Business Co-Founder, 2017
Diploma in Fashion and Retail Design
“The best thing about being at Limkokwing is that you get exposed to different cultures. This taught me that life has different people and situations and that I ought to be prepared to take on whatever and whoever came my way. And I pulled on closely to that.”
15 September 2017
Limkokwing Fashion graduate Didie carries so much zeal and passion as she transformed her brand ‘Dida for Women’ into an entrepreneurial success story within such a short space of time.
It was a Sunday afternoon and the sun shines through the clouds in the perfectly blue KL skies when we made our way through the historically-innovative street, The Row, for the first instalment of La Dida Fashion Marketplace.
“Limkokwing in the house!,” shouts Dida Cosmetics’ Business Developer Juju Sabri as she welcomed us to the minimalistic but well-designed venue. A bevy of fans, pals, media friends, and well-wishers of the cosmetic brand was bustling about, looking through the latest products across the floor and documenting every special moment on social media.
We were there to visit and show our support to Didie as she hosted the fashion and lifestyle celebration that brought together over 15 up-and-coming brands such as Pretty Succi, Street Fashion KL, Jevans Jewelry, and many more.
Her one-year-old “baby”, Dida Cosmetics for Women, is known for producing ultra-trendy shades of cosmetics. The brand was also celebrating its first year anniversary during the two-day marketplace event and Didie could be seen attending to each and every one of her guests, attentively listening to their comments and congratulatory messages. Between jokes with the attendees, she was talking about positivity, women empowerment, and the happiness she gets from her achievements.
Didie co-founded the cosmetic line with her best friend of more than eight years, Tunku Chanela Jamidah. They first met at a charity event and were introduced to each other by her cousin. The friendship immediately sparked a bond that has grown stronger since then. She was happy to find someone who shared the same kind of passion towards fashion as she did.
She had always carried the fear of losing friends if any disagreement occurs as she tries to establish collaborative ventures such as this, but the two of them worked it all out and found a middle ground to reach their success.
Previously, Didie had launched her own fashion line named ‘Dinda’, but she felt a longing to switch lanes and try something else for a change.
“Dida came out from a hard time. I didn’t feel good about myself at that point in time. I felt lost. Although I had my own fashion line, I didn’t feel that I had done all that I could do,” Didie said. “During this predicament, my husband decided to take me to New York for two weeks to make me feel inspired again.”
“I saw a lot of independent beauty brands making it out there that were not well-known to the Malaysian market. It dawned to me that there was a big opportunity in Malaysia to create independent brands such as these. The trip put me right back in the creative sphere I was missing. When the opportunity to return to doing what I loved the most came up, I embraced it wholeheartedly.”
Didie cites Kylie Jenner’s makeup line, Kylie Cosmetics, as one of her influences to create her own. Despite being a year-old brand and experiencing those aforementioned speed bumps in breaking out of her creativity shell, the cosmetic line is an undeniable success story—thanks to the line’s perfect price point for its young and trendy fans.
Dida’s fans engage in the idea process of some of its new products through online suggestions and team meetups at pop-up store events.
“In this industry, creativity is the key and we are so lucky to have the creative contributions of our fans on board. Attracting and retaining good customers is always important, so it is essential to allow them to help us keep them inspired. When Tunku Jamidah and I launched our line, we wanted to create something that catered especially to the women. Something they would be proud to be a part of, hence our tagline: ‘By Women for Women’,” she added.
Backing up her business credentials, she credits Limkokwing University for teaching her how to be persistent in a situation where she needed to adapt quickly.
“The best thing about being at Limkokwing is that you get exposed to different cultures. This taught me that life has different people and situations and that I ought to be prepared to take on whatever and whoever came my way. And I pulled on closely to that. The University taught us to always take the extra mile, push ourselves further to be recognised more, and to think outside the box—or even better, without the box.”
“Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing has always encouraged us. He wanted us to be braver in whatever kind of industry we got into. It was always an amazing and inspirational moment for all the students who interacted with him. You would definitely walk away with something useful for the future,” said Didie.
While this is not Didie’s first lifestyle venture, we predict it will be one of her most successful ones. When asked what she was looking forward to the most for her brand, her eyes lit up as she prepared for a response.
“We want to go global and of course, focus on numerous markets. I mean if we can have 3CE in Sephora, why can’t we? Tapping into the mass Southeast Asia market would also be another step forward, and we surely can’t wait for our first physical store,” she giggled as if she already had something rolled up her sleeves.
Before the interview ended in preparation for her next makeup workshop, we posed for a selfie with Didie as a souvenir of our visit.