F ounder of Malaysia’s hottest new hair spot, COCOdry, Kim May Chee has always envisioned herself creating a business that not only focuses on money and profit but to give purpose and to positively impact society too! “I started COCOdry with the purpose to inspire and empower women by instilling positivity and selfconfidence to step out of their comfort zone and be brave enough to chase their dreams. The ‘COCO’ in COCOdry actually stands for COnfidence on the outside & COnfidence on the inside.” a new category in Malaysian beauty industry is quite rewarding. With the concept of a drybar still fairly new in Malaysia, how did you find the confidence to launch COCOdry? When you start a business with the right purpose, you’re being pulled to do it, not something you have to push yourself to do. It’s not a bed of roses. I admit, every time I pitched my idea and someone prominent from the beauty industry told me that this won’t work, my confidence fades a little. But, it’s my inability to take ‘no’ for an answer and the thought of me living in regret motivates me further! It took me a flight to the UK and a year of market research to validate the idea. Surrounding myself with people who believed in me helped too! So what made you decide to open and launch COCOdry? There’s this driving force and excitement I get from being an entrepreneur. I’ve always wanted to start a business that resonates with the values that I believe in women empowerment, community building and sustainability. Starting COCOdry was really by chance, and after a year of research, I found that there was a gap in the market back home. Being able to impart those values by creating — How would you like COCOdry to shape the Malaysian beauty scene? I’d like to be known for the differences that COCOdry has made in women’s lives through our initiatives building an inclusive community, sustainable products and women empowerment and hopefully inspires more beauty brands to do the same. Also, when I first started I was told that this industry was war and I’ll be eaten alive with my ‘naiveness’. I really want to make a difference in the industry and that’s to create a more amicable environment and lift each other up through cross-collaboration. If we can succeed, this would set a mark in the beauty industry that we can all do well by supporting each other and doing good! — KIM MAY CHEE, Founder of COCOdry Any words of advice to young Malaysian’s out there who wish to start a business in beauty? Just start and don’t look back. Not enough experiences? Learn along the way! Not enough capital? Raise them!’ Taking calculated risks – it can really pay off and open so many doors you’d never imagined. What’s the worst that could happen? Failure? To me, failure is the stepping stone to success as long as we get back up. Also, the younger you are the less you have to lose! Ask yourself, if now is not the best time to put yourself out there, will you ever do it? Make your future self proud! Predict the landscape of the Malaysian beauty industry in the next 5 years? In the next 5 years, there will be a rise of even more innovative and sustainable local brands making a mark internationally. The possibility is really endless, especially with technology.For online beauty brands, it’s to go offline to create a touchand-feel experience for customers. For offline businesses like COCOdry, it’s putting a digital layer on it, such as on-demand services, e-commerce and app-controlled beauty devices. Also, I can see Malaysia native ingredients sweeping the beauty industry off its feet as the demand of natural and organic products continue to increase. 67 May 2020 MARIECLAIRE.COM.MY
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