Hong Kong is not only about hundreds and hundreds brand and designer shops. Hong Kong is also about tiny apartments and wardrobes, people moving in and out of city and girls who normally have only one or two suitcases to carry all their life with them, moving to another country. Meet amazing French ladies who are going to save our free space, money and even unwanted dresses.Meryl and Constance started their common project a year ago and their company Me & Co helps the Serial Shoppers to get rid of clothes they don’t need anymore.
Me & Co Facebook event caught me with tempting words like dresses, sustainable, pop-up, Sunday, and a cute logo. I took my friend to check what is there but frankly speaking had no expectations. The pictures of clothes on that sale looked too good to be true. But what do you expect knowing all these will be preloved things? When we came we found THREE stores of clothes – both affordable and designer, bags, shoes, accessories and many of them were never worn with all the tags! It was a real boutique experience. That’s what I call sustainable chic and that is what you can expect from owners and creators of Me & Co.
– Your sale was amazing, it was a boutique experience and absolutely not a second-hand market. But you are not only business partners but good friends?
Meryl – Yes, we met in Hong Kong around two years ago. And we stick together forever.
Constance – And quite fast decided to make this project and we started it this August.
– How did you choose this field?
Constance – When I moved to Hong Kong I did not take enough clothes with me, I had too many things in France. And I wanted to buy new dresses, not spending a fortune.
Meryl – But I had a lot of things I wanted to get rid of. So we decided to share our closets.
– In the beginning just two of you?
Meryl – Yes, but we realized we are not the same size. That’s how the idea of this business appeared. We started with searching the right brand name. Me & Co represents Meryl and Constance and at the same time “Me and the others”.
Constance – And we also checked the competitors. There are some of them in HK but mainly specialize in luxury brands only. We want to have both luxury and middle price range.
Meryl – But we think there is a place for everyone. There are so many people who arrive in Hong Kong and leave so soon. Closets are so small here. But anyway before going back home it is not possible to fit everything in the suitcase.
– That’s why all those swap-it groups are so popular here!
Meryl – Yes, but we are not a platform for selling any preowned clothes and more than just a second-hand shop, but a service.
Constance – We meet each of our sellers in person.
Meryl – And we don’t want to make it online, it’s important to do a real marketplace. Maybe later we will add some items on the website, but only some of them and only after the offline sale. We want to make it a special experience.
– All the pictures you make for your FB page look so good!
Constance – We have a lot of products we have to sell and we want people to know that those garments are of a good quality, nice brands, modern dresses and clothes of different styles.
– The choice was really wide. I think going to a pop-up sale of preloved clothes people usually do not expect something like that. How many sales did you have already?
Meryl – It was our first sale, but we have been thinking about it for one year. We wanted to understand the market, culture, people, that is why we did not rush. We were afraid in the beginning, but after we shared the idea with friends, they kept asking us when are we going to start.
Constance – That is why we finally did it. Many girls contacted us through different Facebook groups, or just friend of friends of friends wanted to sell unwanted but really good pieces. Most of them are even never worn! We were really surprised to see such an interest.
Meryl – On our first sale we had 45 sellers, what is quite a lot, taking into account the fact that nobody knew us.
Constance – Only a few of our friends, very few. Also, French community here is really strong, but we don’t want to have only French people or expats as our customers. Most of girls in Hong Kong have the same problem of small closets sometimes stuffed with things they never wear.
Meryl – And here we are. Ready to come check all those wardrobes.
– You even go to peoples’ apartments to pick the clothes?
Meryl – That is why we call it a service! They have to do nothing just wait for us to come and we will help to decide what to leave and what to give. But only if they wish, we can meet somewhere else with the pieces they choose.
– I am sure it takes so much time, doesn’t it?
Constance – It is a huge work to come, to check, take all these pieces home…
Meryl – Then make tags, choose a price, ask the seller if she agrees.
Me & Co keeps 20-35% of the price depending on the garment. The rest goes to ex-owner of the clothes!
Constance – Iron and hang everything and prepare for the sale. But it is necessary!
Meryl – We also love buying things and we know how it is important to show it in a good shape. And we are quite selective and accept only very good clothes in perfect condition.
– And both of you have full day jobs! You spend nearly all your evenings, nights and weekends doing Me&Co business, right?
Meryl – That’s true. I work in gastronomy, as sales manager, selling food to five-star hotels.
Constance – I work in the wine industry as a marketing manager. We have quite the same background. So none of us has fashion background we both did business school in France in marketing and vacation business field.
– But marketing experience helps you a lot!
Meryl – Exactly. And I don’t think we need a fashion background for this, cos even without it we know what girls are looking for.
Constance – And we try to have a wide range of things. That is also represented in our logo – each girl has her own style. And our logo has many variations with girls in different clothes. There are girls who love only dresses, or skirts or trousers, but we are here for everyone. We are not all the same.
Meryl – You can choose your dress and you can choose your logo.
– What is your favorite part of this work?
Meryl – People! They are so supportive.
Constance – And they believe in us. One lady was so excited about the idea of the pop-up market that she said she will bring all her friends. And indeed she came with ten people. It’s even not about how many pieces they bought but the fact that a woman who even did not know us before really wanted to help. And she did a lot!
– You had so many pieces on the sale. And each of them had a handwritten tag. Did you prepare all of them?
Meryl – Yes we had more than 1000 items for the first sale. There was a lot of manual work. We started preparing for our sale on Friday at 5 pm and finished only at 3 am. And at 7:30 we were already back to prepare everything for our Saturday sale.
Constance – And we did not celebrate that sale with champagne on Saturday night, but just went home to have a sleep. Because next day we had to be ready for the Sunday sale and pack everything at night.
Meryl – But you know, this is a good stress and a good sometimes I just want to go home and work on Me&Co because it is not the same as working for a company.
– And you don’t have a storage place yet, so you have to keep everything in your Hong Kong size apartments?
Meryl – Yes, huge thanks to our boyfriends Louis & Louis, yes we are so close that even our boyfriends has the same name! They accepted to share the homes with those hundreds of things and helped us with carrying all those clothes. But also thank you to our friends and my mom who helped us before and during the sale!
Constance – It won’t have been the same without all of them!
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Me & Co is back on the road to collect your pre-loved clothes, bags and shoes for the next sale! Let's make some room in your wardrobe! Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Fbk page! #videdressing #fashion #fashionhk #hongkong #prelovedclothing #closetdetox #secondhandclothes #meandcohk
– What are your future plans?
Constance – We want to make this our full-time job. Maybe even our own store later, it is so expensive in Hong Kong, but we will see. Maybe we will have children line later.
Meryl – Also we are going to collaborate with a stylist who can help to find better pieces for our customers among the things we have. Work with small brands who want to try selling things. We have so many things to do, but there are only 24 hours a day!
– You are doing a great job! And you started in the right place and at the right time. In consumerism Hong Kong where people now think about the sustainable lifestyle.
Meryl – Yes, our idea is very sustainable, but we don’t want to make it look cheap. That is why we choose really beautiful clothes and good quality brands.
Constance – For example, some people did not expect to see Celine, Dior and Chanel clothes at our sale. So they even had no budget with them. But next time they will know!
Next Me & Co sale is this weekend already! Don’t miss this chance 😉