Malaysia is currently a place full of creative-minded people! Who can think of mixing arts with culture and put the combination of both on a silkscreen can make it look stunningly beautiful?
Well, you can get that at Bingka KL!
BingkaKL: Whose idea was it?
We actually started off with wanting to make batik apparel as we wanted to put a contemporary and modern twist to the current designs available from the local batik industry.
However, after much trial and error, we found that it was too taxing for us to continue as the fashion industry moved very fast and it was difficult for the artisans we worked with to be open to new ideas in terms of designs and even colours. We also were not familiar with batik making and were unable to do batik ourselves.
After some thought, we decided that silkscreen might be the way to go. It was used by t-shirt printers to do designs onto t-shirts and fabric material. The process was quick and easy to learn. So we signed up for our first class at Raksasa Studio and got our first introduction to Silkscreen.
Seeing that fashion was also too fast-moving, we decided to work on souvenir items instead. Malaysia has a very small pool of great souvenirs and it was a market we could see ourselves filling up the gap. And from there that’s how Bingka was formed.
To make quality handcrafted souvenir items from fabric medium with emphasis on the silkscreen method.
How was Bingka Created?
We were brainstorming cute local names to use that didn’t sound too difficult for foreigners to pronounce and would resonate well with locals and tourists alike.
The idea of using a kuih was to be timeless like kuih with a rich heritage but still being relevant to modern-day and times.
Hot Topic: Raise Funding!
We are mostly self-funded, so we started small, selling 10 pouches first. Then 20, then 30 and soon. And using our own savings with a little bit of capital borrowed from family.
We did not overproduce as we only made items with whatever was available to us at the time. And from there we scaled up accordingly. It was a big learning curve trying to balance between producing just enough, or producing a large scale of stock so we could distribute to a wider range of customers.
But we held back and started small, as we knew we needed to control our expenses and also allocate funds accordingly to the important aspects such as production and research.
What are the Marketing Tactics?
There wasn’t much marketing involved initially.
The best decision was going out and joining markets, as from there we could interact with our customers and get feedback on the ground. It helped shape our research and also quickly change and alter designs to suit customer needs.
Sometimes as a brand we forget we are designing for our customers, and not ourselves. Joining markets and bazaars helped a lot to keep us grounded and also improve ourselves in terms of design. In the end, it’s the returning customers that help build a brand, we owe a lot of our wonderful fans and customers that keep coming back season to season and it really keeps us going with the enthusiasm they provide!
Ideas come from all sorts of places. Sometimes from travelling, the people we meet, the food we eat, the architecture.
Ideas are endless, usually, we sit down and discuss what elements we’d like to try out and any things we saw or were inspired by.
The Best Part as Entrepreneurs
I guess the excitement of not knowing what will come next.
Business is always evolving and you won’t always be stuck doing the same things. One day it’s sourcing, then manufacturing, consultation, there are so many aspects that a business can take on and it’s really only you that limits yourself.
Unforgettable Moment for Bingka?
There were so many milestones that we’ve had since we started, but I think one of the most precious ones are when a customer comes up to us during a market or bazaar and says “I love your stuff so much that I had to come back for more!’
Would Bingka Do Anything Differently?
I don’t think I would do anything differently as each mistake helped us learn and grow to what we are today.
If anything, maybe we would have planned our finances and production a bit better so we could have fully utilised our manpower instead of grasping at straws so much.
Bingka Greatest Inspiration?
Inspiration comes in many forms and I don’t think I could pinpoint one particular person. Maybe one notable person would be Nala, how she continues to be relevant and stays true to her principles for design and products.
Things Bingka KL Would Do With A Magic Stick If They Have One!
1. Ending wars
2. Ending world hunger
3. Saving our Nature and Wildlife
Are you looking for a gift for your family members, nieces, nephews or friends?
You are on the right page! Bingka KL is the perfect and ideal gift that will put a smile on their faces.
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