Discouraged by the potential health hazards coming from wooden chopping boards, a woman from Da Nang in central Vietnam came up with the idea of setting up a business for tempered glass chopping boards.
It may seem like an unlikely effort, but this business came from a mother’s desire for her child’s best interest.
A concern for her own child
When she was pregnant with the first child seven years ago, Dang Thi Hang, a 32-year-old resident in Hai Chau District, Da Nang dropped her job at a design company to work freelance from home and focused on childcare.
This mother was deeply distressed by the easily contaminated wooden chopping boards, which grew moss after short-term use.
Also, they get a lot of chopping marks over time.
Concerned about her child’s physical health, she came up with a replacement.
As her family was a seller of glass products, she ran a pilot test to see whether toughened glass could be used as a chopping board, and she immediately fell in love with it.
The mother had a business idea in mind.
At first she merely advertised her products on Facebook for individual buyers.
The income helped a lot with her family expenditure and those sharing the same mindset could get a hold of a hygienic chopping board.
Based on her own market research, similar products were already available in the domestic market but both dealers and buyers were few and far between.
Together with her spouse, she spent five months researching and developing the technology for the product.
They ran lots of pilot tests themselves in order to figure out the most suitable model and the most efficient production process.
“The biggest challenge was to approach the market. The number-one thing to pop up in people’s minds when they hear of glass chopping boards is fragility,” she said.
“But I have tried to modify it because I am so excited about this kind of chopping board!”
Marketing tactic for the special product
Hang’s first clients were friends and family, most of whom did not believe in her success.
Negative feedback on her product could have stopped her attempts, but the entrepreneur never considered giving up.
The comments from clients helped her perfect her brainchild.
As a marketing effort, Hang had 300 glass chopping boards produced and promoted on a social network.
They were sold out after a few hours.
Part of her motivation is that there are a lot of parents interested in their children’s well-being.
According to Hang, the glass itself has to be tested properly for safety reasons.
It must not contain lead or cadmium, two types of heavy metals known to be harmful to babies.
The process includes crude cutting, surface and edge smoothing, drilling and enhancing the durability of the glass.
Durability was the first priority in the manufacturing process, then the design of the surface, including a variety of patterns for clients to choose from.
A few models have a silicone contour to keep it light and reduce noise in use.
The entrepreneur was under stress for a long time when her sales were low due to Vietnamese consumers’ doubt about glass chopping boards.
She was not put off, though. She based her marketing strategies on people’s curiosity and concern.
Hang tried hard to provide the best explanations for her consumers.
Sala, her company, made a name for itself thanks to the word of mouth by those consumers who are mostly mothers of little children.
These clients found out that the glass chopping boards were durable, hygienic, safe, easy to clean, free from toxic fungi, and did not leave any marks on the surface.
Sala currently has six primary workers and 20 part-time laborers.
The number of monthly sales then went from 300 to tens of thousands.
Distributors around Vietnam have been working with Hang to expand this brand name for the sake of people’s health.
The glass chopping board by Sala was nominated as an excellent product according to the municipal standards of Da Nang City in 2021.