With a successful online business platform comes a strong-willed and passionate leader. We recently talked to Ms. Florence Coirier Giraudon, the founder of our media collaboration partner BuyMeDesign.com. Florence’s vision for the design market and her achievements with BuyMeDesign earned her a noteworthy spot on the 52 Hong Kong Female Start-up Entrepreneurs list. The STUVVZ team was lucky enough to ask Florence a few questions on her endeavors in the industry, and how she views her company and the start-up culture in Hong Kong.
1. Please use 3 words to describe BuyMeDesign!
Curator, lifestyle, and cool.
2. What is the most significant thing that you would like both your consumers and collaborative designers to take away from BuyMeDesign?
BuyMeDesign is only made in the Asia marketplace, and we aim to place cutting-edge designers in touch with media, consumers and retailers in the world of fashion products and home decoration accessories. On the pulse, BuyMeDesign truly adds value to the currently fast moving design industry. We get our hands on what’s new with innovative marketing approaches. It is a totally refreshing and an extremely valuable experience for both consumers and designers.
3. What is BuyMeDesign’s criteria for collaborating with the “emerging talents” of the design industry? Any pointers on how to spot innovative and creative products on the market?
BuyMeDesign has launched its Spot Design Award. The Spot Design Award seeks out and celebrates unique, innovative, and compelling pieces of design by rising talents. All of the exhibiting designers were in the running for the coveted prize. Esteemed judges from the design industry picked through the hoard of fashion, furniture, accessories, and lighting designs in order to nominate their favourite pieces.
The registered products will be analyzed according to a compilation of precise criteria that cover social, economic, and technical aspects of design. The BuyMeDesign team and its curators will individually evaluate the products to the highest degree using the criteria below:
(i) Design Philosophy: Is the brand’s philosophy clearly visible in their designs? How does their design philosophy translate toward their concepts/ideas?
(ii)Design Innovation: Is the design original? Does it set new standards and/or benchmarks? Does the unique design thinking enhance user-experience?
(iii) Functionality: Does the product fulfill its functional purpose? If so, how effectively? Does the product achieve the essential requirements of safety, maintenance, and handling? Are the product’s functions effectively explained?
(iv) Quality: Are the materials used in the design well chosen? Does the product connect with the audience? Is it easy/enjoyable to use?
(v) Price Range: Is the design affordable? Does the product live up to its price tag? Is the design worth its suggested monetary value?
(vi) Eco-Friendliness: How does the product achieve sustainability? To what extent have the environmental issues been considered? How effective is this method of sustainability in the progress towards a better environment?
(vii) Aesthetics: Is it immediately clear what the exhibitor is selling? Is the aesthetic appeal to a high-degree?
(viii) Durability: Has the product been designed to have a long-life span? Are the materials breakable or spoil-able?
4. What is your favorite thing about establishing BuyMeDesign and growing a startup business?
The learning curve of launching your own business is infinite, and I find this very empowering. I’ve faced and still face the up and downs of being a female entrepreneur – overseas, in a country that does not place design as a significant priority. It is where I truly understand that I am ambitious and passionate about design and these products that I curate. I have this idea of educating a market. With BuyMeDesign, I can always discover beautiful things, share new ideas, work with inspiring people, and cross paths with the best professionals of the industry. By being an entrepreneur, I am directly connected with the decision-makers, the founders, and the creators who I value the most.
5. You were featured as one of the 52 Hong Kong female startup entrepreneurs, and have worked for notable brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Moet. Why a startup, and what got you into the transition into the startup culture in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong was a transition which I didn’t chose initially. But when I moved here, I saw the opportunity to launch my own business. I always believed that design and luxury are working together. By launching a start-up business, I could experiment an Omni channel strategy from digital to retail. I have explored what I couldn’t find in the luxury sector before I left France in 2009.
Hong Kong, in many aspects, is not at all the digital hub that I expected. But now that the retail is slowing down, I believe that the digital will rise.
Written by Priscilla Ng