Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We've been featured on NST's Life & Times!

We've been featured on NST's Life & Times section today! =D

 Excited? Yes, we were indeed very excited to find out that our baby "daisydreamer" was featured on one of our local's major mainstream newspapers this morning! Interview was done a couple of weeks back, but we actually had no idea when the article will be out and published. And finally, today's the day! yay!! (call us jakun, 1st time keluar paper okay tu yg excited semacam je ni =p)

 To read the article, please click on the link below! it's a co-joint article done with another cotton blogshop. =DD Happy reading darlings! ;)

Click for cloth

With online fabric stores mushrooming, buying fabric for baju kurung is now less tactile and more visual, writes Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan
Sue (left) and Fina packing the fabrics to mail to their customers
Sue (left) and Fina packing the fabrics to mail to their customers
DECADES ago, before Hari Raya, fabric shops would be crowded with mothers and daughters buying textile to sew baju kurung or kebaya.
Metres and metres of fabric would be taken down from the display and mother-daughter would hold the cloth against their bodies, to see if the colours and patterns were suitable.
As a girl, I looked forward to the day when my mum would ask: “Jom kita pergi beli baju raya?”
After the fabric was chosen, it was cut (usually four metres) with razor-sharp steel scissors, and the smell of new fabric in the air sparked off the anticipation of a new addition to the wardrobe.
But these days, the purchase of fabric for baju kurung is less tactile and more visual. Log on, choose your preferred pattern, state how much fabric you require, pay and it will be sent to you in a week.
There are hundreds of local blogshops or online stores selling fabric, especially cotton.
For Farah Nini Mohd Zahir, 31, the co-owner of Azzara Cottons (, online fabric shops give retail access to customers.
“Most people like the touch and feel factor but some are not able to because of distance and the lack of time. In rural areas there may not even be fabric stores.”
She and her husband, Wan Najmudin Wan Ismail, also 31, started their cotton fabric store in Carrefour Subang Jaya in 2008. Now, Azzara has a store in Putra Heights and it has customers from all over the country who drop by to see and feel the fabrics.
“Yes, the drawback to buying online is that customers cannot physically see or touch the material. In the fabrics industry, prints and designs can be copied and replicated, but the quality of the fabric and finishing set the price,” she says.
But online fabric stores is a rising trend though she admits that having an actual store helps because customers have the option to check the designs they like before they buy.
Azzara imports its goods (Farah’s mother is a tailor so Farah is well-versed in fabrics) and she says while it is true that online prices may be cheaper due to less overhead, entrepreneurs should focus on quality, not just prices.
“Not only will this spoil the market but in the end, the business cannot be sustained. That is why many online stores do not last long. It’s best to compete on value — distinguishing your product, quality and service to customers,” she says.
Farah admits that business is getting tougher and challenging because too many people are selling online. “But I think what is important is how trustworthy and reliable the seller is and whether they deliver your goods. There is a huge number of cotton fans in the country and they know the quality they are looking for,” she says.
For web developer Sue Mokhtar, 29, and her IT analyst sister Fina, 36, who runs online fabric shop, A Daisy Dreamer (, since 2009, their experience as “hardcore” online shoppers help.
“We spent more time shopping online than going to the malls so we know what customers want and would like to see,” says Sue.
“Shopping online saves time and energy. You don’t have to tire yourself going from one shop to another. With online shopping, one click and what you buy will be sent to you.”
Sue says cotton fabric is versatile for baju kurung and blouses and it's cheaper than silk, lace and chiffon. “There are a huge number of choices for prints, what’s important is the seller must have an eye for great prints.
“Sometimes customers want what their favourite celebrities are wearing without paying through their noses. Sellers must have the ability to offer what customers want. If you can’t, you won’t last long,” she says.
The sisters used to run an online baking business but found that while the income was good, the effort needed was tremendous since both hold full time jobs.
“Selling fabrics also enable us to go places to get our stocks. Our fabrics are from Vietnam, so once in three months we will go there to restock.”
Azzara doesn’t pre-cut its fabric in four metres so customers can request the length they need. Which means larger women can buy more and children can buy less.
The shop also has an express sewing service where customers can buy fabric and collect the ready baju kurung the next day.
“It’s our way of putting customers first,” Farah Nini says.
Freelancer Prem Kaur, 45, still believes in touching and feeling fabrics before making a purchase. The former journalist says while she understands the ease and popularity of online fabric stores, she will still go to the shop to purchase so “I know exactly what I am buying”.
“I buy a lot of cotton fabrics to make baju kurung because it is comfortable and versatile. Given our hot and humid climate, cotton is the best choice. It is easy to care, isn’t delicate like silk and always looks fresh on the wearer.”
Copywriter Paula Tan, 43, buys cotton fabric from A Daisy Dreamer because the selection and prices are good and delivery is prompt. “I have been buying online a lot, especially the past few years. I go to well-known sites and so far, I have never been unhappy with my purchases.”
She advises prospective buyers to zoom in to see the products closely.
Read more: Click for cloth - Style - New Straits Times