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Your Wardrobe on Demand

Out of a passion for clothes, Barbara Yu set up PAKT to help people care for their clothes, shoes and accessories with a wardrobe on demand — the business has proven successful and scalable

“Wardrobe” is the keyword in the various descriptions about PAKT’s unique service, whether it is “wardrobe away from home”, “wardrobe on demand” or “wardrobe management”. As one of the latest pioneers of O2O (online-to-offline or vice versa) commerce in Hong Kong’s fast-growing startup scene, PAKT provides full-fledged logistics and value-added services focusing on the clients’ personal needs to care for garments of sentimental value, vintage clothes, favourite purchases and other treasured items.

Your Wardrobe on Demand

According to Barbara Yu, CEO and Founder of PAKT, the company was set up to cure the headache of space and clothing care, by providing a 24/7 temperature and humidity-controlled clean facility for clients’ treasured clothes and off-season clothing — items not needed at home all the time.

In addition to collection and delivery, the company provides a per item photo catalogue of stored items to create the client’s personal virtual wardrobe. Plans are under way to supplement the PAKT photo catalogue with a home photo shoot of other key wardrobe items. Experienced staff members will also examine each item and decide how best it should be handled. For the clients, sorting, filtering, tagging or ordering for scheduled delivery of their wardrobe items can be done with a click. The clients can even place orders online for a full range of “Clothing Spa” services from alterations and repairs, to dry cleaning and pressing.

Moving to Hong Kong in 2010 with her family, Yu was fascinated by the cosmopolitan lifestyle in the city. At the same time, she also noticed a common problem of clothing care and storage in her circle of friends due to Hong Kong’s compact living space and clothing-unfriendly climate of high temperatures and humidity. That was how the PAKT concept took shape. She sounded out a group of Hong Kong businessmen and women, friends and acquaintances and the response was positive and encouraging that she decided to start this business in 2015.

After establishing a firm foothold in the wardrobe management business which is currently unique in Hong Kong, PAKT is considering how to enhance the service by providing other value-added services such as sharing clothes between friends, selling them second hand or donating to charity. The company is developing the second generation of its technology platform to promote the sharing culture. In the longer term, PAKT is also looking to expand to other cities in Asia, including Singapore, Tokyo and major cities in China.

Having had successful careers in both investment banking and executive search, Yu says the keys to starting up a business are finding the right people and leveraging a global network. “Being passionate about what you do, being able to see the big picture and knowing when to be flexible and pivot are critical,” she said.

“Hong Kong is such a vibrant, exciting and energetic city, with plenty of talent and an east-meets-west culture — it’s the perfect place to start your own business. My daughter just told me the other day how excited she is that I have become a tech entrepreneur!” she added.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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Fast Facts

  • Established by Barbara Yu, an ex-investment banker and executive search expert
  • Offers the unique and personalised logistics service comprising storage solutions, on-demand wardrobe management and clothing care
  • Development is currently under way on a clothes sharing, trading and donation platform

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