As BB creams, special eyelash curlers, colored contact lenses, and snail creams line the shelves at Sephora and ultimately become cult favorites, it’s safe to say that Asia is leading the beauty game. For skincare-obsessed entrepreneurs Alicia Yoon and Cindy Kim, starting an e-commerce business featuring high-quality Asian skincare and beauty products for people in the U.S. was the natural way to go. Yoon and Kim met in South Korea a few years ago while traveling for work.
Before they met, Yoon was an international professional diver and Kim was an international professional figure skater. But the common ground that brought them together was that they both shared a passion for skincare and beauty products because they were battling skin issues. “Being professional athletes, we both had bad skin because our skin would get dry easily from being in the water all day and exposed to cold air,” Kim says.
“We noticed that every time we made a trip to Asia, we would be bringing back makeup, creams, serums, and BB creams for our friends in the U.S. Instead of having to bring back packages of beauty products with us every time, we thought, why not start our own business that would make Asian skincare products more accessible for Americans?” Yoon says.
And that’s when Peach & Lily was born. Yoon, a Harvard Business School graduate, worked in consulting and finance for a few years and even started her own fashion showroom while she was in business school. But her real passion lies in beauty and skincare, as she is also a certified aesthetician. Kim, who is a Wharton Business School candidate, has also worked in finance and investment banking for several years, but when the opportunity opened up to join forces with Yoon to start their own beauty e-commerce business, she couldn’t resist.
“Working in finance and consulting and going to business school has taught us what makes the foundation of a great business and all the technical things that go into investment relations, but learning how to take risks and opening your own business is something you just have to run with and something that business school can’t teach you,” Yoon says.
For these two power women, business is business, but beauty is all about relating to the everyday woman. While there are plenty of high-end designer products that are tried and true, that’s not to say you have to shell out hundreds of dollars each month to attain beautiful skin. “What makes Peach & Lily stand out from other beauty e-commerce businesses out there is that we recommend specific high-quality beauty products that cater to your needs,” Yoon says. “It’s all about balance too. There are plenty of drugstore products that will do just as a good of a job for your skin as a lot of high-end products. We ask our customers to fill out a beauty profile upon signing up for the site, and we have an expert panel of dermatologist and aestheticians that we work with to ensure that you’re getting the right products.”
When asked about the inspiration behind their business name Peach & Lily, Yoon and Kim say the peach and lily are popular motifs in Confucian art and they both symbolize natural, organic beauty. “We wanted our business to symbolize something that would resonate with the Asian influence, while still being true to the message of natural beauty, and that beauty needs to start from the inside out. So while you can use the highest quality products, taking care of your health and eating the right foods is stronger than any cream or serum,” Yoon says.
We’re more than excited for the Peach & Lily launch, which is slated for early next year, but in the meantime, you can join their mailing list to get exclusive deals and announcements. Be sure to also “Like” Peach & Lily on Facebook And, (drum roll please!), Mochi Magazine is partnering with Peach & Lily for an exclusive giveaway for our readers. If you sign up at Peach & Lily by Sunday, November 18 2012, you’ll be entered for a chance to win three delightful surprises from the Peach & Lily Fall Favorites Collection. Stay tuned for more details!