Making your own toiletries is pretty akin to cooking at home instead of eating out, says Weiyein Leong, founder of Craftiviti, a local one-stop DIY personal care and therapeutic crafts materials store.
“You’re in control of the budget and the ingredients that go into whatever it is you are making and consuming regularly,” Leong shares, as she explains how her store came about.
“Craftiviti was initially a craft store but in the last few years we decided to narrow our focus a little more towards personal wellness products and materials, as we feel that everyone has the potential to make their own personal care products.”
DIY soaps, fruity scrubs and lotions, scented candles and bath bombs have, after all, suddenly become extremely popular. You’d have noticed the sudden spike in supply at flea markets and online stores.
A simple Instagram search will clue you in on just how trendy these personal care products have become. For example, there are over 17.6 million posts tagged #selfcare and 2.2 million posts tagged #bathbomb!
Leong and her husband (and Craftiviti co-founder) Eugene Tham started their store four years ago. Prior to that, they had an events company called Caesar Paper Stone, which is still running today.
With Craftiviti, however, they were keen to encourage others to embrace their creative side and make their own handcrafted items in whatever shape, ingredient, scent and colour they want. Both are enthusiastic about their business and have a 17-strong staff who appear equally gung-ho about craft.
Leong says: “We are in the business of creating happiness. There are a thousand and one reasons why people make their own self-care products but those who make, never truly only make it for themselves, they always end up sharing and spreading the joy.”
Their store is located at 10 Boulevard, Kayu Ara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor – you may not have noticed it before because it is a little hidden from the Spring Highway. However, parking is easy and the shop features a whole bunch of interesting products.
Their “craft advisors” are also always on hand to offer advice and recommendations to customers.
Leong says: “Many people are scared to make something by themselves. They think that they are not creative enough. But with a little encouragement, and the right ingredients, anyone can make these simple products, and we want to foster this confidence.”
For starters, they are now working with their local partners to host weekly workshops such as candle making, soap making and clay sculpting at their event space Think at Dua (which is near their store) as a fun way for beginners to start creating in a supportive creative community.
Their workshops are posted on FB or their website (craftiviti.com). The store also offers the Yellow Craft Box, a series of simple craft kits released every two months for those who are not sure which craft they want to take up.
“Once you know the basics, you can make any product, whether it is a candle, soap, bath bomb, lotion, lip balm or scrub,” Leong offers, adding that they source for high quality, certified ingredients and materials.
The essential oils, for example, are imported from all over the world – lemon oil from Italy, peppermint from Japan, grapefruit from Canada, eucalyptus from Australia and lavender from France.
“And we even have dialled things further back so we also sell the raw materials for you to make your own moulds, and we’re thinking ahead for you as well, by selling packaging material in case you decide to be enterprising and start your own business.”
Step inside the store and you’ll find a range of tools and ingredients, as well as packaging materials, sculpting clays, liquid silicone and latex for mould-making and casting materials such as plaster and epoxy resins.
If you’ve been toying with the notion of opting for a back-to-the-basics soap or scrub because you’re sick of reading the long list of chemicals on the labels of your current products, then you might just want to try your hand at making your own soaps and scrubs. And Craftiviti may just be the jumpstart you need.