If It Is Worth Exploring, It Is Worth Doing!
Updated: Jan 28, 2022
Thank you for supporting the B40 vendors we featured on our Christmas Gift Box project through your purchase of the gift boxes.
GG Christmas Gift Box project was born from our conversations with a few local vendors who were part of the Entrepreneurship program conducted by PRUKasih (an initiative by Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad), in collaboration with Taylor’s College and Yayasan Generasi Gemilang (GG). They shared with us the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns on their businesses. This spurred us to explore the possibility of collaborating with local B40 vendors to put together affordable and fun Christmas gift boxes for sale as gifts to friends and families.
While we have been running Christmas campaigns in previous years to raise funds for children in need, this was a new venture for us in that we have never tried marketing and selling products before. However, the team believed that it was worth exploring, especially with the reach that we have as an NGO. We had 2 objectives in mind:
To build awareness for the selected B40 vendors by giving them additional exposure through our platform and audience.
To create profitable income stream to boost their sales for December 2021 by purchasing their products for the Christmas gift boxes.
What We Did
In order to curate the gift boxes for Christmas, we approach potential vendors who were part of the entrepreneurship program or part of our family program to send in a proposal of the products that would be suitable for a gift box. Applying what they learnt in the program to their proposals, the vendors pitched their products. We narrowed down to 6 ladies, and curated 2 gift boxes (the Afternoon Tea Gift Box and the Pamper Me Gift Box) with a combination of offerings from each vendor.
More important than promoting the products and driving sales for these gift boxes, we wanted to also highlight the faces behind them. Through our interviews with them, we were struck by how these 6 ladies carried themselves. They were hardworking, eager to learn, eager to dream and, most importantly, very passionate about their craft. We walked away from the interviews feeling inspired, realizing that we have much to learn from them as well.
“Inshallah, kalau ada rezeki dan penambahan dalam pendapatan. Tetapi, yang penting, saya harap pihak pembeli akan berasa gembira dan puas dengan produk saya” (Translation: Inshallah, it would be great if I could earn some extra income. But more importantly, I hope the customers will be happy and satisfied with my product.”)
This was what one of the ladies told us when asked what she would like to see from this project. The others voiced out similar sentiments too. They were also keen on expanding their market out of their neighborhood to reach out to more potential customers. You can read more about their stories here. Two feature stories can also be found here and here.
The project ran for 5 weeks, with a focus on online marketing and word of mouth.
How Did It Turn Out
At the end of the project, a total of 55 gift boxes were sold, with the Afternoon Tea Gift Boxes being the more popular one among our buyers. One buyer even ordered 10 Afternoon Tea Gift Boxes!
When checking in with the 6 vendors, they informed us that participating in this Christmas Gift Box project gave them incremental sales of up to 60% on average for the month of December. This means that we were able to reach the objective that we set out to achieve, which was to help boost their income for the end of the year and to create more visibility to local businesses such as theirs. As their businesses have yet to fully recover from the pandemic and lockdowns, your purchases and support have helped them to end a very challenging year well.
Photos that we took of the ladies and their products were also given to them so they could use them for their own marketing efforts.
Always a First Time
As this was our first time running a project to collaborate with local B40 vendors to sell their products, it was a good learning experience for us. Some of the learnings we took away from the project were: the importance of curating the right combination of products and using the right method of delivery, especially for food items.
We believe that there is definitely value in collaborating with local vendors from the B40 community for similar projects down the road. We also appreciate the feedback that were given to us as it will help us and the vendors to improve in the future.
A heartfelt thank you again for your purchases and support during this Christmas Season. Let us continue to #supportlokal small businesses as we step into 2022.