EPISODE 193

After becoming acquainted with one another through their internship at L’Oreal, Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, founded their own beauty brand, Glow Recipe! It was through a sheer amount of work that their vision came to be — which was introducing the very popular ‘K-Beauty’ into the American market. Listen to what they have to say!

AnnouncerWelcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty®, hosted by Jodi Katz, founder and creative director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey everybody. It's Jodi Katz, your host of Where Brains Meet Beauty® Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. This week's episode features Christine Chang and Sara Lee. They're the co-founders and co-CEOs of Glow Recipe. And if you missed last week's episode, it featured Emily Perez. She's the Founder of Latinas in Beauty. Hope you enjoy the shows.
Carey ChanningHi Jodi, how are you?
Jodi KatzHi, Carey. Nice to be with you again.
Carey ChanningLikewise, you look lovely.
Jodi KatzThank you. I brushed my hair and I put on sunscreen.
Carey ChanningI am the sunscreen police. So I'm actually visiting my parents right now and they have amazing skin for their age. So it's kind of hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but I literally ordered my parents...Can I plug my favorite sunscreen? EltaMD...And I'm insistent upon them wearing it. I don't care how old you are, you need to protect your skin. So that's our PSA for today. Anyways, so today we have Sara Lee and Christine Chang as our guests, and we don't have that many co-founders and co-CEOs on the podcast together. And I find it so interesting working with a partner and how to succeed and grow a brand, right? Like Jodi, how does it feel being a solo girl with your company?
Jodi KatzSometimes it's sad and lonely. And when I interview partners, I get a little excited for them because they have a buddy in all decision-making. But then, you know what? I kind of am a loner. So maybe it's just better that I just get to make all the decisions myself. You know, I think it's, there's a pro and cons and, with decision-making, I just have to make the decision myself.
Carey ChanningRight. So in the episode they talk about how they actually have a technique on making decisions and how they get the work accomplished. And, as with any partnership, they have complimentary skill sets. And the thing that resonates with me is having a technique to make those decisions and, like many people, I had to make some crazy life decisions with the pandemic, which included not one, but two major moves. And I want to share this with our listeners because now that I've realized it, it's going to be so invaluable. I think that you have to leave your comfortable space where you're cozy and, and everything's good. You have to go somewhere else, physically leave, and then you have the clear mindset to make these decisions. And that's how I made the decision to leave New York and moved to Florida and how I made the decision to move from Florida back to New York. And both times I was on a trip and I just had that light bulb moment. So it works great for me. I've heard of other people going on little retreats with their partners or significant others and planning and manifesting and vision boarding. And I understand it. So might be something helpful for someone listening.
Jodi KatzYeah, Carey, that's such a good tip because anytime I travel, I always have like new inspiration, right? New visions come to me. And I agree with you. I think getting out of your every day, walking away from it, even if it's just for one day or an overnight, really helps in fueling the synapses of your brain to be creative or thoughtful.
Carey ChanningAbsolutely. So that's a little tip that works for me, but I want our listeners to learn from the best. So let's roll episode 193 with Sara Lee and Christine Chang.
Jodi KatzHey everybody. I am so excited to be joined by Sara Lee and Christine Chang. They are the co-Founders and co-CEOs of Glow Recipe. Welcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty.
Christine ChangHi.
Sara LeeHi.
Christine ChangThanks for having us Jodi.
Sara LeeExcited to be here today.
Jodi KatzThis is actually our first Zoom version of the podcast where we have two guests at once.
Sara LeeOh, really?
Jodi KatzYeah. I mean, in real life, we've had doubles, but not over Zoom in the past year. So thank you for being the first.
Christine ChangThank you.
Sara LeeThanks.
Jodi KatzSo for our listeners, I'll do my best to direct questions to Sara and Christine specifically, but I have a feeling that we're just going to have a lot of fun and see where this goes. So let me get started with my favorite question. Since we're a career journey podcast, I really love the backstory. And when I'm talking about the backstory, I'm talking about way, way, way back. So Christine, we'll start with you. When you were like 11 years old, if someone turned to you and said, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" What was your response?
Christine ChangSo at the time I was obsessed with art. I would've probably said artist. I still have some of the paintings from that time, but it was just my happy place. And it was the one thing that helped me transition from where I was living, which was Louisiana, with my mom and dad. And then as a family, we moved all together back to Korea. And so with the language barrier, I was going through a tough transition at school. It's a much tougher academic environment in Korea as well. And I feel like art was that one medium where it just translated wherever I was.
Jodi KatzI love that. And Sara, same question.
Sara LeePianist. I've actually learned to play the piano since the age of five. And I fell in love with music and it started with my mom's passion. She wanted her daughter to be a great pianist, and it was great because I was able to learn to read the notes at an early age. So when, by the time we went to school, I kind of knew everything in music class that they taught, which was really awesome. But also I really enjoyed playing the piano. And so I asked specifically to my mom that I'd want to continue the piano lessons for years and years. Even when we, as a family, moved to Hong Kong, my dad was an ex-pat there and the curriculum of learning piano completely shifted, but I still was able to continue learning piano. And I just really enjoyed composing music as well. And so I guess that was my way of expressing my creativity while I was going to school and doing all these other academic things. So that was my dream for actually a very long time.
Jodi KatzAnd Sara, could you have made that a career?
Sara LeeI think so. I think things happen in life for a reason. And when we moved to Hong Kong, we realized as a family that the curriculum that I was sort of taught regarding piano was completely different. It was like night and day. So I almost felt like I had to kind of take a pause and learn this new way of playing piano. So I felt like it wasn't something that I was particularly enjoying the same way as I used to. And then I really fell in love with everything else that I was doing at school. For example, I was at varsity field hockey and I loved just the idea of playing team sports and doing a lot of outdoors things with friends. And so I started spending more time in sports actually, which is very different, if you think about it.

And then when we decided to move back to Korea, that's when I started really thinking about what I personally was passionate about. And I was very passionate about beauty. And when I went to college, I started to actually host Sara Spa or Sara Salon days for my classmates to come over to my house. And we would do, once a month, we would do...It was like a thing that everybody looked forward to, where we would do from hair masks to pedicures, to blow-outs on each other. And it was just such a fun day of beauty. And that sort of tradition continued for years until I started interning at L'Oreal. And I thought, "Oh my God, this is my dream job." And that's how my career path started.
Jodi KatzAnd Christine, you told me that you did follow art through to college, but that everything changed with the pizza offered in business school. Tell us about that.
Christine ChangAt the time, I went to Wash U, or better known as Washington University in St. Louis, and the business school was known for its really great food. I'm a foodie still, and I gravitated toward that. Also freshman year in college, you go where the pizza is. And I ended up spending a lot of time at the business school, met a lot of great people, started working part-time there at the business school library, and that's how it all kind of started. And I'm really actually grateful for that turn of events because I feel that the dynamic at the business school has always been about that entrepreneurial spirit. Whether it was your own business, whether it was understanding your own business as a product manager. And I think that always spoke to me on a personal level. And I knew I was really enjoying the internships, the classes, and it just kind of changed my career trajectory forever.
Jodi KatzI'm having this very sliding doors moment. Did you ever see that Gwyneth Paltrow movie?
Christine ChangYes.
Jodi KatzRight, so like what if the business school just didn't have good food, right? What would that...what would the future look like? It would be maybe different. Maybe not, we don't get to see that.
Christine ChangMaybe different. Well I actually had my sliding doors moment because I took the opportunity to take a break from L’Oréal mid-career and did my dream, which was to major in translation. So I did a Korean literature master's at Columbia for two years because I was really passionate about bringing over more Asian literary arts, works of art, to the states. And I think everyone knows probably Haruki Murakami, but that's about it, right, in the literary space. And there's just this breadth of amazing work in Korea that I think deserves a voice here. And then I quickly learned I wasn't cut out for it, nor was I very good at it. So I think that's when you kind of explore your passion, realize that maybe it's not everything you had thought it would be. And I was actually really passionate about beauty. So that's when I returned to L’Oréal and it gave me a fresh sense of perspective in which I actually enjoyed that second stint even more than my first, because I knew I had kind of taken that detour. And I knew, really, this is where I wanted to be.
Jodi KatzSo you're both working at L’Oréal, you find each other, you connect with each other, you're both bilingual, and then you decide to leave this like dream career and dream company to start your own business. So I want to hear, Sara, what did your parents think of that decision?
Sara LeeThey weren't happy. I'm just going to cut to the chase. They weren't happy. They were worried. You read about how there are so many startups, but a lot of them fail, right? There's a higher probability of failure. And I think that made them fear that aspect of us jumping into this entrepreneurship. And I don't think they fully understood what our concept was as well, because when we first came up with the business idea, the whole concept was to bring over the latest and the greatest Korean beauty products and secrets to state side, and also global because we had an e-comm and we were shipping globally. And I don't know if they understood what that actually meant. Is it like an Amazon type of business? We were an e-retailer, but we wanted to really create content and education in the ways that we felt could really help bring K-Beauty to a whole new meaning.

And that was really important. And we were brand builders in our previous lives at L’Oréal. That's what we were taught and L’Oréal is an amazing school for marketing. And having done that for 10 years, we felt really passionate about bringing this idea to something that could be long-lasting. And so our parents were very much against it. At that time I was single. And so insurance and all these other things were definitely a concern, but I kind of convinced them by saying, "Number one, this is a huge opportunity. We know that this is going to explode, this category of K-Beauty." And we were seeing that real time, we were seeing how the category was growing from the other side, right, as global marketers. And when we were working with Korean manufacturers, they just stood out versus some of the other ones that we worked with.

So we knew that there was something very special there, but then at the same time, we're telling them, "What could be the worst case scenario?" Maybe we fail, but maybe it'll be fine because we would have done something we were so passionate about and believed in. And the worst thing could be going back to our job. We were really happy at L’Oréal. And so...and we had a good career trajectory, both of us. So there was no doubt that we would be able to go back if we wanted to at that time. So that's kind of how we were able to convince our parents to be on the same page.
Jodi KatzSo Christine, I'm curious in the first few years of the business, when or how did fear and insecurity creep in? Were you guys waking up every morning like, "This is going to be awesome and we don't care about the obstacles!" Or were you like, "Oh my God, this is scary." Or, "Are we making the right decision?" Were you guided by confidence or did fear follow you around?
Christine ChangThat's a really interesting question. I have to say, I think we were primarily guided by confidence. So, that's not to say that we knew everything. We absolutely didn't. So we come from this marketing product development background, we had experienced with digital and global international markets and all of this, which was really, really helpful, but we didn't know about the legal side of things, or accounting, or how to build a site from scratch. Like these are the things that at a larger corporate that other teams kind of help you out with. And I think it's also our personalities where I've always been told I'm kind of the run through the hedge type of person. I like to throw my hat over the fence first and then I'll find a way to climb over to get it. And I've always had that sense of optimism, that we'll figure it out. The path might be messy-
Sara LeeI'm laughing because I know that about Christine.
Christine ChangThe path might be messy and it might not be perfect, but we'll get there, right. And I think that's always buoyed our sense of confidence throughout this process. I will say what was wearing on us was the sheer amount of work. Because it was the two of us and maybe an intern or two, if we could find people that would come help. And we were doing everything so manually. So between Sara and myself, cold calling editors, customizing pitches, building the site, writing all the product descriptions, translating, reaching out to Korean vendors, negotiating costs, and the list just went on and on and on. And there was just not enough hours in the day. And Sara and I laugh about this now, but we were literally sleeping two hours a night for, I think it was years at that point. And physically, it takes a toll.
Sara LeeYeah, we had dark circles. We were skincare brand founders with dark circles.
Jodi KatzSo you were like torture-testing the product, right? If they can solve your dark circles.
Christine ChangExactly, if it could solve our dark circles, it was a great product, right. But I think what we appreciate about having gone through that is now we know every facet of the business so intimately that when we hire team members or when we're working with team members on different projects, that foundation has always helped us to better understand what we're trying to get to together.
Jodi KatzThat's so interesting you say that because through the journey of owning my own business, it's been about 15 years, I've really probably done every job. Maybe not all of them well, but I've done them or I've tried to do some of them. And it really does help me understand how to map out my resource planning, which I think is the hardest part. Knowing what people to hire, when to hire them, and making sure that the best ones are available when I need them, right? This is the biggest challenge. But being someone who's like done that job or made those charts or solved this problem in the past really helps me. And I continue to do this to this day. I'm like, "Wait, I want to solve for holistic reporting. We don't even know how we're going to approach this, let me just try." I don't...It's not perfect, it's a start, but it helps me explain it and guide my team and make better decisions around what kind of talent we need to support. So I think it's never ending in that sense.
Sara LeeYeah. And that's actually one of the most frequently asked questions for people that are just about to start their entrepreneurship. They're like, "When is the right time to hire people? When is the right time to invest more money? How do you forecast for products?" I mean, these are sort of the questions that we get time and time again.
Jodi KatzYeah. I think that the people part of the business...You can solve for product or service process, but having the chance to hire the right talent at the right time... And as a service business, there's ups and downs, right? We're not always in control of that revenue flow, so knowing where the people are when you need them, it's kind of the craziest train. I think that's the weirdest part about the business, but I get to meet a lot of nice people that way.
Sara LeeOf course.
Jodi KatzSo I want to play a little bit of a game because there's two of you here and this makes it really fun. So I'm going to ask Christine to tell us what she thinks Sara's super power at work is.
Christine ChangOh yeah, of course. We actually just did an exercise within the team that was something similar to this. I would love to say storytelling. And Sara and I go way back, like she's seen me at the very beginning of my career and vice versa. And we would often go to lunch and just hang out after work, during work. And I always noticed that every story that Sara tells, whether it's personal or work-related, there's just a lot of rich context behind it. So it kind of makes you feel like she's taking you along her journey. And I think that's really powerful, right? Because I think as I personally have kind of evolved in my own career, I've gotten better at it, but I know in the very beginning stages for me, efficiency was so important that I would often cut out the context to get there. And if you think about it, the opposite person can't read your mind, right? And I think what Sara is able to do is draw this picture where everyone's sharing that same picture. And then that gives us the color and the context to kind of make decisions together.
Sara LeeThat's so nice.
Jodi KatzI love that as a gift because I skip over all the context too. And I just get to the end and then people are looking at me like I'm crazy. They don't understand it. And then it takes me sometimes weeks to go back in time and little by little figure out what pieces of the puzzle I need to share with a client, with a team member, because I'm just snapping. I forget the story.
Christine ChangI'm the exact same way. And I learned it from my dad, I think, cause he's like the A to Z type guy, like he'll jump from A to Z and he expects you to follow along and then gets frustrated when you don't. And so as I manage larger and larger teams, I think I've learned to be better at it, but it's definitely not innate to me.
Jodi KatzSo Christine, what's interesting is you said that you jump through the fence or jump over the fence kind of person. I'm the same way. I think of it more like I'm running through the wall and I'm just running. So I wonder if that has something to do with it, like we're like literally fast on our feet in that moment of taking on the challenge that we skip over all this stuff to get to the bigger why or the bigger reasoning. So I'm going to keep track of this.
Sara LeeYeah, actually I think that's what makes us complimentary, right? Because we would come up with ideas together, but Christine's already on the other side, executing, there's just...It's a good partnership because it's continuously moving and just going in the right direction together because we're kind of shaping it and doing it fast at the same time-
Jodi KatzI actually approached-
Sara LeeSo I know what you're-
Jodi KatzI know it's so funny. I approached my husband, Sara, and I got...I was telling him in a new idea, but in my head it was already an old idea. And I went to the very end and he's looking at me like, "Is this a conversation?" Like, "What are we talking about?"
Christine ChangMy husband tells me the same thing.
Jodi KatzBecause I realized I had no context, no thought process, no sharing. It was just zip to the end. And then he didn't...other than saying, "What are we talking about?" I then solved a problem in my own voice. And then I walked away. So yeah, this is interesting. Okay. So Sara, tell us, what is Christine's superpower?
Sara LeeWell, I think, it's...I don't think what Christine said is her weakness. It's actually her strength too, because she's able to fix issues, solve problems in a really efficient way that most people can't. So I think that's something that I've witnessed for a long time, but really, it's just also very powerful as you're growing your company and business and team, when sometimes doing things first is more valuable than thinking things through, because then by the time you have everything laid out, it might be a little too late, right? So I think it's a nice balance that Christine has where she can just move quickly, execute, but also be creative in terms of finding ways to solve problems. So that's, that's her biggest strength.
Jodi KatzSo let's switch gears a little bit, because you mentioned that a lot of, I guess, budding entrepreneurs ask you questions about what it takes to grow, right? From a resource planning perspective. But I guess I want to hear about more even behind the scenes, what are you reading? What do you look at? What virtual events do you want to attend? Because I feel sometimes like I'm being strangled with information. It's like, I feel like I'm getting choked by it, right? So I try to like manage the intake of information with my emotions. So I'm so curious about how you take in information and where you like to get it from. So I'll give that question to Sara.
Sara LeeOh, okay. So many different sources. I mean, I almost feel like we have too much to look at, so we have to prioritize on, depending on the time you have. I love listening to podcasts. I love your podcast, Jodi, too. And I think it's just a nice, casual way to be able to multitask and do other things while being inspired by stories of other people or people that you can just relate to, or who are going through similar things or similar journeys, and you feel a little more empowered or confident because you're not alone in this type of path. And I feel a lot of strength after listening to these types of podcasts. Some of the other podcasts that I listen to include Second Life Podcast, How I Built This, Safari, are some good ones. For those of you who are aspiring to be entrepreneurs, these are some good options for you to tune into.

And then I also just have small little groups or get together as with different founders or people in the industry. And I think those conversations where you're kind of being open and transparent about what you're going through and sharing tips and tricks from different perspectives are super valuable and helpful. Even more than reading books I feel sometimes. So there's this group that Christine and I are both in, which is called Beauty Wellness, which puts together all of the beauty founders and entrepreneurs in one space where everyone just shares their journeys. That's a good one. And we also recently started this Clubhouse, BFF, Beauty Founder Fireside chats with founders of Briogeo, Youth To The People, and Kosas, and we take turns to just have every Monday just stories to share. And we invite special guests to speak about their journeys and experiences. And a lot of people have told us that it's just been really inspiring to tune in. So I think those are the sources that really just keeps that energy flowing for me.
Jodi KatzAnd Christine, this type of advice that Sara is talking about, which she gets from podcasts or from Clubhouse, isn't this good advice and learning for people who don't even want to be entrepreneurs who just want to build their career as someone's employee?
Christine ChangYeah. Because I think you can be entrepreneurial in every role, right? Your title does not dictate your role. I truly believe that. And I think listening to other people's career journeys is such a source of inspiration. And I still do it all the time too, because throughout L’Oréal we always had bosses and our...it's called M plus Two, but our bosses' bosses and so on and so forth that would provide guidance and structure and give us advice and mentoring. And now being entrepreneurs it does feel a little lonely in the sense that there's no one really guiding...You're, the one that's guiding the company and they think this is why it's so powerful that we also have this co-founder dynamic, where we're able to bounce ideas off each other and have conversations, do a sanity check, all of the things that kind of keep you grounded.

But I really believe that that entrepreneurial is kind of...The entrepreneurial spirit exists in every facet. And one of the stories I often tell is when I took that detour to do my master's at Columbia, and then went back to L’Oréal, I actually had to start all over as an intern, even though I had had a team in Korea. And that was honestly one of the hardest moments of my life to kind of feel like I had to take four or five years back and take a step back that way. But I didn't work like an intern ever. I never worked like, quote unquote, an intern or an assistant manager. I always thought about next... the couple steps beyond my role. And I think that's what kind of helped me get back on track if you will. And even that is a quote unquote, right? Because really what does on track mean? But that spirit, I think, I've seen some of our team members really embody that in the best way possible.
Jodi KatzI love the energy and the spirit you both share. And it's making me think of how, before you started your business, maybe when you were at L’Oréal, I'm not sure, the industry was really not kind to indie beauty, right? There wasn't room for it. I always felt like I was on the fringes. I worked at a company called Lexicon and Provence, and it wasn't part of any of the big corporations, right? So I'd go to these events and I'd be like, "Well, that's the L’Oréal group of people talking together and that's the Lauder group of people talking together." And I wasn't part of a group, right? There wasn't a massive contingent of people from the company I worked for. And everything that you're talking about and the fact that you're generous with your advice to other entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial people, it really is so new in this business. It really was so closed off for so long. And I'm just proud to hear that there's just a thriving community of people willing to share. And it's almost as if that old structure never existed the way that you talk.
Christine ChangYeah, I totally agree. And I think it's really powerful that we're able to have that. I think mostly thanks to social media, right? Because it just gave a voice to everyone, no matter what role, what title, what stage of life you're in, you're able to speak up, share your thoughts and opinions, and nobody was empowered to judge you or evaluate you, you just were on your own to do things. And I think for small brands that were just starting out with creative ideas, it was so necessary that there was this platform. And we of all [inaudible 00:28:24] brands...we were definitely thankful that social media platforms existed. I mean, we were able to build a community from scratch and that's one of the most strongest drivers, I would say, for growth of the business, the engagement that we have with the community is really powerful.

And sometimes they actually lead us and guide us in making decisions that are very important for business, including product-related decisions or ways we should communicate with them. And that's actually even more powerful than some of the ad budgets, huge ad budgets that big corporates have, right? So I think it's a new era. And because there are so many different now various forms of social media platforms, all the brands could just express their communication, speak about what they believe in and are passionate about, and what we're really thinking about, especially this year and go forward is to align our values in a more expressive way with our community. And I think that's when you really earn that trust and the loyalty from the people that already know your brand, but you're kind of taking to a whole new level and saying, "Hey guys, we believe in these values."

For example, female empowerment is really, really important for us as a female-founded company. Inclusivity and diversity is so important. We're Asian-owned brand. It's a very important factor and we really think about it at all touch points. Let's talk about it in an open way. And then of course, sustainability is really important. How do we openly share the progress in an honest, transparent way? Not saying we're there, because nobody is, but just kind of sharing the journey so that people are involved and almost invited along your journey. So I think that's why a lot of indie brands are now having a larger voice in the industry.
Jodi KatzI love that this topic, because we talk a lot and the agency around what kind of learning the larger global corporations really need to make institutional knowledge around how to grow a business. And we see brands getting acquired and they just are really floundering and not doing well at these larger corporations. But so it's really cool for the founders that they sold the business, but don't you want your baby to thrive, right? After you walk away. So for this, for these larger companies that maybe they're impressions-hungry, but they're not really thinking about these smaller movements, right? These smaller touch points. I kind of feel like that's what separates success from losing the business, which is the willingness to look at every touch point as a value. Whether you can attribute a huge number of impressions or reach to it, it's a small egg in a basket and we need to pile up those small eggs and do the big eggs too, right? Once we get to a certain size. Christine, do you have any thoughts on how bigger companies can be prepared to take on nimble brands like your own and have them thrive?
Christine ChangYou know, we saw this process so many times firsthand just throughout the industry, but also at L’Oréal. So the integration process is always interesting, right? Because even as an owner of a small brand now, I would love to have some of the systems that L’Oréal has, right? The legal team on standby, the artwork routing process, the regulatory consultants, all of this amazing resources would be so, so helpful. And I think there needs to be a process by almost department where there are certain things that obviously the smaller company or the indie brand can really, really benefit from, no questions asked, right away. And there are certain things where they will have to take on a portion of the larger parent company's culture, but then retain some of that original culture. And then there are things where it should be absolutely preserved. And I think making those really clear for all shareholders, stakeholders, team members, could be a start because I think that integration process is where things are get lost in translation. And I think another big part of it is allowing the smaller brands to just really retain a lot of the hiring practices and cultural practices that made it unique because the people are really a driver of your culture and brand. And I think once you start mixing a little too quickly, then that original culture and that sense can sometimes be diluted as well.
Jodi KatzRight. And that's really what the customer is buying, right? She has plenty of options for moisturizers. She's buying into a value system. She's buying into a community. She's buying into feeling like a part of something. So when you change that, well, then what's the point? It's just another moisturizer.
Sara LeeRight, exactly. I mean also people believe what other peers on the social media platforms say, right? That's why things like TikTok virality exist today. I mean, you see product selling out time and time again when something goes viral on TikTok, and it's not because a brand advertises certain things, it's because your peers are raving about it.
Jodi KatzSo my last question, and this is going to take us full circle. So you told us that , your families when you were younger, were not that into taking the leap and starting the business, but now fast forward several years, great success, I'd say you guys are superstars, right? Like I'm sure people come up to you on the street and are sup... so excited to meet you. So now, Christine, what does your family think is the coolest thing about your job?
Christine ChangYou know, my daughter loves going to Sephora with me and she'll just march right in there and start doing the merchandising displays. And I feel like she somehow thinks that's her job now, which is just really funny. When we had our first pop-up in Soho she also helped clean some of the shelves and stuff. So I love seeing that involvement from her side and her getting excited about seeing a brand or seeing the brand grow. And also if she sees other brands launch fruit-inspired products, she'll be very like enraged about that as well, which I think is really funny. And then we have a whole discussion around branding and point of difference and things like that. But that's been the most rewarding for me to see, to see that process. Other than that, never get recognized in the street, thank God. Otherwise, the way I walk around the upper west side in sweats, I don't think anyone needs to really see that.
Sara LeeShe'll be a great marketer. Maybe she'll be a beauty guru.
Christine ChangMaybe.
Jodi KatzAnd Sara, what does your family think is the coolest part of your job?
Sara LeeI think just everything. They didn't know what I was doing, right? A few years ago. And I think the big moment that they were like, "Oh, she's onto something," was when we were featured on a Korean top three, I think, yeah, mainstream newspaper at the front of the page. And we actually didn't expect it to be such a huge exposure moment, but something around how two Korean female founders made it in the US and created this brand this successful, that was kind of like the gist of the article. And when my parents saw that they were just so proud, they scrapped that newspaper and coated it and they kept it in a nice binder in their home. And it's just really cute to see how they feel so proud about their daughter. And now I think it's just, they think that what we're doing right now is just so cool and different and unique, and they talk about our brand to their friends all the time. So I know that they're very proud.
Jodi KatzThat's so sweet. And how funny that the media that's important to them is when they thought that you were a success, right. Like a newspaper in print, right? Is the marker.
Sara LeeYeah, exactly. It was just the element of validation that I think brought them on the other side.
Jodi KatzRight, like not retail distribution. It's a newspaper article. I love that. That's so cool. Well, thank you so much for your wisdom today. I've loved this conversation. I know our listeners will as well. And for our listeners, I hope you enjoy this interview with Sara and Christine. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes and for updates about the show, follow us on Instagram at @wherebrainsmeetbeautypodcast.
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