Kore Team spoke to one of the most prominent faces in Singapore’s fashion and modelling scene and she is none other than former Singapore Supermodel, Huda Ali.
Huda was the second runner-up for ASEAN Model Search in 1993 and she started her modelling career at the age of 15 after she was scouted by former model, Hanis Hussey.
Huda went on to enjoy a prolific and illustrious career in the international modelling arena. Back in her heyday, she was always picked to be on the cover girl on fashion magazines. However, in 2002, Huda decided to make a huge career switch. She left her glamorous career as an international model behind and took up a public relations position in British fashion designer Neil Barrett’s company. Huda considered her career switch in the fashion industry as an accomplishment because public relations and communications was something she had always wanted to do and was great at it.
In 2011, Huda married Italian entrepreneur, Valerio Aligan, and they held a luxurious wedding ceremony at Le Palais Rhoul, a converted family palace set in 10 acres of lush parkland, olive and palm groves for their wedding venue. Huda continued to live in Italy after her marriage and it was only after the birth of her son did she decide to pack her bags and move back to Singapore.
These days, besides helping her husband with his fashion distribution business and being a devoted mother to her only son, Huda has become an entreprenenur herself, setting up a bag rental online store called Snap That Bag. Kore Team had the privilege of interviewing Huda and the concept behind her bag rental online store.
1) What is the brand ideology behind Snap That Bag?
The idea of naming Snap That Bag was thought intentionally for girls who would not think twice about snapping the dream bag or a good bargain. I wanted a name that is catchy, girly and pretty much straight forward. Since I am not carrying or creating my own brand of bags, my online store provides services focusing on renting. Snap That Bag seems like an ‘uncomplex’ name for my site.
2) Why should we rent instead of owning the bag?
Why not? You are paying a fraction by renting the IT or your dream bag. Plus there are no issues on maintaining or storing the bags. If you are not cautious in maintaining your precious bags, the humidity may cause massive damages such as mould and discolouration. It may cost the same or even more to fix the damages than actually renting the bag. Plus with the current economic slowdown and high living cost, it would not make sense to spend a chunk of your salary on an expensive bag.
3) How to you control the condition of the bags which you rent out?
Every business will have its own risks and issues. In order for us to control the condition of our bags we have to be totally honest with our clients by informing them prior to renting they will be responsible to pay for any damages or lost items if the bag is severely broken or damaged. This system helps to ensure clients respect the bags that are in their possession. We have been lucky, so fingers crossed!
4) If clients do not return the bags in good condition, do you charge them a fee?
It will depend on the severity of the damages. If we consider them reasonable wear and tear, then we will bear the cost. However, if the damages are beyond that, such as being stained, damaged or lost, we have to charge the difference or clients have the option to buy off the bags at our special prices.
5) How do you maintain your branded leather bags?
We keep our bags in a 24 hour climate control room and our team of experts who specializes in keeping our bags in top conditions.
6) Why is the business of rental in Singapore booming?
There is still a lot to do in educating the public about renting bags. Singaporeans are still reasonably cautious about the idea of renting a bag as compared to the Americans and Europeans. But I think we are getting there. Being one of the most expensive cities of the world, where women are paying mortgages and costly COE, they are opening up to the idea of renting.
7) How do you allocate your time between running your bag rental business and being a mother to your child?
It is still a struggle. You can never have enough time for yourself, work and your role as a mother.
Visit Huda’s online store http://www.snapthatbag.com for the latest collection of IT designer bags at attractive rental rates.