Joanne Chow, co-founder and director of fashion and lifestyle brand incubator azalvo, speaks to The Loop HK about brand building, entrepreneurship, and fashion.
What do you do?
I consider myself to be an industrialist with a passion to help bring brands to life. Most recently, I launched a platform for fashion and lifestyle brands hoping to scale up in Hong Kong and Greater China. azalvo is an ideas lab to help brands fast-track their business by offering opportunities for collaborative work.
Ideated around a bold vision of knitting different industries and corporations into a lab spirit, azalvo aims to transform cutting-edge ideas and concepts into successful businesses as well as successful businesses into cutting-edge players.
How does your business work?
azalvo is a 360° development platform that offers creative entrepreneurs a unique series of transformational programs, integrated services, shared intelligence, conscious peer-to-peer mentoring and an agile collaborative space.
How did your business get started?
Over the past year, I spent a lot of time thinking about the retail apocalypse in the US. This impact pushed me to rethink our trade and manufacturing business; the type of brands we wish to support and dedicate ourselves to. I questioned how we could be less reactive as manufacturers. I asked how we could change the way we work to encourage change.
Who are your clients?
Creative, ambitious and global brands that place a premium on their time and user experience and value flexibility, transparency and community. They have high ideals about change, ethics and sustainability.
What’s a day in your working life like?
Every morning on my way to work, I catch up with my brother, a fellow director on the trade and manufacturing side of the group. It’s helpful to have someone you can trust and work with day in and day out. He knows me so well he can finish my sentences as well as cover my work during maternity leave and vacation. This is very rare for an entrepreneur, and I am entirely grateful.
Once I arrive at work, I check retail numbers. By reviewing the numbers, I am usually able to keep track of change. On the days I visit the stores, I check in on the team and get their feedback. Further, as we prepare for azalvo’s second pod, we take initiatives to invite new members to the community, focusing on design, lifestyle and creative businesses.
The rest of the day is in and out of meetings as required, and the day ends with an opportunity for me to catch up on emails and respond to any pressing issues. I usually end my workday reviewing my mind maps or mapping out new ideas. I find it helpful to break down ideas before I leave work and come home to my husband and my four adorable babies.
Where do you see your business in future?
The future of azalvo is in transforming members of the community on an innovative and unified platform where we can create growth in the new economy. We empower the makers, movers and shakers in our industry and beyond through our experience, approach, and innovation. We develop content. We co-create. We foster sustainability and transform our culture from a company to an inclusive platform for those that want to be an integral part of the future in lifestyle and fashion.
An elevator convo with Joanne Chow. See here for more from our Next Up series.