“I hope to have Secret Stash be a household name across Pakistan, if people think of re-commerce they automatically think Secret Stash” – Nazish Hussain
We talked to the Fashion Entrepreneur: Nazish Hussain about Secret Stash and her inspiration behind the idea and here is what she had to say.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I graduated from George Washington University in Washington DC with a major in marketing and a minor in communications. After that, I moved to NYC and worked for a tech PR firm for a little under a year before moving back to Pakistan where I started my career in Media by working as a media planner at Starcom (previously known as Mediacom) on the P&G account. I was at Starcom for 3.5 years before moving to Unilever on their media team and was the digital lead. After spending a little under 3 years I left to start Secret Stash.
How did you come up with the idea for Secret Stash?
I was traveling abroad in late 2013 while I was still working and I was in San Francisco when I happened upon a lot of high-end vintage shops during that trip. I was fascinated with this concept where one could buy slightly used original designer products at a discount and simultaneously if you had things you weren’t using you could just sell it off and make some good money for it. It appealed to me so much and I was amazed that how could something like this not exist in Pakistan? There are so many women who have all these items they’re not using anymore and don’t want to just give away as they’ve spent a lot on them and are just wasting away in their closets. Simultaneously so many other women aspire to own these same pieces and they can either not afford them at full price or have access to them. This thought stayed with me and I realized there was a gap in the market, which I could capitalize on. After a few months, I left my corporate job and started working on the concept. Keeping my digital media background in mind and understanding that the future of retail was e-commerce and also being aware of cultural sensitivities, I knew it had to be online and it had to be anonymous. I officially launched Secret Stash on December 1st 2014.
How has Secret Stash grown and evolved since you founded the company?
I’ve definitely come a long with Secret Stash from when I first started and my entrepreneurial journey has definitely been a rollercoaster. When I first started, I was working from my dining table all alone in my yoga pants. Coming from the corporate world not only was I navigating building a business from scratch, but I was also introducing a completely new concept of “re-commerce” to a nascent ecommerce market, it all took a toll on staying motivated. So, when I got some consulting opportunities I decided to work on Secret Stash part time. I kept at it, but was working on various other projects and it took me 2 years to realize if I wanted to make Secret Stash work I had to go all in. I stopped everything else and it was definitely the best decision I made and I haven’t looked backed since. Today I have a small but great team of like-minded individuals on board and Secret Stash now even has its own office.
What has been your favorite part of running Secret Stash?
My favorite part of running Secret Stash is seeing it grow. Every time we have an order come in, it’s still exciting to see what people have ordered and from where especially when it’s from remote parts of the country or even internationally. I also love seeing what people send us to sell. It’s like a treasure hunt where you never know what fabulous finds will come in.
Where do you see the company in the next 3 years?
I hope to have Secret Stash be a household name across Pakistan, if people think of re-commerce they automatically think Secret Stash. I’m also looking to expand our international reach especially within the region.