Australian entrepreneur Alyce Tran has achieved what many start-ups would hope for in a lifetime.
Co-Founder of luxe brand ‘The Daily Edited’, Alyce Tran sits at the helm of a multi-million dollar empire.
Looking back on Alyce’s childhood, it becomes very clear that she was always destined to achieve extraordinary things.
“I went to an all-girls private school in Adelaide where I made really good friends. I was around very intelligent, young women throughout my formative years, which I do think really shaped the person I became. They’re always challenging me to go further. All of my friends are very successful, both professionally and personally, and being around them still drives me today.”
Tran was the daughter of immigrants who fled Vietnam after the rise of communism. Her parents spent time at a refugee camp in Hong Kong before they were sponsored to migrate to Australia – and the entrepreneurial spirit ran in her family from the start.
“My dad was working on this strawberry farm for another guy who leased him a plot of land, so he could grow his own strawberries and sell them and run his own business. My parents always worked very hard, and luckily, that was recognised by the people that they worked for. He then saved enough to buy his own farm, and they built up their ‘empire’ from there.”
“With most refugee stories, you find that people are extremely entrepreneurial. To take that leap of faith to flee on a tiny dinghy… these people are risk takers! And being entrepreneurial requires an element of just shutting your eyes and doing it. I definitely think that’s where I got that from.”
“Both my sister and I were given every opportunity my parents could afford to give us. As a result, there was no way we couldn’t succeed. Because of that attitude, there’s no way I can’t be successful. I have to be. My parents weren’t around that much because they were working so hard, and I obviously don’t begrudge them for that; but I’m a doer. I’m very grateful for the family that I do come from.”
Tran went on to work as a lawyer, and it was during her stint in law that she launched The Daily Edited alongside business partner Tania Liu, which started off as a fashion blog.
“We released a clothing line, but it was quite hard to run operationally. And because it wasn’t fun anymore, we just stopped doing it – so we pivoted, and tried the accessories line, and that really took off.”
Their range of high quality, customisable leather goods became an instant hit with consumers – especially online.
“Tania and I are very lucky that our passion project is very commercial. Because of that, it was a no brainer for us to leave our work as lawyers. We just got lucky in the sense that it became a very big and sustainable business – and we would probably still do this even if we were only selling to ten people a week.”
The Daily Edited has grown at an incredible rate – with offices globally now in Sydney, China and the US, and over a hundred staff members. But despite the growth, the brand ethos of simplicity, quality, and a high level of customer service is still at the forefront of the company.
“I still remember the first customer that purchased from me, because I hand-wrote their names and address on to envelopes. I legitimately remember these people, and so does Tania, and that has formed the foundations of our business.”
“I always felt that we would run a purely online business. I thought that was quite nice, to keep it pretty contained. But consumers wanted to see the product in real life, and we had so many requests. ‘Where can I buy and see your product straight away?’ So as a result, we’ve had to open stores. And that was a fun and exciting journey as well. But we don’t have plans to roll out lots of stores.”
“Because we’re quite a nimble, young, dynamic team, we’re able to rectify things very quickly. We’re not really following the rules of any retailer. You learn things over time. A lot of it is experimentation.”
“The cool thing now is, we used to be on a budget as to the products we could create, whereas now, we can do anything. Product-wise, it’s become more vast, and we can do a lot more for our customers.”
Having recently sold a 30% stake in The Daily Edited to Oroton Group, the possibilities are seemingly endless for Alyce and her team – but she’s content to go with the flow.
“We’ve always had a lot of interest in our business from investors, and we said no to five or six people before Oroton came along. But we felt like they would be a good partner because they know what they’re doing in this space. As a fashion business, it can be cyclical, so working with someone who is from that same environment is important because they understand the ebbs and flows of the business a bit more.”
“We obviously have vague plans for the future, but we react. Why plan something for three years out and go on that road, if it doesn’t work?”
“We really just want to cement our position in the Australian market, and keep coming up with cool products that people really enjoy, and like, and want to buy. That’s what it’s about at the end of the day. I can have all these grand plans; but if my customers aren’t happy, then the whole thing falls over, right?”