Friday, April 19, 2013

Bag Of Love: More Than Just A Beauty Box

[As published on Emmagem.com HERE]

With the hype for beauty boxes still going on, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of the newbie in town – Bag of Love. If you haven’t, no worries – Emmagem is here to give you the complete lowdown on what makes this beauty bag stand out from the rest.
Girls, meet your beauty-junkie-in-crime: Mi Mi Teh, a self-proclaimed beauty product lover who lives and breathes beauty. If you’re looking for a spot of beauty advice, Mi Mi would be like your loving elder sister and beauty guru combined.
This is Mi Mi’s first foray into entrepreneurship, having given up a career as a beauty writer at some of the biggest fashion and beauty magazines in Malaysia (psst: you might have seen her face in Female magazine before) to spend more time with her children (she’s a mother of two, by the way!).
She takes time off her hectic schedule as the frontwoman/face of Bag of Love to chat with us about her life, her loves, and of course – beauty, all in her own words.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I love fairytales, the colour pink and I believe in happy endings. I have two wonderful babies whom I adore with all my heart. I have been a beauty writer for almost the whole of my adult life and I can’t live without skincare. However, though I write lots about makeup and hair trends, my face is usually bare (save for blusher and fuchsia lipstick) and the most I do for my hair is a flick through it.

If you’re wondering, that’s Mi Mi (in a green dress for Earth Month)!
What inspired Bag of Love’s name?
This is something I do that comes straight from my heart and I am very passionate about it. I will only put things in it that I love myself and in every step that I take, I put myself in my subscribers’ shoes so I can understand what they want and don’t want. And because Bag of Love comes in bags instead of boxes, and is filled with lovely beauty products (and with my love), I decided to call it just that.

Bag of Love’s debut bag in March 2013
What made you decide to start Bag of Love?
I’d been toying with the idea of quitting my full time job so I could spend more time with my kids. But I love the beauty industry too much to just let go. So it got me thinking, what can I do that is still beauty related and allows me to write but still give me flexible timing? And it hit me that I can start this.
How does your experience as a beauty writer give you an advantage?
I know the beauty industry inside out, am friends with the brand sponsors (so I get sponsors easier!) and media (so I get more media coverage… hehe), and with all those years of writing about beauty, I know what will excite my subscribers. Besides, I also believe I can advise them on beauty-related matters but that being said, I also learn a lot from them.
Going into entrepreneurship without any prior experience – what was the biggest challenge you faced?
To actually get started. Being somebody with no business or IT background, it is very difficult to understand what goes on behind a business. But I am so lucky to have my family’s support (financial, morale support and free labour :P ), friends ( for getting me in touch with the right people) and my subscribers (who not only subscribed but also advise me on many things).
What role have your family members played in terms of support?
So much! We always joke that my parents’ home is now my office, warehouse and employees quarters. Before I even started, they have already supported me so much and told me that I will surely do well. When I launched my debut bag, they were the ones who help me spread the word, do the packing, and provide emotional support when I am down. Without them, I think Bag of Love will be Bag of Stress. :P
You’re a one-woman show. How do you juggle so many tasks at one time?
Actually I am no good at time management. I kind of regretted my decision to do this in the beginning because I didn’t realise just how much work it was going to be. To quit your job so that you could have more time with your kids to suddenly find out you don’t have any time for them, it really makes you think if you have made the right move. But now that I’ve gotten the hang of this and things are slowly smoothing out, I can have a proper schedule for work and family.
Please share some beauty secrets with us to get amazing skin like yours!
Drink lots of water! Drink water even before you get thirsty. Make sure your skin is always hydrated by using the right skincare and be sure to use a sun block. Last but not least, always double cleanse your face before you go to bed.
Tell us a bit about your own beauty routine.
Every evening, I triple cleanse, put on a serum, a cream and then a cream again (because I have so many and am always tempted to use everything), an eye cream (if I remember) and a lipbalm.
What can we find in your handbag?
Five lipbalms and a tiny tube of face cream.
Three products every girl should have?
Sunblock (to protect your skin from the harmful sunrays), a pink lipstick (it can brighten a dull face immediately) and a lipbalm (if you have chapped lips like mine, this is essential).
What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
Having flexible time, being your own boss and doing something that you really like.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Be sure that you have the passion for it and never give up at the very first hurdle.

Here’s a sneak peek of the April bag – made from bleach-free canvas!
We hope you’re as inspired as we are. Here’s wishing Mi Mi the very best of luck for Bag of Love!
Follow Bag of Love on Facebook or visit the website. Each bag is RM39.90 and includes 5 mystery items (and no annoying sachets or mini tubes). 

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