She faced the challenges of the pandemic head-on by rebuilding her self-designed shoe business online.
I am Sam Lin, the designer and founder of Sam Star Shoes. Shoes have interested me since childhood, and I believe, a good pair of shoes can uplift any outfit and make a woman feel more confident.
She faced a lot of failures when she started her business, but she used the learnings to grow.
I started my business in 2010 in my apartment in South Africa. I was a rookie in the entrepreneurial world, and from finding the right factories to the raw materials, I did everything by myself. In the process, a lot of people cheated on me when it came to money. But that helped me learn my lessons and I only came out stronger. A few years later, I collaborated with fashion magazines to showcase my talent and was even chosen as one of the hottest entrepreneurs by a South African magazine. All along, I was also using Facebook to promote my products. This contributed to my popularity and 30-40 boutiques began selling my shoes.
In 2021, she had to start afresh after her sales drastically dropped during the pandemic.
In 2020, when the pandemic struck, my sales fell by half. I battled the loss for a year before returning to Taiwan in 2021 to start afresh. Another wave hit and the country was under lockdown, but this time I began focusing on online sales and tapped into the e-commerce market. I renamed the brand ‘Sam Star Shoes Asia’. I still remember when I received my first order then. It was reassuring to know that someone liked my work.
To improve my skills in digital marketing, I turned to workshops and the pitching competition held by SheMeansBusiness and Academy of Women Entrepreneurs hosted by Meta, Ministry of Economic and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). They brought together entrepreneurs who could learn so much from each other that one never felt lonely running a business. In the near future, I have two goals — one, to develop sustainable, fashionable, and environment-friendly women’s shoes, and second, to grow my team and work together to bring my products to the international market and let more people see my shoes.
She wants all women to work hard to realize their dreams.
A client had once told me that she feels beautiful when she wears my shoes, and that is my biggest takeaway. This is the love that I have worked so hard for and will continue to rise above all obstacles to take my business to the next level.