Liah Yoo // Ep 96 // Pressing Reset and Tuning into Your Skin’s Kravings
Welcome to Episode 96 of the Asian Hustle Network Podcast! We are very excited to have Liah Yoo on this week's episode.
We interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals. We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
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Liah Yoo is a beauty influencer and the founder and CEO of KraveBeauty. Liah has an international social media following of over 1 million people. She creates content that educates her followers on low-maintenance and effective skincare, sharing her unconventional acne-fighting tips based on her own personal skincare experience. Liah worked for AmorePacific, South Korea’s largest beauty company, before starting her own brand, Krave Beauty, whose mission is to challenge the fast-paced beauty industry to slow down. In the world of Korean skincare, where 10 step processes are the norm and new products are constantly being introduced, Liah is focused on keeping it simple and true, helping people reset their routines by taking a step back to listen to their skin’s true needs and feed it what it craves.
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Intro: (00:00:00) Hey guys, welcome to Asian Hustle Network Podcast, My name is Bryan.
And my name is Maggie
And we interview Asian entrepreneurs around the world to amplify their voices and empower Asians to pursue their dreams and goals.
We believe that each person has a message and a unique story from their entrepreneurial journey that they can share with all of us.
Maggie: (00:00:23) Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Asian hustle network podcast. Today, we have a very special guest with us. Her name is Liah you. She is a beauty influencer and founder and CEO of crave beauty. Leah has an intranet national social media following up over 1 million people. Cool. She creates content that educates her followers on low maintenance and effective skincare sharing her unconventional acne fighting tips based on her. Personal skincare experience. We all worked for a more Pacific south Korea’s largest beauty company before starting her own brand. It creates beauty whose mission is to challenge the fast paced and beauty industry to slow down in the world of Korean skincare, where 10 step processes are. The norm and new products are constantly being introduced. Lia is focused on keeping it simple and true. Helping people reset their routines by taking them. That to listen to their skin’s true needs and feed it. What it craves. Leah, welcome to the show.
Liah: (00:01:19) Yeah. Hey. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me on the show. I’ve been a big fan. We’re also a big fan of you, you know, this is so cool too. Um, yeah. Thank you so much for having me again.
Bryan: (00:01:33) Oh, of course, of course. Yeah. Want to hop into your story? You know, we want to hear more about how he got into everything that you’re doing right now. And it’s been so grassroots, you know, you started with your channel and then you created a business from that. Do you want to hear more about that and what kind of. One second. What are you thinking at the time? What year was this?
Liah: (00:01:56) Yeah. Um, where should I start? I guess I can kind of introduce myself again to your audience. Um, my name is Leah. You, as Maggie has introduced me, I am a YouTube content creators, specializing in skincare, helping thousands of people achieve healthier skin, hopefully yours to Brian and Maggie. And I also kind of. Turned into an entrepreneur by an accident. So on top of my YouTube channel, I now have a skincare brand called crave beauty, um, where I live now, I live in New York city, but was born and raised in Korea. So that year that I started YouTube was back in 2011. And I think back then, YouTube, wasn’t a platform for content creators to become a millionaire to be, but it was purely a place for people to share their hobbies. Or their obsessions. And maybe this is why, like, there is a certain nostalgic feeling we get from remembering like the O G creators back in the days compared to now. And back then I found Katie beauty really fascinating. And I was so compelled to share my interests and people around the world, because that was a time where big bang was getting. International recognition and there was girls’ generation. So K-pop was slowly become becoming a thing internationally. And I think naturally the interest towards K-pop has expanded to Korean skincare. Oh, why are their skin so good? Um, so I thought there was an opportunity and a clear white space on YouTube to be, um, to be that kind of a YouTuber to review Korean skincare and Korean beauty products. So that’s how I got started on YouTube.
Bryan: (00:03:34) Oh, well, when, what year was this? Was it 2011, 2011.
Maggie: (00:03:39) Yeah. I remember when like YouTube was just coming out and everyone was saying how, like, it wasn’t a platform for people to get famous, you know, and compared to now, you know, obviously a lot of people are trying to get famous from it now, but back then, it was just like an outlet for people to like, you know, put out videos of what they’re interested in, what their like passion is. And, you know, it’s very obvious that Korean, you know, related stuff like K-pop Korean skincare, um, was your outlet. Awesome.
Liah: (00:04:06) Oh yeah. I mean, I was a, I’m a natural introvert too. So like, these are the, this is the stuff that I couldn’t really share in real life with my real life friends. So I found YouTube to be more like a, like a secret, sacred space to share what I’m really obsessed with.
Bryan: (00:04:23) That’s awesome. Did you, did you tell your friends about the, your China or did they discover it as soon as you got, as you’re getting more famous? You know, they’re like, oh my God, I know you’re doing this the whole time.
Liah: (00:04:34) Yeah. They kind of discovered later, I didn’t even tell my parents. They didn’t know what I was up to. Like in my room, I locked up. So it was kind of a fun time.
Bryan: (00:04:45) That’s so cool to me, it’s like, I feel like you thought in like before the hype and before the curve, right. And the fact that you’ve been here, you’ve been so consistent over the last 10 years.
Liah: (00:04:57) Yeah, I can’t believe it’s already been a decade. .
Bryan: (00:05:02) I mean, how did you keep yourself motivated through content creation and staying focused on K beauty? You know, I’m super curious about that.
Liah: (00:05:10) Yeah. I think with anything, consistency is definitely key to like, I didn’t really, if I look back how. I grew my channel. There wasn’t a moment where it completely like tick off. All of a sudden it was a very gradual, uh, grind that led to 1.2 million subscribers now. But I think I know that a lot of the YouTube was back in the days, um, eventually burnout, but I didn’t really have a burnout mode. Just yet I can say for sure for the future, but so far I think the creative process is what excites me. And it’s something that energizes me too. So I think running the company and on top of that, creating YouTube videos for my viewers, that’s something that energizes me enough to sustain, um, to kind of go through the hard way. When it comes to running the company. So I think I kind of found something that I am really passionate for that also energizes me.
Maggie: (00:06:10) I love that. Yeah. It’s so amazing to hear you say that you haven’t really, um, burnt out yet. So I think a lot of content creators, they do get to a point where they’re just completely burnt out. But if you do something that you’re like completely passionate about, you know, you continue doing it every day and you know, that it’s something that you truly do love then that definitely helps. So yeah. I know you mentioned that you kind of fell into entrepreneurship by accident, right? And we didn’t mention in your, in your intro that you were working for a more Pacific and you were doing, um, e-commerce strategy and management. So I do want to hear, you know, how did you get this, you know, entrepreneurial spirit. I do want to know more about like your family and, you know, if that had any effect on, you know, your entrepreneurial lifestyle and mindset, or if this kind of like entrepreneurial model. .You know, came and route it from you being content creator on YouTube.
Liah: (00:07:05) That’s a, that’s a good question. Um, there’s no person in my family who runs a business, to be honest, they’re all like doctors, professors, academia. So I don’t think I. Got that gene from my parents or from my family. But I think because Korea is rather a very homogenous country where your difference is not really celebrated, meaning that if you have a different dream or if you want to pursue something differently, other than what society tells you, what success is, I think. That’s was a little bit too suffocating for me to the point where I wanted to like rebel against the norm. So I think, um, you know, I did go to like a very prestigious school in Korea getting a corporate job that everyone admires. And I did make my parents proud in a very traditional and conventional way, but I just didn’t really. I, but I soon realized that it’s not a really . fulfilling path. I wasn’t creating an impact to whoever I’m reaching through my work at a corporate job. So I thought that, you know what, I’m still young. I was still in my twenties back then. So I wanted to do something that I thought was fun, which was creating content and also adding value to someone’s life through my content. And I think that kind of entrepreneurial, um, ha. Kind of seed has sprouted back in 2016 after I quit my corporate job. And that’s when I announced and declared that I’m going to do YouTube full-time and then after doing YouTube full-time for about two years, I think that’s when the entrepreneurial seed kind of sprouted because I was interacting and talking to thousands and hundreds. People who are obsessed with beauty, but who’s so lost in their skincare journey. So I thought there was something wrong there because if we look at the market now, the beauty market is over saturated and the consumers were living in a constant analysis .paralysis. Like for instance, Maggie, if you jump for instance, Maggie, if you go into Sephora, what’s the first thing that comes to mind.
Maggie: (00:09:08) Oh, man. I don’t even know because there’s so many things. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I don’t know where to begin, but like, it’s like when I go to Sephora, I know what I’m looking for, but it’s there just so many brands where I’m just like, I don’t even know if this brand is right for me or if that brand is right for me, you know? So there’s just like an overflow of information. What type of skincare products is, is like, right for you, or you don’t even know if it’s right for you because everyone’s skincare. So, or everyone’s skin is so different. And especially like in the Asian community, right. Our skin that’s
Bryan: (00:09:40) you just like skincare, shopping in Korea where, when Maggie and I were in Korea, just like any movies, even like three times more than support to pick from. So how, how does that all work? You know, I have no idea.
Liah: (00:09:52) No. Absolutely. I think that’s like literally what everyone feels like in the day and age where there’s so many products and not only the . product options, but there’s so much information out there telling you to apply it, this and that. And it kind of sells you almost a FOMO. If you don’t apply this, their skin is not going to be functioning. You’re not going to get that glass skin. You’re not going to get that fall as skin. So I think a lot of us like consumers were more confused than ever. To build a skincare routine for themselves. They don’t know what their skin needs, what their skin type is. So I thought that was kind of interesting because I mean, nowhere in my lifespan was there a plan to want a skincare company, but I saw a clear problem that everyone was lost and I knew I wasn’t alone because I felt that way too. And I just thought that, you know what, there, there needs to be a voice in the beauty industry to slow down skincare and actually empower people to tune in to their skin’s craving over what the Sephora sales staff is saying that you need. So I think that was the whole Genesis of crave PD. And I think that was . 2017. Oh,
Maggie: (00:11:02) yeah, that’s amazing. I feel like we missed a few steps because you make it sound so easy. And you know, we know that you were a content creator on YouTube and you were, I feel like you were trying to inform other people of, you know, different skincare products, but then you decided, okay, maybe I should create my own line of, um, you know, create beauty. I want to know. What was going through your mind at that time? You know, because
Bryan: (00:11:30) I want to hear more about you as a content creator, because it’s not easy being a content creator and it’s not easy being a full-time content creator. Did you have a part-time job as you’re getting your content up or did you quit your job and make that, and then focus on be a full-time YouTube or because I make X money.
Liah: (00:11:51) Yeah, it wasn’t so much about the financial milestone that I hit that led to me quitting the corporate job or giving up a very financially stable . position at a huge conglomerate company. I think it was more about Snower now or never kind of mentality where I was in my late twenties. And then my YouTube was something. That was relatively small in 20 15, 20 16 when I was quitting my job. But I thought that if I don’t quit now and give this YouTube thing a full shot and my a hundred percent capacity, I would be so regretful in my thirties. And I just wanted to kind of give a proper chance to use it because it was something in me that was super excited about interacting with people and sharing my obsession through an online community. So. That’s when I quit my job and then I didn’t have a proper income for the next, uh, year and a half. And I was grinding my ass off because I needed money. So after I quit my job and did YouTube for full time, . I noticed that. Even though you are consistent enough to upload content. It’s not going to be like a magic where YouTube as a platform rewards you with so much more subscribers. So I think I was a little bit lost initially when I started doing YouTube full time. But I think that, I mean, I am glad I’m like looking back. I’m glad that I didn’t give up, but that was when I was probably at my lowest point because I. Thought that this was something that my, where my passion was. And if I grind enough, the reward would come. Whether it that’s like subscriber count or finance too. So after doing that for about a year and a half to two years, without any income, I was relying on my. Pay and whatever savings that I had back then, but lucky enough that it kind of started to hit a product market fit for my content, because I think back then when I was like grinding, creating content, I was . just really, you know, randomly reviewing products without knowing that if this content would add value to anyone. So I was literally doing whatever I feel like, oh, this is. You know, I like doing, and this is what, and this is the product that I would like to see someone review. So I think the focus was put on me rather than the audience who is watching and consuming the content. So at one moment I started realizing, okay, I need to switch something here. And I need to think about. I need to rethink about the content creation process. I can’t really do anything that I wanted to, but it also equally needs to be beneficial to someone who’s spending their 10 minutes of their very, very important and limited time of the day to watch my YouTube content. And so that’s when I started thinking, yeah. Okay. What would people who’s just starting their skincare journey want? What would people who have a lot of hormonal acne Swan? And that kind of led me to doing a lot of scientific research . with my research assistants who was kind of part-time. And we started dissecting all the medical journals for chemistry, biology, dermatology. We went at it really, really hard, and I think that’s when my channel. To golf a little bit. Um, and yeah, a lot of people found the content really helpful. And I think let alone, there were a lot of people who implemented the skincare tips that I delivered through my content that, you know, completely changed their skin for the better. And I think. A lot of the times, especially in states where there’s so much antibiotic Biotics, and, you know, when it comes to treating your acne, I suggested an alternative method into really looking after your skin from the fundamental health level. I also do believe that beauty is inside out. Like you are what you eat and you are what you put on. So kind of tying back to born of a Asian . roots where everything’s holistic, everything is connected in your body. And I think that really worked for a lot of people who were struggling with acne for like a decade or so. They would shoot me like their before and after pictures. And these are the people who went on Accutane, who went on antibiotics and it was just couldn’t see the result that they were looking for. So that was really, that was really, really rewarding.
Maggie: (00:16:27) Wow. Yeah, that makes a lot more sense now. Cause I was trying to figure out, like, what was the impetus of you creating crave, beauty? Right? Because now, now it makes more sense that you said that when you were putting out content, it felt more like you were just reviewing products that worked for you. Right. And oftentimes, like I get questions on my social media. Like what skincare products are you using? And if it works for me, it doesn’t mean, yeah. It might necessarily work for like someone else. Right. Because all of our skins are so different and just because one product works for one person, it doesn’t mean that it’ll work for everyone . else. So that makes a lot more sense. Um, and so when you were starting out with crave beauty, I want to know, like, how did you make sure that you differentiate yourself to other skin care product companies? Because there’s just so many. Throughout the pandemic. There have been so many skincare product companies and wellness brands that have started from the pandemic. Um, but like, what was the process like for like product testing? Cause you have to make sure. You know, now that you, you want to make sure that you’re speaking out to your audience and making sure that your products work for other people, not, not only for you, what was that process like when you were doing the product testing and then how did you like differentiate yourself to other competitors?
Liah: (00:17:42) Yeah, I think that’s a good question, but fundamentally I think the way. Um, I think fundamentally our approach was really different and is still pretty different from a lot of other skin care brands out there, because especially in the states, we see so many skincare products that has really high, . concentrated, active ingredient that would deliver and promise a miraculous, like. Fix or whatever results that you’re looking for and almost gives you that instant gratification. But I know that, you know, our skin is a naturally functioning Oregon and knows how to do it stop. So rather than taking over its natural functionality, I think it’s much more to really support you. Natural skins functionality. So our skins, like our product development, ethos is never to go against your skin’s natural functionality, but rather work with your skin to deliver the results long-term that you’re looking for. So I think that was one of the biggest differentiator. And another thing was that I know when it comes to. You know, we’re living in a very capitalistic society, right? So if there is an investor you’re pressured to generate profit, you know, maximize it, maximize a profit value and increase the company valuation. That’s what I see with a lot of other DTC skincare . brands out there and beauty brands and consumer brands. And I think I was talking to you, Maggie in her intro call where I felt like the skincare companies were not operating, um, by prioritizing their stakeholders, which is their customers, the employee, and the environment that they’re living in. It’s more about like, how do we satisfy our shareholders? How do we. Greater return to our investors. So that was a very big kind of like hypocritical thing that I witnessed. And I still do see a lot where the consequences that, um, the customers who is consuming your products are not getting as good of a product that they were looking for, or the product solution is not really solving. Their customer, the customer’s pain point. And another thing is that when it comes to developing a product pipeline for skincare products, um, most of the time. We know that toner, essence serum, like these are . fundamentally a same formula, but broken down into different categories so that you apply more and you eventually buy more products. Um, so I’m sure this is kind of like a surprising
Maggie: (00:20:13) yes. I didn’t even know that, like, I, I would always, when I first started getting into skincare and like, I didn’t get into skincare until like recently, I think then, oh no, no, Brian didn’t do anything. But he, you know, he was with me when. Like looking up skincare products. Cause when I, when I first met him, I didn’t even like pay attention to a lot of skincare products. But then when I did, I started like Googling what the, the right skincare routine is. So I know like which steps to go first and then it would be like a seven step skincare routine or like a 10. Skincare routine, and then you would have to do them in order. Right. But then it would be like toners serum, moisturizer cleanser. And I’m just like, what is the difference between cleanser and toner? Like, what is, you know, do we need to do the two-step . cleansing? Um, so then it was just so confusing because I didn’t know the difference, you know? And it, it made it seem like. You needed all of those things in order to have like the right skincare routine. Right. And I think that’s where they like marketed to you where you can, um, you maximize their profits because you have to keep buying these products.
Bryan: (00:21:18) Yeah. Sorry. I wish I had met you earlier because, uh, I feel like Maggie use a lot of good advice ever since she learned the skincare routine. She spends like two hours in groups.
Liah: (00:21:30) got you. Um, but what you said is exactly correct. That’s how every woman or every men who is starting their skin character, and you feel like they need, they feel like they need X, Y, Z, and all this 10 step Korean skincare routine. Otherwise you’re not going to have a flawless skin like Koreans. Right. So I think there is a narrative. The beauty industry is trying to create to sell more unnecessary demands and create more unnecessary demands. And when I was working for a beauty conglomerate company . was more prevalent because like the sales target, I think in terms of product development process and never started from, oh, what does the customer want? Or what are their customers? What are the customer’s pain point? It was always about, okay, we need to hit five mills. We’re at 2 million. So let’s kind of like franchise off this best seller item and create like multiple different categories to meet that 5 million goal. So I think that’s where I was a little bit, I guess, saddened by as a consumer, right. Because it’s not really in your interest to. It’s not really in the company’s interest to save someone’s skin. It’s about making more profit at increasing their revenue by launching so many different products. And I think that’s why skincare and beauty products nowadays are kind of like a fast fashion industry where it’s really not different at all. Like we’re seeing so many new launches every single week and people are kind of tired and fatigue to keep up with the nuances and social media too. So, yeah. . That was a lot, sorry.
Bryan: (00:23:03) No, no, no, not at all. Interesting to hear that from you. I think you’re right. You know, from what I hear so far, I saw you always been focused on your customer. You’ve been focusing on your audience. So I really appreciate that. And I think right now it’s a good segue to you. Kind of talk about your visits. You know, I’m kind of curious, like, I know you mentioned like, you know, taking it into investments, we’re going to have to grow fast and you’re under pressure. Have you taken any, any investments for your company or have you guys been stressed since day one?
Liah: (00:23:30) Yeah. Luckily we are completely bootstrap from day one. I am the only shareholder of the company, so that’s a really, really big privilege. And I don’t think that for granted too. And I want to tell you more about like what’s in our future. A little bit later because we’re actually launching a venture capital fund because of the experience that I had industry.
Maggie: (00:23:53) Yeah. I love that. Um, it’s, it’s amazing to just see your growth and just knowing that, you . know, you started off just like, as a solo team, as a single person, you know, the only shareholder, um, and seeing just like how big crave beauty has gotten, it goes to show your commitment and dedication. And we know that. It takes a lot of hard work.
Bryan: (00:24:18) So I’m curious, you know, because you had an opportunity to like, do your YouTube channel is still very consistent by the way. And we have, we still do your tech talks and your Instagram account, and they all have a lot of subscribers. And just after you’re running a business full time without taking any investments, how do you do it? How do you manage your time? So, well, you take care of yourself and your mental health,
Maggie: (00:24:37) like Brian and I, we won. You know, posting content for Asian also network. We know we know who the pain, we know the pain of content creation and posting on a regular basis,
Bryan: (00:24:48) private channels and the Asian lists, no one Asian Huston that recorded myself in the mirror. I’m like, oh my God. So what is social media?
Maggie: (00:24:57) And Leah has over a million subscribers on YouTube . and hundreds of thousands on Instagram. I want to know your seat.
Liah: (00:25:04) Um, I think it goes back to like doing an energy audit of where you feel the most alive and where you feel like, oh, time is running by so quickly because you were so into whatever you were doing for me. That’s content creation for me, that’s like posting a content on Tik TOK, Instagram, and just researching more about skincare or kind of brainstorming the product development pipeline, but then where it kind of drains my energy. They’re running the company aspect of it, which is, which is, it would sound terrible. But I think I got a really good hang of how to do it after like four years. So for me, posting on YouTube, posting on my social social media, I don’t think it’s time-consuming. I think it adds more, um, I think because of it. Kind of uses a different side of the brain that I wouldn’t use otherwise in running . the company and running, create beauty and managing people. I think that’s where I kind of find, um, restfulness in, in a way, but I don’t think everyone would feel that way when it comes to content creation, but every once in a wired differently. So that’s where my zone of genius is where. From Monday to Friday, I struggle a lot.
Bryan: (00:26:25) I love that. How do you take care of your mental health? I mean, I know you meant, I know you’ve mentioned that, you know, eating, this is fun, you know, like creating content for you is a place of fun, but. Practice, any sort of meditation, do you set up like boundaries where it’s like, okay, after a certain time I’ll respond to any more emails because you know, we know lots of creators get a lot of messages, but, but as a sea of your own company, you get a lot of messages internally. Yeah, that’s just all day, but how do you take care of these ongoing thoughts and shutting off the brain? And this is that, that, and this thing to keep them separate. .
Liah: (00:27:01) Yeah, no, definitely. I think that’s a really, really important question for every entrepreneur to nail it in terms of time management and taking care of themselves too. So for me, my non-negotiable is sleeping eight hours. And then I don’t care if I work from 8:00 AM to like 8:00 PM or even later than that. But I think as long as I have a good amount of sleep and then I meditate first thing in the morning, it does recenter me. And it does make me feel like I’m in the control. I’m in the driver’s seat of my life, divide our work into proactive work and reactive work. And I think doing proactive work when you have your peak energy level is very important. And when your cognitive brain function is at its peak, that’s when you want to tackle proactive. Uh, running on working on strategy or creating content and on the time where you’re a little bit physically drained, that’s when you can give time to your team members or responding to emails where it’s not so much about the work that I need them . to do, but it’s the other way around. So I think by kind of controlling your workflow in that order has given me something. More free time and more control in my time. And I think in terms of the mental health, it’s important for you to always have an infrastructure of support system. So whether that you, so whether that’s from your coaching or getting therapy, I think these are all important. Especially as an entrepreneur content creator, freelance who’s navigating things alone. It can be very, very lonely. So. It’s always great to have a third party, third perspective, um, kind of solving the problems together and just being there for you as a support system.
Maggie: (00:28:47) Yeah. Such helpful advice and love that you brought up therapy because you know, there is obviously a really big stigma with therapy, especially in the Asian community. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And coaching, and I love that you . brought it up because we do need to normalize it and de-stigmatize it. Um, but I think my favorite, one of all is the eight hours of sleep one. I think Leah is a true skincare enthusiast because just like besides skincare, Eight hour sleep is like, should be the number one thing, but nobody actually ever does it.
Bryan: (00:29:18) Yeah. I was asleep. It’s like four hours now. And four hours later, or like continuous eight LFS, 10 years, nine hours,
Maggie: (00:29:26) I would feel so tired with four hours, four hours
Bryan: (00:29:29) sleep throughout the day, but sleep like naps, like every three hours and they sit for an hour and they stay up to like 24. Yeah, so crazy. They call it intimates. And it’s mentioned napping to continue working around the clock. I was just like, you guys are crazy.
Liah: (00:29:47) Oh, I’m so curious if that actually has a benefit because how there’s like intermittent, intermittent fasting has a lot of, a lot of health benefits. I wonder if that’s the same with sleeping schedule, .
Bryan: (00:30:00) let us know. What, what what’d you find? I’m kind of curious too, because I will be talking to them. It’s like 6:00 PM. And then again at 1:00 AM, I’m like, why are you still waiting early on, frankly, intimidated napping. So I just woke up.
Maggie: (00:30:15) That’s hilarious. Yeah. I did notice, you know, on your social media, you do have, you know, one platform just as your normal platform for creativity. And then you do have one for your specific audience in Korea or to Korean specifically. I want to know. What made you decide to have, you know, two different platforms or just, you know, reach out to those two different audiences. Um, and you know, what has been like your growth strategy for those two different ideas?
Liah: (00:30:42) Yeah, we do. When it comes to our creative beauty social media, we do have two different channels, one for Korea, one for global. So I think it’s important for any companies who who’s trying to localize their marketing to have a separate, dedicated 10, all that speaks of familiar language .instead of creating one universal global channel to hit all of the audio. So we do have two separate teams, one in Korea and another in the states. And that’s why we’ve been able to run two different accounts and have two the, to the front marketing straps.
Bryan: (00:31:20) Wow. That’s amazing. Yeah. So I want to tell you one giant step back, and I want to hear more about what your parents have thought about you during this entire process. Or are they super proud of you or is important?
Liah: (00:31:32) Yeah, so my parents are pretty liberal and they’re very progressive, so they never really doubted my abilities to make those make my own decisions. So whenever, uh, when I was quitting my job, they actually supported that they wanted me to try whatever I thought that was right for my future and my path. So they were very supportive. So I think now that the company has taken off and also my YouTube channel is .relatively thriving. I guess I’m very proud to say to other like Korean pajamas and other cities and brag about like what I have achieved to them. But other than Bob, before that, I think they might’ve felt like. A little bit inferior to other Korean origin, HMAS, or Korean friends that they do have because yeah. Other Asian, um, yeah, Asian parents can think less of when it comes to. Quitting a very prestigious job and you don’t have a, you don’t technically have a job, but you do. If you see that you’re a content creator, I don’t think they would understand.
Bryan: (00:32:41) Not at all. It must be really, really proud of you. And I’m not, I can totally relate to that too. Like my parents, I put twice in my twenties and thirties as well. Here’s my parents freaked out and he stopped talking. You know, and the second time I quit because I was somebody successful the first time and you’re like, you got it signed, you can do it. And they’ve been super supportive. And me it’s like, you know how you mentioned like the algae MAs and talking to like everyone else, like our Asian parents love bragging about us and like, Hey, like know kids doing so well, just getting over that first home initially and having them believe in your ability. It’s like a lot difficult for most people. Yeah, mom, I can do it. You have to believe in me, but you know how parents are the beginning. It’s like, they don’t believe in you and they believe in you.
Maggie: (00:33:29) Oh yeah. I can definitely relate to like both of your stories, because I remember like, my parents would always say like, oh, keep your nine to five. Don’t ever let it go because you have such great benefits and they’re always like your cousin got a new job. Is it more, you know, as a, as a higher salary than yours and always been parents,
Bryan: (00:33:48) how come you didn’t quit earlier? Yeah,
Maggie: (00:33:52) I quit Brian actually posted it on Facebook. Cause I wasn’t planning to tell my parents about it yet. When I had quit my job, I forgot my parents had Facebook. And so they saw the post. That’s a whole biggest thing. So I would eat dinner with him, my parents one day and they’re like, oh, so we know that you quit your job. I’m like, how does she know that? But it clicked to me. But you know, I think like, as we grow up at, you know, at our age, they start to understand that. You know, maybe there are things that they don’t understand, you know, they come from a different generation, there are so many different ways to make money now. Um, and you know, they just want the best for us and to like see us happy. And I’m sure your parents are very proud of you too, Leah. And like, they’re seeing that you’re doing something so fulfilling to you and that you’re passionate about. Um, you know, they’re probably very, very proud of you.
Bryan: (00:34:40) Yeah. And shout out to you and, uh, crazy looking at you now and looking at how successful you are and forgetting that, you know, it took field meaning a long time ago. Okay. And go ahead. Sorry.
Liah: (00:34:53) No, I think they got away. They were okay. Because I didn’t need financial health, but it’s a, I think that’s the . line where if you are at a point where you need to financially reached out to your parents, that’s when they would be, I guess they would think a little bit differently about your decision.
Bryan: (00:35:13) Definitely. And I know earlier you mentioned that your loans are super low, right? Yeah. Your first two years that you started in the name? Absolutely no income. Like what was going through your mind and how do you keep yourself going? No. What was your internal voice telling you?
Liah: (00:35:31) Yeah, they didn’t want to meet anyone just because I wasn’t really confident in the living situation that I was at. And of course, Back then I was living in Korea too. So a lot of my friends were still working for a very big name companies, like some song and all of these prestigious prestigious names. So I definitely didn’t feel like I was confident enough to put myself out there in social situations. So I kind of created my own little . cave and I completely. Uh, switch my schedule to be a night owl and then not meet anyone in the daytime because I will be sleeping and then I’ll create content in the nighttime edit and do that all over again. So my health, my physical health was almost tearing apart because I would live a very unhealthy lifestyle. I would eat at midnight and that just became my schedule is so I think in my head, I, I wasn’t okay for sure. I was probably. Crying for help, but I didn’t know who to ask help for it because it’s a decision that I made and it’s a responsibility that I should be taking because no one, no one in my life has asked me to quit my corporate job and do YouTube full-time. So I wanted to be proud to myself, but because, because I wasn’t, I think for the first two years it was, it was a little bit difficult to. Any social. relationships or do anything outside of just YouTube, to be honest.
Maggie: (00:37:05) Well, that’s a very powerful, like I, would’ve never known. Um, and I’m sure you don’t, you know, tell the world about, you know, those, those, those times that you were, you know, switching your schedule to be a night owl. And it’s definitely shows that you’ve grown a lot now that you’re looking back and seeing like, wow, that was actually a really unhealthy lifestyle, you know? Yeah.
Bryan: (00:37:28) That’s so relatable. I mean, to me, myself, at least. Out of high school. I wasn’t the best student. So when I got to college, I literally switched my schedule similarly, to prove that I can get straight A’s, you know, so it’s like, it’s just proving to yourself that you can do it. And now one mind. To move forward and continue doing that. It’s like how you do one thing is how you do everything. Yeah, totally see how you’ve been translating that worth ethic to everything. Uh, of course that’s the, is the healthiest approach I would say, . but I definitely appreciate that burning all bridges. This is my only option mindset. And that’s how you became so successful.
Liah: (00:38:10) Yeah, totally. Definitely. Really. So, yeah.
Maggie: (00:38:12) How do you see like the future of skincare? Because I feel like it’s always ever evolving all the time and you know, you running a skincare brand and company, um, I’m sure you have to always stay on top of like, what is happening in the skincare industry and skin grow world. But I want to know, like, what do you see as the future of skin care? Um, and like, what do you hope for crave to become.
Liah: (00:38:38) Yeah, that’s a good question. I think to be honest, from the product perspective, I don’t think there needs to be a rule. Cool innovation or big breakthrough innovation, to be honest because our skin as an organ, hasn’t changed for a thousand years. Right? So there isn’t really a need for a new technology to come into. I don’t know, . help with their natural skins functionality. So from the product perspective, I would like to see more evergreen timeless products, because I think nowadays with the new fast fashion, like, um, skincare industry, we see a lot. New products, but then they wouldn’t really last, but then I think it would be really, really cool to create a brand that that sustainably lasts for decades. I think nowadays in the beauty industry where acquisition is so hot, there’s a lot of money to invest into new beauty ventures. I think people are trying to. Grow their company really quickly in a short period of time. I think the beauty investment, typical hold period is around 3.4 years or less than five years. For sure. So that kind of shows to tell that a lot of the beauty companies are. Not here to last. They are trying to maximize the growth tickets, sold out a very high price to the next buyer And if you’re, if you go to private equity fund, they will try to maximize the product portfolio. And then. Creates so many unnecessary demands and then they would sell it to a beauty conglomerate. I think that’s the conventional acquisition track that we see nowadays in the beauty industry. And that’s something that I want to change because if you look at brands like Nike or Patagonia, these are the brands that have been founded in 1960s, seventies, and they’re still relevant. Timelessly and I think I want to create a brand. Yeah. Lives really at, I want to create a brand that sustainably, I want to create a brand that grows very intentionally and sustainably, and that is there for the customers, for the gates and decades. Um, that leads to like another announcement where we are trying to launch a new venture capital fund. And I wasn’t really . interested in. You know, I wasn’t really interested in being an investor or anything like that because we have never gotten an investment at all, but I think that’s why I thought it was really, really important for us who are here to protect the company’s vision, protect the founder’s vision and be there for the founders because we see so many, you know, So many DTC brands that compromise their value, as soon as they get a really big check size and then reporting to your shareholders, not your stakeholders. So I really thought that there is an untapped opportunity for us to become a shareholder, to always prioritize, um, your stakeholders structurally. So that’s why we launched a new fund and it’s in the works. So. Stay tuned for that.
Bryan: (00:41:52) Congratulations. That’s a huge announcement and that’s a love the vision behind the fund. A lot of our funds are just for . fun, but I feel like you’re very intentional in what you want to do with this. And I really I’m for it. I absolutely support that. So shout out to you and determining impressing us stress entire podcast. We thought you couldn’t press anymore, but now it’s like, well, she’s level up there in the podcast.
Maggie: (00:42:19) Absolutely agree. Congratulations on all of that big news. And like Brian said, I can definitely sense that, you know, the inspiration and the reason that you’re doing this is all coming from really good intentions. Um, so especially because, you know, you you’ve said to us that you never even had an investor for Korea, so that definitely shows that. So Leah, we have one last question for you, and that is if you could give an advice to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would that one advice be?
Liah: (00:42:50) Um, I think I can tie back to my personal experience where I struggled the most and I still struggle is the imposter syndrome. . It’s like, you’re never good enough to be a CEO. And I think it’s harder for a lot of visionary founders too, because founders are kind of like a de facto CEO nowadays when they found a company they’re naturally a CEO too. So I think the transition phase from a founder to a CEO of is where I struggle the most because no one really taught me how to run a company. I know how to found a company. I know how to build a company, but no one really taught me to manage a team. Like do an organizational design and create a company culture and something like that. So I think that’s where I got, that was probably the most turbulent time, um, until this date, uh, ever since I started the company. So I think imposter syndrome was very, very huge to me. And that limiting belief can also hinder your version of success. So knowing. Every entrepreneur out there that you may look up to, that you saw in the media, they also don’t have their shits together. . And knowing that gave me a lot of comfort because you’re mostly, you’re most likely doing this for the first time running the company, founding the company. And you’re, if you’re, if you keep compare yourself to those who have run the business for years and years, To be on the cover of the Forbes. Like you’re shooting yourself in the foot, right. You’re setting yourself up for failure. So I think it’s really important for us to have confidence in the version that we’re bringing to the company and knowing that we are the expert when it comes to running the company that we founded is so, so, so important, but I think. It’s very, very hard to believe that because the society and the media tells you otherwise, there’s a better version of a leader. There’s like this CEO, that CEO. And I think you, the biggest lesson for me was to grow confidence and overcome my imposter syndrome and be comfortable in the version that . I bring in terms of success.
Bryan: (00:45:04) Yeah. And for our listeners, I want you guys to really listen to that part again, because it’s so deep, you know, I mean, you bring up a really good point because at the end of the day, we’re all humans and the more you meet your idols in the morning, the more you have the opportunity to talk to them, you realize that. We’re all calm off. Doesn’t matter how much money you have. This person might have billions. And he talks to me we’re still lost, you know, and this one says you created one successful company or two doesn’t mean they’re third one to be successful because every couple is different and every opportunity requires different challenges that you’re, you don’t necessarily have the skills. So I, I do agree. Don’t compare yourself to other, take life at your own journey and more importantly, have fun, you know, it’s your life have fun. Yeah. Yeah. That was fun.
Maggie: (00:45:51) That was so powerful. Yeah. I think like, obviously everyone tries to make themselves sound like, you know, everything is going well for them dandy and rosy . and no one’s going to admit to the failures that they have. Right. And so I think we have this. False conception that, you know, all the CEOs and entrepreneurs out there are successful because they know what they’re doing, but a lot of us are learning as we go. And we have to recognize that. I remember that.
Liah: (00:46:19) Yeah. And then like to add onto that, I remember like a venture capitalist called Vino Cosla who is another very legendary person. Look up to in the VC space. He emphasized that knowing whose advice to take and on what topic is the single most important decision an entrepreneur can make. And. He also said that Silicon valley is full of consultants, venture capitalists, who never have run a company. So you should be proud of where you are as a CEO, as a founder. And you have to believe that you are an expert in that category. Otherwise, Everyone else like investors and consultants, they would have founded your company, but they didn’t. So . I think it’s important to also remind ourselves that we are the true expert and we need to also filter whose advice we take. And yeah, I think that’s another key wisdom that I learned from that person.
Maggie: (00:47:14) Absolutely correct. Super valuable information. Solea how can our listeners find out more about you and crave beauty online?
Liah: (00:47:23) Yeah. So crave beauty can be found on our email@example.com and then on socials, it’s all creative beauty and Leah you YouTube channel. You can just type in L H Y w O on YouTube and I’m on Instagram and Tik TOK with the same handle.
Maggie: (00:47:41) Awesome. Awesome. It was so awesome having you on our show today, Leah. Thank you so much for sharing your stuff us. Thank you.
Liah: (00:47:49) You guys are thanks for doing the work that you guys are doing. Thank you.Appreciate you.
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