PETALING JAYA: For many, the thought of running a business is daunting. But 21-year-old student and entrepreneur Sofea Amira Mohd Shukri is expertly keeping one eye on her books and the other on her oven.
She is the mastermind behind “Amora’s Loves”, a home-based online bakery, whose soft cookies have become a viral sensation on TikTok, earning Amira the title of Gen Z entrepreneur.
Amira isn’t just a genius in the kitchen but a whiz in the lab too. So, while pursuing her chemical engineering studies at Universiti Teknologi Petronas, she’s also often rushing off hundreds of cookies to be shipped across the country.
Like many other savvy entrepreneurs, Amira started Amora’s Loves during the pandemic in 2021.
“While I was stuck at home, I baked everything from cookies to tarts to brownies, every single day. Eventually, my family got sick of it,” she told FMT Lifestyle.
Then her mother suggested: “’Why don’t you sell them online? I don’t want to get fat from eating your cookies every day’,” Amira recalled with a chuckle.
Intrigued by the idea and fuelled by her passion for baking, Amira overcame her fear of rejection and ventured into the world of e-commerce.
Recalling her initial attempt to sell cookies on Instagram, Amira admitted: “You wouldn’t believe me, but nobody bought any. Not one person approached me or reached out to buy a cookie.”
Amira quickly realised that she needed a better strategy. “I told people who live near me, ‘Hey, I have a lot of extra cookies left, do you want some?'” she said.
As friends shared her bakes, talk of Amira’s unique soft cookies spread like wildfire. “And that’s how it all started, the good old-fashioned way – by pure word of mouth.”
Today Amora’s Loves has over 50,000 followers and four million likes on Tik Tok alone. “Just this year, we baked more than 10,000 cookies,” she said.
How did she achieve all of this in just two years? It’s simple: she went viral.
“Around six months after setting up Amora’s Loves, I posted a video of my cookies and used a Tik Tok audio clip that was trending at the time. Immediately, the video got around 300,000 views, and I received 60 orders in one day!”
While Amira’s social media marketing skills helped propel Amora’s Loves to initial fame, it was the exceptional texture of her cookies that customers kept coming back for more.
“Our soft cookies have a melt-in-your-mouth texture, almost like you’re biting into a cloud of sweetness,” Amira explains.
Amora’s Loves offers over 13 flavours – chocolate chip, red velvet, triple chocolate, matcha, and Oreo among them. However, what truly sets her cookies apart are the toppings.
Among her best-selling flavours is the chocolate chip S’mores variant with a marshmallow nestled in the centre, creating a delightful gooey surprise with each bite. No wonder her videos went viral!
Although Amora’s Loves is only two years old, Amira’s love for baking started at age 14 during an ambitious group baking session with friends.
“Those were quite literally the most horrible cookies I’ve ever eaten,” she joked about the cookies she baked then.
Not content to leave that bitter taste in her mouth, she kept experimenting with chocolate chip cookie recipes. But each was a resounding disaster until three years later when her father pointed out the correct oven setting!
And just like that all her cookie woes were miraculously resolved. “Who knew it was because of one silly oven setting that I had no idea about!”
What this entire episode taught her however, was her unwavering determination to succeed. And in the course of all her experimentation, she discovered the perfect cookie recipe that she uses for Amora’s Loves.
But eventually her books beckoned and Amira had to resume her studies on campus. “It was difficult to let go, but passing on the reins of baking the cookies to my mother was the bravest decision I made,” she said.
Today Amora’s Loves is a family affair, with each member contributing their talents to the bakery’s success.
“My mother does the baking, my brother helps with the packaging and shipping, my younger sister helps with attaching the handwritten letters, and I handle the orders plus social media! I couldn’t have done any of this without my family’s support.”
Asked about her future, Amira said she dreams of balancing a career in the petroleum industry with nurturing Amora’s Loves.
Her ultimate goal is to dedicate herself fully to the bakery and open a charming café someday.