Doris and Pinky Ngie of Backroom

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The sisters, co-owners and curators behind Backroom tell Ying Lo about reaching success – all before hitting their one-year anniversary

The sisters, co-owners and curators behind Backroom tell Ying Lo about reaching success – all before hitting their one-year anniversary Sisters Doris and Pinky Ngie, the founders of Backroom (bkrm.com), are a rare breed indeed. The pair launched online shopping mecca Backroom just a year ago – and ever since, the online store has been giving ASOS, Gilt and other international web-stores a run for their money with a smart and seriously curated selection of both luxury and urban-style clothing.

Raised in Toronto, Doris and Pinky hail from family-business GL Group, which exclusively distributes niche European brands, primarily for Chinese audiences. After arriving in Hong Kong, the sisters discovered that one of the largest shopping capitals in the world was lacking a range of international brands and online shopping outlets. So, like any fashionable, business-savvy pair would do, they made it happen. The sisters explain: “The important thing is to fail fast and learn fast.” Says 30-year-old Pinky: “The name behind Backroom is the back of a store, where all the best goodies are kept. Abbreviated, it shortens to ‘bkrm’, which is our domain link.”
The sisters sought to give easy access to international brands that seemed to be inaccessible in HK, and built their website around the motto: ‘Selectivity without the waitlist’. Explains 25-year-old Doris: “Backroom is all about curating. We sift through countless brands to pick the best of the season for our customers, hence selectivity – but without having to wait months on end for a coveted item.”

Boasting free worldwide delivery and same-day shipping in Hong Kong, the website has been hyped by local and international fashion bloggers for its easy-to-use interface and tasteful selections, which perfectly balance high-brow luxury items with more affordable urban street designers. They’ve also opened the doors to hard-to-find brands such as Lovers + Friends, Story by Tang and Common Goods. Having accomplished this much and more after only recently hitting their one-year anniversary, the sisters have only just begun. What’s in store for the future? “Check out new brands like Marcelo Burlon, Katie Eary and Mark McNairy on our site in early 2014.”

Backroom bkrm.com. 

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