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The Chief Visionary, A Go-Getter, Food & Animal Lover, your Chef & Ninja Mom.

Falling in love with the Earth Care Soaps!

with care

We’ve never met Samantha Tan in person yet.

But you will agree that her booth is like this beautiful garden, bursting with pastel colors with images of flowers and all things lovely! And this triggers our curiosity to learn more about her journey as a business woman.

Here’s an interesting interview that we have done with her recently. Ever friendly and humble (we’ve communicated strictly via email for a couple of months now), we look forward to meet her (in person!) in our upcoming “Be Ohsem, Wear PINK!” event at The ENCORP Strand Mall (Kota Damansara) on 31st October & 1st November 2015 (10am to 8pm).

Affectionately called as Sam, find out what makes her motivated to embark on her entrepreneurial journey and what drives her to be where she is today.

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HP: Hi, introduce yourself to the member and what do you currently do?

Sam: Hello readers and members, my name is Samantha and I am currently the owner, and soap maker of Earth Care Soaps. I make soaps and an advocate for natural green lifestyle for a living.

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HP: What did you do previously and how long did you realize that you wanted to do something on your own?

Sam: I was previously a media planner at one of Malaysia’s biggest media agency, Group M for 5 years. From the start ever since I graduated, I always knew that one day I will be focused on doing something on my own that I have passion with. At that time, I have yet to discover what it is yet, so I explored a few ideas such as making crafts and cards, baking cupcakes etc. But it wasn’t really my real passion and my work in those areas isn’t particularly amazing. It wasn’t until 2013 that I realized I had a passion and interest in soap making, and I found that I was really good at it.

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HP: How long have you left your full time job to focus on this? And how long were you in the business until you earn your first real income?

Sam: It has been 1.5 years plus since I left my day job to focus on this business, and it took me about 8 months to do research and development to setting up my first pop-up shop in Publika for me to earn my first real income from this business. It was the sweetest success to be rewarded for your hard work, and this is the reason why I stick with the business!

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HP: Why did you choose to do this business? What drives you?

Sam: I went into this line of business because it relates to me very much on a personal level. I have always coveted and loved organic products very much, but unfortunately the cost is too overwhelming for a middle income wage earner like me. I realized that the majority of people cannot afford most organic skincare products in the market, especially as most of them are high end brands. Affordable natural skincare products were scarce back then and hardly that many.

It also dawned upon me that most people are not particularly concerned about the ingredients that go into their skincare products and how it affects our health and the environment, until something adverse happens to them like cancer or skin allergy for example.

Then they start to become consciously aware of what they put on their skin, in their mouth, and so forth. We can prevent this from happening by actively educating them and providing the necessary information. This has become my mission to inspire others to lead an organic, green, and healthy lifestyle and to cultivate love for our environment.

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HP: Explain more about the business itself. What are you currently focused on in the business? Do you have any employees? Where do you operate your business?

Sam: Basically Earth Care Soaps is a Malaysian brand of handmade natural bath, beauty, and skincare products, and is focused on delivering affordable chemical-and-preservative-free products that are safe for the skin and the environment.

Our mission is to:

– Inspire an honest, healthy and green lifestyle.

– Cultivate love for Mother Nature and environmental awareness.

– Encourage the use of affordable organic and natural products.

I am currently focused on creating brand awareness through various online and on-ground campaigns to reach out to consumers.

In terms of employees and business operations, I do not have full time staff at the moment as I handle everything on my own with the help from my family. However, I do have local college / university students working with us on a part time basis to help promote the brand during our road shows and pop-up shops around Klang Valley. The business is currently operated at home which serves as a mini production factory and office.

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HP: What kind of satisfaction did you get out of this business?

Sam: The best part of this business is when you realize that you’ve made a significant difference in other people’s life. People from all walks of life giving testimonials that their skin has improved, that they are starting to be more consciously aware of what they put on their skin, and understand how chemicals in skincare can affect our environment adversely. That effectively puts a smile on me, because I know that my efforts are not in vain.

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HP: How and where do you foresee the direction of the business you are in?

Sam: My aim for this business is to be an environmental and women-centered entity in the future, focusing on building a sustainable green culture; and building ourselves as a platform for women empowerment and women in need. We have just kick-started our long term recycle campaign earlier last month to educate and encourage people to get into the habit of recycling, and our team of part timers is all women in colleges and universities. We are also planning on several CSR programs involving women society.

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HP: What do you aspire to achieve?

Sam: On a personal level, I aspire to be a more a confident, driven, and passionate individual and I want to be able to continue to help others, especially those in difficult or unfortunate situations because I can empathize with them. I am very fortunate to have been born into a good family, and have many opportunities in life to achieve my dreams so it’s time to give back to our society.

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HP: How do you keep yourself motivated and driven?

Sam: There are bad and good days in one’s life, everyone is bound to feel demotivated at times but the most important thing to know is that it is okay to feel this way. We are humans after all, and nothing is perfect.

Happiness is a choice – you can either wallow in self-pity and enter self-destruction mode, or bounce off the negative thoughts and get back stronger. This is also the reason why we have recently included words of wisdom posts every Monday on our Facebook and Instagram, it is where we share inspirational and motivational quotes to help motivate and make someone’s day better.

I have my fair share of bad days as well, and I cope by sharing my problems with my family, partner and friends. In order for me to stay motivated and driven, I often check out good quotes on Instagram, listen to music, read up on inspirational articles, or relax and unwind in the garden.

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HP: Any challenges or setbacks faced while you pursue your goal?

Sam: Oh we have plenty of challenges and setbacks. I think it is normal in every business, especially at the start.

Our major challenges were dealing with cash flow and production – keeping up with the demand. It is of course, challenging when demand exceeds supply but it is a good type of challenge for us to work even harder and keeps us on our toes.

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HP: What are your daily activities like?

Sam: I start off the day by checking my emails and online orders, and sort them out before lunchtime. After lunch, it depends on my weekly schedule where I balance out production days, postal deliveries, meetings, inventory and supply updates, and outlet checks.

In the evenings, it’s time to check the emails again and complete some paperwork. I try to end work by 7pm before dinner and spend the rest of the evening catching up with family, partner and friends, or just have some me-time on some days.

Weekends are mostly for bazaars or events, and on some weekends when I am off duty, I spend time with the important people in my life.

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HP: How do you keep your business afloat?

Sam: I love the fact that I can be as creative as I like in many aspects of this business, and soap-making actually is very therapeutic for me. Another important thing for me is customers’ feedback regardless whether good or bad. These factors motivate me to drive myself further.

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HP: What do you think about HerPortal.com?

Sam: I think this is a great site for women of all seasons to connect with each other, and it’s especially important that women are aware of such platform for job opportunities and networking. I like the fact that Moms4Project.com is like Jobstreet but for ladies only. Now that’s Girl power!

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HP: Do you currently have a website/social media page for customers to visit & contact you?

Sam: We are very active on social media, and you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/earthcaresoaps

Instagram & Twitter: @earthcaresoaps

Email: hello@earthcaresoaps.com

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HP: What do you think of the future of this business moving forward?

Sam: There are exciting business plans in store for us in the future and we plan to increase our awareness amongst our target audience, as well as aspects of innovation and sustainability. In the long run we are looking to have our first flagship store in Malaysia.

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HP: Do you any superhero/people that inspires you in your life?

Sam: My mom is my biggest inspiration. When I was younger, she used to make me soft toys, clothes for my Barbie dolls, paper dolls and their clothes, and even sew party dresses for me. Mom is always good in art and craft, cooking and especially sewing. She even makes the cushion covers, pillow throw covers, and curtains for our house! I know I can never match up to her standard – she is my real life superhero and role model.

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HP: How do you spend time with your family?

Sam: I am very close with my mom, and we often go shopping and eating together. Weekends are for family dinners, and we try to make a family holiday once a year either locally or overseas. Family gatherings are important to me and I usually block off my schedule for that.

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HP: What do you think the challenges that Women/Moms are facing today, and how you think that can be resolved?

Sam: Women today are increasingly busy and are often expected by society to be multi tasking in terms of juggling a career and family. While women work as hard as men, sometimes the remunerations and recognitions they receive are not on par with men of the same role / workload. Moms have it even harder – they get lower number of maternity days, ill-equipped offices such as lack of proper rooms and fridges for expressing breast milk, and they need to find the balance to cope with work and family.

Organizations need to understand these issues and provide the necessary facilities for working mothers such as proper rooms for expressing breast milk while working, flexible working hours and work from home options, provide nursery care for babies, children, and toddlers in workplace, etc. This in turn, creates a positive work experience for mothers, and enhances the employee-organization relationship.

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HP: What is your advice for those Women/Moms who want to come out and do their own business?

Sam: For women/moms who would like to embark on your own business journey, don’t be afraid to try. You may be worried about whether you can handle this, feel inexperience, or feel guilty of neglecting your children for a business.

But guess what? You will never know unless you try it. Start somewhere, even if it is 2 hours of your time every day. Read up on articles, do your own research, and get your inspirations from the internet such as Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Most importantly, don’t feel intimidated by the work of others because every one of us is a unique individual and your work is just as good as the rest of us.

Don’t give up on your dreams, even if it may take you months or years to achieve. This is my personal believe and my motivation in life – don’t ever give up no matter how difficult the situation is.

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HP: Can you recall in those days how you started your business, did you fund it with own fund or loan? And how long was your journey like until you feel your success?

Sam: This business is funded entirely on my own without any loans. We keep the cost low by operating from home, hiring part timers, and sourcing some of our raw materials directly from supplier, rather than third party.

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HP: Back in those days how do you market your services?

Sam: In the beginning, it was through word of mouth and recommendations from family and friends. Since we are a small entity, we cannot justify ad spends in mainstream media vehicles such as newspapers, magazines, radio, etc. Instead, we partner with online influencers and advertise to relevant audience on Facebook to market our products and services. We also have several business partners to market our products on-ground.

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HP: Do you have any memorable experience in your business that you will never forget?

Sam: My most memorable experience was the first ever successful partnership with an outlet, Ben’s Independent Grocer at Publika. It may seem like a small achievement, but to me, it is one step closer to my goals and dreams.

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HP: Thank you so much for spending some time to do this interview with us Sam. We wish you the best in your future endeavor!

Sam: My pleasure and Thank you to HerPortal too!

 

All Products 41
Looks too good to use!
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Come get your hands on these!
All Products 45
Essential oils from Earth Care Soaps.
All Products 56
Must try body scrubs!
Story by , posted on 27th October 2015 in Inspiring Women

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