A look at the rear view mirror

It’s been a long while since I last penned anything on the blog. Way too long. For some of you who’ve been following the blog since the very beginning, you would know that I first started out the business with 2 other partners, but have since gone solo since December last year. And I’ve been swamped ever since, managing the business on my own, on top of juggling the tasks of taking care of my now 2 years old daughter. How she has grown. Just today, a random customer called me on my mobile, asking if I’m Meredith’s mom, and that she wanted to place an order over the phone. Now, that’s a whole new level of branding altogether, when customers remember the baby boss’ name instead of the actual boss! Who am I kidding. She’s definitely the BOSS. LOL.

So, how has it been for us since I last wrote? Our very humble business has since managed to reach customers in many parts of the world, including Guam and Venezuela. It’s such an honor and blessing to have so many moms out there who believed in our brand and have faith in what we do. Made lots of new friends along the way, working on two different time zones resulting in a very sleep-deprived me. But it’s all so worth it! I love that I’m able to place a pin on the world map for all the different cities I’ve sent our apparels to. And I’m eternally grateful to our brand enthusiasts and reps (and their ever so talented photographer-moms) who gave us such wonderful, gorgeous photos. These children are born to be in front of the camera, I must say!

Speaking of pinning on the world map, another catalyst to achieving part of that is our partnership with Pinkoi (I like to refer them as the Asian version of Etsy, but a friendlier and more supportive platform for budding designer/ entrepreneurs like myself). Thanks to Pinkoi, or rather, thanks to the ever so efficient and supportive account manager, Raffi, my brand has reached the shores of Taiwan and Hong Kong, something I couldn’t have achieved on my own, not this soon that’s for sure. On their kind invitation, we participated in their trade fairs in Taipei and Kowloon back in June and October this year. It was my first visit to Taiwan, my third to Hong Kong. At the Taiwan fair, it was unfortunate that it rained almost the entire time the fair was open. BUT! The Taiwanese didn’t allow the heavy rain deter them from their shopping! They came in their ponchos, wellies and umbrellas (some even came with their babies, all tucked in their rain-proof strollers!) to shop at the fair! Wouldn’t have known this if I wasn’t there to see it for myself. An eye-opening experience indeed. As for Hong Kong, to say that the turnout was great is an understatement. I ran out of my entire 200 pieces of business cards within 3 hours! Never have I sold out all my stocks in one single weekend! They were literally queuing to enter the event space, even 30 minutes to closing time! The marketing team in Pinkoi did such a great job promoting for both events, I’m so grateful and privileged to be invited to both events, to not only introduce my brand, but to also learn and experience the different cultures of both cities. Keeping fingers crossed that we will be invited for more international fairs next year!

Here’s M earning her keep at the Hong Kong Pinkoi Fair, being the sole representative from Malaysia 🙂

Back at the home front. We turned down an opportunity to list our products in a major departmental store (in both Malaysia and Singapore) as it wasn’t financially viable for us, although it would have given us a major brand lift. Unfortunately, we are not a mass producer, we do not have big margins to buffer against high retail margins, not forgetting other overhead and incidental costs. We will just have to continue to chug along and work out of our small and humble abode for the time being. On another note, we were honored that MamyPoko chose our kimono rompers to be part of their giveaway contest (in both Malaysia and Singapore), Japan Fiesta 2016 for their premium diaper range, Air Fit. Contest ends 30 November, so head on over to your nearest supermarkets or click here for more info. Can you spot 9-months old Lil M in the video promo?

We will be launching a new design next month, so do look for it! Just a little hint, it’s a playful twist of our existing kimono romper, catering for active, inquisitive toddlers. Sign up for our newsletter to get first hand updates on the new launch as well as a discount code for your purchase.

Now that we are nearing the end of 2016, what’s next for us? I would love to join more international trade fairs/ pop-up markets in 2017. If you have any suggestions, do let me know! And we are always on the lookout for international resellers. If you’re interested, or if you know of anyone who is, please drop me an email at hahanoyume@gmail.com. Till then, hope to write again real soon!

p/s. Some of you may have already know that my daughter was recently hospitalized for 5 days after being diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts, she is doing ok, discharged last Sunday. She’s on aspirin, 4 times daily now, and is scheduled for an echo scan next Wednesday to have her heart checked. Will update her progress in a separate post, if time permits.

p/s/s We are also having a Buy-1-Get-1-Free sale over at our store, sale ending this Sunday.