Friday, March 16, 2012


When I was just 19, I met the manic, ballsy and straight-talking Joanne Ooi, who had set up an e-commerce site called Style Trekker. That was right before what they called the "Internet bubble" burst, and e-commerce was deemed a stupid idea in Asia and, in particular, Hong Kong, where the furthest you ever had to go to lock down a purchase was probably Mongkok.

Eventually, Joanne went to work for Shanghai Tang, where she savvily brought the brand back into the modern vernacular. She opened an art gallery dedicated to experimental photography, showing artists like Chen Man before all the brands decided she was an It girl. She launched an NGO to combat our city's atrocious air pollution. And now finally, she's come full circle. And I expect it to be good.

Her latest venture, Plukka, is e-commerce with a Groupon-ish, Gilt Group-ish angle. Basically, they host limited-time jewellery shopping "events," and you click to purchase the items you want. Because they manufacture to order, the more people buy a certain item, the higher a discount you get. So you commit to buy at a certain price, but might end up paying much lower.

Starting today, Plukka is launching PlukkaLOVES, a 10-day Facebook competition through which contestants can win the above Bullet ring -- all you have to do it share your jewellery inspiration and get your friends to do the same. Every day, Bullet rings will be awarded to three winners, so that means you have 30 chances to win. There's also a grand prize, an 18k gold, silver and diamond Ramses I ring, awarded to one participant throughout the duration of the competition. Sounds easy enough, no?

Check it out here.

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