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Mamma Mia , Mayarya!

Founded by a husband-and-wife team, the multi-brand, maternity fashion concept store Mayarya is expanding quickly in Hong Kong and very soon overseas

“We started Mayarya because we saw a genuine opportunity in the maternity fashion market. We both came from different retail backgrounds. So marrying both our complimentary skill sets and the niche idea of maternity multi-brand fashion, we set out to conquer the market,” Reika Shetty, Co-founder of Mayarya, said.

Mamma Mia , Mayarya!

After working in Hong Kong for several years, Sid Shetty and Reika Shetty decided to start their own business in Hong Kong. Since its establishment in November 2012 , Mayarya has rapidly grown from a startup company to a maternity and nursing-wear retailer with an office and three stores, along with an online shop that supports global sales and delivery from Hong Kong. The newest store was recently opened in Mira Mall at Tsim Sha Tsui.

Mayarya carries everything that a fashionable pregnant or nursing mother may need, from lingerie to jeans, work wear to wedding gowns. The dresses and tops are designed so they can still be worn after giving birth. “We are maternity friendly, not maternity only. Our collection does not look like typical maternity wear, and our customers love the fact that they look like regular fashion brands,” Shetty said.

The couple travels around the world to source the most coveted fashion labels that can be worn both before and after pregnancy. Some are exclusively carried by Mayarya in Asia.

The company has grown into a full team, including the marketing and design director, retail manager, office manager, e-commerce coordinator, assistant buyer, designer and a few store staff. Additional headcount is planned.

“Our concept was tested and we learned a lot from our first two stores on Hong Kong Island, with both expatriate and local customers. We are confident of our knowledge in the maternity market, so we are ready to expand into Kowloon, where the customer base will be predominantly local and mainland shoppers. We are planning to open our fourth store in Causeway Bay next month. We have also developed our private label called PREDICT,” Shetty said.

Mayarya has identified franchisees in Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and the Philippines, and is planning to launch at least three-to-four overseas Mayarya stores within next year.

Good preparations must be done before starting a retail business, and Shetty shares some useful advice: “Do the right due diligence before signing a lease. Hire the right team and incentivise the staff to think like a business owner — that ’s why we pay monthly commissions to key team members based on key performance indicators,” she said. “Last but not least, your suppliers and vendors need to believe in your growth story so that you can negotiate payment terms and favourable pricing.”

Shetty said Hong Kong is the most energetic of all the cities where her family has lived and is extremely international, with new ideas and people moving into the city all the time. They learned about InvestHK through other entrepreneurs. “InvestHK has helped us with all kinds of support and advice — from retail space introduction, investment visa, to day-to-day advice on Hong Kong-specific issues. InvestHK is our true partner,” Shetty said.

Friday, July 10, 2015

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Fast Facts

  • Maternity fashion concept store established in Hong Kong in 2012
  • Mayarya (pronounced ma-ya-ari-ya) is the name combination of Shetty’s two kids, Maya and Arya

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