Dora Lee, 32, started the Funlah party business almost three years ago with just a few bottles of paint, balloon packs and a helium gas tank.
This “gung-ho” mannerism is not a strange sight seen for Dora. She is a serial entrepreneur who has seen her share of ups and downs. From handmade clay jewelry to a custom phone case to yoga fitness clothing, the entrepreneur has been selling various things for eight years until she came across party items, which turned out to be her lost love.
“I decided to look for a new business that would allow my creativity to thrive and something that would bring happiness to consumers when they receive their orders. The first thing that struck me was birthdays, which are always happy occasions. So Funlah was born to bring fun and laughter to every special celebration, ”Dora said.
Today, Funlah is profitable and has gone from a handful of customers to thousands of frequent customers, Dora said.
From cancellations to jump orders
But the pandemic certainly threw a key at the company.
“In early 2020, sales fell as the holiday season ended and Funlah also took a short break during the Chinese New Year period. Since then, sales have not been very optimistic. , as Singapore began to see new cases of Covid-19 and many people were very worried about it. We started receiving calls and emails to postpone its celebration and some decided to cancel their parties. “
However, after the Circuit Breaker, things started to get better and Dora was taken by surprise.
Although people are not allowed to celebrate their birthdays or graduation in a large group with their friends and family, gift balloons have become very popular. “We have grandparents who send balloons to grandchildren and celebrations through Zoom calls, teachers who send graduation balloons to their students and people who do small celebrations at home,” he said.
“E-commerce gifts have become a thing of the past, and the demand for home celebrations has also increased. This helped us gain brand awareness which eventually led to more orders from our party balloons. “
Online presence, wide variety of balloons attract customers
The order jump would not have been possible without the presence of the company’s e-commerce and Google search traffic, where most customers found Funlah using organic searches.
The wide variety of balloons and the competitive prices also helped the business to attract new customers.
The company’s most popular products are balloons, followed by party items such as banners, tassels, backdrops and pinatas for children’s play. The collection ranges from generic balloons to animals, sports and superheroes. There are even themes like Disney princesses, cars, Pokémon and the Dog Patrol.
“Generally, most of our customers will place their order online and some prefer to chat with us via WhatsApp or Messenger before placing an online order, as this is their first time receiving balloons,” Dora shared.
Most customers usually place their orders in advance, but Funlah also makes same-day delivery. However, same-day delivery often depends on time and labor, he said.
Up, up and away
Dora revealed that Funlah is making more profits than last year, but the employer has taken advantage of the proceeds to reinvest in the business.
“More than 50% was reinvested in the business for future growth to support a wider variety of party items and new members joining our team,” he said.
As the Christmas celebrations begin to peak, he adds that demand and inquiries for Funlah party items have increased by 20 to 30 percent and are expected to continue until the Chinese New Year, which is on February 1st.
2022, whatever happens
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught her, it’s that she’s resilient to change, and Dora says she’s ready to face 2022, come what may.
“In 2020 we had to deal with a lot of anxiety and frustration as more parties and events were canceled. Many products were sold out and shipping was delayed. I had to look for alternatives and other new suppliers to buy items “.
“It was a difficult experience as the supply chain was affected, especially balloons in the United States and some of our suppliers had limited manpower to fulfill our orders,” he said.
Despite the increase in sales, Funlah is not taking a break and is not engaged in buying and offering a wider variety of products to customers. Last month, she launched her hand-painted custom helium balloon series for customers who plan to give away these holiday items to friends and family to create personal messages.
Featured Image Credit: Funlah