Mum's home remedies now for sale
Mother of two Nur Wahidah Abdul Wahap started making chest rubs and body oil blends for her firstborn son when she realised that natural remedies helped with his coughing and mild eczema.
In particular, coconut oil with spearmint helped her son breathe more easily when he had the flu. It also helped him sleep better.
"When you have kids, you become more particular about the products you use," says the 29-year-old. "You don't want to use too many chemicals on them when they are young. So I started to search for organic and natural solutions."
Now, her two sons, aged 21/2 years and nine months old, regularly use her balms and massage oils. And what was once a mother's remedy has become a full-fledged business.
She launched Bottle Of Wellness in February last year, with $3,000 drawn from her savings to buy ingredients and packaging such as bottles and printed labels. She broke even in a few months.
The label offers skincare products for babies and adults such as a chest rub ($19) with spearmint and lemon that it says can help ease respiratory congestion; a balm ($19) with clove and rosemary to relieve minor skin irritations; and a tummy rub ($19) with ginger and fennel to relieve indigestion, stomach wind and colic.
The products are available online (bottleofwellness.com) and she sells about 500 items a month.
"My sons love them. Sometimes, my older child will take the oils and use them on his brother. Whenever he has a rash or feels any discomfort, he also knows how to ask me for the balms and rubs."
Caring for two active boys and running the business is a balancing act, says Ms Wahidah, who left her receptionist job last year to care for her children full time.
Her husband is a police officer and her mother chips in to help out from time to time.
Her days are spent cooking, cleaning and caring for her children. It is only after midnight, when the boys have gone to sleep, that her other job begins.
She spends about four hours making her balms at a time. This includes washing and sterilising the bottles, melting the beeswax to use as a base, mixing in coconut oil and essential oils, as well as bottling and labelling the mixture.
On a good night, when neither of her sons wakes up, she can make about 100 bottles from midnight to 4am.
The businesswoman plans to expand her range from 11 to 25 products next month. She is also taking an online course in aromatherapy and wants to apply her new knowledge to the brand.
"I will be releasing new formulations with vitamin E and some with rose oil because I found out that these ingredients are very healthy for the skin," she says.
"I'm already testing the new recipes on my sons. My children have to bear with my experiments."