4 Homegrown Malaysian Artisans Giving Local Craftsmanship New Life

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1. Tanamera: Traditional Herbal Beauty Remedies

(Photo: Nora Danish / Instagram)

Looking at Tanamera’s towering billboard ads, swanky positioning in spas around the world, and sophisticated packaging, you might be mistaken for thinking that the brand is a lavish luxury range that may be totally out of your reach.

Tanamera is as Malaysian – and as welcoming – as they come. Run by three siblings, this business saw its humble start way back in 1995 as a small makeshift factory focusing on in manufacturing traditional, natural Malay herbal therapies. Siblings Faridah, Fauziah and Faisal always dreamt of blending their grandmothers’ traditional herbal remedies and rich tropical ingredients into  a truly natural product range for the international market. With that dream in mind, they created Tanamera, a range of natural  herbal soaps and essential oil mists, all 100% halal, vegetarian, cruelty-free, and free of synthetic additions.

The siblings behind Tanamera.

As Tanamera grew to expand to include more home spa products like body scrubs, massage oils, body masks and incense sticks, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. In fact, when they got started, trust in and desirability of Malaysian-made products was so low that the siblings took their business to Germany instead, where their natural beauty products were met with much more enthusiasm.

It wasn’t until fairly recently that they made their way back to Malaysia, but that too was met with difficulty– notably when it came to looking for retail space in malls for their then-relatively unknown brand. Their first flagship store didn’t open until December 2017, when the Starling Mall finally granted them a space.

Yet, for the stringent manufacturing and strict emphasis on quality ingredients amidst a fluctuating economy, Tanamera’s prices remain relatively affordable over the years. For example, the Brown Formulation Body Soap that I got to see them manufacture in their new Kuala Selangor factory, retails at a very decent RM18. This is something their Managing Director Faisal, a humble man who makes no secret of his soft heart, is adamant about. “A good product must be accessible to both the rich and the poor,” he says.

Now, the Tanamera catalogue spans almost 80 core products, including their best-selling bar soaps, body scrubs, essential oils, massage oils and more and are sold online and in 50 physical retail locations, including in KLIA, where they only Malaysian brand that has been given a retail space in KLIA.

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