SBR. Nicole, how did you get into the business?
Nicole: It was year 2000 when the dot.com bubble was going bust, websites were shutting down faster than they were being built and there was nothing I liked and I thought I might as well take things into my hands and build my own hobby. And it is during the Internet drought, my hobby was screaming for attention to have a platform to share tips on beauty, fashion and other shopping related information with like-minded women. In July 2001, the domain CozyCot.com was registered and here we are, 10 years later she is the no. 1 women’s and beauty website.
SBR. Everyone wants to do a women’s website, why have you succeeded where others haven’t?
Nicole: There are many gorgeously designed, well developed websites but the intention and vision of developing a women’s website make the difference. It’s a key that we have to balance - did we build it for users, or did we build it for investors? Both are equally important factors to the success of a website.
I believe CozyCot.com is blessed to have her fans working hard to build their dreams, not just mine. Although in the early years I pressed on while others procrastinated and dropped out of the game, too soon. Our team run the race on a 3F theory and that's Fun, Fame and Fortune. Have fun while you are at work. If you are getting angry with your work, it's time to move on. Don't make it miserable for yourself and others. Make a fortune for the people and investors who believe in your dream.
SBR. What do you love / hate about your job?
Nicole: My work allows me to meet some very smart, interesting and inspiring people. We tap into one another for inspiration and ideas. It's always a pleasure working with like-minded people who work hard pursuing dreams and visions. If I have to name one thing I hate, it is meeting people, but meeting those who try too hard to impress. Internet is a people business. It's not as cold as what many think but it is people who are using your product, not machines.
SBR. How does the "mook" work?
Nicole: Mook is our new online magazine - Mook because she is part book, part magazine. She has a limited edition print volume. The online mook is able to tell a story what a printed magazine could not, example watch a video! We are exploring to develop more functions within mook, she will be one of our core products for cozycot.com in 2011. Circulation is a limited edition of 5,000 only and online is above 150,000 readers
SBR. How is it different from anything else out there?
Nicole: Mook is the voice of our readers, our members. We take the everyday massive contents from our website, from our readers and put together what is closest to our members' hearts, and make it classic and pretty. CozyCot mook is about who you are, we tell your story to the other readers. It's not about us but about you - our users, our members, our fans.
SBR. What is your view on the role for print and the role for online in media?
Nicole: Print is traditionally to inform. Online is virally to influence and engage. I am not trained in traditional media and I like to think it will stay, but online will be the mode of communication to our generation and the many more to come.
SBR. What else are you working on?
Nicole: I have many dreams, the challenge is to find likeminded people who are real passionate about life and not fake it like they have it. I am working on a project that users, men and women alike, will use before they go shopping! I am, as usual, excited when one project takes off, and start another from ground 0! I love to speak to people who can contribute to our projects so if you think you are the one, email me: email@example.com