Support local: Online mall The Artisans Haven champions Malaysian small businesses and passion projects

Online mall The Artisans Haven (TAH) has announced new plans for more features, promotions and partnerships. — Pix courtesy of The Artisans Haven
Online mall The Artisans Haven (TAH) has announced new plans for more features, promotions and partnerships. — Pix courtesy of The Artisans Haven

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Following a reported 180 per cent growth in tenancy over the last five months, online mall The Artisans Haven (TAH) has announced new plans for more features, promotions and partnerships to make the hub an even greater success.

For starters, TAH, which was set up to help artisans and small businesses mostly affected by Covid-19, plans to hire additional manpower as well as upgrade its operating system.

Dubbed TAH 3.0, the latter will incorporate, among other things, a service bot called TAHSA which will act as the artisans’ service assistant, free e-commerce capabilities for small businesses and a “live” act platform for its performing artists.

TAH is also working on increasing its partnerships with corporate entities, while extending its support for social enterprises such as the Beautiful Gate Foundation for the Disabled.

Since going “live” on October 1, the team at TAH has rolled out online promotions with Digi Telecommunications, Maybank2U, Public Bank and UOB Bank.

They have received confirmed bookings from PLUSMiles, Petron Malaysia as well as arts portal Kakiseni that will be rolled out by the end of 2020.

Ng Jia Jun, group general manager of The Artisans Haven.
Ng Jia Jun, group general manager of The Artisans Haven.

As part of its growth plans, TAH has also appointed Ng Jia Jun, previously a business manager with SKY branch at AmBank Group, as group general manager.

When it was established in May, during the conditional movement control order (CMCO), TAH only had 30 tenants. However, this number grew to 84 by the end of October.

In the same period, its Facebook engagements hit 5,000 views per week.

Founded by two friends, Jade Lee and Rosalie Lin, who met while working as bankers, TAH had an unexpected start.

Upon retirement, Lee started a blog, whereupon she discovered that her artisan friends were in a spot: They had beautiful works but limited exposure to e-commerce which had taken off during the pandemic.

She started curating a selection of their works, connected it to her corporate contacts, and also promoted the products on social media and YouTube.

As the idea grew of a digital mall for artisans, other retirees also lent their support to the project, which saw some, including Lee and Lin, working pro bono.

TAH now markets the products of Malaysian artisans and small businesses under the icon ‘SHOP artisans’ on its website.

Some are hobbies that grew into businesses, such as Jescar Yu of Sweet House Bakery; the hand & brush gallery of Sashtri Vivekananda; and GoCHeeKS by ex-banker-turned-painter, Chee Li Har.

Other offerings are more personal growth related, such as Joanna Bessey of Enfiniti Academy who brings out the creativity in her drama and communication students; and Martin Wong of Trade VSA who gives talks on how to read the stock market through his proprietary chatbot, Smart Robie.

TAH has also allowed personal passions to bloom into viable businesses. For example, fashion line ‘lovebyerna’ by husband-and-wife team Shariff Mohamad Noor and Erna Idayu incorporates modern design with traditional fabric such as batik; while Ben and Ee Va Ong of Trio Ulti design sportswear centred on their active lifestyle.

To find out more about The Artisans Haven, click here.

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