CONVENIENCE IN A BALM
In this age of throwaway convenience, lugging a bottle of spray-on fragrance bottles can for some, be too much like hard work. The solution? Scented balm in cute handy-sized tin boxes that does not take up too much space in one’s purse or even shirt pocket.
Scented balms may not yet be a popular item but it is slowly gaining a following as it makes smelling good more convenient.
“It started with a thought, or a predicament that my partner and I faced,” says Niegel Alwis. “We like to smell smell fresh and feel good. The predicament we faced was actually having to lug something heavy like a glass perfume bottle wherever we went.”
The predicament we faced was actually having to lug something heavy like a glass perfume bottle wherever we went.
“As a guy, and someone who doesn’t carry a bag, a bottle wasn’t very practical. So we come up with something small, portable, easy to carry around - something that you can just apply as and when you need to,” says Alwis.
Alwis and his partner Kimberly Xavier co-founded Alwis&Xavier, a start-up selling scented balm made entirely from natural ingredients, like bee wax, shea butter and vitamin E.
“It’s easy to apply and I think the main aspect (selling point) of the balm is that it doesn’t contain alcohol which is very good for the Malay demographic due to religious reasons,” adds Alwis.
Alwis, who is a digital marketeer at Lion & Lion, admits to having a challenging time working full time and running the perfume business entirely from his own kitchen (The products are homemade).
“I would be lying if I said it was easy. It is long hours. After finishing my day job, I’d come home and work on the perfume business simultaneously but I think if you are passionate about something, you’ll put in the effort and strive to make it happen,” says the 29-year old.
The pair of friends took their product to the market in November 2018. The rely mostly on Instagram to market their products, as well as participating in flea markets.
“The toughest challenge initially was keeping up with the demand, especially over Christmas. Coming up with enough stock was hard because we had to create every single day.”
“But moving past Christmas, we have to now have sustain it. Christmas was a good season for us but actually sustaining the sales is something that we have to maintain,” says Alwis.