Mobile boutique delivers fashion to customer’s homes

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Mobile boutique delivers fashion to customer’s homes

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A pink van selling clothes races in and around Seoul with one mission ― to go to its customers rather than have them come to it. Looking like a life-sized version of Barbie’s minivan, “Dresscar” is undeniably a business, however ― achieving profit with minimal investment.
The van, weighing five tons, is the brainchild of Lee Young-hwan, owner and founder of www.dresscar.com. After graduating from Korea University with a degree in Economics, Mr. Lee was an employee at OB Beer, before he decided to start his own business venture. However, his first enthusiastic start came to a halt when his accessory shop closed down in 2002. That is where the pink van came in.
“I spent a total of 100 million won ($106,000) ― 30 million for the van and 70 million for the rest, including the exterior and interior of the van,” he remarked as he recalled his humble beginnings. The business started in the fall of 2003 when Mr. Lee launched an Internet shopping site to sell women’s clothing. The van actually started as a promotional tool for his Web site, with the address written across it in big block letters to introduce the brand. After a while though, the van itself drew interest and people commented that it would be convenient if it operated as a mobile shop.
Mr. Lee listened and was rewarded with a quirky and original business idea, which he put into effect right away.
The beauty of Dresscar is that the idea behind it is clear and simple. There are two key points of merit ― first, it provides customers with a chance to try on clothes they select from the Web site, and second, it goes to the most crowded locations around the city where potential customers are.
Additionally, the van also acts as an event vehicle. Customers can reserve in advance to have Dresscar bring a cake, gifts and sparklers, as well as give a makeover to the person or people receiving the “event present.” The recipient also gets to choose and keep one outfit. Mr. Lee said that the service is fully booked months in advance of Valentine’s Day and Christmas, by “mostly males who want to do something special for their girlfriends.” (190,000 won or $200 summer and 220,000 won in winter.)
All this is done from one little van by only three employees, including the founder and his wife, Park Sun-joo, who graduated from Ewha Womans University’s art department and is a professional stylist. She acts as the make-up artist and coordinator for the events.
Mr. Lee is quite intimidating at first glance with his large build and spiky beard, but when talking about his business plans, his excited energy resembles and reflects the bright appearance of his van.
“We are planning to start a ‘Wedding Van’ service so people who want to hold outdoor weddings at parks or stadiums can call us to bring all the necessary props, as well as provide make-up services and a waiting area for the bride before the wedding takes place,” Mr. Lee said, adding that one more van is on its way to becoming a Dresscar.


by Cho Jae-eun
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