Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.
In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.
Meet Delphine Lefay (OnTheList)
Tell us a little about yourself.
My husband Diego Dultzin Lacoste and I started OnTheList in 2016, which is a Members-Only Weekly Flash Sales concept that offers members exclusive access to luxury brands at discounted prices. We provide brands with an environmentally and financially sustainable option to clear excess, past-season inventory without compromising brand value; acting as the middleman between such brands and members looking for luxury and lifestyle products.
What got you started on your business?
This idea came about after we relocated to Hong Kong in 2015 and noticed the lack of options for brands to dispose of unsold, end-of-season inventory occupying valuable warehouse space. They were often incinerated or dumped in landfills to protect brand value, and minimise inventory holding costs and logistics efforts.
Such disposal methods are quite common in the retail industry but there can be a sustainable product disposal avenue for luxury brands to minimise the surplus of stocks and damage to the environment. So that’s when we founded OnTheList to alleviate the fashion waste predicament by hosting flash sales to a broad spectrum of consumers.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full time basis?
I worked with a vast portfolio of fashion brands in Asia Pacific and Europe in marketing, sales and business development. Prior to OnTheList, I was the Asian Sales Manager at Groupe Eram.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
During my entrepreneurship journey over the last 5 and a half years, I’ve been through different phases:
First three years when I was incredibly excited by this project and I was living for it, I was working all the time and found it difficult to take a step back. Thanks to my family and close friends, I began to realise the situation I was in and managed to find a balance.
It was stressful at the beginning having to create a structure and develop a business plan. But I’ve been lucky to have some mentors who helped us along the way with their valuable insights and advice – and from a lean team of 4, OnTheList now has 100 people!
There was also a phase where I really wanted to work more on CSR projects to contribute back to the community, which was why we launched a CSR taskforce and created an OnTheLove group. Thus, I’ll now need to find time to develop it.
Now being a young mum to my son Pablo who was born almost 4 months ago, the question is how to find a balance between work and family. While some days are tougher than the rest, staying organised and sticking to a schedule helps me to optimise my time at work and with my family.
Who inspires you?
I don’t have one specific person that inspires me, but in every friend, team mate or family member, I tend to always find a trait that my husband Diego has, which at some point inspires me.
What excites you most about your industry?
Being an actor and contributing to the environmental and sustainability causes.
What is your vision / personal motto?
I’m convinced that positive thinking can help one to be happier and successful.
Do you have any word of advice for other ladies who are starting their business / starting to pursue their dream?
Don’t wait to have the perfect service/ product. Test it, accept all the feedback as much as possible. Don’t be afraid of being copied.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
It is not easy to gain confidence and our self-confidence can evolve over time depending on numerous factors such as how we look or feel on the inside. By being positive and trusting ourselves however, we can gain confidence and feel empowered.
What have you learnt recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
What is one thing you are grateful for?
To be able to share this entrepreneurial journey with my husband. Even though it is not easy everyday working as a couple, it’s amazing to be able to share what we feel and talk about work without any judgements.
What do you do in your free time as self care? How do you unwind?
I like to stay active by playing sports regularly or practicing yoga. I unwind with a relaxing massage, acupunctures or traveling.
Let us know more about what you do!
OnTheList works directly with partner brands and official distributors, with the aim of reducing waste and promoting sustainability in the retail industry, by offering our members the ultimate shopping experience, promising authenticity, quality and being the best deal in town – from fashion, cosmetics, wine, homeware and other lifestyle products.
Connect with OnTheList!
One winner can stand a chance to win a 6-month Premium Membership (worth S$120). Benefits include 5 Membership Rewards Points for every S$1 spent; S$30 birthday voucher; unlimited OnTheList shopping bag with purchase; early access to OnTheList flash sales; priority queue; exclusive event invitations. Head over to The Ladies Cue Instagram to participate!
Are you a Fempreneur too?
Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at email@example.com or reach out to us via our social media.
Read TLC x Fempreneur Series:
- Johanna Monange, Maison 21G
- Alverna Cher, City Funeral Singapore
- Hong Choy Yin, Tots Society
- Pearline Foo, Spring Breeze Marketing
- Evangeline Leong, Kobe
- Maddy Barber, Madly Gems
- Ezza Yusof, 2morrow Official (Malaysia)
- Julie Yim, Lilin+Co (Malaysia)
- Nadia, HelloBello (Malaysia)
- Zairin Azman, UMMA (Malaysia)
The rest of the Fempreneur interviews can be found here.