Alhamdullillah.. NeezaNeedles Babywearing Handmade approached a year!
Sekejap jer masa berlalu.. A year, and the biggest achievement I can say is I've sewn more than 100 carriers (onbu, mei tai, buckle tai, merak), 122 to be exact, with 71 came from Merak alone. Thanks for the supporting guys..
I never thought that I'll be in this type of business - babywearing making. I like wearing my baby and often go gaga on babywearing gear but to sell one, rasa macam tak mungkin because at that particular time I wasn't sure about the market and I dont want to compete with Snuggbaby or Jumpsac or Aidafiqs as they're my friends. [I believed I'm not a competitor to those brands, just being here to give some color to the market and to provide variety.. :)].
I remembered my very first customer- Nurul Huda, who emailed me asking me to make her a meitai.. At first rasa macam betul ke nak suruh buat meitai ni.. and I made two (instead of one- so that nanti dia bole choose which she likes most) and managed to sell both two via this blog. Thanks to Izan for becoming the second buyer.
After successfully sold two of the very first mei tai, I made another 4. And this four is unlike the first two, it is very HARD to sell!!! It seems like none want to buy. And as at the same time I am at my in-law in Terengganu, I dont really think much about the carriers as I was a bit busy on making 2 dozens of kid baju kurungs for customers. My friend then gave birth and I gave her one of the meitai as a gift. Then I started to think back about the carriers. How to push to sell?
Since at in-law, I have quite ample time, I began to read marketing blogs. And this is what they're suggesting:
1) Be in niche.
In the other word, join forum. I did join the Malaysian baby-wearing forum but not that active. Frankly, I have problem on joining forum. Not that because of other people, but it is mostly because of me. I am very easy to be persuaded. I joined at the beginning, and resulted I bought Ellaroo wrap and Ergo SSC. These are not cheap and I found out I less using it, so I back off from the forum. Tak tau kalo stay lama lagi apa lagi damaged nya. In fact, very recent I like to hang out at the MBW facebook group and resulted from that, I bid a didymos indio at eBay. Luckily being outbid. And now, I stay far from that group.. huhuh..
2) Promote yourself.
Be known. And the best is to be in the media. So, I contacted a few journalists to be in the media and one of my email got answered. Unfortunately, instead of writing about my hobby, she wrote about my day-career. I was kinda frustrated (thats one reason why I dont announced it at public on the day I got published) but Allah swt amazingly have set a rezk. Some of baby-wearers noticed about the article and did contact me to purchase the ready-made meitais. And I also been contacted by one of MCDP members as at that particular time, they're having an event and asking me if I would like to join as vendor or contributor, and seems there's still ready-made meitai un-sell, so I gave one to them as part of some prizes for a contest/lucky-draw. And I dont know that MCDP is one big NGO-Malaysia-cloth diaper-society, and right after the event, some of them contacted me to purchase mei tai. And I remembered that Marsha is my very first customer for the buckle-tai. And I started to make and sell (at least a carrier a week) until another journalist approached me (this is I believed God-sent) to cover story about me and my handmade babywearing gears.
And the rest is all history. Thanks to Allah swt, first and foremost for this un-expected opportunity, answering my prayer - I wanna stay home taking self-care of my children (thats the main purpose) and He gave me a little job to do in between.
Seriously, I got none. For the time being I am quite comfortable with what I'm doing and what I have. Few vendors did contacted me, asking me if they can sell Merak at their shop. That's one big honored I must say. But NeezaNeedles is very small, managed by one person, that is me.
Insya Allah, one baby step at a times. However, I am not ready and not welcome to sacrificing my family and my time to Allah swt just to expand the business.
Ok enough rambling. Lets get back to work.. Hehee..