By Tan Mei Kuan

In 2012, Bobo Foo took a leap of faith by leaving her corporate job to become the founder of the kids’ active swimwear brand, Cheekaaboo and the branding company, Passiontree Marketing Sdn Bhd.

“I really like branding and have always been passionate about building a brand that one day would go international. I am inspired by brands like Starbucks, for instance, that have gone global. It just excites me,” the 34-year-old enthused.

When asked on the inspiration behind her start-up, Cheekaaboo, she explained, “I wanted to create a range of products of my own for kids, specifically for active kids. I was inspired by the outdoor lifestyle and during a family trip to Penang, the fun time in the water with my nephews and nieces was cut short as their parents thought the water was getting too cold and worried about them catching a cold. That got me inspired to start off something that can protect the kids and promote parent-kid bonding.”

Thus, Cheekaaboo’s signature function-meet-fashion thermal swimsuits using neoprene technology were launched. It is designed by Bobo to keep the young ones warm featuring qualities like UPF 50+ protection, chlorine resistant and buoyant.

The products were awarded the prestigious BabyTalk Readers' Choice Awards 2018 for baby swimwear category and recently the Motherhood Choice Award for swimwear category. Plus, it has been tested and passed SGS mandatory test to ensure there are no nasty chemicals such as lead and phthalates. The customer-centric brand constantly welcomes feedback and engagement with clients.

Headquartered in Ipoh, her collections which are tailored for young ones from 6 months to 8 years of age are carried by major department stores, Robinsons @ The Gardens and Isetan @ KLCC and premium baby shop, Bebehaus @ Bangsar Village since the brand’s inception. It is also growing internationally via Amazon US platform.

On the potential of Ipoh for start-ups, the amiable entrepreneur cum mother of one shared, “There are a lot of talented people in Ipoh. It would be good if there is a community for entrepreneurs so that they won’t be all alone. The support system is really important besides having a network to share problems and mingle with other like-minded people.”

Here’s her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, “Follow your heart or keep exploring. Surely there will be a lot of challenges daily. Keep pushing and stay motivated. Manage your risks.”

For more updates, check out its Facebook page (Cheekaaboo). Ipohites can get ahold of Cheekaaboo products online via its website: www.cheekaaboo.com. Interested readers can call 05 254 0848 or email to hello@cheekaaboo.com.