As a teenager, Stephanie Sitt knew nothing about being an entrepreneur and had no idea that one day she would start her own business. But she as very much in tune with her artistic self since childhood. Stephanie discovered her passion for music and aimed to be a pianist. Instead, she ended up taking a marketing role for a Japanese music company right after completing her secondary school. But on the bright side, like every cloud has a silver lining she discovered her true calling to become an entrepreneur. Today she is a time-tested business leader running her own company as the Co-founder and CEO of Inmagine, a creative design company.
The Beginning of an Entrepreneurial Journey
Her time in the Japanese music company was a big learning experience that became the foundation of her entrepreneurship journey. She recalled, “I learned the ropes from my seniors and superiors. I gradually gained a good understand the company’s business, customer care, daily operation, and the ins and outs of management.” But unfortunately, in 1998, the company went through a downsizing phase. But that was a turning point for her. “Although I was one of the few employees who were asked to stay, I realized I needed to attain more knowledge if I wanted to pursue a business career,” said Stephanie.
Stephanie resigned when she was 23 years old and went back to pursue her studies in the Australian TAFE Program in Management and then obtained her UK Marketing Degree from the University of Hertfordshire. During her study break, she met her husband, who had just come back from the UK. Choosing to be business partners first, they created their very first business plan together to establish Inmagine Group back in 2000 when Stephanie was still pursuing her studies.
In the beginning, the big idea of going into the creative industry was frowned upon and seemed as a shortcut or a lazy approach; however, the couple dedicated all of their time to building a creative ecosystem that makes design within reach for everyone by being smart, fast and easy. After all, that’s what business owners need—to be quick and efficient while maintaining the standards at a lower operating cost.
The company predominantly focuses on the diverse needs and challenges of the users who use creative tools and content for both advertising and marketing. The duo looked at the perspective of technological innovation, creativity and with an entrepreneurial mindset. They built a creative ecosystem to make designing easy for everyone by using artificial intelligence and data analytics to simplify the creative process on all levels for freelancers, marketers, influencers and business owners.
“We see ourselves in a value-add position by tapping into technology to bring ideas that make things more colorful and exciting. Going through the obstacles to building various creative platforms with limited resources and funds is really challenging but we hope that we could be acknowledged as a creative player who has contributed something to the creative industry. It would be an honor to us for being in the business for two decades,” explained Stephanie.
Adopting Technology to Support Businesses
The company’s basic fundamental is to offer creative tools that businesses can leverage to tell their story by not giving up on any opportunity.
“With Inmagine, we offer not just content from 123RF, but also Pixlr and Designs.ai, tools that are powered by AI that helps us complete tasks within the shortest turnaround time,” said Stephanie.
The creative technology company caters to more than 50 million monthly active users worldwide with a suite of creative assets and business tools. It mainly has three core products including Pixlr, a smart image editing tool; 123RF, an intuitive image search; and Designs.ai, an instant content creation tool. The breadth of content that it has in its collection covers photographs, illustrations, vectors, editorial images, editorial footage, and commercial footage.
Challenges Conquered As a Women Entrepreneur
As a business leader, Stephanie has her own motto: Be sincere, humble and committed. And that has carried her through the ups and downs of her business journey.
Being an Asian, it was challenging for her to reach out to other parts of the world, where the company’s credibility was not so strong. Nonetheless, it never stopped her from moving forward to write business proposals and set the ‘down to earth’ partnership goals on how Inmagine can help them expand their business.
With gratitude, Stephanie says that being a female tech entrepreneur, she is thankful to meet her supportive business partners across the globe who gives her continuous confidence and trust throughout the whole business journey.
Being a true inspiration to the people around her, Stephanie has changed the way people look at her. With her approach to the industry as a professional, she has influenced and motivated many people to live their dream.
The Essentials for Entrepreneurial Success
Today, Inmagine has 350 employees and has a presence of 44 countries around the globe. With her unmatchable marketing skills, Stephanie has led, strategized and drove global sales, marketing, operations, partnerships and establishments across Asia, Europe and the U.S. To further address the global needs, she implemented a 24/7 customer support service and set up various sales offices to address local needs.
Currently, the tenacious entrepreneur is working towards her goal to train and line up the next generation of the management teams for Inmagine.
“We need younger talent to take over the business and lead our core products namely Pixlr, Designs.ai and 123RF to achieve greater success in this robust industry,” asserts Stephanie.
She concludes, “One day when we look back, we could tell our children that we did something crazy but meaningful, and very importantly without regrets.”