: Crafting a business success out of handmade gifts

Crafting handmade items, online-based business Kraftive could be one’s ideal place to look for affordable and customisable gifts.

Starting out with selling raw materials for do-it-yourself (DIY) handmade products, the humble business has now evolved to produce its own line of handcrafted products. 

Nurfatin Farhana, the hands behind Kraftive, began the business of making bath bombs and aromatherapy wax sachets. She had many positive responses from her clients with those products until one day she received a request for an order of bridesmaid gift boxes. 

“It was a challenge at first for it was our very first request, but Pinterest helped a lot. Ideas kept coming and finally, we made our first gift box and we received quite a huge response after although it was only 10 boxes. But it had already brought us joy and I could still feel it as if it happened yesterday,” said the entrepreneur. 

From then on, Kraftive made various newer handcrafted products that include candle melts, bath salts, handmade soap, healing lip balm as well as scented candles.

The idea of the home business came back in 2019 when the 27-year-old was working part-time with Kraftive offering workshops for making hand soaps from scratch.

“I wasn’t really interested in making soaps at that time but rather focused on the raw materials. Raw materials for making soaps are very hard to find in Brunei and from there, I was determined to open up an online shop that sells one,” said Nurfatin.

However, the direction of the business changed after a special request from a customer which led the business now to be known as an online gift box shop. 

Aside from providing the gift boxes, the brand also provides workshops for basic handmade product making such as candles, soaps and bath bombs. 

Running the business as a one-woman show with occasional help from family members, the entrepreneur wants to show that Bruneians can also make their own handmade products even with the lack of raw materials, not an excuse to not do it.

“Our products are mostly made from organic wax such as candles, candle melts, aromatherapy wax sachet. We are also selling bath bombs, bath salts that are good for body relaxation,” said the crafter. 

Kraftive is selling the candles and candle melt due to the trend of scented candles being popular nowadays and the aromatherapy wax sachets are made with unique designs with the use of dried flowers. 

The business is currently running via Instagram and they are grateful for the responses received, further encouraging them to grow from what it was before. 

With this business, the biggest challenge faced by the 27-year-old is the supply of raw materials. 

For the youthpreneur, it is difficult to find locally-sourced raw materials and need to be obtained from abroad which means a longer waiting time that could take about a week or a month just for the items to arrive. 

“When product demands increase, sometimes we have to stop taking orders due to unavailability of the raw materials,” said the owner. 

Although there are some challenges encountered, when the time comes, said the entrepreneur, she is keen to sell more raw materials to encourage more people to craft their own products while taking the lead to help Brunei achieve one of its Wawasan 2035 goals, creating more SMEs.

For her, the key to business growth is to never give up even in the hard times. When one plan fails, get back up and come up with another one and success will be found. 

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This article was first published on 12 February 2022 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 180 |  More stories here


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