Side Hustle Into Main Income An Interview with Wirda Elliesa
Wirda Elliesa is a local influencer and a young entrepreneur of 2 businesses that were built on e-commerce. From turning her side hustle into her main income, she has gone a long way since her very first e-commerce venture. GoldWire is delighted to share this exclusive e-interview with Wirda Elliesa, read on as she shares more about her entrepreneurial journey, including how every one of Kebaya Wirda’s collections sell out almost immediately!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you delved into starting your first e-commerce business?
Wirda Elliesa, 25, local influencer and entrepreneur.
Hi! My name is Wirda Elliesa. I am 25 years old. I started my first e-commerce business 5 years ago. I started by selling lingerie. I graduated from Fashion Design & Merchandising and didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do after that. I knew I always had a creative mind and passion, but for a long time I didn’t act upon it and all I knew was that I wanted to be successful and run my own company.
2. How long have you been running e-commerce businesses?
For 5 years now! Trust me, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. There were times where I felt like giving up.
3. Tell us more about your latest e-commerce venture: Kebaya Wirda.
Kebaya Wirda is my ‘circuit breaker baby’. Meaning that I got the idea to work and launch Kebaya Wirda during the lockdown. It was Ramadhan at the time and I was just casually shopping for my Raya outfit. I knew exactly what I wanted which was kebaya but I couldn’t find a nice one in Singapore. I wanted an Indonesian-style kebaya but it wasn’t available for purchase in Singapore. So then I thought to myself, why don’t I design and produce my own kebaya line? From then on I started working on Kebaya Wirda for 6 months.
Close up of ‘Kebaya Lestari’
‘Kebaya Aulia’ in Olive Green (top) and ‘Rok Budiwati’ (bottom)
‘Masker Wulan’ (Face Mask)
4. Your first Kebaya Wirda collection sold out in 4 days, how did you manage to accomplish that?
I still can’t believe it until now. When I was working towards launching my brand. I got all sorts of negative comments on my social media saying that my pieces are very expensive and they told me that no one is going to buy them. I was actually so nervous to launch it, I always ask myself what if no one wants to buy and that my stocks are all not moving? But then I pushed all my negative thoughts aside and I told myself “better an ‘oops’ than a ‘what if?’”. If it fails, at least I will learn something and be better.
“Better an ‘oops’ than a ‘what if?’”
BEHIND THE SCENES
Production of Kebaya Aulia (Wine Red) from Kebaya Wirda’s Mawar Collection
How it got sold out in 4 days maybe because I document and upload all progress from scratch and share it with my followers. I made them feel like they took part in starting Kebaya Wirda. Which they did! All my Kebaya Wirda customers are all so sweet and always giving me advice on what to improve and I am always working towards pleasing my customers.
5. Is branding important, and why?
Branding is so important to me because we want to leave an impact on our audiences.
We want them to remember us. We want them to recognise our brand colours and theme.
6. What do you focus on most when building a brand new online business?
I think I focus more on my packaging and Instagram feed. I want my customers to look forward to unboxing their package even though they know exactly what they got. It makes me so happy to watch them unbox and tag us on Instagram.
When you build a new brand, you have to decide on your brand colours, your brand voice, and the aesthetic.
Is it minimalist? Glamour? Grungy? Etc.
And you have to STICK to it and be consistent.
7. Are Singaporeans supportive of local businesses?
I would like to believe so! Some are very supportive and then there are people who don’t want to see you succeed.
8. List some of the skills that a successful e-commerce entrepreneur should have.
Creativity, customer service skills, active listening, optimistic and business management skills.
9. After gaining all the knowledge and experience in building & managing e-commerce stores, what is the one thing that you would have done differently when setting up your first online shop?
I would have improved more on my customer service skills especially on replying to emails on time.
10. What’s one thing that you would like to say to the aspiring entrepreneurs who may be reading this?
“It is okay to try and fail” – Wirda Elliesa
I always tell myself to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable. Better an ‘oops’ than a ‘what if?’. Because I don’t want to be older and think to myself “I should have done that…”
We are young, so it is okay to try and fail.
We can learn from every failure and that will make us better each time. Do not listen to negative comments from our family or friends because they aren’t brave to do what you are doing. They are afraid to fail so they say those things to hope that you won’t succeed.