am constantly active with my brand management through e-marketing but equally, I ensure that costs are always scrutinised and carefully managed.