#selbsseries | 4 learning points on our 4th birthday

Salam Ladies,

It’s the first day of Ramadhan, and I’m feeling so so drained. Weather was hot and I really couldn’t get much work done let alone try do some ibadah. 

I was supposed to write a blog last week about our HYPE Raya collective but time wasn’t kind to me. Post event, I was really burnt out till me and Huda even forgot that a few days ago we turned 4. Yes, 4 years of pure dedication, hard work, tears of joy and  frustration. I cannot believe I’ve been running Lully Selb for that long. How do I feel about this? To be honest; it’s a mix of satisfaction, extreme TIREDNESS, a bit of disbelieve and more of..... what’s next.. 

Typically, during our anniversary, we share good news and our achievements. But I thought I wanna get a little bit more personal and share with you the real struggles and breaking point moments for me this past 4 years. 

1) Every Ramadhan’s struggle 

Each time we meet Ramadhan, its a battle between making time for Allah and making money for dunya. Raya season is when our sales is at its peak and we get so so busy everyday, running the operations, doing the marketing and most of the time we forget the importance of Ramadhan. Days get even crazier when I try to bake some kueh, run errands for the home, get Raya ready etc. 

I sometimes question my intentions for this month. What are my priorities? How do I schedule my day and not get too exhausted? What can I let go?

Im still searching for answers to my own questions but if there is one little shout out I have for entrepreneurs; if you ever wanna start a business - be prepared to face this Dilemma. Be prepared that at some point, the struggle breaks you, you feel so lost that you feel like quitting. Thankfully, with some doas, I usually get back on track and try to move on with a clearer vision and intention. The whole idea is to get up whenever you fall deep.  

2) Bank account hitting the zero amount

In the span of 4 years, I have to be real and tell you managing the funds of the business is not easy. When you think you are investing on marketing events, the sales turn out is so poor. We had our instances esp the first 2 years where funds were getting so low, we had to skip our allowance for that month. Just so to sustain the business. Alhamdulillah we secured some government funding and it helped us stay a float for the next months. Just a rule of thumb, always have weekly checks on your funds, project your expenses and alway buffer some balance just in case sales targets are not met. For example - if you have $3000 in funds, spend maximum of $1500 in goods and marketing instead of all that you have. 

3) Unexpected problems come in your way

This is a VERY common thing we deal with everyday. They say, entrepreneurship is all
about the hustle, to me it’s hustling through the rough and tough days. Just to share with you some specific examples. We had planned our Raya photoshoot that Sunday, all models booked, photographer and even videographers from Malaysia arranged to come. The day before the shoot, our samples have not arrived. That morning we checked online and the tracker said - on its way. But as the hour goes by, the samples were not seen. We got so panicked, called Fedex so many times just to make sure we will get the parcel in time. We were even told that the parcel may get delayed and will only reach following week. Crazy or what. I remember making doa so hard and Alhamdulillah we got our samples just about 5pm, shoot next day 10am. And luckily, samples turned out fine. Phew. 

Despite these struggles we faced, there were definitely some highs and achievements along the way. More importantly, with the rising competition in the fashion scene, we choose to collaborate and support other women led brands. Which was why we organised HYPE Raya, a collective showcase of our homegrown labels. Here’s some photos captured during the event. 

Last but not least, happy 4 years to us. Thank you for all your support and love, purchasing our prints that we create for you. If you haven’t noticed, we’re doing 40% off for our modern Malay women collection. Click here to shop the looks. 

Ps: May Allah make your Ramadhan full of blessings, gratitude and forgiveness. For mamas out there, our go getter women and those who are going through ur daily struggles, sending you all the positive vibes and doas.


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