Before starting her own beauty line Bloom & Blossom, Ariel Wong was a beauty editor. Needless to say, this has given her a lot of exposure and experience when it comes to beauty products – having to write about them and reading all the latest news to keep herself abreast of what’s new and trendy.
This passion for beauty was also the inspiration behind her starting her own skincare line. “Thanks to my experience, I’ve gained considerable amount of knowledge about beauty and skincare. Being exposed to experts and actually talking to them was an advantage and this also led me to be naturally curious about what’s out there.”
What she was looking for in terms of a beauty line? Something simple yet effective. “I’ve always been interested in back-to-basic formulas consisting of the best ingredients from nature with zero use of chemicals as the way to real beauty and a minimalist approach to skincare,” shares Ariel.
To do this, she decided to return to her aromatherapy background armed with a qualification from the America NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) to establish Bloom & Blossom.
However, getting to where she is right now isn’t as simple. Naturally to start her own brand, there were several challenges like sourcing for the quality ingredients she wants to use as well as her manufacturing partner whom she can trust to create quality products for her customers. “There were a lot of research and sourcing, and then some more research before I decided on who and what I want to work with. Creating a beauty brand isn’t just about slapping my label on a few bottles; your customers have given you with that trust and therefore, you need to do them justice by giving them the very best,” shares Ariel.
It took Ariel one year to finally launch her first product – a hydrosol collection. “I was so excited but at the same time also very scared because I didn’t know what the reaction would be to my product as hydrosol is an aromatherapy product that is unfamiliar to most of Malaysians, ” shares Ariel. Bloom & Blossom’s Hydrosol Collection remains her bestseller till today.
Of course, like any business, it took some time for Bloom & Blossom to establish itself with loyal customers but today, Ariel is proud to share that she has a steady stream of users who swear by her products. “It takes more than just releasing new products. You need to also engage with your customers, creating content for them to give them some sense of belonging to the brand. There’s also a lot of customer servicing – for me, answering questions about how to use my products and educating my customers on proper skincare. People don’t see all the work that really goes into producing my own beauty brand but in all honesty, the same amount of effort in creating new products goes into ensuring customer satisfaction and marketing!” says Ariel.
Right now, she sells her items online via her website. This also proved to be an advantage during the pandemic as more and more people turned to online platforms to shop. Having a minimalist approach also attracted a lot of new customers during this time who want to focus on minimalising their lifestyle.
Owning a business is a round-the-clock effort. You don’t stop thinking about it and there’s always something to do or something to check off from your list!”
But Ariel would not have it any other way. The satisfaction of building something from scratch is a motivation to keep going. “I’ve already come this far and there’s even more that I can do. So there’s no resting on my laurels now; it’s just go, go, go,” says Ariel.
Her tip on how to start your own business? “Don’t try to deviate too much from what you are familiar with. My experience in the beauty industry has definitely given me that head start I need to start Bloom & Blossom. So I would advise you to look around you and consider the things that you are already good at to invest in. There’s no point wanting to start a bakery if you don’t even like baking in the first place!”