Who doesn’t want to smell great all day long? Despite using perfumes and colognes, there’s still one smell you can’t seem to eliminate – and that’s the smell of your pits! Armpit smell is a common concern among many people. The odour might make you feel extremely self-conscious and turn off others.
For some, a daily bath does not bring an end to the problem, and they must continue to work on it, beyond the post-shower deodorant-talcum regimen, because deodorants just cover the odour, not prevent it. Despite using numerous types of deodorants, you may still be unable to rid yourself of that foul stench, and certain components of the product may actually make matters worse!
Well, if you’re facing a similar situation, there’s some good news in store just for you!
Meet Ivor and Meng, two Malaysian entrepreneurs selling all-natural deodorants. Yep, you read that right – ‘all-natural’. But how did it all begin for them?
Ivor and Meng were both lawyers – yet they were passionate about business and personal care. They could tell from the first year of law school that they weren’t cut out for it, but they still harboured hope that it would all be of worth someday.
It just so happened that Meng had been dealing with severe body odour, which he had difficulty getting rid of. Meng had tried a slew of deodorants, but none of them had helped him get rid of his foul stench. He was sensitive to aluminium and baking soda, which were used in several of the deodorants he tried. So Meng decided to MAKE a natural deodorant that genuinely worked to eliminate body odour – using only natural components. Finally, in May 2020, in the thick of the epidemic, HYGR — a pun on the Greek term hygrós, which means cleanliness — was established, with the Smell Be Gone deodorant as its debut product.
Then we have Ivor, who teamed up with Meng to produce all-natural lip balm for her chapped lips. Ivor also wanted some colour to complement her skin, hence, she started working on a lip balm recipe. And for us girls, we have tonnes of make up stuff – but sometimes, we look for something that’s all-in-one! That’s exactly what Ivor had in mind. According to Options, Ivor wanted a product that could serve as both a go-to lipstick and a moisturising balm without requiring too much work. Combining these two functions, Ivor came up with her very first natural tinted lip balm in coral red.
Meng and Ivor did everything themselves, from production to packaging, until they hired a local manufacturer to work on a better recipe for their products a few months later. They assisted in perfecting and stabilising the prior formula so that they could provide a better experience for their clients.
What makes this product unique is that even their packaging is eco-friendly! Unlike certain deodorant and lip balm brands, HYGR meets strict criteria for achieving the most environmentally-friendly packaging possible. Instead of using plastic bubble wrap, honeycomb paper wrap is used to differentiate smells on deodorants and lip balms. Also, the brand engraves its logo onto its products’ packaging, rather than pasting printed plastic stickers on them. So, you not only get a bunch of goodness from the ingredients, but in a way, you are doing a favour for nature. How cool is that?
Here’s the bigger question. How did it became viral ?!
It’s a great start on making your own products at home – but it will only be worthwhile when you show your products to the world. Ivor, who works full-time as a social media video producer, thinks the most crucial aspect to concentrate on when marketing a company is selecting the proper social media platform to reach the ideal audience. Customers are more receptive to the brand on TikTok than on other platforms, which is surprising.
@hygr.my Apologies for any delays as I only have 2 hands for 500+ orders 💀😩🇲🇾 THANK YOU SO MUCH #hygrmy #smallbusiness #lipbalmmalaysia ♬ At first I was like – Benny boi
In May 2021, an unforgettable day for the duo, one of their Tiktok videos went viral overnight, and 300 lip balms were sold in under an hour! That’s incredible! And because of the positive feedback from their clients, the pair has been able to extend their line of natural clean beauty products, while also improving their recipe and packaging.
As much as this duo is doing wonderfully in their business, let’s not forget the hardships they face. One obvious thing about being Asian is that not everyone is ‘passion-oriented’. For both of them, there were high expectations from their respective families. I mean, it must be a shocking thing – one minute you’re all ready to be a lawyer and suddenly, ‘poof’, you’re into business!
Without the assistance of their families, the two utilised the little earnings from their pupillage to launch the company. The pair explained that their families have finally come around to HYGR after over two years. Ivor was able to hand out what she refers to as a “fat angpao” to illustrate her achievement during Chinese New Year (CNY). According to Vulcan Post, Meng explained that it’s difficult to convince traditional parents with words and only your actions – but results can convince them. That was one hell of a big move, don’t you think?
@ivor_xianz British food in Malaysia 🇲🇾? #makanlokal #britishfood #ivortrying #expatinmalaysia ♬ thuggish ruggish boneeee – mel
Apart from this thriving business, Meng still practices law in his own firm; and Ivor is more into content creating. You can check out her TikTok and Instagram feeds for amazing content that will blow your minds. Most of her content is about places in Malaysia she visited, which I think is something very handy for fellow Malaysians and travellers. Since she’s gotten the hang of it, many brands and companies have been sponsoring her.
Both Meng and Ivor had no clue how far social media would take HYGR, but they embraced it wholeheartedly. Their present objective is to develop a line of natural personal care goods, with the hope of replacing everyone’s daily self-care routine with items that are packed sustainably.
Well, let’s hope for the very best for this amazing duo. Kudos!