Cosmetics and beauty has always been a subject of interest to her, however prior to the encouragement from her spouse, never did it cross her mind to make a living from it. Despite having little knowledge in business, she emboldened herself to take on the challenge. In a recent interview, Top 10 of Malaysia speaks to Nurul Ainaa Nadia Binti Mohd Reduzan, CEO of Coco Blanc Aura Malaysia on her background and her journey into cosmetic entrepreneurship.
Born and raised in Kuala Terengganu, Nurul Ainaa Nadia Binti Mohd Reduzan’s passion for make-up took off during her teenage years. This stayed with her as she pursued her studies at Kolej Matrikulasi Johor and later, at Maktab Perguruan Pulau Pinang, undergoing five years of training to follow in the footsteps of her parents who are both teachers. Graduating as a certified primary school teacher, her first posting was to one of the primary schools in Selangor as a science teacher.
“One fine evening, I was browsing for make-up products to buy for my personal use. When I told my husband what I wanted to buy, he suggested that I sell it too,” Ainaa explains. And so she did. In January 2015, she started to market products by Coco Blanc, a cosmetic brand inspired by Chanel and headquartered in Thailand. “I sell things that I use. They have been tried, tested and proven to bring positive outcomes. It baffles me how some people can sell things they would not use,” says Ainaa. Having made their mark in several Southeast Asian countries, Ainaa leads Coco Blanc in their venture into the Malaysian scene.
Starting off with a small capital, Ainaa promoted her first order of 100 units of Coco Blanc pressed powders through her personal social media pages. “My goal was to make sure that I sell them all within a month,” she reveals. It was no walk in the park as the first week saw no sales. However this didn’t stop the determined lady. She gained more knowledge by reading books by Tony Robbins, Fredrik Eklund, Bob Chapman, Rofl Dobelli and Simon Sinek and attended marketing courses. Recognizing the impact of internet trends, she utilized social media influencers to promote her product. This led to achieving her goal of selling 100 units within the first month.
Nevertheless, to obtain capital to expand, Ainaa personally sacrificed her gold jewellery. “I regard it as an investment,” she adds. Having sold 6,000 pressed powders since, the investment is justified. Eventually, Coco Blanc’s product selections grew to include stick foundations, eyeliners, mascaras and eyebrow pencils. As her business continued to grow, Ainaa was hard put to make an important decision. “It was difficult juggling the duty of a teacher while staying committed to my company,” she explains. After careful consideration, Ainaa resigned from being a teacher. “Initially, my parents were not too happy, but after seeing the progress, they are okay with it.”
Regarding her motivation in taking such a bold step, Ainaa explains that business fits her soul as she seeks challenges. In fact, her biggest challenge came in February 2016 when Coco Blanc counterfeit products reached the Malaysian market. “Customers were unhappy as some people were selling it at a cheaper price. Little did they know that those were fake,” she recalls. Following discussions with the directors in Thailand, the brand started using QR codes to easily verify products and that year, Coco Blanc Aura Malaysia achieved RM200,000 worth of sales.
2017 holds exciting plans for Coco Blanc Aura Malaysia as Ainaa reveals they are looking towards penetrating the Brunei market. In addition, more Coco Blanc products will be made available and there will be tutorials by popular figures on integrating them into make-up routines.
Her advice to those who are considering starting their own business is simple. “Just do it. Yes, you need to think, but not too much. Overthinking does not get the job done. You need to have the guts to do it.”