The thing about being a semi stay at home mom slash work from home mom is that once in a while I entertain thoughts of starting my own business. Ya, blogging not enough for me hahahaha. Sometimes I think it would be nice to build something I can be proud of. (not that I’m not proud of my blog and Youtube la wtf)
But if blogging is not enough, time also not enough ahaha. Which is why I never actually started anything proper.
But today I met two amazing ladies who basically managed to have their cake and eat it too.
Meet Shan and Lavinie!
If you’re a mom (or dad, let’s not be sexist) living in Malaysia, you’d probaby have heard of Babydash.
Babydash is a website that sells, yep, baby necessities.
They approached me to work with them and I agreed – on condition that I’d get to meet them and listen to their story. Cos learning about the story and the people behind a business is more interesting than just telling you about their website right!
Aud: How did you get started on Babydash?
Babydash started about 5 years ago in 2010. We had been friends since high school and stayed in touch through university and working life. We’d always wanted to work on something together and when they became moms, they hit on an idea. As full time working moms then, we realized that it would be nice if momscould order daily baby necessities – such as diapers, milk, baby bath products, etc – and have them delivered. No need to rush out to the supermarket after work to buy things last minute.
This was before the e-commerce boom really hit Malaysia so it was an uphill battle convincing big brands to get onboard with. The big brands were not confident about bringing their business online then. Luckily we managed to build some good partnerships early on. Karihome (a goat milk formula brand) who was just starting up then too was one such brand!
What’s it like being a mom and owning your own business? How do you juggle all your responsibilities?
The good thing about owning your own business is you’re your own boss. There’s no need to clock in and out of work. As moms, this was great cos we could work around our kids’ schedules.
The bad thing is, you’re your own boss. You end up working around the clock because you’re so passionate about your work. And that’s what you need actually — passion. You need to really believe in what you’re doing.
[Shan]: I’m not afraid to say this — when we were first starting up, my house was a mess. My priorities were our startup and getting my kids fed, clean and sent to school so housekeeping took a backseat. I could live with a slightly messy house. It’s a matter of prioritizing. We have only 24 hours in a day so our advice is – don’t try to do it all. You’re just going to spread yourself thin and achieve nothing.
So what makes Babydash special?
Well, we have the lowest prices online! First of all we’re a purely online business so we don’t have the costs that a brick and mortar business do obviously. We pass these savings back to our customers. Brands normally give us a range of pricing and we always price our stuff at the lowest possible. I think we’re a good 30% cheaper in some cases? As we mentioned, we built strong partnerships with brands early on, so that also helped.
In fact, a lot of our customers are skeptical! They say, “why so cheap? Got warranty or not?” Yes we do! All our products are original and come with warranty! If you see any of our products on other e-commerce sites for cheaper, they’re probably parallel imports and don’t come with warranty.
You have to be careful when buying online if the price is a lot cheaper than normal. We’ve seen fake Jellycats, fake Bumbo seats and even fake carseats which are horrific cos they won’t hold to the same safety standards as the real thing!
Aud: One thing that was interesting to me was how personal the relationship between the Babydash team and customers is. Based on what their customers purchased, Shan and Lavi would guess how old the kids were, what gender and interests they had and include small free gifts in their parcels suited for them!
We also have customers who call us up and instruct us to make up a gift basket, and we’re happy to do it! So what they give to their loved ones is a personalized hamper, suited to their preferences.
We’ve also become friends with customers over the years. The challenge in future when we expand is how to sustain this personal touch.
Aud: That was very cool to me. I’ve certainly never thought of calling up an online retailer for this favor. *I* myself have bought from Baby Dash to make baby gifts but I just ordered the stuff I needed to make the gift myself.
Speaking or ordering, here are some of my favorite buys on Baby Dash.
Heard a lot of good things about Goo.N! I rarely see it around so good job we can buy from here.
This is a must because both kids basically inhale this wtf. Not cheap some more okay, luckily got special price! And this! I love it but still cannot decide whether to get cos Penny might fling it aside for a remote control. -_-
Where do you see Babydash in say five years?
Well, we hope to expand it of course! We’re adding new products every week; right now we have 2,000+ products under us but we’re hoping to double that.
Aud: They told me an “auto reorder” function is in the works too. Basically customers can sign up for regular deliveries of diapers and formula so we don’t need to run out last minute to buy finished supplies. Lavi asked me if I would like that and I was like, do babies cry!? I’d love something like this — I usually order groceries online but often they’re out of stock and I’m dead wtf cos I’d have no diapers or milk hahaha.
Babydash also recently launched a referral program! It’s “mommy get mommy” – so if your friends buy, they get discount, and you earn RM10 for every purchase referral above RM50. Sign up for it HERE.
And lastly! My blog readers get a discount of RM30 for your next purchase (minimum of RM50)!
Just key in the code FF9RM30 upon checkout. Please remember to log into your account to use the code cos it cannot be used as “guest”. Code will be valid till end Feb 2016.