Jane Lee is the Founder of Launch Pop, an e-commerce startup lab that helps companies successfully launch new products online.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
My dad is an entrepreneur and we’re really close, so he definitely inspired me. But when I was younger I wanted to be a Korean-Pop star. I was good at ‘pop locking’ and I actually got recruited to be in a group. I moved to LA for 5 months, but they wanted me to get plastic surgery, so I came home. I was attracted to pop locking mostly because only boys did it - I’ve always been attracted to a challenge.
What was your first business?
Four years ago, I was getting ready for a night at the club. My friends and I had rented a booth and I was going to wear a backless dress, so I bought one of those sticky bras. We were having a great time at the club, dancing and sweating, and the bra kept falling off! I thought there has to be a better solution to this. I did my research and realized that there was only one brand that was selling these bras at Victoria Secret with poor adhesive and no social media. At that moment I decided I was going to make a better product. I can be very impulsive when I see a good business opportunity, so I flew to China, hired a translator, created a new bra in different colours, designed better packaging, put it on Shopify, and it took off.
That’s incredible, your first business was a legit success. Did your impulsive tendencies strike again when you decided to start Launch Pop?
Not quite, my business partner, Eva and I actually discussed it for like 3 months. Starting our own business, moving to LA were big decisions, but we saw the potential of our complementary skills in e-commerce.
Jane and business partner Eva (left)
What support do you provide to your clients?
Founders come to us with a product that they want to ship to the world. We ’re selective about who we work with, we review everything about the business especially the founder themself. Once we’re sure its the right fit, we work side-by-side as part of their team for 3-5 months to launch their business. It’s gruelling. We do everything with them: design, hiring a team, sourcing, marketing and help them pitch to investors. Since we started one year ago, we’ve launched 20 companies that have a combined value of $60-million.
Business and technology specifically are such male-dominated industries, how have you found working as a female entrepreneur in this sector? Compared to the East Coast, I find there are more women founders in LA and they want to work with us. We’re connected to venture capitalists who are almost always men, which can be intimidating for women entrepreneurs. You need investment to build a multi-million dollar business and if we can introduce them to the right VC, it makes them more comfortable. I’ve found women are intimidated to ask for money, we help them get what they deserve.
What would your advice be for the future female entrepreneurs out there?
We’ve worked with 20 entrepreneurs and 5 of them were women. In my opinion, they were the best. They were always open to testing out new approaches and ideas and understood the value of collaborating. They were also more conservative and risk-averse. I tell women two things:
- Be aggressive, that doesn’t mean you need to be loud or rude, but stay laser-focused on what you want and what you need to achieve your goals.
- Women are often scared to share what they are working on publicly. I tell them, be proud. Talk about your goals, you will meet people who will help you along the way, but only if they know how what you’re doing!