Juliette Gimenez has no filter—and it’s glorious. A lot of entrepreneurs approach media interviews as a means to sell their services. When marketing budgets are tight and interviews offer free advertising, who can blame them?
When we speak to Gimenez, however, she is unfailingly honest and unapologetically herself. During our conversation, she admits to everything from extreme awkwardness at social situations to coming up with the idea for her startup on the toilet.
She may be charmingly off-script in interviews, but Gimenez is fiercely focused on her professional goals. A veteran of e-commerce firms Ubuyibuy and Cdiscount, Gimenez went out on her own to found fashion platform Goxip in 2016. Described as a “Shazam for the fashion world”, Goxip allows users to take a photo of any fashion item, identify it using the app’s powerful image recognition technology, and then purchase it—all within the app. Today, Goxip works with 500 online merchants to offer over six million fashion and beauty products to its 300,000 users, who are mainly in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
The platform has grown at an impressive pace in the last three years, encouraged by a recent successful series A round of funding that totalled US$5 million. Prominent backers include Chinese tech giant Meitu as well as fellow Generation T listers Vanessa Cheung, through her newly launched Fabrica Fund, and Sabrina Ho.
As well as a recent expansion into Thailand, Gimenez is using part of the funding to build an influencer platform called Rewardsnap, which connects fashion bloggers and influencers with brands. We sit down with Gimenez to talk inspiration, ambition and her adoration of Jeff Bezos.
What was your biggest “ah-ha moment” in life—a realisation that changed everything for you?
It was probably when I came up with the idea for Goxip. It happened on the toilet. I was reading a gossip magazine and I liked the clothes a celebrity was wearing, but I didn’t know the brand and couldn’t find the items online. I decided then and there to build an app where you can take a picture of the item, find it on the app and buy it straightaway—all within your toilet time.
Who is your inspiration?
Jeff Bezos, by far. He’s got this incredibly determined mind and nothing seems to crack him. You could throw him in a pressure cooker and he’d come out alive and looking handsome. He just has that never-die determination to succeed.
What’s your ultimate professional ambition?
To build something that can significantly improve the existing process of buying fashion.
What do you want to be remembered for?
For my incredible passion and energy as a leader, a co-worker and an entrepreneur.
What’s a habit shared by all successful people?
They worry about the little things. Over the years, I’ve learned that the bigger your company gets, the more tasks you have—even though you have more people you can delegate to. The key is to still remember the little things, because often it’s the little things that matter most.
See also: I Am Generation T: Keshia Hannam
What’s the single most important decision you’ve made that’s contributed to your success so far?
To go all-in on my work. The bigger I got, the more opportunities came from big corporates. But I decided I want to work for myself. In the end, I want to achieve success on my own terms, build something from scratch, and share the journey with my amazing team.
How do you deal with failure?
I used to feel very defeated by what people said, especially men as I tend to get a little more competitive around men. But then I realised that failures actually improve me because I can learn from them and do better next time. So I made a mental shift and decided to never get emotional, and focus on reacting faster and finding better solutions instead.
What’s the next disrupter in your industry?
AR is going to be game changing for the retail industry. Soon, shoppers will be able to take a picture of themselves and be recommended flattering styles by retailers. Right now, we struggle with the different sizes of different brands, but AR will able to find the right size for each item to fit our body size. It will be a turning point for the industry.
Is there a book you recommend every entrepreneur read?
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos And The Age Of Amazon, by Brad Stone. It covers why he wanted to build Amazon, the challenges he’s been through and how he overcame them. He’s just amazing. It’s like nothing beats him.
"AR is going to be game changing for the retail industry"
What’s your favourite quote?
I love by the line “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs just starting out?
Be prepared for failures and don’t let them get inside your head, no matter what.
What trait does every entrepreneur need to succeed?
Patience. The patience to build the right team and train them properly. You need a strong team of people to work hard for you if you’re going to succeed. You also need patience when building a product. It’s a difficult process and if you don’t have patience, you’ll just want to bail out.
Not really. I tend to follow my heart, and I’ve lived that way since I was in school. Maybe one small regret is that I haven’t done enough exercise this year. I’m now realising that good health is key to supporting the crazy lifestyle and long hours that are needed to build a great business.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you
I get super awkward at social events. Most people can’t tell from my face or how talkative I can be. At a conference, usually I’m the one in the corner of the room trying to think of something to say to start a conversation with someone.
See all 50 of the game changing young talents on the Generation T List 2018.
Photography: Callaghan Walsh | Styling: Christie Simpson | Outfits: Theory
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