Our homegrown talents have proven themselves tougher than the challenges they’ve faced over the years.
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Malaysia has no shortage of talents who are willing to break down walls and push the boundaries of success to achieve their goal.
Despite facing tough times over the past few years with soaring inflation rates and hardships amplified by the pandemic, these Malaysian women mean business and face their challenges head-on.
Innovative platforms like Grab have greatly benefited these local brands, in terms of pushing their business ahead and providing a more seamless checkout experience for their customers.
TRP spoke to 4 Malaysian women who push the envelope of what it takes to be a successful local entrepreneur.
Redefining ‘local’ through fashion and beauty
For Hanya’s co-founder Veen Dee Tan, her previous experiences working in the local fashion industry helped shape her vision for the brand. She was very adamant to create a brand that can put Malaysia’s fashion industry on the map.
I want Malaysians to be very proud of wearing local.Veen Dee, Co-founder, Hanya.
Hanya is a brand that proudly represents conscious-fashion. Through her experience, Veen Dee has discovered that there are a lot of metrics to abide by to call a brand ‘sustainable’.
So to educate peers and the public on what it truly means to be sustainable, Hanya takes careful steps to make sure that they don’t claim to be something that they are not.
But that doesn’t mean that Hanya is not moving towards creating a greener Earth. They use 100% biodegradable packaging and upcycle items that have low sell-through rates to create new pieces, thus eliminating the need to dispose of these items in ways that damage the environment.
Ulu Soleil is another Malaysian brand that’s geared towards sustainability. 100% vegan and cruelty-free, Ulu Soleil is a fairly new baby to Sophia Khan and her husband, Dan Mclean who started the brand together in November 2021.
During her pregnancy, Sophia discovered that shea butter was the only ingredient that effectively kept her skin healthy and reduced the appearance of stretch marks.
With that, she decided to bring body balms made with shea butter and active ingredients such as retinol and hyaluronic acid to the local market.
Their body balms come in a tube stick that uses 100% paper packaging. The shea butter comes from West Africa, but everything is manufactured locally.
There’s a perception among locals that manufacturing products overseas are cheaper or more efficient. But actually, Malaysia is actually very capable when it comes to manufacturing.Sophia Khan, Founder, Ulu Soleil.
A lot of the feedback that they’ve received is that the products and the packaging looks very international and not like a Malaysian brand, despite all their product designers being Malaysians.
But why can’t a Malaysian product look like this? Why can’t a Malaysian product compete with a French product? Malaysians can do it. We absolutely can compete on an international level.Dan Mclean & Sophia Khan, Founders, Ulu Soleil.
Comfortable in your own skin
Liberty Active is an activewear brand that was started by Becca Yap and her friend and former colleague back in 2017.
While looking for activewear options for themselves, they found that most pioneer brands represented the clothes in a way that makes it seem like you could only wear them if you’re incredibly sporty.
Hence, with a fashion background under their belts, they set off to create their own label that empowers women of all sizes in Malaysia, and make it wearable for both the gym and the streets.
They are one of the few brands that can cater to plus-size women.
We found that fitness brings communities together, especially among women.Becca Yap, Co-founder, Liberty Active.
They also collaborated with Refuge for the Refugees during the pandemic and part of the profits were donated to them. A Malaysian flag was printed on each set to embody the Malaysian spirit of lifting one another during tough times.
Although they’re not 100% sustainable, they are taking steps to make a positive impact with recyclable packaging and upcycling deadstock fabrics.
Feeling comfortable in your own skin is also something that Kissis, another homegrown brand, feels strongly about.
Founded in 2017 by two friends, Yvonne and Vivian, Kissis originally focused on fast fashion.
But soon enough they discovered that it was hard to keep up with the trends and they lost sight of what the brand represented.
But as they matured, the brand did too.
They got to an age where they preferred to wear basic and comfortable clothes, so they decided to produce what they felt most comfortable wearing.
Our lives have evolved, so our fashion sense evolved too, which is why we’re focusing on basic tees in various colours but made with great quality that is long-lasting.Yvonne, Co-founder, Kissis.
Initially, their clothes only catered to women but they’ve recently branched out to kids wear and will be launching a men’s collection next month.
Teroka all things local with Grab
In conjunction with Malaysia Day, Grab’s Teroka campaign highlights some of our homegrown merchants to encourage Malaysians to explore and support local brands.
Enjoy special discounts from 9 September to 9 October 2022 with exclusive promo codes from Grab and shop from these local businesses!
As of now, 30-35% of Hanya’s customers buy from them via GrabPay.
Even though they are a big corporation, there’s still that human aspect and personal touch, which I absolutely love.Sophia Khan, Founder, Ulu Soleil.
Get 10% off up to RM20 with a minimum spend of RM200 from these local merchants with the promo code GPDEALSTEROKA.
Earn GrabRewards when you use GrabPay or PayLater by Grab and enjoy a range of discount vouchers to redeem from. GrabUnlimited users can earn up to 1.5% in GrabRewards wherever they spend!
The Grab platform is very good for our customers because not only do they get the discounts directly from our store, but they also get additional benefits from Grab too.Yvonne, Co-founder, Kissis.
PayLater by Grab also gives consumers freedom and flexibility to pay, with features that encourage healthy spending habits.
PayLater really helps customers stretch their wallets, especially during this inflationary period.Veen Dee, Co-founder, Hanya.
For the PayLater option, use the promo code PLDEALSTEROKA and get 10% off up to RM25, with a minimum spend of RM250.
For more information, visit www.grb.to/TerokaWithGrab.