Let’s hear about Veen Dee, Mia and Akiyo’s journey of starting a business and being a mother in Adele Chow FIRST Live Podcast.
Veen Dee: Hi I’m Veen Dee, I’m a mom, an entrepreneur and also like a part time content creator. Currently I have two brands, one is Hanya, it’s called shophanya on Instagram and Harīrose.
Mia: Hi everyone, my name is Mia, I’m a mom and an entrepreneur of ölelés.com.
Akiyo: Also we are sisters, my name is Akiyo.
Adele: We are running business in this like male dominated industry, how does it make you feel as you thrive on running a business?
Veen Dee: I’m actually really lucky because I‘m in the fashion e-commerce industry, it’s not about taking charge of things like I cannot set a business because I’m a woman. It’s more like I might be pregnant, I will go for online treatments so that kind of affects my promotion period, it’s definitely.
Mia: Somehow I found that men do business right? They say don’t bother with these things, do business, make money, that’s it. Do it hard, yeah.
Akiyo: But I think it would be fine if we women start businesses now, I think it’s easier. But like my mother’s time, they think that women should stay at home and take care of their children, then go to give up their careers. So in fact, we also see some problems in the mother and then in this day and age we want to change.
Adele: Are there any instances where you felt like giving up?
Veen Dee: Especially when I’m late to pick up my daughter, I leave her until six, I feel so bad but the principal said that it’s your emotion, she’s fine, she’s fine. It’s your parental guilt, you don’t put it on her.
Adele: I just hired kakak before. In the first month, I leave my daughter and kakak, and I’m so guilty you know because my daughter cries every day. Then I think I’m a bad mom because I want the life I want and don’t want to just be at home. Yes, I want to do what I want to do and she also needs to learn to be independent.
Veen Dee: Yes and also because you want your daughter to look up to you as a role model. Yeah, do you want her in the future to give up her career for family?
Mia: I know her very well, she really likes to work.
Adele: It’s a passion, a lot of mothers when they go through a motherhood journey, they lose themselves. This is because suddenly moms feel like all they have to do is just pump, feed and change the diaper.
Mia: I would feel like I want to go out for different events, like content but I cannot go because no one takes care of the kids. I felt so sorry that I asked my mom and my mom said OK can go but she will call me what time you come back things like that and I know that the kids are looking for me. Yeah, so I’m sorry for my mother, then I’m sorry for my child. But I feel that I am very sad because I can’t be sorry for myself.
Veen Dee:It’s everyday you are like at the crossroad choosing right?
Adele: Yeah. Putting motherhood aside, let’s talk about something a bit more business. When it comes to business, I mean the biggest thing is managing the fund right? How do you all normally do it? No, just personal.
Veen Dee: Are you asking for funds in the company? Oh I spend all I have so many things to buy. That’s why I’m just so grateful I’m working so I can spend like my own money and I don’t have to ask. The most important thing is that you don’t need to look at other faces. Yeah, you don’t need to think twice and you can buy a bag for him.
Mia: If touch wood, one day two of us separated and then you still have your own finances.
Veen Dee: Yeah, correct you won’t be afraid. You have an extra sense of security. I usually like for content creation, I just park in an account I don’t use and then that account just goes for investment whatever. And then salary, I spend. I’m kidding, thirty seventy ratios, I will spend my money more on the investment.
Akiyo: Are you sure? Will you tell me, Oh I don’t want to buy already, and the next month you say don’t buy it again, but then one more bag
Mia: I will set limits for myself. I set my target like this month’s income, hit this amount already, then I will spend it because I cannot estimate how much I will get then next month. Do you want to tell them what you buy?
Adele: Tell tell tell, tell us quickly.
Akiyo: I only like to buy cameras, I like to buy equipment things. I’m the kind of guy who might if you’re shopping for clothes, I will buy a lot at once.
Veen Dee: www.shophanya.com, we have a lot of colours. Like when you just come out of this society and work, if you don’t know how to collect money, you must force saving one.
Mia: I think EPF is quite good. Like finance talk already.
Veen Dee: You can take account number two to invest EPF
Adele: EPF guys EPF. And account number two can buy properties. We all like macam yes. Let’s talk about our business, have you met any karens?
Mia: One of the customers, she bought something and I think the delivery was sent to her house, they just threw it inside the gate. Then she has a dog in the house, the dog bite so bad, and she said it’s broken and can’t be used anymore. But this is not our fault, it is your dog, we also feel very sorry for her and send again to her. This is because people buy things, they look forward to unboxing and want to use it.
Veen Dee: Recently got one, we launch that lanyard and it usually will curve. Then she said it was broken, why is the lanyard twisted on my neck? So what you can do is just untwist it, and my staff wants to make a video to teach. She said we lied to her and she said my neck is painful because of the tweets. We are very professional and answer very template.
Our brand doesn’t really support this disposable use so we give the dust bag. One of the customers bought seven clothes, three bags are enough but she emailed and said why didn’t you give me seven bags. First of all, the bag is a set with RM7, I have a cost to take care of as well. So we are like oh I’m sorry we ship out already and we didn’t promise each clothes each bag. Yeah, then she wants fully returned and doesn’t want the clothes already, refund completely. Then I say I don’t refund cash, I refund store credit. She said okay I go to Twitter and I will comment on you. And then I will kill your brand, tell all my friends not to buy from you. You know clearly, you can’t have it, it’s about what she wants.
Adele: She wants a bag, and sometimes the customer wants to win. It’s not about your product anywhere.
Veen Dee: So sometimes I don’t know what is the threshold for me to oblige or not you know what I mean.
Mia: I am also a customer, sometimes we will also be shopping. Yes, we also have expectations so try to do it for them but it’s too much.
Veen Dee: I think obey this, you still have next 10-20 to obey. So scared from the business perspective because just one bad review will go down to four point five.
Akiyo: This brand is bad because we buy things, we also read reviews.
Adele: Do you think that being an influencer has helped kickstart your journey? As an entrepreneur.
Akiyo: If it is yes, it may be at the start, we’ll have an easier time than everyone else because we already have traffic. So that we can save a lot, like marketing, we have to give money or we can do it ourselves, go shout out what we’re selling so it’s easier.
Mia: No, people tend to have higher expectations. Some of them are really very MEAN, like I don’t think this is worth this price. But i do receive good comments
Akiyo: We sell things because of our own image so many times people feel you use your fame to make money. Then they feel what you sell, and they will think you’re rich.
Veen Dee: Yes and it’s so happy, right? They’ll be like buying your clothes today and ask you think my styling today is nice? So sweet. Yes, I’m so happy every time I receive a message like this. It’s just very touching, and thank you so much for believing in me and like the product I talked about.
Akiyo: But when it comes to talking about it, I just think we also have dreams like everyone else. Yes, it’s all the same, I just want to say to do something that I want to do.
Adele: Yeah and I feel like the end of the day is valuable. Equivalent value, it’s like today why do I follow you because you have content, you have certain values that I follow, I like. In return, if I’m gonna offer you, hey this is something that I want to sell. It’s also a value that is like you know giving to you.
Mia: If I don’t do it, there will be someone, I also want to do my own thing well. In between I also want to think about good products, and we don’t want to just buy it wholesale.
Adele: Veen Dee you are in the market of like more Malay, I really want to ask about how you enter the Malay market and how you suspectly picked?
Veen Dee: I started working in a Malay company so I see the growth particularly in the Malay market, especially in e-commerce and modern, it’s very huge Malay market customers. When they like one designer, they will buy all the colours and you’re not talking about one customer, it’s talking about a lot. Current nation that we have seventy percent is Malay, they wear one piece of clothing and have to match many things right？Just do it.
When I do a brand, I intentionally craft the entire branding and product just for the modern’s Malay market. But I don’t really like to refer to Hanya as Malay or Chinese, it’s very neutral. But for Harīrose, the head scarf is modern and Malay they are very loyal. What they liked, they were really spent. They are so nice, they will write you an essay to tell you how much they love your brand, how much they learn from your brand and you don’t normally see that in the Chinese community so Chinese is more critical.
Mia: Most of the Chinese, when we were younger, few people around us would praise.
Veen Dee: No no no beautiful. Why do you want to do that to yourself? Just say thank you.
Adele: Different people have different definitions of beauty. As someone that is in front of the camera, behind the camera, setting up business management. What’s your own definition of beauty?
Akiyo: Take the slogan of our ölelés as an example, Embrace your true self. Everyone is not perfect, only you accept yourself, you love yourself the most.
Mia: You never be the 100% good
Veen Dee: To accept myself it’s not easy, is a journey
Akiyo: Actually I think girls, we loved beauty in our teens and others see your beauty, not yourself see your own beauty. Then I also have always doubted myself, I feel that I am not beautiful enough, I think my eyes are small. Then every time I tell my mother, I’m going to cut my eyelids. Then mom won’t let me go so I used to fight with her when I was young. I went to study in Korea and my mom is scared of me doing this stuff.
Mia: And now there is a well-developed aesthetic thing so you feel like you believe in it and you’re going to do it, I think it’s okay, just go ahead. In the end it’s you who bears the consequences. It is your body. Beautiful or not, the most important thing is that you are happy.
Veen Dee: Beauty is more like time and effort also. There are no ugly women, only lazy women. So how you want other people to look at you beautiful or not is how you just spend your time. If I wear that I feel good and I feel confident. This is because you didn’t put effort on yourself right? No one else will put effort on you so if you don’t think you’re pretty no one else thinks you’re pretty.
Mia: I saw a lot of people might like something like this. I mean like must have a role model but sometimes it may not suit you. SoI think if you understand yourself you can get better.
Adele: With age growth, I think quantity doesn’t matter so much is the quality like how do you allocate that time?
Akiyo: This is because I myself am the kind who has no friends. There are very few friends who really hang out, I think I spend the most time on her. In fact, my life is reversed from the previous life, and all I need now is maybe for myself so if I have extra time, I don’t go out on a date with friends but people ask me out.
Mia: She’ll be afraid to go out, she’ll talk about who asked me out, I was wondering if I should go and I said yes again so she pulled me. Then you don’t want to go but I promised, then you go. I will take the initiative but my friends rarely take the initiative to find me because they will say I’m afraid you won’t be free because you can’t be free you have three kids.
I used to travel alone. I shared a room with her before so I don’t have my own space. Then I will live with my husband so I don’t have a place. There is no place for anyone in this life, I think space is very important. So it feels special to travel when I eat alone and I don’t think I’ve ever tried sitting and eating alone like this.
Adele: But you are alone, do you talk to strangers? This is because I feel like sometimes, it’s also nice to like just like you don’t know me, and I don’t know you.
Veen Dee: It’s true because even if I go to events if I go with my friends, I don’t meet new friends, and if I go myself I make new friends. But I have to try to travel alone, it’s my bucket list.
Adele: So I think we’re at the end of our podcast, any words or advice especially to our women viewers? Anything you want to share and like to encourage them.
Veen Dee: That is, our girls will go through more growth. For male is more like the phases that they have to go to are not as much as us as women. We have to go thru pregnancy confinement and then period, hair loss. When you pass these things, you must always come back to your own home and like yourself.
Mia: No matter when you are confused or when you don’t know what you want to do, add value to yourself first and then decide what to do. Maybe I want to make money but sometimes making money also requires some ability. How about you improve your abilities, it will be better if you start again.
Adele: So you will never have too many options anytime, you can have that value, I think that’s very true.
Akiyo: I think each stage may have different difficulties. So maybe when you are in trouble, do you want to give up? When the difficulties you encountered before, you want to refer back to what you do. When everything happens to you, it’s when you grow up. If you really don’t know how to solve it, you gotta think that if I step over this one, it proves that my ability is up the level. The kind that would avoid problems in the past. But now I have a problem, I would instead think how do I fix it and solve whether I will be a successful person?
If you wish to check out the entire podcast in video form, watch it below!
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