Kim Luu arrived in Canada as a five-year-old refugee. She grew up in Courtenay and moved to Vancouver after high school to study Fashion Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The next 15 years were dedicated to the apparel industry. After her 3rd child, Kim decided to not return to the workplace and chose to be a a stay-at-home mom but that did not last long. Always knowing she wanted to start her own business, she realized in 2015 that there was no better time than the present. She crafted the concept of Flaunt Fashion Library and launched Vancouver’s newest dress rental service. Giving women access to a complete wardrobe that would cover them from day to night – a courageous undertaking given the fashion industries penchant for pushing fast fashion on consumers. Kim promotes slow fashion and her by appointment space in Gastown is a bastion of sustainability and sensibility!
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My mom, she rocks! She’s been my number one supporter growing up when I become a mother and now as I start to build my company Flaunt Fashion Library. I admire her positive attitude towards life. She’s lived thru a lot of hardship yet she’s always responded with love, compassion, and kindness.
How do you generate new business ideas?
I read and research a lot. Usually, it’s about tech, entrepreneurship, social issues, science, current affair, entertainment…well everything. Funny enough, I actually don’t spend much time on fashion sites. I think it’s good to be open-minded and aware of what’s happening around you and to always ask questions like “why not”? I keep notebooks by my bed, in my bag, my computer and on my phone to jot down ideas as they come. I also love idea jamming and collaborating with others. That’s when magic can happen!
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My first instinct was to say failure but if I dig deeper and ask why I discovered that it’s because I fear dying before getting to achieve my dreams. I think it’s scary to not know when it’s your time and when it is, that’s it – there’s no coming back! (Well, unless Elon Musk is working on something I don’t know about). If I fail, I can try again. You get a second, third, fourth, etc…tries at success. I can’t say that I always manage my time wisely but I do strongly believe in choosing to do things that’ll make you happy in the now and the future. I am also learning to say no which leaves room for more yeses.
What makes you happiest? What do you do in your non-work time?
I hate all the responsibilities that come with children but my kids do bring in a crazy amount of happiness in my life. I just love that they are their own little person with their own feelings and thoughts. I love hearing what they say and learning about life thru their eyes. They’ve taught me patience and to be more present.
Aside from spending time with my family, I like thrifting, vintage shopping, sewing, working on creative projects, photography and travelling. I really do enjoy spending time alone but I do try to fill in a healthy dose of social gatherings from time to time.
What advice do you have for other women looking to take a big step in their lives?
Just do it! Make an action plan and stick to it. Set small goals that are attainable to keep you moving forward. Don’t stay still or create a long timeline because your brain will overthink things and your fears will find some way to talk you out of it. Ask yourself, what’s the worst case scenario? Can you live with that? If you don’t do it, will you regret it? And lastly, surround yourself with amazing people and knowledge that can support your journey. They may be family and friends, fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, advice books from your favorite guru, etc… There are a lot of people who want to see you succeed.
To join Kim’s journey with Flaunt, follow her on Instagram @flauntfashionlibrary.