Every start-up has its story and it rarely begins with success. Nevertheless, with perseverance and hard work, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. Starting with a meagre RM500, the sisters behind Heeladina worked their way up and constantly improve themselves to be one of the best muslimah-wear brand in Malaysia.
Aiming for bigger things
What is inspiring and motivating about the sisters behind the latest thriving Malaysian muslimah brand, Heeladina, is their perseverance and faith. The brand — co-founded by sisters Puteri Ameera Megat Rosli, 28, and Puteri Nadjwa Dewi Megat Rosli, 25 — found success after they went viral on Twitter.
The brand name was actually founded in 2014, when Ameera started the business with her friend. However, after selling blouses and scarves for six months, the business fell apart as they both focused on their fulltime jobs.
Four years later, after completing her engineering degree, Nadjwa realised that engineering is not her passion. Meanwhile, pregnant and retrenched from her job, Ameera was unemployed. The sisters decided that it is time for Heeladina to make a comeback.
Starting with only RM500, the sisters prevailed despite doubts and little knowledge on how to run a business. They grew their online platform and opened booths from time to time in a few events to get their name out.
However, what makes their start-up different was their utilisation of social media platform Twitter instead of the typical go-to of Facebook and Instagram.
According to Nadjwa, for new business owners or entrepreneurs, reaching their target audience is easier through Twitter. This is because the algorithm of Twitter makes it easier for a post to go viral compared to other social medias.
“When we started, Instagram’s algorithm made it hard for us to reach the audience, even if they had followed us on the platform,” she revealed.
Having been in the industry for a couple of years now, the sisters have had their fair share of challenges. After the tweet that promoted Heeladina as a gift site went viral, the company saw a 200 percent jump in sales. However, a new challenge soon arrived — logistics.
As sales boomed, their previous courier service provider were not helping as customers would receive damaged parcels, or the parcels would simply went missing. The sisters quickly sorted out the issue by switching to another logistic provider.
The sisters stressed that the latter is an important aspect of a company, especially online businesses. Business owners should look for the right provider before engaging with them. This is because, a successful business covers all aspect, whether it is the external or internal stakeholders (eg: customers, employees/team members, and even the logistic provider).
It has been two years since they started their business, and what kept Heeladina going is their ability to constantly improve themselves, as well as being able to provide services to customers nationwide.
Nadjwa also said that other sellers may have a variety of scarfs, but not in a variety of colours. Heeladina capitalises on this and offers as many colours as it can.
“For us, one type of scarf has about 40 to 100 shades of colours and that is what makes people interested. When women like certain clothes, they want to have lots of colours from the same type of clothing. That is what we try do here. Customers can enjoy all colours from one type of scarf.”
As a Muslimah brand, they hope to be among the best and on par with the other giants in the industry. They also aim to go international and continue to provide minimalist and comfortable clothing to customers.
Business and entrepreneur tips to learn from the Heeladina story:
1 . Choose the correct social media platform to promote.
2 . It doesn’t matter how much is your start-up capital, as long as you persevere and work hard, everything will flow accordingly.
3 . Knowledge will come along the journey.
4 . Obstacles and challenges that can be overcome.
5 . Learn from your mistakes.
6 . Deliver with quality.
7 . Every stakeholders are important and should be care for equally.
8 . Constantly improve yourself and the business.
9 . Always be humble, and be thankful to everyone.
10 . Aim high and reach for the sky!