Struggling Single Mom Ventures Into Clothing Business After Taking Course

by Patrick Beech

Daphne Jillien, 42, a single mother, was struggling to make ends meet and care for her four children, especially when the Covid-19 pandemic hit our shores.

However, her love for her children drove her to start a natural dye and eco-printing business.

As the sole breadwinner, Daphne, from Penampang, Sabah, said she had to make sure her children were fed and had a good upbringing.

She said she joined an online course conducted by the Malaysian Creative Sewing Arts Association in April to learn about natural dye and eco-printing techniques and the process of transferring colour from plants to fabric.

I’m glad I have the skill to produce eco-friendly products and, at the same time, get closer to nature,” she said.

She now sells eco-friendly products, including T-shirts, pants, and handbags with prices ranging between RM15 and RM88 each.

The demand was encouraging, she added.

Now, as the founder of Pinkish Kingdom range of products, the future looks more promising for her family.

I had no intention of becoming a businesswoman. I just wanted to support myself and my children. Before this, I sold homemade food.

After learning about business, I find that it is fun and it strengthens our family ties as I’m running a home-based business. We support each other.

She added: “My children helped me to create Facebook and Instagram pages to promote the business.

The name of Daphne’s range of products was the brainchild of her third daughter.

The idea of Pinkish Kingdom — with the tagline, ‘by shopping at our small business, you are supporting a big dream’ — was created by my children.

I started to dream big after going through the process of starting the business. Dreams can come true. We will work hard and expand our business,” she added.

(Image: Daphne Jillien (left) with her daughter showing some of their products at a “Back to Nature” programme recently – Picture from New Straits Times)