The Malaysian Actress Behind The Authentic "Made in Malaysia" Cookies BrandBy Eric Lian · 23rd August, 2019
As saying goes “If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction and passion”.
With great pleasure, we have invited Ainul Aishah to share her business journey. Ainul is a pretty and famous celebrity in Malaysia which starred in a list of TV shows, Drama, Movies locally. She is not only well-known for her fame but also her homemade cookies.
The beautiful accidents of starting her own cookie business come unplanned, and the result has become much more rewarding. With her strong passion for doing what she loves - baking cookies, she has built a small empire in the online presence.
Let’s go and have a look into the story of Ainul’s Cookie & Co!
1. Tell us about yourself and Ainul Cookies.
My name is Ainul Aishah. I'm an actress & entrepreneur. I started doing Ainul Cookies & Co back in 2013 and it started by accident. The brand still exists until today due to repeat demand from regulars and also new customers. Kicked off with 1 flavor - M&M cookies that once said phenomenal cookies, now the brand has various flavors and expanding to other desserts & hamper raya.
We have done everything ourselves in rebranding, designing the labels, photoshoot, creating the concept and even bake the cookies. So I guess I can say it's original & authentic. A “Made in Malaysia” cookies brand.
2. Prior to being a Malaysian actress, what inspired you to start selling cookies online?
I could say my hobby of baking cookies gave me the spark to everything I have now. I love to cook and I wanna try baking that time. I learned baking cookies from YouTube and then I gave my friends to try it. They loved it. I had no plan to sell at all until my friend asked me to put the cookies at a bazaar. So I did it for fun and I remember only 2 buyers bought that time. For the rest of the packs, I gave it all to my friends & family.
Little did I know, from there, I received orders from random people just because they tried the cookies from a friend and the reach went on from there. I was hesitant to make it as a business at first but I did the orders anyway. It became huge at that time and that's when I decided to start selling it online.
3. It seems like you are selling cookies in gift boxes/hampers too. Can you tell us the reason?
Variety is an important aspect of the business so people won't get bored and they can have more options. Gift boxes and hampers have received great response during festive seasons and also for corporate companies as well. I love designing and I enjoyed my time curating the gift boxes and hampers. My business partner/boyfriend is also involved in designing it so it’s really fun to do hampers together.
4. What are the challenges that you have faced doing this? How do you find ways to overcome them?
I must say, the biggest challenge is getting the right investors and keeping up to date with current trends. I have a fair share of experience when I have different opinions with the investors on making the decisions for our business. It brought difficulty on the same business path. I used to have a baking house but it was closed down on my own because everyone decided to leave and put all the burden on me. I understand that things can be tough sometimes and I tried to accept the fact.
Fortunately, I encountered a partner/investor who is my boyfriend. He believes in me and I received huge help from him with doing rebranding on Ainul Cookies & Co. What I was trying to say is, definitely there will be a lot of challenges & uncertainties in business. The essential element is to never give up and believe in your products. Keep on exploring what you can do and never stop loving what you do.
I went through a very tough time, I fell a few times, but it never stops me from making my dreams come true. And now, I can see a brighter future for my cookies brand.
5. Why do you choose EasyStore?
Easystore makes my life & business easier. It's so easy! When everything now is tech-savvy, you can't miss out too right? Business needs to evolve and I love exploring new ideas and concepts. Easystore’s website is useful and easy to understand. I love the layout look, it’s very professional and user-friendly for my customers, it’s easy to edit as well. I love how I can reach out to my customers not only in Malaysia but also in other countries just by having my own website. It’s definitely a good choice for my branding and business.
6. What was the most memorable experience so far in your business?
It’s difficult to choose one, I have so much great memorable experience in my business! I guess one of the best is the moment of seeing my customers smile. I can’t forget their smiles. Hearing their stories of not sharing the cookies with siblings or hide it somewhere hidden simply makes me smile and laugh! Trust me, there are so many stories about my customers hiding the cookies! That's why my friends said my cookies are “Amazingly Addictive”.
Besides, I also met many new friends from the business too. So many kind people out there supporting each other's businesses and that's what we need in business. Positive vibes!
There’s more! I remember when I first started the business, people were queuing for the cookies even before my booth was open. It was so crazy and overwhelming! I had a blast that day.
7. Are there any specific aims or goals in the future for Ainul Cookies?
Yes, of course, we have big goals for the future. My plans are to always brand it internationally and we are planning our way there now. I'm not going into details about that yet. Let's just wait and see the growth and we can talk about it again next time!
It was never the intent to make money from the start, but with consistency in delivering the best cookies to her customers, Ainul has successfully transformed her hobby into one of her income sources.
Checkout her website and Instagram at the links below!
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