The idea for The Elly Store began in 2009 when Audrey Ng’s niece was born.
Living in London at the time and working as a lawyer, Ng received multiple requests from her sister back in Singapore, who was frustrated with the lack of affordable options locally, to buy children’s clothing from the plethora of unique brands in London.
“I’ve always had a love for colorful and whimsical fabrics,” said Ng, who started out buying fabrics at local London markets to make dresses for her nieces. “We made so many, and people wanted to buy them, so we started selling them,” she explained, adding that she considers herself an accidental entrepreneur.
A year later Audrey moved back to Singapore to launch Elly and fill the gap in the Singapore market for quality, beautiful and affordable children’s clothing. Ng initially sold her clothing at pop-up boutiques, fairs and a local online e-commerce platform called Pupsik Studio.
In 2012, Ng opened her first physical store. “This is when everything changed for us,” she recalled. In addition to designing and printing their own fabrics for Elly’s clothing line, she realized there was a gap in the local market for shoes so the company began stocking eight different international brands of shoes from Brazil, Australia, and the United States.
Today Elly has its own physical store, a presence in 3 department stores and a growing online footprint, which is supported by 11 full and part-time employees. The team manages 30 different brands of shoes, toys, and accessories that are sold along with their Elly line, which is manufactured in Singapore.
The company is truly global. In addition to the global suppliers, Elly has direct retail customers in the United States, Europe, Australia and Hong Kong. “Our next step will be expanding outside of Singapore in order to grow,” Ng said. With a small percentage of children in Singapore compared to other markets, Ng is looking to global markets in order to continue to evolve the brand.
“Be ready for anything and don’t be deterred,” advises Audrey adding, “you should constantly have a solutions-based mindset.”