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aws全区号(www.2km.me)_Right time, right venture

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Malisse Tan's latest business, period products brand Bobble, came to life after a spell with stage two Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

THIRD time’s the charm for Malisse Tan.

Having co-founded two other failed startups previously – one in e-commerce and the other in property technology – Tan believes she has picked up some important lessons that will help her third venture stand for the longer run.

Her latest business, period products brand Bobble, came to life after a spell with stage two Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“After giving birth to my first child in January 2017, I was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and went through six months of chemotherapy. It was during this time that I started to become more conscious of what we were using at home in terms of household cleaning products, body care and personal care products.

“We started to switch to plant-based, natural and eco-friendlier alternatives. This also included looking into my period products,” she says.

After doing some research on what generic period products were made of and packaged in, Tan became concerned and started looking for a safer and eco-friendlier alternative.

She recalls that there were limited choices for tampons and pantyliners in Malaysia at the time and organic cotton-based period products were not available in Malaysia as these brands from overseas did not ship here.

“Now with this second chance in life, I told myself if I were to get into a third startup, I wanted to do something that had purpose. Realising there’s a big problem to solve in access to safer and sustainable period products and education in menstrual wellbeing, the idea of Bobble was born.”

Bobble offers eco-organic period products on subscription.

But after years of experience in corporate work – she was previously the regional director for business strategy at software company Meltwater – manufacturing and textiles just weren’t Tan’s forte. She had to research and read up on the materials used before finding the courage to launch another company.

Finding a manufacturer who could follow her specs also took some time. She had to deal with factories from Europe to China, go through samples and ensure that all the certification and lab testing were in place.

“We were lucky to find a factory that already had access to GOTS certified organic cotton and they had done a lot of the lab tests on the materials already as they specialise in making period products.

“But it took us almost a year to really find the right factory and put everything together. And a further four months to source, design and produce our biodegradable packaging which is done locally,” she adds.

She soft launched the brand in October 2019 through pop-up stores at bazaars and sold out her first batch of organic cotton pads within seven months. This assured Tan of her product and she officially launched the business the following year – in the midst of the pandemic.

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