Valentine’s Day is coming up, and we’re sure some of you still haven’t figured what to give your significant other this year.
Perhaps you’ll fall back on the default of flowers and chocolate, maybe even throwing in a plush toy, but those kinds of gifts are overly common.
Not to mention that if you often gift your partner the same things every year, it could feel like you’re not putting much thought and effort into it.
So rather than get the same old gifts, why not try getting some different ones for Valentine’s this year?
We’ve compiled this list of 8 Malaysian startups you might want to look towards for more unique gifts (in the form of services too!) that could give this special day the extra oomph.
1. Left and Right
Are you planning to pop the big question anytime soon? Or even to amp up the commitment just a little with some fine jewellery?
For this Valentine’s Day, you could consider getting some customised jewellery for your loved one.
Left and Right, a Sarawakian jewellery atelier, is changing up the usual jewellery-buying experience by offering bespoke jewellery.
It does away with store-bought, generic diamond rings and instead engraves all of its rings from scratch based on memories or stories that their customers share and want to capture.
Each piece of jewellery has a story behind it, be it a ring inspired from a special moment, first date, a favourite song, etc.
What this means is that when you get a ring, pendant, or earrings made at Left and Right, you will be the only one who will have that design, since it was made specifically for you, inspired by your story.
The process of conceptualising and handmaking takes anywhere from 10-12 weeks, so this is one gift that won’t be ready by Valentine’s Day.
However, sharing the experience of visiting the atelier with your loved one to begin the process would be quite romantic, I believe.
Besides the initial booking fee of about RM400 for the team to sample materials, detailed sketches, etc., you’d have to get a quotation for the final pricing.
You can find Left and Right on their official website.
T’Peepal goes one step further from customising portraits on a keychain or mugs—by carving it straight onto the surface of leaves.
Etched onto peepal leaves, artist Thirumaaran showcases his products mainly on Instagram.
Besides couple portraits and romantically themed anniversary gifts, T’Peepal can also serve as a unique gift to your parents, friends, relatives or cool boss.
All peepal leaves are attached to a frame, making it a perfect addition to your home, or even just to act as a beautiful conversation starter.
The pricing is not publicly listed, but enquiries can be directed towards their Instagram.
Some might think it’s a cliché to still give flowers to their partners on Valentine’s or for anniversaries—but Doro isn’t just your average flower delivery.
Besides regular bouquets, they deliver bright and various succulents (in arrangements too, if you still want that traditional flower bouquet feel) that can be used to jazz up your loved one’s office desk, bedroom, or any other space that could use a little spicing up.
Not only are these succulents cute to look at, but they survive longer than bouquets of roses that are cut off at the stem too.
Doro is the brainchild of CarrieAnn, who received her first pot of succulents from her landlady.
From that point onwards, CarrieAnn has grown it to encompass all kinds of succulents laid in cutesy pots and modern vases.
A pot can cost anywhere from RM88-RM189 on average.
4. Chef’ Up
Chef’ Up is a meal kit service that wants to encourage Malaysians to start cooking healthier meals instead of depending on on-demand delivery services.
It was founded in December 2018 by Kumar, who wanted to bring back the lost art of preparing a homecooked meal with your loved ones.
Their meals are all meant to eliminate the hassle of stressing over what to cook, finding the right ingredients, measuring what needs to go in, and the rest of the woes that come with cooking a meal.
On their Instagram, they say that their meals are made just perfect for two portions, so you could take that as a sign for you to plan for a romantic night in with your partner and cook up a homemade dinner together instead of leaving the house for the usual fancy restaurant dinner. Perfect for couples who are homebodies, I’d say.
You can never go wrong with the classic watch, spiced up with a touch of luxury. Nocturne is a fast-growing local watch brand that pays painstaking attention to detail.
Each of their watches is made with scratch-resistant Sapphire Glass Crystal lenses and surgical grade stainless steel for its casing.
Nocturne is designed for all you minimalists out there, with its flat and elegant rounded face.
They’ve managed to gain quite a following on Instagram, thanks to collaborations with Malaysian fashion designers like Cassey Gan and Kit Woo.
All of their current watch designs go for upwards of RM600, but I do believe that watches are gifts that have a longer lifeline of use when compared to chocolates or flowers.
For couples who are total movie geeks, the AMENIC space located in PJ is a total treat.
AMENIC is a private space that would also allow you to bring your friends (double date anyone?) and choose from their selection of over 550 movies.
AMENIC—which is the word ‘cinema’ spelt backwards—is fully equipped with full HD projectors and 5.1 Surround Sound, so you won’t be missing out on the cinematic experience.
If you’re the kind that can’t help but blab during movies (which I’m totally guilty of), this is a space where you can do it without feeling bad for the other cinemagoers behind you.
Prices start from RM9 to RM22 per pax depending on the date and time as well as the amount of space needed.
AMENIC’s space is available for prior booking on their Facebook page.
7. Alwis & Xavier
For a true novelty gift, you could opt for Alwis & Xavier’s solid colognes.
The founders behind Alwis & Xavier designed their colognes to refresh the fragrance market in Malaysia so that portable and lightweight options can become the new norm.
These fit right in your jean pockets, clutch, and even some wallets.
At the moment, they have around 8 various scents to choose from. Their colognes are mostly unisex, but they still have scents that are geared towards more masculine or female notes.
One tin currently costs an affordable RM55.
8. Chocolate Concierge
Okay so before we get called out for being too cheesy, hear us out. Chocolate Concierge aren’t just treats you grab from a grocer at the last minute when you do forget to buy a gift for your significant other.
On the contrary, these chocolates are made fresh, right here in Malaysia.
These single-origin chocolates are sourced from various cocoa regions around the country—with some even prepared by the indigenous tribes of Semai and Temuan living in Malaysian wilderness.
Every purchase is a step made in the right direction towards supporting these tribes. So, not only are you still able to gift your partner with chocolates, but you’ll also be supporting a social enterprise.
Also, did we mention that they have flavours like Onde Onde, Durian Bomb, and Teh Tarik?
They don’t have prices listed on the website, and you can currently only buy the chocolates over the counter at their physical Bangsar store.
- You can read more about other startup features we’ve written about here.
Featured Image Credit: Chef’ Up / T’Peepal / Left and Right