Following your dreams isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do when you’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. But that didn’t stop corporate woman turned polymer jeweller, Wikhe Foong, from pursuing her passion.
Recently, WORLD OF BUZZ was given the opportunity to interview Wikhe, a woman who quit her stable corporate job as a Finance Manager right before the MCO to fully invest in her own online jewellery business, Miss Dainty Co. Here’s the story of how she did it:
A Successful Corporate Woman
While Wikhe is currently a creative entrepreneur who loves what she does, she admits that it wasn’t always this way. Her previous job in corporate gave her stability but not without sacrifice.
“I was quite successful in the corporate world and was promoted to Finance Manager within 5 years in the company. However, we all know that the higher you climb the corporate ladder, the greater the responsibilities.”
The determined businesswoman said she often had to sacrifice time with her family due to work obligations.
“I worked very long hours in the office, especially in the last few months before I quit. I go home at 9/10pm on weekdays, sacrificing my weekends and time spent with my family eventually took a toll on me.
“There was one particular night when I was on my way home from the office, I got into a minor accident because I was too lethargic to drive.” But the accident turned out to be the wake-up call that Wikhe needed to quit her job and start pursuing a career in something she was truly passionate for!
Starting A Business During MCO
While Wikhe started Miss Dainty Co. back in December 2015, she did it as a side hustle on top of her corporate day job. She only truly allowed herself to pursue her passion project fully after leaving her job in February 2020-right before the MCO.
“Talk about timing, I quit my corporate job before our government imposed the MCO. So I started my business only during the MCO period.” With so many companies going out of business during this time, we wondered how Wikhe managed to keep her new business afloat.
“I faced a big challenge in the beginning as I no longer had the luxury of receiving a fixed monthly income, even though my monthly commitments still continued. It also took time to re-introduce my products back to Malaysians and grow again.”
However, instead of seeing the MCO as a setback, Wikhe used it to her advantage. “I thought it was a good opportunity since everybody is using online social apps more to stay connected. I took up some online courses to learn about digital advertising to reach a bigger audience in Malaysia.”
When asked for advice on what small business owners could do to survive through difficult economic periods like these, Wikhe said, “Continue to upskill yourself to stay relevant and adapt in this ever-changing environment. Resiliency is the key. There are so many online courses that are easily accessible now.”
Miss Dainty Co., Polymer Clay Jewellery
Some of you may be wondering what makes Miss Dainty Co. different from every other online jewellery store. Well for starters, all of their products are designed using environmentally friendly polymer clay.
Wikhe said she first discovered the material back in 2015. “I came across a very cute pair of polymer clay earrings online (Etsy). At that time, that earring design was only available in the U.S., so it was very expensive to get it considering the currency exchange rate and shipping fee.” However, she soon discovered that polymer clay pieces of jewellery were actually handmade!
“Then, it got me thinking, why don’t I try making the earrings myself, instead of buying them? So, I started watching video tutorials on Youtube and bought myself a polymer clay starter kit locally.” Soon enough, sculpting and moulding her own creations became a hobby, which led to the start of her side-business! “When I started wearing my own creations to go out, my family suggested to put them up online to see whether other Malaysians would like it. That’s how I grew my hobby into a business by starting Miss Dainty Co.”
Festive and Custom-made Designs
When asked about what made her business stand out from the rest, Wikhe said “I think what makes mine different from the rest is the custom-made service I provide to my customers. “My earrings and paper clips are made-to-order basis. Which means a customer can ask for a special request on the specific designs they want.”
Just look at some of these unique designs!
“I release a new series/theme every week. But recently, the best selling series are the durian and mangosteen paper clips and earrings.”
There’s even a series for all you Star Wars fans out there! Just look at how cute Yoda is.
When asked whether she regrets leaving the corporate world for the creative online industry Wikhe said, “Although I may not earn as much as I used to when I was in the corporate world, the time and effort I put into my passion is definitely much more rewarding and meaningful! I intend to grow Miss Dainty Co. and I feel so happy to see other Malaysians enjoy my creations.”
If you’re a fan of sustainable fashion and accessories, Miss Dainty Co. is definitely a store you should check out! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to place your order:
FB: Miss Dainty Co.
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