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SME Corp points young entrepreneur towards success


22 November 2023

By AVV


KOTA KINABALU: From a small town nestled in the heart of Sabah, came a young entrepreneur named Norlinda Komel who made her dreams come true.


Undoubtedly a role model for her three other younger siblings, she is making waves in the beauty industry with her organic herbal soap products. At just 21 years old, Norlinda is on a journey to turn her passion for beauty into a thriving business.


Inspired by her mother, Maria Sungar, Norlinda attended a course on making organic herbal soap products in early 2023. This course ignited her passion and sparked the idea of creating organic herbal products that combined traditional ingredients with scientific research. With her mother's support and encouragement, Norlinda decided to establish her own business.


Initially named LIN De Bling, Norlinda's business underwent a transformation and was upgraded to LA'Merly Organic. The name LA'Merly Organic is a combination of Norlinda's initials, her mother's name Maria, and the word "erly," which represents the elderly community.


Norlinda strongly believes in empowering the elderly and providing them with daily income through the creation of organic herbal products.


Norlinda's partner, Wan Mohd Ariffin Shah, has been a pillar of support throughout her entrepreneurial journey. As an entrepreneur in electrical technology, running his own business called Arda Electrical, Wan Mohd Ariffin understands the challenges and rewards of building a successful venture. Together, they form a strong support system for each other.


Family plays a crucial role in Norlinda's life. Her mother works as an accountant at a Resort, while her father is employed as an office boy in a company.


Norlinda lives with her partner, her grandfather Marius Harun, her grandmother Jessie, with her four siblings. Their unwavering love and support have given her the strength to overcome obstacles and pursue her dreams.


“Starting a business is never without its challenges, and I faced my fair share of skepticism and negative comments,” she shares, adding that she remained determined and grateful for the support from her loved ones.


One of the sweetest moments in her journey was successfully marketing her products to peninsula with the assistance of her aunt, Qipot. The positive feedback from customers further fueled her passion and determination.


Norlinda's hard work and dedication caught the attention of SME Corp Malaysia, leading to her receiving a grant of RM30,000 to support her business. This grant has allowed her to continue growing LA'Merly Organic and aspire to achieve even greater success in the future.


She shares that everyone can use her products as they are herb based sourced from Tambunan, in collaboration with local farmers. This commitment in supporting the community extends to her future plans, as Norlinda intends to utilise a solar dryer for the herb drying process.


LA'Merly Organic currently offers seven types of soap, each with its unique blend of organic herbal ingredients. From Wagas Soap made from rice to Gembirang Soap infused with cloves, Norlinda's products showcase the rich diversity of Sabah's natural resources.


Other soap varieties include AloeVera Soap, Pegaga Soap made from gotu kola, Tawawo Soap, Sogumau Soap made from lemongrass, and another Soap made from Malaysian grass.


To date, sales from these products have reached up to RM6,200 from her initial investment of RM300


To meet the growing demand for her products, LA'Merly Organic recently established a processing facility in Kota Kinabalu.


This facility will enable Norlinda to register her soap products for approval from the Ministry of Health (KKM) and expand her market reach. With pride, Norlinda ensures that all LA'Merly Organic products are produced and distributed under her watchful eye.


Looking ahead, Norlinda envisions her business continuing to grow rapidly, gaining recognition, and making a positive impact on other communities. She remains committed to empowering individuals and creating products that combine traditional remedies with scientific research.


Norlinda expresses her thanks and gratitude to SME Corp Malaysia and the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDC) Datuk Ewon Benedick for believing in her vision and providing the grant that has allowed her business to thrive.


She sees this as a responsibility to be fulfilled with utmost dedication and care. She also extends  her heartfelt gratitude to her mother, Maria, her partner, Wan Mohd Ariffin Shah, and her entire family for their unwavering support.


As Norlinda's entrepreneurial journey unfolds, her determination, passion, and vision continue to shape the beauty industry and touch the lives of others. Through LA'Merly Organic, she is not only creating exceptional products but also empowering communities and inspiring others, especially her three young siblings, to pursue their dreams.

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