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We here at Neue believe that every person out there has a story to tell.

This week, we’ll find out What’s Neue with Ili Aiman binti Abdul Rahman of Ili Wax Brunei, a hair removal service based in Rimba that specialises in intimate waxing. She runs her home-based business alongside her husband, Muhammad Azim bin Abdul Aziz. Both of them a certified male & female waxers.

The Neue team recently sat down with Ili for a #Neue9to5 interview at Avenue 41 in Kiarong.

Part 1 Of #Neue9to5 Interview: First 9 Questions

1. Do people ever make fun of your profession?

Yes, of course!

They will go like, “Eh! So you’ve seen everything then!”

And I’m like … “Yeah I do.”

But I don’t make fun.

My face would …

Basically I do not really have a good poker face but I try to be very neutral about it.

So when people make fun of it, I’ll go: “Nah …”

I’ll try to like brush it off or just smile away.

 

2. Tell us a random fact about ingrown hair.

Oh! So the thing about ingrown hair. Um, I usually …

For any new customers or my loyal customers, I always consistently remind them to exfoliate.

 

3. How was your business impacted by COVID-19?

The pandemic really impacted quite heavily on our business.

 

4. How bad was it?

For the first month, it dropped to a few.

And then the second month, it dropped to zero.

But at the same time, I think of it as a hidden disguise because I get to spend more time with my girls.

Because we usually do waxing after office hours and sometimes we also get special request to do it early in the morning like for those hikers who cancel their morning hikes and they go waxing with us – me or my husband.

 

5. Who means a lot to you in your life?

Talking about side income … anything … you can do anything when you put your mind to it.

Just to share with you a little bit … for myself, I did waxing.

I took the courses, the classes with my husband.

It was just actually for ourselves.

I wanted to do (it) properly. I wanted to get properly certified so I can do it on my husband and vice versa.

But that’s the thing … and then when you put your mind to it and say, “You know what? Maybe we can share the tips (with) the world because apparently people do not know the dos, the don’ts, the ethics of waxing.”

So (the) same goes (for) any kind of business. You have to explore the options as well!

 

6. Who are the heroes in your life?

My mom and my dad.

So the thing with my dad, I remember what he always tells me.

He even tells it to me now.

So what he told me then was: “Remember to contribute to your country, then to your family, then to yourself.”

So that sentence is what I’ve held on to.

And for my mom, she has always been there for me – mentally (and) physically.

And to me, they are the two strong pillars of my life (before I met my husband).

 

7. Best advice?

The best advice that I got in life is from a friend. A very dear friend to me.

What he told me was to remove stress is to remove the stressor.

So try to find a way to eliminate it or just prevent it or just be away from it.

And that saying is what I also hold on dearly to and it has helped me a lot to where I am from also.

 

8. We were told that you have a heart of gold. Tell us about that.

Um, I said (to the administrators of the school that) I actually wanted to be a veterinarian.

However, since I can’t.

I think it’s a missed opportunity.

So I figured that I could be successful as a businesswoman, maybe even though I can’t be a veterinarian, I can finance for the things I love.

And you know what? I’m doing waxing (as a business) right now and I don’t know how or what or why … all of a sudden even though we have our own pets in the house, we have also these extra animals coming along our way.

Dogs, goats, anything … and we rescue them, we take care of them, we finance until they have good health.

Until someone wants to adopt them or if they … until then we will still take care of it.

And to me that brings great pleasure to me because I feel very fulfilled. Thank you!

 

9. Who would you like to nominate for the next interview?

I would like to nominate two people.

One is her name is Joy. She’s the President of Women & Child Awareness.

Secondly would be Nisa. She’s the owner of Sockspublika.

 

Part 2 Of #Neue9to5 Interview: Last 5 Questions

1. What do you often get asked about?

How do I present myself after I do waxing?

So for my case, people would assume, “Oh! Is she going to take away this session and tell the story?”

In reality … in honest reality, I don’t.

Me and my husband, we do not.

Because we have other things to think about.

We have a lot of distractions. We have two children – one is four years old, the other is three years old.

 

2. Tell us something surprising about yourself.

Oh! I know! Do you guys know that I actually do wall climbing and flying-fox?

At high, highest height!

But in reality, the reason why I do it is because I’m scared of heights!

 

3. An embarrassing moment?

My embarrassing moment from my childhood days is when …

So my mom and dad used to study in the UK.

So the scene and the environment are very different.

There (are) puddles of mud … not so puddly like in Brunei.

And at the same time, there’s a lot of like hills of leaves you know what I mean?

So you can just jump right into it.

So when we ‘balik kampong’ (visited home) at Lamunin, I saw this big puddle.

So I was wearing my Wellington boots.

So I went straight in and just stomped on the puddle of mud, which apparently was NOT a puddle of mud.

It was actually a puddle of poop.

 

#4. What’s an old song you love?

(Source: GIPHY)

♫ If you wanna be my lover … you have got to give ♫

So … Spice Girls! I’m always a big fan of Geri Halliwell.

 

5. Instant noodles. What’s the first thing that pops in your mind?

(Source: GIPHY)

When I was pregnant with my second baby, my husband loved to make me what he calls “Maggie Carbonara Abang Ajim”.

So “Maggie Carbonara Abang Ajim” is Maggie Ayam (Chicken flavour) and one slice of cheese … TWO slices of cheese (sorry!) … with garlic.

And then … you should try it yourself too!

And it tastes very nice and it reminds me of spaghetti carbonara.

Connect with Neue

Would you like to be featured in our next interview? Or would you like to nominate any of your friends or family? If so, get in touch with Neue by sending a DM to Instagram.