Thursday, July 24, 2014

Photos



I finally hired a photographer to take photos of my products. Initially it was an outdoor shoot but only after a few outfits., kids got bored and ready to run instead of pose for the camera. We did manage to get a couple of good shots but that's about it.

Luckily I found a good photographer who agreed to photograph my bajus from her studio. She has a mannequin too and a white background studio.

Here are some of the photos that I got back.. These were emailed to me as I've yet to find time to go over to her studio to collect the CDs.

I think they look good. Love it.

                                       


                                       




I love looking at these photos because it shows how far I've gone to get this out. It's probably just a baju but the process to get this done.. Is not easy.

So proud of myself. And I love all the stuff I have. Hope you do too!




24 hours

Before I started my small online business, I always thought that it is the easiest way to make some decent money. I was naive enough to think that if you have a good product, things will sell. Boy I couldn't be more wrong. 

I was very determined and in my head, as long as I am confident with my product, it will sell. And I am. I know my product well and I know the quality and very proud of it too. But to sell it, it is a whole different ball game. 

I don't have any experience in this area. It is a totally new experience for me. It is a learning process for me too and I would like to share some of the things that I learned along the way. 

1. Preparation 
This took a long time for me. People often just see your final product and think it's as simple as just putting them together but a lot of thought goes into every single piece.

Fabric, buttons, design, sizes, quantity to produce are all the things I had to consider. 

Pricing is also important. That's when you need to have all your receipts ready and do proper costings. How much do you charge? Who are you targeting to purchase your products?

Also, you need to have details of your products ready. The measurements of each size, the type of fabric used etc.

2. Social media
This is the biggest headache for me. I am so bad at it. I thought just having Instagram would be good enough. It probably is but the stuff you posted on Instagram is just as important. You need to get a nice photo, (which I am really bad at and so I had to hire a photographer), you need to find a model, (in my case it was my children and nephew - but still, you will never know with kids, sometimes they just don't want their photos taken!), you need to find a mannequin which thankfully my photographer has it and we could borrow it, need to think of captions, etc too. It is really a full time job. 

3. Packaging
I didn't think of this at first. I don't know why I didn't but when my product was ready, I started to think of ways to package it. Since all my items are sold online, I needed to be sure that the packing is nice. This is still a work-in-progress for me. But for now, I'm happy with it. 


4. Getting Customers
This is also very tough. No one knows me. Who is kupukupu? What do they sell? What do they do? Why are they priced that much? What designs do they carry? What sizes do they have? Customers don't know all this because we are still new. I needed to build and work on getting traffic to my page. I didn't know how. Hence, sales was pretty bad at first. Mostly my customers are my friends, which is great because if friends don't support each other, who will? I am so thankful for them. They buy for their kids, they tag their friends, they recommend to their sisters, they buy for their nieces and nephews. Alhamdulillah it was going well, slowly but surely. Then a friend of mine who owns an insta shop suggested that I contact some celebrities with young children and offer them my products. In return, they would give a shout out and hopefully you will get some traffic from their post. I did and I contacted Nana. She was so sweet and bought quite a few stuff from my store. After she posted about her purchase on her page, I got 2000 followers instantly. Wow. I was so pleased and from then, my sales went up! I'm so grateful and thankful because if it had not been for her shout out, I don't think I would be able to sell as much as I did. Alhamdulillah for some pocket money this raya! 

5. Postlaju
This is another thing that I didn't really think about. I had gone to them to register for pick up so that I don't have to rush to the post office every single day but they were so slow that even until today, despite completing all the necessary forms, I still do not have an account with postlaju. I called them up to speed up the process and they promised to call me back but they didn't. Thankfully the nearest post office is about 2 minutes from my house. Everyday I will make my way to the post office. Make sure you get lots of the forms ready in hand. This way, you don't have to spend so long at the post office every day filling up the forms there. I prepared all at home before my daily trip to the post office. 

Be sure you keep the receipt and tracking number too in case the item doesn't get delivered or if there is a problem, it will be easier for you to track the items. 

6. Bank Account
Dealing with customers online may sound easy but it is not. They make payment by online banking or they deposit cash into your bank account. Sounds easy? Yes if you have 1 customer a day but when you have 20-30 or even more, it is hard to monitor the account. 

Of course you don't ever post out items before you receive payments. Sometimes it takes longer for the amount to show on your statement so this is when you need to be tactful with the customers. Some expect the items to be posted immediately after money has gone out from their account. Alhamdulillah for me, my customers are quite good. They know how it works. But some don't, so you need to explain it to them nicely. 

Also there are cases when the bill amount is say RM98 and they deposit RM100 into your account (because when they do it at the machine, you can only deposit in RM10, RM50 and RM100). What do you do with the balance of RM2? Customers expect their change back. I normally will put it in the items I packed. I don't know how safe it is doing this but this is the best way I know how. Whatever it is, check with the customers first and ask them how they want their change back. Some prefer for you to transfer it back via online banking.

7. Communicating with your Customers
Some customers prefer communicating via whatsapp, some don't have whatsapp and prefer to email or sms. For me, personally, I prefer via Whatsapp. They have a million questions to ask before they make the purchase. Some will even ask you questions when you have already stated the answer clearly on the photo on Instagram. 

This is one example, 

Clearly from this photo, these are the designs available for size 150, correct?
Some will ask, "what size is this?" Or "do you have green in size 150?" Or "size 150 is for how old?" Or "my son is 7, can he wear size 150?"

What do you do?

Take a deep deep breath and answer each and every question nicely. 

I'm on whatsapp 24/7 lately. Which my husband is not too happy about. When customers whatsapp me, they expect me to reply ASAP. They don't like to wait. Just like how I don't like it when I contact someone to buy something and they don't reply or take ages to reply. This is it with online stores. It doesn't close! My advice is, have a separate line for your store. That way, your sleep is not disturbed. I bring my personal hp to bed and only family and close friends will call or msg me on that phone. My work phone is separate, I don't attend to it when I'm in bed. If you msg me at 12am, don't expect me to reply immediately. I will reply in the morning. 

So there you go, some tips here and there. Share with me your tips if you have an online store. Sharing is caring!






Wednesday, July 23, 2014

MH17

Every morning at 4am, my alarm will try to wake me up for sahur. That morning, I woke up and saw a whatsapp message from my brother saying that MH17 was shot down. I remember thinking, "what??? What does that mean?" Almost blur and almost didn't get and didn't know what to expect.

First thing I did was I switched on the tv and there was it. All over the news. CNN, BBC, Astro Awani.. U name it. I couldn't believe what I am hearing.

First thought that came through my mind was "omg, we were on the same route back to KL not too long ago from our Paris trip!" 

Honestly, I feel numb. I don't know what to think or how to feel. It hits really close to home not only because it is a MH flight, an airline that I always travel with and I have been loyal to them since forever but also because we travelled on that same route back from Europe. It could have been us.

We are still not over MH370 and now this? What is going on?

My heart and prayers goes to all of them on board and the family members they left behind. They are gone, we can't have them back but the people they left behind will have to live with this forever and I feel for them. 

MH is still my preferred airline. Traveling will never be the same again. I pray Allah will protect us all and hopefully we can find the truth in what has happened and able to find closure.

Alfatihah


We are hiring!!

I waited so long to finally being able to say this and I'm happy that we are now comfortable enough to start hiring. 

My business partner and I are looking to hire an experienced tailor on assignment basis. 

This can be a "work-from-home" position and for now, we are quite flexible. Salary, fee etc are all negotiable. 

Those interested can drop me an email at mykupukupustudio[@]gmail.com

Those with fashion background or fresh graduates with fashion qualification are encouraged to apply. Let's grow together, shall we?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Excited

This post is long overdue....


I've been super busy, I haven't had time to update my blog. Busy is good tho, so I'm not complaining.


Kupukupu sales has been really good over the last couple of weeks. Alhamdulillah. I am really happy. Only a few sizes left in each print. Cant wait for it to be sold out so I can start focusing on something else.


We've also decided to put some of our raya collection on Ladorn.Some of the items on Ladorn is already sold out on our IG so if you are interested, you can purchase it from Ladorn. Ladorn offers free postage too for orders above RM100.00. You can check us out there.


On another note, the reason why I was super excited last week was because I became an Aunt for the first time on Friday 4th July. My brother's wife gave birth to a very healthy 4.24kg baby boy name Mikael. I was so excited and happy for them. Syukur Alhamdulillah, we have a new family member this raya and my kids have a new cousin to play with.


I want to write more..but I am super sleepy!


Going to catch up on some sleep before kids get up from their nap.


Get your kupukupu kurung NOW! My blog readers get special discounts!



Thursday, July 3, 2014

New stuff

Raya is approaching so everyone must be busy with their raya preparation, yes?

I'm still trying to sell my kurungs and baju melayus. Alhamdulillah it's been going quite alright. I mean, for an unknown brand I think we've done pretty awesome job that I've decided that sempena Ramadhan yang mulia, I would like to give some percentage from my sales to charity. I haven't decided which charity yet so if you know any that you feel deserve a little bit of money or token, do let me know. I plan to ask my mum to choose from the list of charities that I've shortlisted nanti, InsyaAllah.

Did I tell you I took some professional photos of all the pieces that we have for this raya? I think I did and I love it. 

Here's to share some of it with you..


That's the raya stuff...

And next I've got a few things lined up too. I have some dresses, tops for girls that I will be releasing after raya. Some will ask why not do it together because these dresses can be worn to open houses too.. But I didn't want to do too much at one time. 

But check out our new stuff that will be out for pre order after raya. Aren't they just the cutest? Of course that's what I think... 

Let me know your thoughts...



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Feeling blessed

Tomorrow will be the first day of Ramadhan. Tonight, I performed terawih at home for the first time. I couldn't stop crying the whole time as I had mixed emotions and feeling so very blessed.

My aunt, in our WA group chat (consisting on all my aunts, mum & cousins & siblings) reminded me how to perform terawih and its niat. Alhamdulillah I completed the first day of terawih successfully InsyaAllah.  

In my doa, I asked for many things. One of the things that is always in my prayers are of course for my children. Dr Marsitah (my gynae when I was pregnant with my daughter) told me a doa and somehow that doa is something I read everyday and it goes "Ya Allah, make my children solehin & solehah, outstanding in their performance, dunya & akhirat" it's a very simple doa. She told me to read it when we first met and somehow, that doa stayed in my head. (She told me many others but I can't remember - bless her).

While I was performing my terawih, my son was already asleep. It was already about 10pm. My daughter wanted to wait for my husband to come back from masjid so she hung out with my maid in the back room. I didn't know what they were up to when I was praying. It was quiet so I figured, she could be asleep on the sofa or something. I prayed in peace and with full kusyuk. It was bliss.

After I prayed, I went looking for my daughter. As I stood outside the back room door, I could hear her reciting Alfatihah out loud. It was very loud and almost shouting. I didn't open the door and recorded the sounds from outside the door. It was loud and clear, she was reciting Alfatihah. I didn't know what was going on inside there. I opened the door and saw her sitting on the sofabed, holding a muqaddam and pretending as if she is reading the Al-Quran. It was the cutest thing in the world. I was so proud and it was such a blessing to witness it. My maid was ironing and just standing there watching her. I saw my daughter, she looked at me and continued "reading" and I said "oh ok, that's good!" and walked out. I didn't want to distract her. I closed the door and she continued "reading" alfatihah a couple more times.

I am so blessed. 

I know there are so many things I'm not happy about, about life. You know, little things here and there but I have SO SO SO much to be thankful for. 

I hope this Ramadhan will be a good one for me. I hope to be better. One step at a time insyaAllah.

Have a blessed Ramadhan to all...