Is Showpo’s Jane Lu another ‘tall poppy’ victim?


Entrepreneur Jane Lu — founder of international fashion brand Showpo — has faced backlash after making a size change to her range. She extended her line’s sizing from its former sizes 6-12 to now cover 4-18.

I was personally thrilled by this move on many fronts. Firstly for Jane, who as an entrepreneur — without backing by a huge corporate fund or investor — has built her business from scratch. And secondly for the women who can now enjoy the exciting range that is Showpo.

But I found myself in the minority when it came to praise for the decision.

I know social media can be negative at times. However on this particular occasion I was disappointed to see women criticize and downright slam this move.

Women were becoming close to hysterical and aggressive for using the term “extended sizing” and “plus sizing” when in fact these are fashion terms that a majority of people can relate to … and resonate with.

So instead of a feel good, positive news story circulating the online world, instead I found a role model in the world of entrepreneurship being criticized for doing what VERY FEW other popular brands have been able to do.

And Lu says that she would have been keen to do it even earlier.

“Well, we’ve always wanted to but being a retailer were limited by what our wholesalers stock, which is in sizes 6-12,” she says. “We couldn’t find any clothing in other sizes in good designs.

“The whole team and I knew that we wanted to address this and provide a solution. However, being a bootstrapped startup that has never received external funding, we didn’t have the capital or experience to make our own production.

“Now that we’ve grown bigger and have more customers, we are finally able to make our own production, which involved extending the sizing to 4-18.”

She admits she expected some backlash from this empowering move, but wasn’t going to let that stop her.

“We knew that we would probably garner a few pieces of negative feedback but have wanted to do this for years. We weren’t going to let negative comments prevent us providing to our customers what they wanted,” she says.

“The term ‘extended’ was misconstrued by some,” she says. “It simply referred to the fact that we had more sizes, so ‘extended’ the sizing range! This includes smaller and larger sizes and was never considered ‘plus sized’.”

However, while the negative response may have been the most outspoken it was outweighed by the quietly positive comments she received from loyal customers — and probably some new ones.

“The positive feedback far outweighs the few negative comments and hearing how happy the majority of our customer are makes it worth it,” she says.


About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit www.amandaroseofficial.com.

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  1. kate.middleton@censeo.com.au'

    Kate Middleton - CEO Censeo Engineering

    November 21, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Janu Lu is the real deal and a perfect example of how a considered, sustainable and self funded approach to business can create great outcomes. It is very easy for anyone who has not created a multi-million dollar online retail phenomenon to throw stones (i.e. most of the population)…but I honestly cannot wrap my head around the backlash. Not all businesses can provide a product that caters to all customer segments straight up – that’s not savvy! Jane and her team have taken a careful and strategic approach to filling the fashion needs of women of all sizes, and waited until a point where they could afford to extend their offering, instead of being over leveraged. Referring back to your article last week Amanda about women supporting one another and wishing each other well even when we don’t agree (or even if we feel personally triggered by something) the back lash against Jane is a classic example of where as an Australian female business community we have failed. I hope this can be a lesson. Bravo Jane on your successes X

  2. justifiedranting@hotmail.com'


    November 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    She is in a group that I’m in and I didn’t care much about the size increase when she announced it but the way she speaks to people is appalling. Maybe the fallout is due to her really bad attitude. I actually blocked her because I was so disgusted with the way she addressed people and I didn’t want to see her comments show up ever again in my feed. Sometimes people cop shit because they treat people like shit.

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