Disclaimer: In Real Life is a platform for everyday people to share their experiences and voices. All articles are personal stories and do not necessarily echo the sentiments of In Real Life. Many people think that opening your own business requires a lot of money just for the startup. And to start a business during the pandemic? It\u2019s a big \u201cNO\u201d.\u00a0 However, that doesn\u2019t always have to be the case. Here\u2019s how sisters Fathima and Anis opened their online store HELLO DAISI with a capital of only RM300.\u00a0 My sister and I started this business in July 2020,\u201d Fathima said. \u201cWe identified a gap in the market for trendy and affordable face masks.\u201d Fathima was in college and her sister, Anis was a fresh graduate when they decided to open this store. Anis handles the marketing and media while Fathima is in charge of the production.\u00a0 \u201cI had so much time during the quarantine period and I just could not accept doing nothing. I wanted to learn something new, so I tried my hand at sewing,\u201d said Fathima. The sisters had a good teacher in their mother, who had a passion for creating and designing clothes. \u201cLearning from scratch from our mom and sharing our love for sewing was the best part. Although we fight over the sewing machine sometimes!\u201d said Fathima. Why did you pick face masks?\u00a0 \u201cIt's hard to find face masks that are both inexpensive and have a nice aesthetic in Malaysia,\u201d said Fathima. \u201cSo we wanted to make them ourselves.\u201d We started the business in July 2020\u00a0with only RM300 \u201cIt was tough to work with a low capital since we were creating our own products,\u201d Anis shared. \u201cBut it's not impossible.\u201d They experimented with many samples and designs to create the perfect face mask. After much trial and error, they nailed the right combination of comfort and utility. Finding business supplies was particularly difficult, since everything is restricted to being done online.\u00a0 At the same time, Fathima notes, the pandemic has expanded the market and created a great demand for masks. Fathima and Anis try to keep their social media as active as possible by engaging with as many customers as possible. They use popular hashtags to reach new followers\u2019 accounts.\u00a0 \u201cWe post daily and we\u2019re very particular with our pictures,\u201d Fathima responds.\u00a0 \u201cOur pictures are in our chosen colour scheme and have to have a good quality.\u201d Initially, Hello Daisi was only opened for local orders. But in July, their video went viral on TikTok with over 1.6 million views. This increased their demand internationally.\u00a0 \u201cSo far we have shipped face masks to over 10 countries,\u201d Fathima\u00a0 claimed.\u00a0 They have shipped to Norway, Malta,\u00a0 Luxembourg, UK, USA, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand, Kuwait and Japan. Since then, their business has grown by 500%.\u00a0 Taking orders through Whatsapp became difficult. \u201cWe had to copy and paste every detail of the customer's order before packing,\u201d Anis shares. So they created their own official website.\u00a0 \u201cSince our shipping and packing is documented on the site, it really boosted our productivity and attracted a lot more new customers,\u201d Anis continued.\u00a0 We started to scale Hello Daisi to balance our work and studies Although their business is thriving, Anis and Fathima have become more occupied with their studies and other careers. \u201cWe had to delegate our tasks. So we found suppliers to produce a higher volume of orders and hired employees to handle orders and shipments,\u201d Fathima\u00a0 explained.\u00a0 \u201cWe also constantly sanitise our workplace to maintain hygiene,\u201d Anis added.\u00a0 \u201cThe media and marketing is still managed by us,\u201d Anis said, pointing at Fathima and herself. They share how keeping a positive mindset has helped them throughout the business. And the supportive customers\u2019 are always motivating.\u00a0 Anis said, \u201cTheir words have really helped us during our hard times.\u201d\u00a0 The biggest challenge was conquering our self-doubt It\u2019s so hard to believe that Hello Daisi was almost not opened because of our self-doubt.\u201d shared Fathima.\u00a0 \u201cWe doubted ourselves before opening up this business, overthinking about things all the what ifs,\u201d she continued. \u201cWe pushed away our doubts and just said to ourselves \u2018start now.\u2019 I am so happy we pushed away self doubts since we would not be sitting here as a business owner if we didn\u2019t.\u201d\u00a0 "It is really important for you to produce what will be a need for customers. Luckily, we could pair the need with something that was passionate to us. That really motivated us to open our store.\u201d What\u2019s in the pipeline for Hello Daisi?\u00a0 \u201cBranching out into new platforms like Twitter and Shopee is in the plans. This will improve our brand image, which leads to more sales!\u201d Fathima said enthusiastically.\u00a0 "Our ultimate goal is to be one of the most renowned local brands out there," declared Anis.\u00a0 For more stories like this, read: The Newbie\u2019s Guide to Starting an Online Business Platform \u2013 Tips from the Founders of IRL and How to Adapt Your Business to a Post-Pandemic World in 2020 \u2014 With Azran Osman-Rani. If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook & Instagram!