In an era when social media platforms are on the rise, Emily Jaury knows exactly how to maximise their power. She is an important style influencer and perhaps a fashion mogul in the making, having co-founded the successful Love And Flair e-commerce website in 2014, along with best friend Dewi Purwati. They use Instagram as a “virtual catwalk”, where Emily regularly posts her outfits and thereby helps boost the sales of labels she likes.
Love And Flair bills itself as “a multi-brand store for the fashion obsessed”. Its mission is to offer quality designs that are on-trend and of good value for every woman. Emily doesn’t stop there. Last year she launched Suki The Label. She added two more labels to her portfolio this year: Front Row and And Other Days.
All of these can be found on the website, but Love And Flair is more than just an online business. “It has just opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Plaza Indonesia. Among the guests who attended the grand opening were two top social media influencers from Singapore: Yoyo Cao and Arissa Cheo. “I’m a big Yoyo fan and I’m happy that her fashion label, Exhibit, can be found in my store,” says Emily. “It’s one of 50 brands we have from designers in Southeast Asia.”
A Business Administration graduate of University of Southern California, Emily is a born entrepreneur. “Since I was little, I knew I wanted to have a business on my own, but I never knew exactly what kind of business,” she says. “Going into fashion was a matter of timing and luck. Dewi and I we really enjoyed doing online shopping when we lived in Los Angeles. When we came back to Jakarta three years ago, the scene was very different. There wasn’t a multi-brand e-commerce site here for middle to middle-high fashion. We saw an opportunity to fill the gap by addressing a niche market: socially independent women.”
Emily was one of Instagram’s early adopters. She started using the photo-sharing platform shortly after its launch in 2010. “To be honest, I joined simply to share my spring-break moments, such as a girls’ trip to Las Vegas,” she laughs.
“I began gaining many more followers as a result of sharing news of Love And Flair. People started to comment on my posts and ask me questions. That was the first breakthrough. The second was when brands I adore began asking me to collaborate with them.” Now, Emily has more than 50,000 followers on Instagram, and she works with brands like Prada, Miu Miu, Chopard and Moet & Chandon.
“Many of the collaborations come about organically,” she says. “Prada and Miu Miu are under the same group, and their regional brand manager reached out to me in email, asking to meet in person. They were looking for a brand ambassador that not only wears and understands the brand, but also has a story to tell and stands for specific values that their companies also embody. Being a fashion entrepreneur with businesses that target millennials also played a huge part in why they felt I was a good fit. I represent and understand the market that they are trying to target, and I educate my followers on what their brand stands for.
“Being a brand ambassador, it’s my responsibility to increase awareness, represent the values they embody, and create opportunities to build relationships between the brand and customers. I incorporate those brands into my lifestyle. I do this both online and offline through social media postings, in-store events, and normal day-to-day interactions. There’s no fixed formula. It can be through a fashion show and styling talk with other fashion influencers that I invited, to video making and afternoon discussions with VIP customers. The audience can range from social media followers, other fashion influencers, friends of friends, family or people I work with.”
It’s not just luxury labels that seek Emily’s approval. “One of the first global brands that asked me to collaborate was Acer, and this was about a year after I started my fashion business,” she says. “Their digital marketing representative was a loyal customer of Love And Flair and she also followed me on Instagram. When Acer launched a new laptop model with durable battery power and a sleek, stylish design, she proposed to her boss to create a video campaign featuring me in my work setting.
“That was such a proud moment because it was the first time I had received an email inquiry from a big corporation. I screenshot the email, posted it on my family’s Whatsapp group and asked them how to reply. Afterwards, Acer collaborated with my website on joint giveaways and campaigns. It happens often that when brands collaborate with me personally, they also end up collaborating with my businesses, too. Because while my followers might be more targeted, my businesses have a wider customer base and cover a bigger market size.”
How does Emily choose the companies she works with? “I always ask myself whether it is a brand that I personally use. Do I earnestly believe in its values and will I be proud to represent it? Consumers are getting more educated and they appreciate transparency in the content that they see. I would never put myself in a situation where I have to promote a product that I don’t even use, just for the sake of making money.
“My followers trust me to give them honest recommendations, and I have to keep that trust by carefully curating what I promote. I’m very blessed that most of the brands I’ve worked with choose to collaborate for periods of months rather than just do one-off postings, because I really use the brands I promote.”
Love And Flair has created jobs for about 30 people to date. “Dewi and I have responsibilities. Their livelihoods are in our hands,” says Emily. “It’s not just about us anymore. When we started in my home’s attic, it was just the two of us. We stored inventories there, packed things up for shipping. It’s amazing how it’s turned out.”
She says her persistence, focus and enjoyment of hard work are the result of coming from an entrepreneurial family. Her late grandfather founded tyre manufacturer Bridgestone’s operations in Indonesia. “He moved to Indonesia from China and worked as a sales agent for tyres, riding from one customer’s business to another on his bicycle,” says Emily.
“My grandmother told me that he would be on the road for as many as 20 days each month. He amassed a lot of connections and, eventually, when the company came into Indonesia, Bridgestone asked him to become a partner. He did well and retired early. I often used to ask him how he started the business and built it, and he loved talking about his adventures. It was his example that motivated me to become an entrepreneur. I wanted to be like him, to create the life I wanted for myself.”