M’sian Version Of LUSH Selling Handmade Bath Bombs And Soaps
Syazmin was a final year student when she moved to the UK in 2016. Her husband, Hafidz, who quit his job in Doha, Qatar, followed her to be by her side.
Restless and lonely at home while his wife attended classes, he noticed the European craze for handmade bath and body products.
From a mixture of boredom, curiosity, FOMO (fear of missing out) this opportunity, as well as access to cheap ingredients, he dabbled in making his own bath bombs.
While Syazmin paid no attention to his experiments at first, she quickly joined him.
“After months of trials and tribulations, we ended up with a bunch of soaps, bath bombs and scrubs.”
“That’s when we were like, ‘Okay, so what do we do with all these products? Maybe we could try to sell it? “, She says.
Hitting a Eureka moment, they began to build an online presence on Instagram under the BUIH brand.
4 years later, they are now sold in a gift shop of a 5 star hotel.
From IRL to URL
BUIH already had online sales and steady growth in its subscribers before it began selling in Kuala Lumpur bazaars in 2017.
This form of retailing allowed the couple to further expand their presence in the market.
It also gave them the opportunity to interact with local customers, who weren’t convinced they were buying – or even saw the need for – bath bombs, unlike the crowds in the UK.
“It was a tough journey, I would say, we had to educate the company on why our products are unique and different from what the current market has to offer,” Syazmin said.
With a constant presence on Instagram and interactions with customers in bazaars and exhibitions, the questionable Malays have become fans.
So when LUSH launched in Malaysia in 2018, BUIH was hardly affected by it due to its existing subscribers.
Not to mention, this is also the cheapest option, if we just compare the prices.
The cheapest bath bomb you can get from LUSH costs RM30, while BUIH sells theirs for RM19.90.
Building on their confidence in the retail industry, they decided to add a different source of income to their business.
Gifts + Retail = Hotel gift shops
They ventured into the event business, selling their products as door gifts at corporate events and weddings.
“The turnover is constantly growing. Gifts contribute over 60% of our revenue, while retail and online sales each contribute 30% and 10% of our total revenue, ”said Syazmin.
Much to Hafidz and Syazmin’s surprise, BUIH’s growth has exceeded expected targets, so much so that it has caught the attention of a 5-star hotel in Penang, the Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel.
“The E&O team contacted us about the possibility of having BUIH products in their store, and we were delighted to have received such an offer and have been here for quite some time now,” she said. .
Most Malaysian homes don’t even have a tub to enjoy bath bombs, so selling them in hotel gift shops is a strategic decision.
Hotels have a tub in every room, and guests don’t have to worry about running up water bills (but water conservation is always a good thing to practice nonetheless).
Handmade and durable
“Indeed, we are inspired by LUSH, especially their sustainability business model and environmental ethics,” said Syazmin when we highlighted the similarities between the brands.
BUIH bar soaps are plant-based and coconut oil is used in all of their products. Recyclable PET bottles are also used for packaging.
Even as their business grows, the couple still do everything by hand.
On how they manage to do it, Syazmin said, “We have this rule of not taking too many large orders at the same time so that we can make sure that we can deliver to our customers on schedule and with the best quality. . “
She and Hafidz are the core team at BUIH, but they hire an additional team of friends and family to help manage orders at events and bazaars.
In addition, scaling the company has always been their future project for BUIH.
In doing so, we began our outsourcing journey by strengthening our network of suppliers and business partners. We have engaged with several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and discussions have been initiated to outsource our products using our original recipes.
Syazmin, co-founder of BUIH
“We are also looking to strengthen our presence in the retail segment, and we will be in a few more popular retail brands in Malaysia,” she said.
BUIH currently sells at Robinsons KL and The Gardens. They also have clients who include Isetan KLCC, Sephora and Monki.
- You can read more about BUIH here.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Syazmin & Hafidz, BUIH Co-Founders
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