Do you know the present U.S. cosmetics marketplace is value over $95 billion? 

With the short enlargement of the cosmetics business, it is turn into aggressive and saturated — particularly for startups.  This business can also be much more difficult to damage thru when you are seeking to promote a product that you are target market could be much less aware of.

With this in thoughts, Glow Recipe, based via Sarah Lee and Christine Chang, targets to deliver U.S. consciousness to Korean cosmetic (or Ok-beauty) tendencies, in addition to its personal traces of herbal, fruit-based beauty merchandise. 

A lineup of Glow Recipe's fruit-based k-beauty products

However, earlier than Glow Recipe bought 1000’s of beauty merchandise and constructed an target market of greater than 1 million social media fans, it in truth began as a easy product curation website online aiming to focus on different Ok-beauty manufacturers. 

In a up to date episode of The Shake Up, Alexis Homosexual and Brianne Kimmel sat down with Co-CEOs Sarah Lee and Chang to be told how they constructed a well known cosmetic emblem and located their merchandise for the U.S. and different world markets.

Underneath are only some nice highlights from the episode, in addition to an audio participant so you’ll concentrate when you learn.

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Glow Recipe Highlights

How and Why Glow Recipe Started With Curation

[00:18:54] Homosexual: It sort of feels to me like in the course of the paintings of a number of corporations, however specifically Glow Recipe, American citizens are an increasing number of conscious about Ok-beauty and the philosophy at the back of it. … I am questioning if it’s good to simply let us know just a little extra. What are the true key markers of Ok-beauty?

[00:19:17] Chang: The entire catalyst for us beginning this was once in truth the belief that there was once a burgeoning pastime in Korean cosmetic on the time. This was once all of the long ago into 2014. We have been additionally seeing now not simplest customers but additionally world corporations taking a look to Korean producers and Korean labs for the most recent inventions and skin care, elements, and applied sciences.

… We have been additionally seeing that Korean cosmetic articles … have been very interested by [K-beauty] as a ten to 15-step routine. … It could virtually be just a little — when it comes to content material — too clickbaity, as opposed to in reality getting on the center of the topic, which is that Korean cosmetic is ready a philosophy. … It is one thing that we ourselves discovered at our moms’ and grandmothers’ knees rising up.

We each have those wonderful recollections of … our grandmothers the usage of watermelon rind and rubbing that at the pores and skin to fit warmth rash, or our moms simply marching over to the pantry. And I do know Sarah’s mom — one in all her favourite elements was once cucumber slices. Or my mother wish to use higher potato and [00:20:30] simply that holistic very simply, the out there method to herbal elements, incorporating that into yourself care regimen. We’d very frequently masks along with our mothers whilst observing TV. And it wasn’t a chore. It wasn’t an laborious 15 step factor you needed to get thru.

[00:22:19] Kimmel: Are you able to let us know just a little bit extra about that evolution from changing into the depended on supply on your pal workforce for Ok-beauty merchandise to then curating this wonderful new revel in that became an important network in an excessively giant marketplace.

[00:22:45] Chang: We flew over in 2014 to Korea with out such a lot as a web page to get some manufacturers on board. And we pounded the pavement to search out those manufacturers that a lot of which we are nonetheless very on the subject of these days. … The commonality was once that they have been all helmed via in reality passionate emblem founders that had distinctive merchandise, in reality transparent product method philosophies, and we felt like those have been the manufacturers … that had to be offered to the U.S. and different world markets — on account of the sheer astounding innovation, stunning textures, and element tales we have been seeing. … After numerous convincing … We have been ready to get 8 or 9 manufacturers on board.

On that travel, we kicked off our website online in an instant. … There have been numerous mishaps alongside the best way. I flinch just a little bit once I see the early iterations of our website online, as a result of on the time you have been like, “Hello, it appears nice.” … Now, taking a look again on it, there have been some transparent optimization alternatives, nevertheless it was once so amusing.

… Each day, we have been making emails ourselves. We have been chilly calling newshounds ourselves. We have been working out the social media content material. … It was once numerous scrappiness, but additionally we in reality loved it as a result of we knew every step we have been taking was once getting us nearer to our function of bringing Ok-beauty philosophy to the broader target market and the best way that we idea was once proper.

christina chang discusses the early days of Glow Recipe as a startup

… We knew that at last, we must take that step ourselves as a result of we ourselves had that method philosophy internally that we would have liked to in reality materialize and manifest thru, thru our personal emblem and the appropriate timing for that at last got here. So a few years after launching RSP as a curation website online, we introduced our personal in-house food-for-skincare emblem that you just see these days, and at the cabinets at Sephora in mid-2017. … And that was once … an excessively shut partnership with the store to make certain that we have been a hit in launching the logo.

Why Glow Recipe Pivoted from Curation to Product Introduction

[00:26:29] Lee: I feel the primary reason we began as a curation industry type was once as a result of we would have liked to provide the platform and the chance to those sensible founders and types to move world via offering the content material and training and advertising.

When we have been ready to realize that credibility available in the market, I feel that is after we had to in reality take into consideration what we would have liked to do as founders.

What we would have liked to do was once mix the ones [Korean beauty] tenants and create our personal emblem as a result of we did not in reality assume that all the inflow of Chinese language and Korean cosmetic inventions have been absolutely understood via the American shopper. We felt the urge to damage down that barrier and create our personal manufacturers which can be in truth a lot more effective.

[00:28:12] Chang: With Glow Recipe Skin care, it simply felt proper. Our network may just now not get sufficient. Other folks have been DM-ing us, our emblem, our, our non-public Instagrams nonstop asking about … the following draw, product ideas, concepts. There was once simply such a lot interest and buzz round this emblem. And we knew that we had struck a chord with it as it was once this steadiness of — sure — Korean cosmetic philosophy, but additionally effects. …

Additionally, [one thing that drew audiences was] the truth that we have been talking about amusing skin care. For the longest time, I feel skin care have been in reality ruled via numerous very medical manufacturers. … In fact, such a lot of manufacturers which can be in that area also are in reality wonderful. However I feel that sense of sensory fact — that further second that contact that made your self-care regimen that a lot more particular — all of this was once in reality, in reality favored and we felt love it was once ours. [It was] lmost our dutie to the network to make certain that we have been giving them what they sought after.

How Glow Recipe Maintained Emblem Relationships

[00:29:45] Kimmel: How did you take into consideration … the early network that you just had constructed round curation. Have been there explicit ways in which you have been ready to be told from the ones founders or proceed to construct a dating with them if you made the transition from curation over to Glow Recipe?

[00:30:12] Lee: one of the most founders from the curation manufacturers are nonetheless our pals to this date. So there’s numerous synergy that comes from that as a result of we will all the time select up the telephone, name them, and ask them for evaluations about sure issues.

… We’re each emblem developers and creators, proper? So we percentage such a lot in not unusual. We terminated our curation industry type, however the relationships and the friendships endured to at the present time. We nonetheless contact base with them every now and then, make certain that if they’ve any questions round navigating the U.S. marketplace, we are there for them as a result of we would like everybody to be triumphant on the similar time.

Once we have been transitioning to a advent industry, we weren’t simplest giving them connections to the networks that we had with the outlets. However, we have been asking our consumers not to put out of your mind about those merchandise or manufacturers. We have been giving them website online hyperlinks to these merchandise to proceed to buy them as a result of we curated them for a explanation why.

Why Advertising and marketing Product Differentia is Key

[00:31:40] Homosexual: Did you ever have any doubts at the moment that this was once the appropriate transfer, or have been you 100% assured? 

[00:31:53] Chang: I don’t believe we had doubts consistent with se, however then it is in reality laborious to gauge the extent of good fortune a emblem could have. There are such a large amount of manufacturers within the business. We have had many conversations with many of us within the business about how saturated the marketplace is. So every emblem that comes into lifestyles must have an actual level of distinction and an actual explanation why. I feel with Glow Recipe Skin care, we have been ready to in reality distill a few of the ones non-public reports, the ones non-public interest issues into the logo.

How do we offer merchandise which can be other and in reality upload worth to [the customer’s] regimen after they purchase it and make it a part of their skin care cloth cabinet? That standpoint, I feel, has endured to serve us. And it is going again to these early days the place we ourselves have been answering each unmarried visitor electronic mail and writing notes to each unmarried one that bought from our website online.

Christina Chang on the cosmetics industry's saturated market.

Balancing Neighborhood and Product Control

[00:33:32] Homosexual: I am questioning the way you steadiness protecting that customer-first, community-first mentality with one of the most much less glamorous facets of making a product.

[00:33:46] Lee: We are first-time marketers. Probably the most issues that now we have discovered, are nonetheless studying, is how can we steadiness the entirety when we need to oversee the entirety as founders and co-CEOs. I feel the nice receive advantages that we’ve got these days is that we’ve got such an implausible, gifted group. … I will be able to say with self assurance, that they only perceive the social area. A large number of our group contributors are in truth reasonably younger and really plugged into TikTok. So they only have their ears and eyes at the … social media panorama in realtime. On account of that, we are ready not to simplest react temporarily, however proactively percentage what we’ve happening transparently with our network.

That conversation side, but additionally the verdict making internally for the industry has been in reality instrumental. … We recall to mind each group member as a content material author. Once we rent other folks, we all the time ask about their storytelling side, or images abilities.

And we frequently have brainstorm classes with our group contributors, simply tasking other folks to take into consideration a problem that we are dealing with, whether or not it is a advertising initiative or a brand new marketing campaign concept the place we are caught and we would like everybody to give a contribution,

Chang and Lee’s Best Management Demanding situations

[00:37:49] Alexis Homosexual: What helps to keep you up at evening? What is laborious at this time. What demanding situations you as co-CEOs?

[00:38:06] Lee: It is a in reality well timed query as a result of there are some key demanding situations that we are dealing with these days the place, as an organization, we are very hastily rising. We are very thankful for that, however that incorporates a problem round how we will make certain that everybody remains motivated and our tradition is maintained.

I feel any entrepreneur can relate with one thing like this. Purpose at any level of your entrepreneurial adventure, your group just about makes up maximum of what makes a good fortune or now not. … I feel other folks s the entirety. And so we are attempting to determine the best way to, you already know, rent as a result of we do want to have a minimum of 10 other folks extra on our group and the following few months.

[00:38:52] Chang: We do have numerous brainstorm classes since the group is stuffed with concepts and we like having the ones ingenious conversations and simply in reality giving everybody a possibility to voice their ideas and evaluations.

… Going ahead, it is in reality up within the air, proper? As a result of is that day within the lifestyles going to happen at an place of work, is it going to proceed to be labored from house? Those are questions I feel each founder, each corporate proprietor’s, grappling with as we transfer towards getting out of the 100% earn a living from home time that all of us needed to be in.

To listen to the whole podcast, in addition to different episodes, take a look at The Shake Up at the HubSpot Podcast Community. 

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