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5 Malaysian Women Entrepreneurs in the Creative Scene to Get You Inspired

Updated: Mar 7, 2020

by W. Nurnisa. |

We’re almost reaching the end of the first quarter of 2020. Did you manage to seize and realize your plans? Have you figured out goals you would like to achieve this year? If yes, do you have 20/20 vision to accomplish them? Excuse me for the pun, we can’t help it!

However, in all seriousness, we believe that time is only a social construct. Your goals are actually timeless.. in a way. No day, month or year is the ‘right time’ to do anything. You should be able to do whatever you want, whenever you are ready for it. So, here is my two cents; buckle up and go for it!

The journey will definitely not be an easy but it's from the climb that we learn through it all. In conjunction with International Women’s Day, we are featuring a few talented and inspiring Malaysian women entrepreneurs; thriving to inspire you to be the best version of yourself:

1. Syarifah Nadhirah (Dee) & Alani Iman

Image: @paperweight.kl on Instagram

Started in 2017, these two women decided to start a stationery business called Paperweight Studio after their Hari Raya money packets went viral. Their products include watercolor printed and illustrated envelopes, greeting cards, wrapping papers and a lot more, designed by Dee and Alani themselves.

Image: @paperweight.kl on Instagram

If you love floral-inspired stationeries, they have a great collection of them. Dee and Alani both were working women who started the business out of their love for illustrating and boy, are we glad that they did it. The world is definitely a better place with pretty stationeries to accompany you at work or school! In an interview by Options, The Edge, Dee mentioned that she had the idea to start the business for a while but she did not have anyone to do it with until she met Alani.

Since then, they have been opening booths at malls and crafting paper products for brands or events. If the idea of initiating a business alone is your concern, there is no harm in finding someone to do it with you. Two heads are definitely better than one so do not be afraid to approach people who have the potential to flourish with you in a business!

2. Adlina Nadirah

Image: @adlinanadirah on Instagram

Adlina always wanted to build a homegrown high-quality makeup brand that will not burn a hole in your wallet to the local market. With the launch of Velvet Vanity Cosmetics in 2016, she believes that alongside quality products, customer service defines a brand as well. In an effort to gain trust and loyalty from customers, Adlina provided both to them which has made her brand a well-loved one after almost four years in business.

Image: @adlinanadirah on Instagram

Velvet Vanity is a very inclusive brand as their products have a variety of shades to cater and suit the different skin tones of Malaysian girls! This is so that their customers are able to identify and imagine how the products will look on them, especially if you are shopping online and not able to swatch them physically.

Adlina plays an active role in her brand and you can see the passion she has for it through her personal Instagram posts. Her hard work has managed to provide us girls with the key to an effortless everyday makeup; Velvet Vanity Cosmetics!

3. Jasmine A.

Jasmine is a photographer who has a very distinct approach in taking wedding and family photos. Scrolling through her blog, one can feel the intimacy that she communicates through her photos. She believes that moments to be captured should not be forced or staged, which makes her works unique and appealing as she tells stories through them.

Image: @jasmn.a on Instagram

Jasmine owns a photography studio and travels near and far, local and overseas, all for her clients. You can also learn of her approach that she translated into words on her Instagram and website. Jasmine has transformed her passion for photography into a career and honestly, what is better than doing what you love for a living? The honesty and beliefs that you are able to practice at work would bring fulfilment and contentment in everyday life. Do what you love and you will never work a day, they say!

4. Carabelle Cheong

Carabelle’s love for textile art has guided her to become a textile designer under her own brand. Last year, she launched a clothing brand for kids called Carabelle Kids (currently going through reconceptualization). The clothes she produces are handmade and they are outstanding due to her unique embroidery works. Her brand had participated in ArtExpo Malaysia 2019 and Carabelle is also one of the selected artists under YAE Balai Seni Negara who actively runs a few artistry activities for the community.

Image: @carabelle_cheongon Instagram

Apart from that, Carabelle also has a passion for art (of mediums like crayon, watercolor, etc.). She takes portrait commissions (you might find her at events like Riuh! or visit her online studio to order) and holds workshops too. Her workshops are not only tailored around paintings but also crafting accessories such as handmade earrings.

Image: @carabelle_kids on Instagram

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to monetize your skills and your business does not have to be of one thing only. It can be a lot of things at once as long as you know what you would like to focus on and move forward in stages so that it does not overwhelm you. Business is all about starting with something and expanding it to become a bigger thing.

5. Nurul Shafiya

Based in Penang, Shafiya got into the baking business in 2018 right before she graduated from university because she needed some extra pocket money then. Fast forward to 2020, she now works as a PR and marketing executive at a private hospital and bakes for her side hustle.

Image: @butter.cakery on Instagram

Handling two jobs is not easy but with dedication and discipline, anything is possible! Starting a business does not mean you have to leave your day job, especially if you love doing what you are doing. However, it should not stop you from becoming an entrepreneur and launching your own product, stamped with your own brand. It is a lot of work and less rest, but it also means extra money for you!

Image: @buttercakery on Instagram

Two years into the business, Shafiya has learned how to manage her time better and experience has taught her how to organize her accounts best. Her brand, Butter Cakery, is building its own reputation around town due to its excellent products and great customer service (Shafiya delivers her baked goods herself, no extra charge!) The brand’s stability has provided it with a platform to grow and honestly, we cannot wait to see where Shafiya will lead it to be in the future. Looking forward to more yummy brownies, pavlova and cakes!

Have these women inspired you yet? We hope they do! It is 2020 and women can do anything they want and be whatever they aspire to be. No matter what your interests are in or what kinds of skills you possess, there will always be an opportunity for you to become an entrepreneur. No dreams are too big for you to achieve so go out there and face the challenges that lie in your way heads on.

Good luck!

You may find out more about Nurnisa on her Instagram too.

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