GMP Manufacturer & Raw Material Supplier. Pharmacist Owned

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Soaplab.. After 9 years.. A Reflection



This month its soaplab’s 9th year anniversary and my oh my; what a journey it has been..


It started out as survival. 


In december 2013, i found out that i was pregnant; and my pharmacy that i opened just less than a year before wasnt doing well. At that point of time i didnt know why but looking back; 2 major factors made me needing to ‘bungkus’. 

  1. coz of price war and marketing. I just couldnt beat the big guys
  2. I had the lowest profit margin coz of 1: and i used to give free skin treatments to ppl who cant afford; further bringing my profit down.

And so in december: i decided to close the pharmacy, and focus on my first trimester. 


While winding down the business; i had all these ingredients to make soaps and skincare (coz my pharmacy was specifically for skin related issue); so out of desperation; i started selling the ingredients online as thats the only platform i knew that worked for me. I had a nail polish online business before (Nailfiesta) which was doing well before i closed it down when i opened the pharmacy.


Now since many are not formulators; i started recording videos on how to use these ingredients and teaching people to make thier own cosmetics using natural safe ingredients.


Im not sure how; but somehow i feel like i probably contributed to the handmade cosmetics booming in Malaysia back then as there were not many suppliers like soaplab back then (unlike now there are hundreds in Shopee alone)


Few years down the road; i realised that there was a growing interest of people wnating to be entrepreuners; and i started leaning towards that. With my years of experiences and failures in business; i decided to groom the future entrepreuners; specifically in natural handmade cosmetics. 


It was fun while it lasted. I had spend my every waking moment being active in social media to help that it deteriorated my other aspects of life (yes i can get obsessed over it sometimes).


There were many that took advantage of this; including other suppliers riding on my knowledge and some even potrays to be soaplab to get more customers.


I guess leeches are everywhere; and i always thought its fine; coz karma always comes around.


But then covid came: and bam it just hurt us so so much. The leeches came and sucked the blood out from our business; price war everywhere,; people were using our medias and acting like they were us; forget trademarks and patent because we could never fight it out in court (one needs money to do that). 


And so; we just let it be, take a loser’s bow and moved on


One thing that the competitors cant do; was to take away our specially formulated bases, and readymades; coz this was formulated by me using all the experience i had from being a pharmacist for 14 yrs and so we focused on that instead.


Its true when people say; the darkest point is just before dawn; and so when we pivoted away from our core business (which was raw material supplier) to becoming cosmetic base suppliers and readmade product suppliers; we did well. Thank god i didnt wait for it to fail like my pharmacy🙏🏻🙏🏻


So well that we could open our GMP manufacturing facilicity. 


And now; lets see where that brings us.


Heres to 9 years of laughter, dreams, crying, and sleepless nights and many more to come.


If there is one person that i can attribute this sucess to (and why it was any different from the failed pharmacy) is this:

  1. my team. All soaplab’s staff who works endlessly and never complained even during covid when times were bleak.
  2. You guys. My community, my friends..if it wasnt for your support during these trying times; i dono where i would be today🥲


Thank you. Thank you so much for being there for us🙏🏻🙏🏻


If there is anything i could do to help you out; please let me know how i can with the expertise that i have


Ill try my very best to do what i can..


P/S: if you wanted to start business but not sure how etc; i have a fb grp u can join with videos guiding you step by step on how to start and what to do in terms of laws and regulations and marketing. Click here to join. 


❤️Nisha 


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