Tell us more about your Carousell business.
My wife and I run a local label called krlbrands. We sell custom made home decor products. These products are designed by us. We also upcycle old materials to make them new again.
Above: Map of Johor, christmas cushion
Are you selling on Carousell full-time or part-time?
We are doing this part-time. I am an engineer by day, and my wife is a geologist.
How did you get started?
I started my first online business in 2008 selling my graphic designs.
At that time, there was no Carousell and I was selling my designs on Facebook.I was single at that time and had no experience in design. But I was so intrigued by design, I taught myself by learning online and getting inspiration from other designers. As an outlet, I would just showcase my designs on Facebook, and I started getting requests from my friends. 2008 – 2013 were the years of learning, and setting the foundations of what would later become a business.
In 2013, I decided to venture into product design – such as home decor.
Interestingly, my mother is a tailor. She often had leftover cloth from making clothes. I collected her leftovers and made them into crafts like cushions, knick knacks and more. I enjoyed the process of upcyling and making the old new again. 2013 was the year I started investing more into this hobby.
When did you join Carousell and what’s the story behind?
We joined Carousell in early 2015. It was also the year I married my wife.
How did you find out about Carousell?
My wife and I had a booth at a flea market in Johor. We saw that our neighbour at the next booth had an empty table with just flyers. Out of curiosity, we asked more and we found out that they were selling on Carousell and directing their business online!
As an entrepreneur, we also wanted to explore and try a new platform. At first, we thought Carousell was more for preloved fashion. But after looking in the “Art and Crafts” category, we saw that there were not many sellers. This was when we realised that there was an opportunity.
How has your experience been on Carousell so far?
Before Carousell, I sold primarily on Facebook and Instagram. These two mediums are not so suitable for businesses, especially back then. The user experience lacked the features needed for selling.
I found Carousell’s features helpful for sellers– from the “reserved” button to chatting, I like how Carousell makes the selling experience seamless.
How do you handle a full-time job and your business?
It’s really with passion. In the day I work, and when I go home I design. During lunch hour I reply customers, and on the weekends we do postage. But I love what I do and this keeps me going.
We do all our production in our house, and even have a designated “creative room”.
How was Carousell been as a source of income?
It is different for every month. On a good month, I earn up to RM 300. What we do is considered a niche market, and it requires time to customise each product.
What do you use the money for?
Honestly, we use it to sustain our cost of living. If we have extra money, we buy from other makers as well – such as props that we use for our photoshoot. I want to support and give back to the makers community. So this is my way of giving them a shout-out.
Where do most of your sales come from?
Right now Carousell is the platform that brings in the most sales for us. We have about 5,000 followers on Carousell. Unlike Instagram, these are potential customers and not just commenters.
The people who buy from us are from all over Malaysia – mostly from KL, Selangor and Sarawak. In Johor, we don’t get as many customers. This trend and aesthetic has yet to pick up here. But being a born and bred Johorean, I hope it catches on.
What are your future plans for krl brands?
I hope that in 10 to 15 years we can open up a physical store in Johor or KL. We also hope to venture more into event decorations – such as designing a picnic set or a candle-light dinner.
Check out their Carousell profile here: https://my.carousell.com/krlbrands/