This will be a long interview, but she just has so much to tell. Why? Because she started the company many years ago. Meet the boss: Sandra!
Hello, who are you by the way?
I’m Sandra, 31 years old. I am the Managing Director and founder of modes4u. My hometown is Bregenz in Austria, but I have been living in Hong Kong for more than eight years now. After I finished my Masters degree in Computer Science I was invited to join a summer university program in Hong Kong and Beijing. I liked it so much that I decided to stay. I moved to Hong Kong and studied Business Management. During that time I met my husband Alan and after graduating we started modes4u.com together.
What is your job at modes4u?
At the beginning I did everything from A to Z as there was only Alan and I. I looked for suppliers, ordered products, wrote product descriptions, packed and shipped orders, blogged, organised partnerships, answered customer emails etc. Meanwhile my tasks have changed, because now I have a great team that supports me a lot.
I am still responsible for purchasing, so I order products, look for new suppliers and do everything that is connected to that. I also visit trade shows all around the world several times a year to check out the newest products and trends and to meet business partners.
I frequently start new projects, as I have so many ideas for improving and simplifying the shop. Despite that I am still pretty active in the day-to-day business: I answer lots of emails every day and do paper work and administrative tasks. But when we have lots of orders I still help packing.
What is your favourite product or your favourite category at modes4u?
I like everything we have, otherwise I would not have ordered it. But personally I like our fabrics the most. I have done quite a bit of sewing with our echino fabrics, but I also like to use cute designs with matryoshkas, owls, deer etc.
Washi Tapes are on second position in my personal priority list. We have a very big variety now and I really like the beautiful prints.
What do you like most about your job at modes4u?
I am in the very special situation that I have founded this company, therefore I have to say: everything! It is a very special feeling for me to see the shop grow each year and get more and more professional opportunities.
Also I like the work attitude in Hong Kong. Everybody is working eagerly and without complaining. Our team is really great and I appreciate that a lot.
I feel like you can try lots of new projects here. In Europe many things would not be possible that easily and without a lot of bureaucracy. There is an innovative atmosphere, the people are not afraid of experimenting and also willing to take a risk.
You’re surrounded by creative stuff the whole day. Do you like to craft or to be creative in your leisure time?
I like to craft very much if I have a good occasion. Like when I sewed curtains with our echino fabrics for our whole house, because we needed some. It took super long until I was done, but even though it was lots of work, I totally enjoyed it.
For my little nieces I sewed bibs with our fabrics, as a mother can never have enough of those. And I also like to use fabrics as decoration, e.g. by just framing them.
I have also used Washi Tape to decorate vases and glasses or used them as name tags for glasses at parties and BBQs.
Big Rilakkuma is asking Sandra lots of questions at our lunch table
Sandra sewed these bibs for her little nieces
Not yet finished, but already very pretty. A Little bag sewed with our fabrics
Sandra used different echino fabrics to sew curtains for her whole house. Shown here: Living room curtains
A “shop” in Hong Kong where Sandra bought fleece for sewing.
Her cat Miu also liked the big sewing project. So comfy!
Sandra crafted a pinboard by stapling fabric onto cork coasters
A whole new vase design made with a couple of stripes of Washi Tape