The success of Pattern can be attributed to our amazing team and the people within it. Our #PeopleofPattern series highlights our people; the faces, roles and responsibilities behind what makes Pattern great. This week, we sat down and spoke with Desiree Wong, Senior Ecommerce Consultant, Mandy Guo, Brand Manager, and Ariel Tsai, Brand Manager, all sitting in Pattern’s London office working with UK & US brands to accelerate their sales in China.
Could you tell me a bit about your role and experience working at Pattern?
Desiree: I’ve been working at Pattern for over six years now. I first joined the company as an Associate Consultant back in Hong Kong. My responsibilities have changed quite a bit since first joining the company, when I first joined I worked in the Consulting team in Hong Kong with Arthur Cheung (General Manager, Asia) and a few other colleagues focusing on consulting projects. We then had some trading elements added into our China business, which meant I was responsible for more trading-related tasks.
My title is now Senior Ecommerce Consultant, covering the APAC region. Following Practicology’s acquisition by Pattern in 2018, 90% of my time is now related to trading activity. When I relocated to London in early 2020, I was given more opportunity to work on business development. All of the brands that my team are working with are either from Europe or from the U.S., so working in the UK meant I was in a much better time zone to speak with clients and attend offline events, like Interzoo or Alibaba-organised events, here in Europe.
Ariel: My responsibilities are quite similar to Desiree. I joined Pattern in January this year, so I’ve been working here for about six months now. I started as a Brand Manager, managing the trading side of the business of different brands for Asia markets. I also do a bit of work on the side for the Consulting team. For example, we’re currently working on a project for a global luxury jewellery brand, providing a consulting service for China.
Mandy: I joined Pattern nearly 3 months ago as a Brand Manager. The role is very interesting, and I feel very supported. My role helps our clients find the best solutions in China’s market through social marketing and ecommerce business. From my previous China FMCG industry experience at Unilever, LVMH, and Mars, I feel very fulfilled identifying the best USPs and business strategies to achieve a better business position for our clients.
Why do you choose to work at Pattern?
Ariel: I previously worked for a digital marketing agency, also focusing on China business with UK companies. In that job, I did a lot of marketing for British and U.S. brands who sell their products in China. I worked with companies like Royal Mail, amongst other big brands, which I found really interesting. This experience really fueled my interest in ecommerce, which is why I got in touch with Pattern as it is a trading and ecommerce-focused company. I also liked that Pattern didn’t just focus on trading in China, but also other countries in Asia like Japan, Korea, and South-East Asia.
Desiree: Before I joined Pattern I worked at MAC Cosmetics for almost two years. In that time I felt that I’d learnt everything I could in that role and wanted more of a range and challenge in my career. At MAC, I luckily gained a lot of experience working in ecommerce and wanted to pursue this further. Pattern seemed like a great opportunity as it is a global company working in ecommerce and has seen a huge amount of growth as a business. Before Pattern, I also studied a Master of Science in Marketing, where I met a professor who introduced me to the consulting industry. This was another reason why I was really interested in joining Pattern’s consulting team.
Interestingly, I was introduced by a headhunter who told me that there was a company that had newly-launched in Hong Kong called Practicology. We didn’t even have an office, we were so new! I remember meeting Arthur Cheung in a restaurant after he’d just finished a trip to China, carrying all of his luggage with him. Arthur told me that the company was new but that it was an ecommerce consulting firm, which was really interesting to me and covered the two aspects I was looking for in my next role.
Starting in the Hong Kong business, we had the opportunity to choose the office that we’d set-up in and even built IKEA furniture together in the office. It was such an experience! What I really loved about Practicology (now Pattern) was learning so many new things and expanding outside of my scope of knowledge that I’d been working in comfortably for so long. It wasn’t just about marketing, ecommerce, or consulting, it was about entrepreneurship. Arthur was tasked to build up the whole Asia/China business, which really opened my eyes to how to build a business from the ground up.
My role also continues to evolve as the company grows and changes, I never feel bored. That’s why I’ve stayed here for six years!
Mandy: My previous experience and passion connect well with my role at Pattern. As previously stated, it is fulfilling to use my previous experience to provide the best solutions for our clients. I have great supportive teammates like Desiree who guides and helps me understand Pattern’s processes and systems.
What has been the most rewarding part of working at Pattern for you?
Desiree: For me, it’s the recognition from the brands. I know we all talk about numbers, but when the brands can see more than just the numbers that you help them to achieve, and they really appreciate the strategy and transparency that we have, it’s really satisfying. We stick to our Pattern values. We always want to be ‘Partner Obsessed’, and our partners really feel that.
Ariel: For me, it’s the opportunity of working with different brands across different regions. We’re expanding so fast and keep finding new brands in different categories, giving us the opportunity to work with for example Alliance and Jan Marini, a skincare brand, and Holland and Barrett selling supplements. This broad range has really expanded my knowledge across different industries and has been really interesting and rewarding for me.
Mandy: The most rewarding aspect for me has been recently handling prospective clients with Desiree and identifying potential improvements for a couple of our clients’ ecommerce business in China. Another rewarding moment is when our clients positively react to my efforts.
Last question, why would you recommend working at Pattern?
Desiree: I think that working at Pattern has a suitable level of challenge, you will never get bored. Ecommerce is an ever changing industry. When you work in the Asia market, which is not as mature as others and is still developing, it is even more challenging and you learn new things every day. I know there are plenty of ecommerce and trading companies in the industry, but I’d say that everyone working at Pattern is smart and willing to share their knowledge. As we’re all growing together, it gives us all a great opportunity to learn from each other. Our team culture is also really strong.
Ariel: I’d say I agree with Desiree. There’s not much of a hierarchy inside Pattern. In our China team, we learn more from them every day and they’re always helping to share what’s happening in the market. Again, the team culture is really positive. Everybody who works at Pattern is a ‘Doer’ and is willing to share their experience and knowledge with one another as well. The company is also growing so fast into different regions, for someone who wants to expand their knowledge on a global scale, that’s also a big bonus as you’re unlikely to get that opportunity very often.
Mandy: In agreement with Desiree, ecommerce is changing very quickly in Asia. With different clients, Pattern gives me the opportunity to evolve my knowledge through challenging and interesting contracts. We have good morale, supportive teammates, and I feel very engaged through growth opportunities because of our team and clients. I’m growing with Pattern and I highly recommend working at Pattern!
We’re growing our team at Pattern!
If you’re looking to start a career in ecommerce or even if you’re a seasoned professional and want to learn more about our exciting opportunities, check out our open positions here.