Beh Lee Yen began her journey in the florist business with co-founder Joanne Ho nearly six years ago, when they realised that there was a demand for affordable and beautiful flower bundles in Klang Valley. Utilising their corporate backgrounds prior to their new business venture, Happy Bunch blossomed into one of Malaysia’s leading online flowers and gift curators out there.
From daily bunches throughout the week that even the senders may not know what kinds of flowers they are sending to their friends and families, which costs as little as RM39 per bunch, Happy Bunch has expanded its gifting options over the years, not only in Klang Valley, but also in Singapore as well: Signature and Black Luxe flower bouquet collections; Gift box collections filled with curated knick knacks catered to the kind of individuals the recipients are; and Potted collection for the lovers of succulent plants.
WHAT IS THE MANTRA YOU LIVE BY, ESPECIALLY FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
My mantra is in the name of our business: H.A.P.P.Y. – Honour all our differences; Act with integrity, especially when it comes to doing the right thing and being honest with our stakeholders; Push our boundaries to always wanting to do more; Play together and finally; Yearn to wow not just our customers, but all our stakeholders. I believe that if our staff members are happy, the customers will be happy as well. It’s a pay-it-forward vibe that will be passed on organically.
WERE THERE ANY OBSTACLES THAT YOU FACED WITH HAPPY BUNCH THAT SPARKED THE INNER DRIVE IN YOU TO WORK THROUGH THE HURDLE?
Two years ago, Happy Bunch experienced a horrendous Valentine’s Day: we had over 100 failed deliveries! Despite the nightmare, while we had customers complaining to us through social media and directly to us, we also had customers defending us. They didn’t have to do it, but to have them defending us, we must have done something right by them to have them do what they do. The failed deliveries made us promise to ourselves as a company to never let that happen again. We looked into ways we can improve, so to never disappoint our customers again, and that includes being honest with them as well.
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SIX YEARS ON WITH HAPPY BUNCH, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE DRIVING FORCE THAT STILL GETS YOU OUT OF BED EVERY MORNING?
I’d have to say the people we work with. The team has put so much into our business, and that drives me to do my best for them, not only to make sure Happy Bunch is a sustainable business, but also that our team can be rewarded along the way. It is one thing to be rewarded in the short term with great campaigns, great outcomes and great sales, but it is another to be rewarded on a bigger scale at the end of every year.
WHAT KIND OF LONG TERM IMPACT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE TRANSLATED AMONG YOUR TEAM MEMBERS?
Most of our team members are young fresh graduates, who haven’t been in the work force for long, let alone the corporate work environment. If Joanne and I can lead by example, coach them to believe in themselves, to be whatever they want to be, and to be great in their own world – that’s more than we could ever ask for. If we can part ways with such changes in life made, and they go on in life helping others the same way we helped them, that will be awesome!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN OUT THERE LOOKING TO VENTURE INTO THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
First and foremost, be comfortable with who you are. When you’re comfortable with who you are, you don’t second guess yourself, and you don’t worry about what people say about you. Affirmation from others does motivate you, but it should never define you. When you’re comfortable with yourself, the confidence will come naturally.
WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU THE MOST TO BE THE STRONG, INDEPENDENT WOMAN THAT YOU ARE TODAY?
My mother, without a doubt. It has a lot to do with her being a single mother to three girls. She taught us to be independent: she was climbing the corporate ladder in her career, while providing for us at the same time. She did not have time to baby us. In hindsight, although it was tough growing up in that kind of environment, it was for our own good and it has contributed to the person I am today.
Photography by Nadirah Zakariya
Art direction by Joyce Lim
Assisted by Sofiyan Isaac
Makeup by Joey Yap
Hair by Angeline Low
Location by Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown
The article was first published in the August Man Malaysia March 2020 print issue