Previous Projects

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Lifecycle was originally founded as Pacific Cross-Border in 2011. In our first iteration, we focused on helping Maker Movement type of consumer product startups.

The idea was to help consumer product startups scale with global distribution, using the Japan market as a test bed. We signed up a number of such startups with us as the exclusive importer for Japan, and the business model was primarily wholesale distribution supplemented by online direct and e-commerce platform retail distribution.

Daikanyama Terrace

[click image for archived site]

Daikanyama Terrace (named after the location of our Japan office, which we had a very nice terrace) was our direct online marketing site. The aim was to not only generate direct retail sales interaction with consumers, but also to use it as our web marketing portal for generating O2O (online to offline) traffic to our retailers.

We used WordPress as the CMS (contents management system) and WooCommerce for the shopping cart. For distribution on e-commerce retailing platforms, we ultimately settled to consolidate on Amazon.co.jp, after experimenting with Rakuten, Yahoo Japan and other emerging platforms.

ISGloves

ISGloves was a product line by FIETT, a National University of Singapore student venture found in 2011. The inner capacitive screen touch enabled gloves (made out of bamboo fiber) plus outer multi-layer water resistant mitten structure proved to be a brilliant idea and we sold out two seasons straight. To this date in 2018 we still receive inquiries from customers looking for these gloves. FIETT is no longer in operation.

Tom & Teddy is a swim wear apparel brand found in 2011. We introduced the brand into Japan in 2013 and ran it for three seasons.

We focused on placing the shorts into high-end retailers and focused our marketing on fashion magazine appearance, given the luxury positioning of the brand. Reception was good with retailing in Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya department stores, and also being featured as an all-season regular item in the ANA inflight catalog order collection.

Tom & Teddy continues to do well in the US, UK & Europe, Australia and Singapore.

Henty is an Australian specialist bag manufacturer. We introduced the brand into Japan in 2014. Their main line Wingman is a truly innovative garment bag targeted at cyclist and runner commuters. The bags are really functional and well made – I still use my own Henty frequently.

We focused on placing the bags into specialist bag shops, both boutiques and nation-wide chain of stores, and other specialist retailers such as Tokyu Hands. For web exposure, we relied heavily on blogger user reviews. The brand enjoyed consistent print media appearance as well.

Henty continues to do well with distribution across 16 countries.

Jadeco

[click image for archived site]

Jadeco was a Hong Kong leather bound stationary manufacturer that ventured into producing stylish leather wrapped smartphone batteries and battery integrated leather purses and pouches.

We sold into specialty retailers such as Loft, but this product in particular sold very well online – which was not surprising given the target clientele of smartphone addicts. To position the product more as a fashion item rather than in the gadget category, we made heavy use of high quality photographic images for the marketing.

Unfortunately, the Jadeco brand no longer exists.


This phase of our company was a rewarding experience. However, after 3 years of operations, I came to the point of the limitations of running a merchandising company as a bootstrap startup. While sales was growing at double to triple digit pace year on year, a classic cash flow business involving heavy lead costs associated with importing, warehousing and holding physical inventory needed a lot of working capital. Leverage (borrowing) was going to be inevitable for further scaling. It also did not help that some of our suppliers went out of business, although that was somewhat expected as it was a business model choice to work with startup manufactures. So at that point I decided to unwind our Japan operations and move on to the next phase of our company, which would lead to helping Singapore based fintech Canopy.