In the wake of the Movement Control Order bringing the national economy to a complete standstill for over three months, many businesses have had to brave increasingly challenging tides to survive, and resort to salary cuts or worse still, retrenching staff in a bid to save on cost.
As a result, the unemployment rate in Malaysia has seen an unprecedented spike, with a sharp 5% rise, the highest seen since 1990, in April of this year as reported in The Edge Markets. What’s worse is that these figures are only expected to continue their uptake, should the economy continue to slump.
So where does that leave young, fresh-faced graduates in the job market? Well, if you ask Arliya Munif, the answer lies simply in lacing up your bootstraps and getting down to business. Not in defeating the Hans, but by starting an enterprise of your own. At only 21-years-old, Arliya has already made quite a name for herself by starting a rather successful used furniture business based in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
Where it all started
To find out about how a business like hers was founded, we reached out to Arliya to understand just how this all came to be, and what advice she has to offer young millennials across Malaysia.
Founded in 2017, Arliya’s told us that the idea of starting her used furniture business came about after she observed how people tend to discard pieces of furniture after they break, without considering how they may still be used if one was willing to make the necessary repairs. She also notes the environmental damage that can be caused by the furniture industry due to continued logging to produce new items, instead of upcycling existing furniture.
“I also wanted to help people with low income salaries to be able to afford good quality furniture.” she adds.
With all that in mind, Arliya spoke to her parents about the prospect of starting a used furniture business and with their support, withdrew RM1,500 from her own personal savings to bring it to life. Taking her family’s advice to start small, she found a space that didn’t cost too much to rent and got to work.
“We began to collect used furniture, and my brother would help with some repairs where it was necessary. That is how it started.”
Soon, her business began to gather momentum after it gained popularity among locals, and Arliya started expanding, gathering even more furniture to repair and put on sale.
Why is used furniture popular?
From her time running her business, Arliya notes that many of her customers are most attracted to the quality of the furniture that her shop provides, which is often sold at an affordable price point. After all, in times when most of us are trying to make our Ringgits stretch, any amount we can save on quality furniture is definitely a good thing!
And it’s clear that where used furniture is concerned, Arliya’s attention to detail and insistence on quality has been a big hit with customers. To date, she told WORLD OF BUZZ that her business could bring in anywhere between RM80,000 to RM100,000 monthly in revenue! How incredible is that!
Wise words of advice
Addressing young millennials who aspire to start a business of their own, Arliya advises enterprising individuals to pursue something that they are truly passionate about. But above all…
“Start small, and make sure you take care of your finances!”
Rome wasn’t built within a day after all, and neither are good businesses. It takes a good amount of nourishing and care, as well as patience to get your business off the ground, so don’t despair and don’t give up. Sikit-sikit really can menjadi bukit, and Arliya is proof!
To Arliya, we hope that your business continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and salute you for being an inspiration to many young Malaysians out there! If you would like to find out more about Arliya’s business, you can check it out here.
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