A couple of months back when I was at Pasar Bella at the Grand Stand buying vegan toothpaste we got a sample of IDOCARE products from the counter and was shocked to find out they were created in Singapore! We decided to give it a try and it was really as good as any other products we have used. We decided to email Humaa, the boss of IDOCARE and we got an exclusive interview with her.
Here are the prices for the products at IDOCARE:
5x Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid $6.95 (5x the amount)
Concentrated Laundry Detergent $12 for 1 kg
Concentrated Floor Cleaner $11 for 1 litre
Hi Humaa, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer the questions below! She just gave birth to her second child and we really appreciate her giving a heart felt sharing about how she started and some common misconception about good cleaners in the household industry!
1. What is the story behind idocare?
I decided to quit my job when my first child was born. Since she was “pure”, I wanted to expose her to as little harmful stuff as I could. I ensured all I exposed her to was as safe as possible. Having only 1 income, I realized being “non-toxic” was really expensive. So I decided to embark on a journey to create stuff for mum’s (just like myself) who want the best for their child but do not want to pay an arm and leg for it. And so IDOCARE was born.
2. Could you tell us more about yourself?
I am now 36 years old. Quite out spoken and love my independence. My teachers always pegged me as an entrepreneur. And I suppose they were right afterall. I started out in life trying to be an interlectual property lawyer (LOL), but that failed completely as I just did not have my heart in it. Eventually, I went into advertising and absolutely loved it. But soon after the birth of my firstchild, I had to leave beacuse I did not trust anyone looking after her. A wife and now a mother of two, I am learning lots about parenthood and business together:) I consider myself to be quite “out of the box” in my thinking and I have always wanted to do something to contribute to the world and IDOCARE is it!
3. Is it a Singapore registered company or a foreign company? Are the products made in Singapore as well?
IDOCARE is a local brand. It was born here. It is owned by my company “RATHOR HOLDINGS PTE LTD”. We manufacture our products in Malaysia to keep our costs lower. If we were to manufacture here, I would never be able to sell at the prices we are selling right now.
4. Could you share any secret or special ingredients used in your products that you want more people to know of?
Optical brighteners: They are found in many laundry detergents. They make your clothes look brighter and whiter and make your colours last. But it is just a layer of “chemical” that sits on top of your clothing. And it creates many skin problems. The most common being eczema. Our laundry detergent does not have this at all.
It is a common misconception that “bubbles” clean better. Again, that is a chemical that has been added into products to make you feel they are cleaning better. But it is not. We do not contain this chemical. Thus our powder is a low sud powder, which is better for you and better for the environment. And we clean very well!
People also feel liquid detergent cleans better than powder. Again this is wrong. Actually powders are able to get in between your fibers and in fact, powders (especially ours) clean better because the powder is so fine that is get in between.
5. We read that you can wash vegetables with your dishwashing liquid. That sounds pretty crazy and how safe is this technique?
It is safe because we are asking you to use very little dishwashing liquid. You need to follow our instructions on the bottle. It only applies to product that is not organic. We help to clean out all the pesticides so you must wash it thoroughly. We have a customer who blogged about how she eats blueberries. Before IDOCARE, she just used to wash them with water. After trying us out, she realizes that the colour of the blueberries actually changes after being washed because they are covered in wax and pesticide. Try it!
6. What are some challenges you faced creating the products and the obstacles you have gone through?
As we are really really new. Not many retailers want to give us a try. They say no one will buy us because no one has heard of us. This is really disheartening. But I do try as hard as possible and we have been lucky (sort of) that eventually after lots of pestering, they do give us a try and the customers do like us and continually want to buy our products.
Margins. Everyone is out to get big margins but due to our philosophy, we have found it very challenging to get our products into stores which require high margins. As it defeats the prupose of starting this brand in the first place. We will struggle with this but we will not give up.
Once I was told by a store that they did not want to stock anything other than the one brand they had in their store. I asked them, “Don’t you want to offer your customers a choice of cleaning products?” and they said a flat “NO”!
I have no real background in anything that I sell. From creation of the product to the manufacture to the sale. I have paid the price many times. I have had stock that has to be thrown away. I have had to pay for things that should not cost as much as I was charged. I am still learning many lessons. But I hope that one day, all my hard work and money will all pay off. When IDOCARE becomes recognised and loved by everyone!
7. Do you have any plans for new products in the future? Could you give us a hint?
To take over the world:D
I honestly hope that every household in the world of ASIA(for now) has at least 1 IDOCARE product in their house and uses it! I do plan to create more products and in the pipeline is an all purpose spray (great for high chairs and table tops). We are thinking of a bathroom cleaner(because bathrooms are really quite a dirty place and need their own set of products) and maybe even a hand sanitiser (lots of people are asking for this!)
I just need a bit more time to formulate and test it as I have needed to slow down a little recently (thanks to our latest edition to the family) but I will eventually get there.
8. Could you share any inside news about the household produce industry you found shocking and think everyone should learn about?
Hmmmm…There are really lots of things out there that you do not really need. Some products are created just to get a larger share of your wallet. I try to do the opposite by creating one product with multi functions and save you money and space (we need that in Singapore)! Take our dishwashing for example, great for kids bottles, mum’s breast pump and your dirty dishes and even cleans your stove. You do not need to have 2 or 3 different cleaners on your sink! Just 1:)
Overall, we love the smell of the products as they are really light with a touch of lemon. We think this makes a great gift for any new mothers too!