A business idea can sometimes come from the most unexpected places. The ability to recognise a problem and offer a solution – this often translates into a successful business endeavour. What’s more when it is a solution for a person’s problem and recognising that it could also benefit others.
For Nurul Asmad binti Ghozali, 34, a mother of three children, it is no surprise that the inspiration to set up Lavender Confinement Care came from her own experience.
“I just gave birth to my third child and I wanted someone to take care of my needs during my confinement from day to night,”
During her past confinements with her older children, Nurul is blessed to have her mother-in-law, a traditional masseuse, who gave her all the necessary traditional care.
Lavender Confinement Care, exploring untouched niche market
However, after her latest birth, she preferred a more dedicated service than to burden her mother in law, therefore, then and there the idea of establishing a confinement care service came into her mind.
“People do look for this kind of services where the mother and baby are cared for professionally during their confinement period,” said Nurul. “Our mothers can do it for us, but isn’t it lovely to take them off the responsibility and let them enjoy the new arrival instead?” she added.
Determined to make it work, Nurul turned to her best friend Aishah Hijriah binti Arshad and shared the idea with her. Being friends since 13 years old, Nurul and Aishah practically know each other like the back of their hands. Together, they decided to go for it and start building their business.
Entering business with a learning attitude
“We are not from a business background at all, not even our families are entrepreneurs,” said Aishah, who is also a mother and a legal counsel by profession. She currently still works full time while juggling Lavender Confinement Care as a business.
If there is one thing they know about business in this era, it has to be harnessing the power of social media for marketing.
“We started marketing our service through Facebook Ads, and our very first customer came the same day after we posted it,” said Nurul as she recalled their early days in July 2018. Up until today, Lavender Confinement Care has garnered a significant number of followings on social media based on client testimonials and referrals via the vast social network.
Nurul and Aishah also commit to learning as much as they can as the business grows, mainly from self-learning by reading tips of the trades, business resources and from experience that they gain.
When asked if a mentor figure is important for their business, they both agree that it does and they do see themselves needing one in the future.
“We do need a mentor and coaching as we grow in the business, especially for long-term plans”Nurul Asmad binti Ghozali
“For now it’s a lot of trial and error, but we do learn as much as we can,” she added. Nurul has recently quit her fulltime job as a bank officer to pursue the business full time and open Lavender’s own administrative office in Cyberjaya.
Emphasise on customer service and quality
Forged by the trust that they had in each other and a strong belief in the business, Nurul and Aishah dedicate their time to build a team of confinement ladies who are led and trained by Nurul’s mother-in-law. A year after founding Lavender Confinement Care, the team is now 30 women strong.
“She plays an important role in the business as the “Ketua Bidan”,” said Nurul. “I rely on her expertise in traditional healing postpartum therapies and I let her train the ladies and even curate the products that we use for our clients,” she added.
Nurul and Aishah put a very strong emphasise in providing impeccable and non-selective customer service to their clients, as part of differentiating themselves in a booming confinement care industry.
“It doesn’t matter who our customers are. We try as much as we can to add value and put our customers needs first,” said Nurul.
“People appreciate convenience these days, so we know we can ride on that. The demand for confinement care is huge. People are starting to appreciate our services and sometimes it could get positively overwhelming, ” added Aishah.
Due to their strong online presence and satisfied clients, the company began attracting more eyes online, garnering them celebrity clients such as Elfira Loy who eventually raved about their excellent services.
The company has also gained traction from clients oversea, including Melbourne, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Scotland where confinement services are highly sought after by mostly Malaysians who are living abroad.
Onwards and into the future
Eighteen months after its conception, Lavender Confinement Care is well and thriving. Nurul and Aishah may exude a warm and nurturing persona often present in a mother, but as entrepreneurs, they are dead serious at what they are doing. Most importantly they are fueled by a burning passion for making the business a success.
When asked about where they see Lavender Confinement Care a few years down the road, Nurul and Aishah aspire to open a dedicated traditional Malay confinement care centre and producing their product lines.
“We have started to receive collaboration invitations from other brands and services in the industry. For us, this is a good indicator that we are establishing our footings and at this point of time we are happy to hit this milestone,” said Nurul.
A strong believer that rezeki and abundance solely comes from Allah, Nurul and Aishah are looking to a bright future ahead.
“Just be positive and endure the challenges with a strong heart, insya Allah success will be yours,” they said as the conversation ended.