The historical past behind sure native meals and snacks isn’t usually considered, and even talked about. Possibly it’s not crucial to most of us, but it surely could possibly be argued that they’re part of tradition and needs to be preserved by means of reminiscence.
Jeslyn Ooi is somebody who feels strongly about this mission, and determined to advertise and educate Malaysians and people overseas on these tales in a quite distinctive means.
She creates lovely baggage and pouches impressed by Malaysian dishes along with her model, Comfortable Dumpy.
For instance, Jeslyn mentioned that many people might not know the origins of our conventional snack, Love Letters.
Kuih Kapit adopted the moniker “love letters” as some maidens would cover secret love notes in folded kuih kapit and toss them over the partitions of their beloved’s properties in order that the chaperones could be none the wiser.
“Commemorating the hidden story of affection letters in a contemporary context, there’s a hidden area within the kuih kapit pouches designed for patrons to insert their heat greetings inside its folds for his or her family members,” expressed Jeslyn.
Unwrapping our tales
As we’re blessed with all kinds of meals from a various ethnic neighborhood that displays our cultural heritage and roots, Jeslyn mentioned that she needed to inform the attention-grabbing tales behind a few of our favorite dishes with Comfortable Dumpy.
“I noticed a spot available in the market that I can faucet into with a singular proposition by arising with attention-grabbing and distinctive Malaysian items and souvenirs that promote our tradition in an attention-grabbing method,” she defined.
This prompted her to make artistic items of items comparable to handcrafted purses, pouches, baggage, soaps, and scented candles designed with a pinch of Malaysian flavour, if you’ll.
Other than simply utility, additionally they have merchandise which can be harking back to our conventional video games.
One among which is Comfortable Dumpy Batu Seremban which goals to revive the outdated conventional recreation, and can be designed after meals.
Their type of batu seremban has been reimagined into vibrant types of nasi lemak, nasi bungkus, Nyonya blue glutinous rice, rice dumplings from numerous cultures, ketupat, and an array of unusual flavours.
“In addition to enjoying with it, it serves as an attention-grabbing schooling medium in introducing our Malaysian meals tradition to youngsters while additionally performing as memorable keepsakes and items for adults,” mentioned Jeslyn.
Aside from desirous to share the tales behind our native delicacies with Malaysians, Jeslyn additionally needed her crafts to behave as souvenirs for vacationers to carry again dwelling.
“Vacationers can’t take again our Malaysian meals, however they’ll take again these attention-grabbing and practical items designed as a reminiscence of the wealthy multiracial tradition in Malaysia. It’s a enjoyable gifting expertise.”
Historical past proper from the supply
Jeslyn shared that she designs all of their merchandise from scratch and produces it in a crew.
In the meantime, she defined that her previous expertise as a artistic in promoting has helped her not simply in execution however to assume creatively and strategically.
“I like arising with new issues. As a artistic, I like to churn out contemporary concepts and have a ardour for creating all issues artistic.”
“I brainstormed the concepts completely, researched our Malaysian cultural tales and traditions, and got here out with new one-of-a-kind design collections,” mentioned Jeslyn.
Slightly than simply researching the tales behind her merchandise on-line, Jeslyn went above and past by truly going to totally different villages and cities to talk to the cooks and makers behind our conventional delicacies to get their insights.
“By talking to the road hawkers and cooks of conventional delicacies, I gained invaluable cultural insights which I translated into my product designs, and introduced our hidden cultural tales alive.”
After her in depth analysis, she went on to launch Comfortable Dumpy in early 2019 with a startup capital of round RM3,000, which got here fully out of her personal financial savings.
Dumpling-styled pouches had been her first vary of merchandise and the gathering explored the totally different flavours of bak chang, a rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves.
“The place that I first begin promoting at was Makers and Co Market, Jaya One. The response was nice. The whole lot bought out. Surprisingly, my merchandise appealed to all ages, from adults, and households, to youngsters.”
Letting her creativity shine
Whereas promoting at pop-ups and on-line, she started receiving bulk orders from inns and corporates which helped to construct her confidence to increase her vary of merchandise.
A few of the manufacturers that Comfortable Dumpy has collaborated with embody Seize, Accenture, Maybank, BHP Petrol, Isetan, and extra.
International Tourism had additionally tasked Comfortable Dumpy to design items as items to be despatched to Hong Kong, Taiwan, the UK, and different international locations to advertise Malaysia worldwide.
A few of the merchandise that Comfortable Dumpy presently provides embody a Sirap Bandung scented candle, ketupat pouches, mandarin orange scented candles, and plenty of extra.
Relating to her plans for the longer term, Jeslyn mentioned that she hopes to open a bodily retailer however for now, she is simply making an attempt to maintain the overhead low and increase the vary of her designs.
Reflecting on her journey, she mentioned, “I’m very pleased with how a lot Comfortable Dumpy has grown. One among my clients despatched me an image of her grandma receiving the Rice Dumpling Pouch as a present from her and he or she was so glad unwrapping it.”
“The image reveals the heat that I hope to carry while reminiscing recollections of dwelling, fostering significant household ties, and preserving our meals tradition.”
- Be taught extra about Comfortable Dumpy right here.
- Learn different articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Comfortable Dumpy