[Photo caption: Founder of By Own, Jessica Hilston. Photo: Huynh Quang Man. Published in Tech in Asia.]

Tech in Asia, 21 October 2015. New generation of ecommerce startups are helping Vietnamese artisans.

An edited extract of the original article, which features several startups, is reproduced below.


First up is By Own, which sells custom handmade leather goods online… Founder Jessica Hilston, a Vietnamese-Australian who grew up in Perth, Western Australia and is currently based in Ho Chi Minh City, first came up with the concept for By Own last summer.

According to Jessica, “I’ve dreamed of starting my own business for a long time, but the fear of failing has kept me from taking that giant leap from an employee to entrepreneur.” Ultimately, her time spent in Berlin’s startup scene during last winter inspired her to follow her passion all the way back to Vietnam.

Earlier this year, Hilston traveled throughout Vietnam to meet with craftsmen in order to find the right local artisans to fulfill future orders. She plans to deliver all finished products to customers within 21 days with free shipping worldwide via a three-step ordering process on the By Own website.

“There is a tangible energy throughout the startup scene in Saigon, and there’s a real sense that things are just about to take off,” says Jessica.

By Own officially began accepting pre-orders in September; already, the startup has received orders from Australia with plans to fulfill them later this month. For now, Hilston is working on releasing the remainder of her first collection and then will focus on launching Leather by Own for Men this Christmas.



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