Interview: Janice Liu from Shoppalu

Shoppalu is heaven for the vintage clothing lovers out there, especially for those who aren’t too keen on rummaging through trunks at flea markets or thrift stores. The online vintage store was launch during 2011 and allows customers to shop from hand-picked vintage pieces from the comfort of home.  The site features an array of unique, stylish and covetable vintage clothes and accessories.

Shoppalu also offered new goods from brands including Stylestalker, Lustre, Ovate, Avani Designs, Gwendelicious Jewelry, Moon Raven Designs, Kavella, Matiko, Lucca Couture, Kersh, Jack, Press and more.

We wanted to find out more on the women behind the scenes of Shoppalu, the founder of it all, Janice Liu. With Janice now residing in Toronto we were able to get in touch over email to ask a few questions about her background and the start of Shoppalu.

Q&Q with Janice:

What propelled you to launch Shoppalu?

The idea came to me when I tried to order jeans on sale on shopbop and realized I had to pay duties.  I thought about how frustrated other girls, along with myself, feel when we really want a specific article of clothing, but find that the shipping and import fees are outrageous.

Where did you come up with the name Shoppalu?

My good friend, Palu, is a designer and when I first met her, her name really stuck with me.  She’s an awesome person and, when we were playing around with names one day, hers just stuck.

How did you get to where you are now?

A lot of hard work and supportive friends and family.

Have you always been involved in fashion?

No, not at all! I loved fashion and magazines when I was a little girl, but I went to McGill, so academia came first.  After university, I realized the path I was meant to follow just wasn’t for me. I tried every route possible to get into this mysterious industry.  I went from retail (like everyone), to wholesale, to PR etc. Finally, I realized how much I wanted to do my own thing.

Where do you find the items on the website?

I go picking.  I find vintage pieces at flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores etc.  The new goods are specifically ordered and picked from well-designed and great quality brands.

Do you personally handpick each item on the site?

Yes! Definitely. Then the picked pieces are cleaned and restored to as to as close to its original condition as possible.

What is your favourite piece currently on the site?

This amazing burnt orange Nubuck winter shearling coat:  I picked it out with the intention of keeping it, especially since I live in Toronto now, but it was too heavy to move with me.

What is your favourite vintage piece in your own closet?

I love my Miu Miu and Oscar de la Renta.  My all-time favourite vintage piece is my 1920s vintage mink coat.

What advice can you give to other female entrepreneurs?

It’s all about endurance and having a goal.  It’s really easy to falter and doubt yourself, but just know that you don’t need to be the best, just enough to be able to endure and be happy.

Shoppalu has locations in both Vancouver and Toronto. Head over to their website to check it out for yourself.


About lafemmewomen

Diamonds in the City & Operation Style bring you women's networking boutique events. Our goal is to connect & Support women entrepreneurs in Vancouver.
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