Written by Delwin Keasberry Friday, 10 May 2013 14:31
What's the story behind "Shiiz Candies"?
It is a husband and wife company, which we always wanted to start. Our vision is to be a one stop place/diner for anyone who wants a taste of the other side of the world, particularly the USA. We are more focused on this region as it has a lot to offer and that it is quite unique and can easily be accepted by our local tongue.
Who are we? For the most part I am the front man (Hafiiz Ar) of the business and not only do I do the initial cooking, my skill sets varies to the marketing and designing for the ads and other area of the business as well, and as for my wife Sajidah Abdullah, other than being the baker for Shiiz Candies, she has brought her calculative skills to the financial side of the business and see where/how we can further develop business.
A lot of people thought that the word "Shiiz" came for an abbreviation of our name, but in actual fact it came from Snoop Dogg (the rapper) way of describing certain things or action as "The Best" for example "Them hot wings are tha Shiiznit!" ... I decided to drop the "nit" but still keep the original word as a guidance to what we want to achieve, which is to be "The Best".
What motivated you to launch Shiiz Candies?
Like most things in life, family support is important, and with that in April 2012 my wife and I decided to start an online business, we started of selling cupcakes and sweet treats to family and friends and slowly build our customer base, through their continuous support and constructive criticism we moved forward positively.
And when I was in States for a two week trip, I had an epiphany while I was immersing myself with some Hot Buffalo Wings from Zaxby's. I said to myself "If cupcakes could be sold online, why not wings?" then I started to examine how they made these intensely flavourful wings, you could say I was studying every single bite! So as soon as I got back to Brunei, I made the decision with my wife, that we would change the business and that I am certain that this will work! Somehow I convinced her that this will change up the market and again that motivated us.
What are three lessons you have learnt so far from your entrepreneurial journey?
1) Be humble and be nice - Show great interest in everyone and take in every word they say, and the real secret is never look down at anyone that you meet as we are all human being and we are the greatest asset. Treat others as you wish to be treated and you will succeed in life.
2) Have a positive attitude and be professional - I believe in the law of attraction and that to have positive attitude, energy, thoughts and action...these shape up and reflect the outcome of what we do.
3) Appreciation and gratitude - it is very important to be thankful for all that has happened.
What are your three top sellers?
1) Hotlanta Wings "Brunei's Premier Hot Wings" with only three signature sauces and two of which are originally named Sissy and Bloody Spicy Wings. Furthermore, this is where we start the niche of selling Hot Wings online and we are thankful and humbled by it as it has emerge as a trend-setter, it is so popular that a few other vendors made the jump to sell similar Hot Wings on FB and IG and with that we can only hope a lot more will join in. we are looking forward to what everyone has to offer in a positive way.
2) Hotlanta Cheesesteaks "Brunei's #1 Cheesesteaks" which similarly come in three sauces - Sissy, Bloody spicy and Mushroom. This is an original Shiiz Candies spin-off of the "Philly cheesesteaks" (which is by the way, a must for everyone to have if they visit the States!)
3) Maine Shrimp Roll - This is a very different and again a niche, as this is more of a gourmet type of sandwich. It is fresh shrimp laid between hot buttered buns.
Where do you see Shiiz Candies in three years?
Currently we are expanding our menu first, with the latest introduction of to our menu will be a spin-off of Shiiz Candies and alter ego you might say…which I call "Smoke House Grillers" (#smokehousegrillers), this is my forte' which is bbq and grill. And in terms of expanding the business, we do see ourselves having our own authentic diner and branching out to other districts as well. I hope with patience and great support from everyone we can achieve this goal.
Tell us about the recent Buzz Fest.
So why Buzz Fest? Other thank being an event in-conjunction with Shiiz Candies' one year anniversary, it was also dedicated towards exposing a new emerging trend of online businesses which can be defined as "E-Vendors". We hope these will be recognized by the government and other financial agencies as new business category. We are hoping slowly but effectively somehow this will cascade towards a positive future for e-vendors alike in terms of grants and banking facilities etc.
What are your favourite quotes?
These are a few inspirational quotes which I hold on to:
"When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, then you will become successful" - Eric Thomas
"Success isn't always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work gains success. Greatness will come." - The Rock
Finally, any shout-outs?
First off we would like to say thank you to our families and friends who are a big part of our life. Thank you for the unlimited support and also to all the continuous support from our beloved customers. We have learnt a lot from our first year of operation. We are still learning and hope that together with the guidance of The All Mighty, patience and being positive we will achieve our goal.
Editor's Note: Every now and then, a brand comes along and grabs your attention by the horns. That was what it felt like when I first heard about Shiiz Candies. Home based foodies have been around for a while, but we have seen the Rise of the E-Vendor across the last 24 months. This is stating the obvious - social media has paved the way for business to connect with people...but it is refreshing to watch when a brand does it well. Long time fans of Shiiz Candies will know what I am talking about here. If you don't, connect with them (@ShiizCandies on Instagram) to see what I mean.
For more Buzz Fest photographs, see here.
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