Each week SHE‘SAID’ features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Jane Lu is the young founder of Australian fashion e-tailer Showpo. When I first met Jane, it was clear she wasn’t your typical CEO. Dressed in denim cut-offs – her signature look – with long hair out and that beaming smile she’s known for, Jane is as much a customer of Showpo as she is the owner.
Formally from accounting giant Ernst & Young, Lu tired of corporate life and launched Showpo (formally Showpony) in 2010. In five short years, she’s proven that hardwork and a bit of fun is the key to creating a thriving, not to mention truly satisfying business.
The company’s Instagram account @ILoveShowpo has amassed a whopping 539,000 followers, while Lu herself (aka @TheLazyCEO) is nearing 100,000. Last April, Showpo did $800,000 of sales and projected continual growth month-on-month. Not bad for a local Sydney girl who admits to having “no business pan” in her late-20’s.
Here, she invites SHESAID into the world of Showpo to share what a typical work day looks like for one of Australia’s brightest young stars.
8:15am: Rise and Shine
While most entrepreneurs brag about waking up at the crack of dawn to get started on work, Jane Lu bucks the trend. “I get up as late as possible because I always go to bed way too late- normally watching TV or playing on my phone in bed!” she tells SHESAID.
Lu then jumps in her Jeep and heads straight to Showpo HQ, a chic warehouse office space in Sydney’s creative hub, Surry Hills.
9am: Coffee fix!
“Coffee first thing in the morning is a must, and as much as I would love to start being productive first thing in the morning, I spend most of it checking my emails and chatting with the team,” Lu admits. When we sat down with the business whizz, she even ran a tab at her local hot spot, Le Monde, a bustling cafe in Surry Hills.
Lu does a quick email check in the morning, but limits her use throughout the day. To avoid constantly checking her inbox, Jane sets a bounce back that asks colleagues to email ‘URGENT’ in the subject line, otherwise she responds to messages intermittently.
As for a typical schedule, Lu says normal doesn’t exist in the world of Showpo. “Every day is different for me – some days we have photoshoots, some days I’m in back-to-back meetings. I like to jump between the little divisions within our office and give my two cents and see how to improve our current systems and processes.”
Midday: Team time
“Team lunch! This is the highlight of the day! It’s great being located in Surry Hills – we’ve got heaps of yummy places to choose from to buy our lunch. We always bring it back to the office all sit around our ‘family dining table,'” says Jane.
It’s clear that the SHOWPO team is a close one. As the founder, Jane fosters time for the crew of young, passionate staffers- all of whom are SHOWPO poster girls on social media. And it shows- Jane and her team are clearly more than colleagues. There’s mutual respect and a willingness to drive the business as a team.
6pm: Cram time
As the boss of her own burgeoning business, Jane sets the pace for her work day and admits that she’ll often stay back to work late. “I’m really the most efficient from 8pm to midnight- I’m a crammer!” she laughs.
And while that might not be a conventional work day, it’s clear that steering away from normality has been a secret to success for this young entrepreneur. Given the dramatic growth of Showpo, and thriving culture of Showpo’s resident ‘ponies,’ it’s obvious Jane Lu’s doing something right.