Handcrafted parcels and handwritten letters are always special because of their personal touch.
These additional details tell me how much effort has gone into making these things appear presentable to me, which I really appreciate.
Kurukynki, a stamp manufacturer in Malaysia, is a startup that gives letters and parcels that personal touch.
Its founder, Kyn Goh, founded the Kurukynki brand in 2014, but didn't start producing stamps until 2017.
Kurukynki started painting on postcards and art prints, later switched to making clay pendants and eventually these stamps are made today.
Get into the business full time
“I drew a lot during my work days, but it was just for fun. But one day I got the idea to turn my drawings into stamps and so I decided to change the direction of my business, ”Kyn recalled in an interview with Vulcan Post.
Kyn is currently running Kurukynki full time since she noticed the demand for her stamps was increasing.
When Kurukynki was still selling clay pendants, she included a few stamps to sell until the inquiries for the latter got bigger than she had thought.
Kyn soon quit her job to focus on Kurukynki and sell her products online.
Although these stamps were not completely re-made by herself, they are still fairly hands-on to make.
Kyn designs all of these stamps, grinds the wood, attaches the rubber to the wooden handles, stamps the designs on the wooden handles, packages these stamps, and ships them all by herself.
Not all packaging looks the same, which shows how much attention she pays to details / Photo credit: Kurukynki
No sifu for learning
When Kyn decided to start making stamps, there weren't many resources or people to contact.
“The community was still small, so I had to research everything myself, e.g. For example, looking for the right wooden handles, rubber suppliers and paper packaging, ”said Kyn.
She also told Vulcan Post that the Malaysian rubber market was very small, so it took her a while to find the one that best suited her business.
A variety of her intricate stamp designs / Photo credit: Kurukynki
Despite these challenges, Kyn was fortunate to have her family's support despite worries that she might step down and take up this business full time. Kyn's friends and family were her advisors on everything to do with Kurukynki.
Was it worth the rush to quit your job?
Currently, Kyn is making enough from Kurukynki to cover her monthly expenses. However, for them, profit is not the main thing when it comes to this business.
“I really enjoy what I do now, which is the most important thing. Knowing that there are people in many parts of the world who use my stamps makes everything worth it, ”she said.
Their stamps range from RM18 to RM90 depending on whether it is a series of stamps or individual stamps. The lifespan of these stamps depends on how well the user takes care of them.
Using wet wipes to clean the stamps after each use is a fundamental helpful way to increase the quality of the stamps by preventing any ink residue from sticking to the stamp.
Kyn's stamps were not only sold locally, but also internationally. She had clients from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, New York, the Netherlands, Germany and the Philippines. She even has resellers for her stamps in other countries.
Year of the Ox (left) and mini-houses (right) / Photo credit: Kurukynki
While her company managed to reach customers in many different countries, it was unable to keep up with its momentum to continue growing internationally.
She created a website that year to consolidate all of her products in one place, but had to close it as she faced shipping delays from her supplier and customers.
Make it personal
Also, if I add a personal touch to a package or letter I give someone, I would expect them to appreciate it a little more than if I just bought gift wrap or cute envelopes from the store.
That same feeling drives Kyn to make her stamps all the time, and she told Vulcan Post, "I hope everyone who buys my stamps can see the effort I put into each and every one of them."
Despite the demand it's getting internationally, Kyn doesn't actually plan to make it very big in this business.
"As long as those who support me love my designs, it's the happiest thing that can happen to me," she concluded.
- You can find out more about Kurukynki here.
- You can find more startups we've written about here.
Selected image source: Kyn Goh, founder of Kurukynki