Sharon-passport

Introducing Browzwear’s Co-founder & Managing Director

SHARON LIM

This post is the first in a series of posts written by Browzwear team members, so that our customers and partners can get to know us better and share our vision for the 3D fashion lifecycle.

Since childhood, I’ve liked to ask “why not?” I’m inspired by God and people, and much of my vocational experience has been motivated by the challenges people face. I started my career in my family business (if you don’t count the business I started in school, selling stationery and novelties to my classmates and running a newspaper delivery business). The family business was in Consumer Electronics Manufacturing in Asia. I started out as a sales executive and ended up as the General Manager for Operations of the business, which grew to about USD 80 million/year. I managed the entire supply and manufacturing operation which was located throughout Indonesia and Malaysia with a hub in Singapore. We were considered preferred vendors by multinational brands like Philips, Sony and GE, so I underwent extensive training in operational quality programs such as LEAN, TQC and ISO.

I wanted to learn the retail business, so in 1996 I opened a Specialty Foods franchise with 4 retail stores in Jakarta. In order to help a friend, I began working at Tommy Hilfiger in sourcing with the Liaison office in Singapore.  My role at the company grew and in 1998 I joined Tommy Hilfiger Latin America as a product manager and stayed with them until 2003.

My first encounter with Browzwear’s 3D technology was in early 2000, when the company did not even have a commercial product. I saw a video of 3D apparel simulation when a body measurement was changed. I was awed by the potential to change the way work was done in the industry. However, since it was not commercially ready, it was still just a great idea…

At that time, I was a Production Manager at Tommy Hilfiger and my work with design and development for our lines was tedious. Miscommunication was more common than “communication” and having a global supply chain only made the process more complex. That’s when my vision for 3D was born. I saw how it could transform the fragmented apparel process, from idea to retail.  I knew that 3D could dramatically improve decision-making … but since Browzwear did not yet have a commercial product, I was not able to put it into practice at during my time at Tommy.

I was still determined to realize the potential of 3D, so in 2003, when I returned to Asia for family reasons, I became a Browzwear reseller in Asia, which is the real world center of product development.  Over the next few years, I supported many factories as they made the transition to 3D. I established processes, training and methodology to support the technology as it matured. Over time, I moved on to international brands like Nike and worked closely with them to scale their 3D adoption globally.

During this time, 3D technology for fashion was not intuitive enough and solutions that I scouted from other industries, such as automotive and heavy industry, were not willing to make the changes necessary to succeed in fashion.  Even with our support and training, the fashion industry was treating 3D like a trip to the dentist – something you need to do, but will put off until the situation is unbearable!

My experience with customers and their needs lead me to acquire Browzwear in 2012, so that together with Avi and Noam (the founders of BrowZwear) we could rebuild 3D technology to make the road to a digital workflow much easier. Over the past three years, we have grown from a company with a single product for Technical Fitting to the industry leader, with the first products that digitize the entire process from design to marketing. We now support multiple operating systems and have opened up the platform to enable better connectivity to other systems and people keen on changing the way design-to-sale happens.

I’m passionate about making things work for people. The best compliment we’ve received is “Because of 3D, I get to go home early – I’m not wasting time on repetitive work for styles that would not even be adopted.”  That passion is a plus and in some cases, I have been told a minus – because I don’t give up but keep trying different approaches to solve every problem – consulting, training, process tweaks, education.  So far, I’m enjoying every day that I wake up to.

I’ve grown more mature about how to handle the many new ideas that come to mind every day:  Have a huge vision (bigger than each of us can achieve on his own) but be pragmatic about achieving it. Take small steps in the right direction, side-by-side with good people. Listen to them and work with the team and partners to develop ideas that grow through additional rounds of sharing and feedback and improvement.

My accreditation comes from the scars you earn by being a pioneer. We share our experience openly so that our customers and partners can learn from us and avoid some of the mistakes we made along the way. And my goal is to leverage all of our experience to make our customers’ 3D journey a walk in the park.  I look forward to sharing that journey with you and together, transforming great ideas into successful products through the power of 3D.