For some, quitting their day jobs to focus on their side hustle is a due to a conscious choice to go all-in into entrepreneurship. For others, it may be a result of circumstances.
Chloe Ann Tan’s experience is more of the latter. Hailing from Penang, Chloe was working in an engineering-based corporate listed company as a technical trainer and writer.
She spent more than a decade here, climbing the managerial ladder and leading a growing team and subordinates. However, she ended up having to leave this job due to health reasons.
Struggling with chronic pain, she said that a short 20-minute drive to the workplace was enough to “kill” her.
“It was a really tough decision asking myself each and every day before I made my final decision. In the end, I guess it’s obvious. I chose health and SeedPeak.”
It started as a solution for her husband
The story of SeedPeak, which was Chloe’s side hustle at the time, starts with a tube of anti-chafe cream her husband bought half a globe away.
It turns out, Chloe’s husband is a triathlete and a two-time Ironman finisher. Those who are in the know will be familiar that athletes like himself may use anti-chafing products for their sensitive zones.
“Pardon me if this may sound rude but I meant his balls area, ahem…” Chloe wrote on her website.
As her husband was using the cream, its scent caught her attention. According to the couple, it smelled like bathroom wall sealing paste with a distinct chemical scent.
Reading the ingredients, Chloe noted that ingredients like methylparaben and ethylparaben were present. While deemed safe at specific concentrations, Chloe knew that parabens have been widely regarded as hormone-disrupting ingredients.
“I just don’t feel good with the idea of putting his precious manhood with ingredients I know commonly disrupt our hormones and health,” she reasoned.
At the time, Chloe was actually working on getting a certification to be an Organic Skincare Formulator. She enrolled in the course initially to learn how to make absolutely natural lipsticks using pigments from fruits and foods.
Her FYP happened to require her to make a project of reverse formulating a product.
While natural anti-chafe products are hard to find, especially in Malaysia, her friend happened to be in the US for a business trip. As fate would have it, the friend helped bring back a suitable product for Chloe.
“I not only successfully made a reverse formulated version for my FYP, I even went to the extent of further improving the formula for a better skin feel as well as a version that fits Malaysia’s hot and humid tropical weather,” Chloe proudly shared.
However, after two years of working on the business, she hadn’t generated enough income from it to really sustain herself. In the first place, she wasn’t planning to work towards a full-fledged business.
“I was merely just hoping to make a ‘healthier’ version of a natural anti-chafe alternative for my husband,” she explained.
The idea to start a full-fledged business only came when her brother asked her, “Why don’t you try to offer it to the market?”
Understanding that there was potential with her product to help others, she took the plunge and launched SeedPeak.
Pivoting from a ball cream to a cream for all
The natural anti-chafing cream had a very specific audience, though, which resulted in minimal demand. However, Chloe knew firsthand that there was another market that she could cater to.
Since young, her daughter has had several skin issues from cradle cap to eczema, hives, and allergies. Back then, she relied on what the doctors prescribed—some worked, some didn’t, while some required consumption.
“The idea of marrying these skin allergies and problems with anti-chafe solutions into one product called SOS+ Cream can be far-fetched for some to begin with,” she mused. “But that’s how I love innovating for modern lifestyle convenience.”
The SOS+ cream’s formulation includes 41 natural and vegan ingredients. These work to not only moisturise the skin and form a protective barrier, but also soothe wounds and accelerate healing.
“Precisely what eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and chafing prevention skin needed,” Chloe pointed out.
Today, SeedPeak products are manufactured at a GMP certified factory, registered and approved to be sold/distributed to the public by Malaysia Ministry of Health (MOH/KKM). The company has five main products with 26 SKUs in total.
“The product range is being expanded for the need of a complete treatment particularly for eczema and psoriasis for instance that requires lifelong care and maintenance,” Chloe added.
SeedPeak’s products are available to purchase on their website, as well as Shopee and Lazada.
Slow, intentional, and steady wins the race
Currently, Chloe has sold close to 300 units of the SOS+ Cream alone. While this may be a small figure to many, it’s certainly no small feat for a small business like SeedPeak.
As Chloe further explained, “I may have started being involved full-time in SeedPeak last year in 2023, but I started slow because I had to put 80% of my focus in my health whilst 20% in business until I slowly shift the ratios.”
Going forward, the solopreneur hopes to reach more people and educate them on how to read the ingredients of products.
“[The] skin is our largest organ and we’ll be wearing it every day for the rest of our lives,” she reminded. “Put skin health first because what we choose to put on our skin matters—it affects our overall health.”
Featured Image Credit: SeedPeak