These Law Graduates Created A Skincare Line With Over 60,000 Followers On TikTok
From uncertainty to triumph: The creation of HYGR turned these law degree holders into successful entrepreneurs
Originating from Butterworth, Penang, Ivor and Meng both pursued degrees in the legal field before deciding to start a business venture.
After finishing the final year of their degree and the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in the UK, the couple then moved on to successfully complete their pupilage training.
Returning to Malaysia, they were unsure of the possibility of continuing down this path, as a significant business idea was brewing to bloom soon enough.
Like many other people, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Ivor and Meng to take a serious look at their future
After losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo reflected on their entrepreneurial dreams and how the lockdown all across Malaysia may have been the secret to embarking on their wildest adventure yet: creating HYGR.
Meng described his interest in online businesses years prior to HYGR's conception, "I used to work in drop shipping in the early years of my degree. After awhile, I brought Ivor on board, but I discontinued the venture after Ivor and I chose to complete the final year of our degree, and take up the BPTC course in the UK."
With this passion burning, and nothing but time on his hands, Meng considered multiple options when deciding what his enterprise would be.
"[I] wanted to find a product that would provide value to our customers, solve a problem, and would also be available for recurring phases," said Meng. After a few brainstorming sessions, deodorant was chosen to become the face of HYGR.
Embarking on this journey, the duo mentioned how they needed financial independence to support themselves, and to contribute towards a budding HYGR. Little did they know, tackling the task of finding a full-time job would be strenuous and taxing.
"[We] applied to 20 to 30 law firms around Kuala Lumpur and Penang. After several months, [I] started my law journey as a civil litigator at a small litigation firm, while Ivor landed a job in Puchong as a videographer and video editor," said Meng in this interview with SAYS.
It was through their full-time jobs that Meng and Ivor were able to accumulate startup capital to continue the success of HYGR.
With no connections or experience in the cosmetic chemistry industry, Ivor and Meng had many challenges when creating HYGR
Getting candid about their biggest struggles, the duo told this SAYS writer, "None of us knew anything about production, including that which required expert chemical knowledge."
While marketing was an easier aspect of the process, finding individuals who also had prior experience and comprehension of brand strategy took time and effort.
As law graduates, Ivor and Meng were forthright about the benefits of bringing the lessons they've learnt in the world of law into the world of business and branding.
"We are more aware of the rules and regulations when it comes to intellectual properties and corporate related matters."
For the area of legal protection, the troubles of setting up HYGR was reduced to a minimum, an added advantage for those who know the law in depth.
Though beginning with natural deodorants, HYGR has now moved on to lip balms, that is among their most popular products to date
Listed as 100% natural, vegan, and cruelty-free, HYGR's message to the world is clear and important
"The initial idea was to stand out from other drug store products that might have nasty ingredients in them that may cause irritation(s) to the skin," said Meng.
Leveraging on filling the missing common product in the market, HYGR's products possess some of the best formulas when it comes to Malaysian skin and body products.
Providing an analogy on the behind-the-scenes works of HYGR, Meng told us, "Basically, [it's] the same ideation of how cooking at home is better than eating out at a restaurant because you know you can add the best ingredients, regardless of compromising the quality."
They have even expanded to lavish Face & Hair Oil Glow sets, which cater to five different skin types, and are suitable for both men and women!
Accumulating more than 60,000 followers on TikTok, the use of social media as a key marketing tool could not be understated by the duo
While taking a risk is not something new for Ivor and Meng, understanding the algorithm of social media has definitely contributed to their success as a brand.
"All the content we made on TikTok [has] generated sales and engagement organically. In terms of keeping creative, [we] keep up with the trends and integrate our brand in a unique way and post consistently."
Currently holding an estimate of 2.5 million likes on TikTok and over 15,000 followers on Instagram, their determination and persistent progress has led them to continual success.
They even made a hilarious TikTok in response to Kim Kardashian's rant to "get your a** up and work."
Selling over 30,000 products thus far, HYGR's popularity has allowed the brand to start shipping internationally
Noting their achievements, Ivor and Meng understand how the mechanisms of social media, especially TikTok, pushed HYGR to travel over international waters.
"As soon as our TikTok went viral, particularly when one of our videos got more than one million views, the algorithm would push the video to international audiences... [T]hat was when we got more enquiries from international customers."
Having sold more than 15,000 units of lip balm and 10,000 units of deodorant thus far, the duo have had a hand in contributions to creating a healthier environment, "Imagine all the plastic packaging we've saved from polluting the environment."
Staying true to their all-natural message, the sophisticated yet simple design of their packaging has become a staple for HYGR.
They even have drawstring pouch bags that make it easy to bring their products on vacations or when you're travelling!
Say goodbye to plastic bags and hello to sustainable packaging.
When asked what advice they'd give other young entrepreneurs interested in starting their own brand, the duo had this to say:
Keep an open mind and heart along the way
Crediting an eagerness to learn, the couple mentioned that other young entrepreneurs should try different things, and not shy away from asking silly questions.
"Every person you meet can bring something new that you can learn from, which could be beneficial to your business as well."
Cautiously approaching unexpected trials, Meng mentioned that mistakes are part of the process of creating a successful brand.
"No matter how much research you have done, or how much you prepare for your business, something unexpected will always be there... [It's] part of the process to keep finding solutions whenever there [are] hiccups in the brand."
Achieving so much success in such a short period of time, HYGR's international acclaim is only growing day by day
In asking where Ivor and Meng see HYGR in five years, they had this to say, "Our aim is to have as many customers as possible have eco-friendly products on their dressing tables."
With an intention to raise environmental awareness and to convert the mindsets of people to be more eco-friendly with the times, their international exposure has done nothing short of allowing them to get closer to their goal.