At first glance, Rebecca Ng Ru Wen appear just a typical student at the International Medical University in Malaysia, very much like thousands of others. Ask some of her friends, however, and they’d tell you that Rebecca is not that typical. Rebecca, who is from Johor, is not just a student at the University, she is also the founder and owner of “Kochikii’s Clothing”. It was launched on 4 July 2018, starting with the #itaktau series followed by #notyourtypicalmerdeka series which was launched on 10 July. This business is involved in designing and selling of clothing that are Malaysian themed, making use of the interesting events that are happening in Malaysia as an inspiration in designing its products. Since Merdeka is coming up very soon, it was a perfect timing for Rebecca to launch a #notyourtypicalmerdeka series. Commenting on the latest Merdeka design T-shirt, Rebecca said, “When designing the T-shirts, we wanted to make sure that all of the Merdeka T-shirts are wearable all year long. We noticed that a lot of Merdeka T-shirts before this are with big logos and not suitable for wearing on days after Merdeka Day. Therefore, we came up with our minimalist #notyourtypicalmerdeka tshirt series. Our first series was the #itaktau series whereby we produce T-shirts based on the current news in Malaysia with the hope that Malaysians will always be aware of what is happening around them and they will not say I tak tahu or I don’t know when someone ask them about it.”
When asked on the public response to her T-shirts, Rebecca said, “Many of them liked the simplicity and uniqueness of our T-shirts and they are not something that you can find in the market. They also mentioned that our T-shirts are reasonably priced so that even students can afford them.” Rebecca has been venturing into business since she was as young as 14 years old. She decided to name her company “Kochikii’s” as this is the nickname that her sisters would use to call her. “Back then till now, I am always interested in baking and cooking good food for people around me. I will usually de-stress by doing those things even on my major exams like PT3 and SPM. One day when I was in Form 3, I came up with the idea of having my own small baking business as I get to feed people good food, de-stress and even earn some pocket money by myself! So I guess that was how I got involved in business, something that was unexpected but I had fun doing it. At that time, I sold many desserts but brownies was my signature.”
Rebecca then decided to go into a T-shirt business because it was not so convenient for her to bake in KL with all her baking equipment in her hometown of Johor. “So I thought of ways that I could earn some pocket money, especially to fund my medicine programme. Since I managed T-shirt printings back in high school, I thought that it would be a great idea to create cool T-shirts for everyone to wear, all day every day!”
Even with this business, Rebecca is not giving up on her dreams to become a doctor. She has completed her Foundation in Science at IMU and is currently waiting to begin her studies in medicine in August 2018.
“I decided to study medicine because I want to be a dermatologist. When I was younger, I had eczema and I understand the pain that a child has to go through. Not just physical pain but it also affects a person mentally due to lower self-confidence caused by their skin problems. When I become a doctor, I want to be able to help my patients with all of their skin problems. Not only that, I have always loved helping people and I want to be able to sacrifice my own life in order to save others.” Rebecca chose to study at IMU because IMU gave her confidence with their many years of experience in providing medical education. “The education system implemented in IMU is also very good for the students. The most important thing is that IMU always challenge and push their students so that we won’t stay in our comfort zones forever. That is very important to me as I will have limitless experience and challenge to make me a better student, doctor and person.” To Rebecca, her studies is still of utmost importance to her no matter how much she loves running her business. “My interest in medicine has always been my priority. I will normally start off my day with a list of things to do, so that I would not waste any time by just lazing around. At the top of my list will be my studies and I will include the things that I need to do for my business at the bottom. During my study breaks, I will do my business matters. That is how I divide my time between my studies and business.”
We wish Rebecca all the best in her medical studies and her business!