“LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE!” THAT IS WHAT ELAINE CHEW, THE FOUNDER OF HAPPIKIDDO, HOLDS ON TO. NOT MANY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT ELAINE IS THE CEO OF THE WELL-KNOWN BRAND, AS AT FIRST GLANCE, HER DEMEANOUR GIVES OUT AN AUTHORITATIVE AURA. BUT ONCE YOU GET TO KNOW HER, SHE IS OF A GLEE SOUL. HAPPIKIDDO WAS FOUNDED BY CHEW A DECADE AGO AFTER SHE GAVE BIRTH TO HER TWIN DAUGHTERS IN 2010. AT THAT TIME, THERE WAS A LACK OF VARIETY IN THE MARKET THAT CATERS TO EXPECTANT MOTHERS AND BABIES. “THE CHOICES OF BABY PRODUCTS AND BRANDS AVAILABLE IN MALAYSIA WERE LIMITED AND LACKLUSTRE. LIKE ALL PARENTS, WE WANT TO GIVE THE BEST TO OUR CHILDREN. THEN, GETTING EXCELLENT-QUALITY AND USEFUL BABY PRODUCTS MEANS HAVING TO SHIP THEM FROM OVERSEAS,” SHE ADDED.
“Malaysian parents surely deserved better; it inspired me to create a by-mums-for-mums lifestyle baby concept store that offers the best possible, tried-and-tested products and value-added services in maternity, children, and baby care.” Chew also stated that she set her sights on bringing the highly sought after brands and innovative products that last, incorporating everything that parents will ever need from pregnancy onwards, accumulating it all under one roof, and and establish a one-stop baby concept store where parents are able to shop with ease and are spoilt with choices, along with thoughtful services that will help assuage the parenting experience.
That was how Happikiddo came about. Currently, Elaine is serving as the CEO of the company. Chew’s role in the company is nothing less than challenging and demanding. While work is in place, she keeps her company put together, but as they say; work hard, play hard. “I effectuate a fun and inspiring work playground, leading the team to achieve incredible things and ensure that our values of making parents and children are always upheld.”
After running Happikiddo for a decade, a few milestones here and there come as no surprise to many. One achievement, for instance, is while talking to some expectant mothers, majority of the mothers are aware of Happikiddo and added that it is their favourite place to shop for baby products. “That always thrills me as it correlates with what we set out to be from the beginning, which is echoed in our tagline ‘Mum’s Favourite Shop’. We are also deemed the place to shop amongst celebrities and key opinion leaders,” Chew said enthusiastically.
As if being one of the top brands in Malaysia is not enough of an accomplishment, Happikiddo are also often mistaken as an international brand rather than a local brand. According to Chew, people often made this mistake because of their unique business approach. However, to the founder, knowing that her company is regarded highly and on par with international brands made Chew proud and accomplished. “On the giving front, one of our other biggest achievements is raising RM83,000 for the Malaysian Rare Disorder Society in 2016. It was one of our very first CSR projects, we were intent on helping those in need and the fundraising event went successfully well.”
After scouring the website, there is indeed a lack of establishments that sell products catering to expectant mothers, babies, and toddlers. Though that does not translate to Happikiddo solely leading the competition, it does however work in its favour. Plus, Happikiddo’s is the only concept store in Malaysia that combines the understanding of culture and lifestyle in its operations approach. Chew stated that the store’s design, layout, and even the products that it carries reflect a happy and classy lifestyle. “Our store environment and shopping experience give our customers a taste of an ultramodern versatile store. We are known for our excellent customer service and personalised shopping experience with a wide range of products under one roof – selected by experienced mums themselves.” Happikiddo is now at the forefront of the competition when it comes to products for babies and mothers. However, that is not the only service available. The store is also the first store in the country that offers a one-stop integrated, value added parenting services such as baby gear deep cleaning, rental, chair engraving, soft toy embroidery and As Is clearance discount corner.
Besides a few industries that thrive during the Covid-19 pandemic, most businesses have suffered greatly under the clutches of the pandemic. The same applied to Happikiddo, as Chew told The CEO Malaysia. “The pandemic has undoubtedly affected many businesses in various aspects. We aspire to get back on track and focus on the integration of our offline and online stores. We strive to continue making kids happy and parents happier by providing comforts and quality whilst offering an exclusive shopping experience and excellent customer service,” Chew said.
Like many of the entrepreneurs featured in this issue, Chew is among the award winners for the Women of Excellence Awards that was organised by FM Media Communications recently. Through this success and recognition, Chew hopes to be an inspiration to many more women who are working their level best. “I hope to inspire all women out there and give them the courage to work towards their dreams, regardless of their starting age. Set your goal, get it rolling, and stay focused. Celebrate the opportunity to be a mother, learn new strengths that you didn’t know you had, and how to deal with fears you didn’t know existed.”