Author’s Blurb: I used to collect mason jars back in college because of how useful and multipurpose they were. From lunch containers to DIY lamps, a single mason jar has endless possibilities of becoming whatever you can think of for it.
Andrian See Joen and Angeline Ho shared the same sentiment when they were using jars as packaging for leggings in their old business in 2014.
However, they found it tough to source jars in Malaysia, even online. Taking matters into their own hands then, they founded an e-commerce startup called Jargeous.
The Right Business At The Right Time
With the growing demand for eco-friendly packaging in recent years, packaging made of glass and metals is becoming the standard for many businesses.
“The zero-waste movement is focused on sustainability, reducing, reusing and recycling, therefore our business has flourished with the uprising of the movement,” Andrian shared with Vulcan Post.
Moreover, with e-commerce taking over the market from traditional brick and mortar, the timing of the business could not have been more perfect for Andrian and Angeline.
Currently, businesses make up 70% of their customers, and the remaining 30% are end-users. They have separate prices to cater to B2B and B2C customers.
In terms of B2B, Jargeous supplies their products to hotels, cafes, bars, grocery stores and event coordinators.
Businesses selling food goods or bulk goods make up their targeted demographic. Hence, holiday seasons like Hari Raya or Christmas are some of their busiest times, which is expected seeing how many jars people need to fill their homemade cookies with.
To date, we were told that their monthly revenue is around RM70k to RM100k.
Expanding Their Products And Going International
Jargeous started with only a small range of jars that were common, and that the two of them knew there was a demand for.
But after a few months and some customer feedback on their catalogue, they decided to expand it to what it is today.
“Our supplies are a combination of local providers and international providers, such as China, Thailand, Taiwan and USA. Besides that, we also partnered with several factories to produce certain jars and bottles that were uncommon.”
They have some jars which I wouldn’t easily find anywhere else (especially in retail stores) like a beehive glass jar and a lightbulb glass bottle.
Today, they have about 400 types of jars from 20 stock keeping units (SKUs) when they first started in their inventory and added printing solutions, labelling and design services to Jargeous.
Andrian is also a graphic designer himself, which he believes came in handy when he and Angeline started this business.
Besides expanding their product range, they’ve also managed to upgrade their small storage room to a large showroom with an individual warehouse today.
“We have also partnered up with a few global logistic companies that allow us to export our products internationally to Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Hong Kong and the USA,” he shared with pride.
Despite how big they’ve grown, they have a small team of 5 full-timers working for them, since they employ gig workers to handle their social media marketing and copywriting.
Fast-Growing Business With Fragile Products
It mustn’t be easy dealing with fragile products all the time I thought, especially with suppliers from overseas. Moreover, glass is a very heavy material, especially in bulk.
“Due to the delicate and fragile nature of our products, we need to be extremely cautious and aware of how we pack the products for shipping,” Andrian shared.
Since their jars come in various shapes and sizes, they have to use different methods to measure and pack each type of jar differently.
They’ve also partnered with a courier company that handles local shipping and other logistical companies for international shipping to find the most affordable rates for their customers.
Local customers can also save up from the other options they’ve opened up like shopping or picking up from their store or even collecting from their designated pickup locations.
Helping Long-Distance Customers Get Real-Life Experience Of Jar Shopping
Besides the e-commerce platform they have now, they’re planning to consolidate their business into an app as well.
Some additions they’re planning to make on their app is a 360-degree view on each product and even a virtual tour of their showroom.
These features are especially to help their long-distance customers get the jar shopping experience like a walk-in customer would.
“My objective is to provide a more convenient way for the customer to view the jar clearer so they don’t need to come over to our shop,” Andrian shared.
Apart from their digital upgrades, they’re also aiming to have more than 1,000 varieties of jars in their line of products.
Though many F&B SMEs have been affected by the pandemic, I was surprised to learn that it hasn’t affected their business too much as a supplier.
“While F&B businesses and hotels have definitely cut orders, businesses like grocery stores and home business orders are actually increasing, which is fortunate,” Andrian shared with Vulcan Post.
- You can read more about Jargeous here.
- You can read more about other startups we’ve written about here.
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Featured Image Credit: Andrian See Joen, founder of Jargeous