Entrepreneur

Their M'sian Startup Was Failing Fast—Then One Of Them Got Into A Lover's Quarrel

You could say that Sprizy in its current iteration all began with a lover’s spat.

Struggling with her startup’s issues without any resolution in sight, Serene found it was all taking a toll on her personal life too. After a series of arguments, she and her boyfriend ended up giving each other the silent treatment.

“Without talking for weeks, I felt bad and due to lack of courage at that time, I didn’t know how to initiate the first conversation,” she said.

“A few days later, I received a surprise bouquet with a few romantic lines and apologies. I knew it was him; the thought itself made it so amazing and he had the courage to apologise for something that wasn’t entirely his fault.”

Besides mending her relationship, this incident gave co-founders Serene and Tricia new insight into their startup’s direction.

“We came out up Sprizy from an abbreviation of ‘Surprise Made Easy’. The incident made us realise that these surprises come with the emotional attachments. At the right time, it creates an incredible experience, and it recreates intimacy.”

But let’s turn the clock a little further back, to when Sprizy first came about.

In February 2017, Sprizy launched as a small startup with big ambitions.

“We wanted to be the middle ground for all vendors, helping them to break through their business via our platform.”

The capital came from their own savings, and they started off by doing market validation and research—but from the start they knew they wanted to be in the business of selling surprises.

Sprizy’s initial idea was to package a few products into a subscription-based service that comes with different surprises every month, along with hampers, seasonal boxes and couple boxes.

The Premium Flower Box for Mother’s Day / Image Credit: Sprizy

They put it up on their online store, created marketing content on social media, and hoped for a customer or two a week.

However after, a few months, not only were there no sales, but they also realised there were quite a few gaps to plug.

“The lack of certain business skills, branding knowledge, financial needs and technical resources—those put us further back in our business.”

Convinced that there was more they could do, they participated in startup events and hoped to find an investor but still nothing changed.

That was when the incident happened, and turned things around.

“We started re-planning and thought of how we could simplify our business model.”

After the experience with Serene, they changed their course and put their focus on the simplest product: flowers.

Image Credit: Sprizy

Around that time, they also met Kenny Too, the founder of Gaventure Studio, who became their mentor in brand development.

Sprizy was relaunched on the 1st of July with a smaller range of products and services.

“We rebranded our packaging, logo and assets, restarting our journey towards affordable luxury products.”

Now, they sell handcrafted bouquets and grand opening stands to target different occasions, and also handle the decorations for events such as weddings.

“We managed to sell better with our flower bouquets, averaging 30 per month. At the same time, we are also getting more service enquiries for events. Our feedback has been great thus far.”

Having to pivot away from their original model hasn’t fazed the girls, and they’re determined to make their mark on the industry.

When I first came upon their Facebook page, I wondered what would make them any different from all the other on-demand florists and suppliers already on the market.

The team replied, “We were never a florist or gift delivery service. Flowers and gifts are just products that generate revenue for us at this stage. Our goal is to provide the value of surprises to our customers.”

They also hope that their commitment towards producing a great quality service, providing quality products, and having different packaging and branding to attract different customers, will also carry them through.

That being said, those are also promised by many other businesses, to which the girls added, “We are not here to compete, but to provide a new option to consumers out there.”

Right now, they’re limited by their marketing budget, so they do a lot of work on the ground—attending events, having business meetups, doing traditional door-to-door visits to businesses who may need their services, and digital marketing.

“We plan to understand the market better slowly by introducing new products every now and then. Also, maintain traditional products such as red roses that will always sell.”

They are also trying to analyse the data of their customers’ buying patterns and behaviours, using tools from their mentor at Gaventure Studio.

“Have you felt the experience of walking into a store and the staff actually knows what you want and prepared everything perfectly for you? We can see that a lot in movies, story books and it’s mostly fictional. We want to be that provider.”

Feature Image Credit: Sprizy

 

 

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