Hero Cosmetics' Ju Rhyu: 'It was important that our company could stand on its own two feet'
Pre row excutive editor at glossy and today's guest is chew through the co founder and ceo of hero cosmetics. Welcome ju- banks ya. Thanks for having me so joe. It's been a crazy start of the year for you. I was so excited to talk this morning. We'll evening in paris time. But you know before we get into the latest investment. Kind of the the numbers that we're seeing around hero. I'd love a little bit about kind of wear this idea got started you know the idea of pimple patches seem so fever pitch right now there's one for everybody there's one with star is in colors and they're no longer transdermal patches but where did this come from free you and for hero yeah. It's funny well. I was living in korea from two thousand twelve to two thousand fourteen. I was living there as an ex pat. And i was breaking out so i don't really know why maybe it was just different environment. Different lifestyles strasbourg and really frustrated And i saw a lot of people in creole walking around with these stickers on their faces. And i had asked around like oh what what is this why are people wearing patches on faces and someone told me that it was for acting so i bought some trip for myself and i was blown away at how well it worked and i have dry and sensitive skin so a lot of the the previous like creams and eight minutes and things that i would use would just really turn my skin red and flaky dry but the patches did not do that and then i immediately started wondering why am i learning about this now and not. I don't know like many many years ago when i was a teenager. And why my only seeing this product in korea is it not available in the us. So i started one asking myself. These questions and i just realized like oh if this product really works for me I think it could. love to bring it to more people and more available to people all over the world so that was of the inspiration. Ju what year was this when you were kind of trying. These patches and seeing them in in the market and korea it was around two thousand twelve two thousand thirteen right and so you know obviously hero cosmetics. The hero franchise within your line is the mighty patch so is the idea back then to bring over back in two thousand twelve when i saw it and i experienced them to bring over an existing patch to create your own. Like what were you thinking because around. That time was when so many k. Beauty retailers were bringing innovations from the market. That weren't their own. You know whether it was the glock recipes of the world or the peach and lilies or the so-called glam it was really about servicing the market via distribution. Yeah no i wanted to create a product. That was my own. I wanted to own my own brand. I knew i would have more control and more Influence that way because having lived in korea and having seen how some of these cream brands operate. I knew that they weren't always the best in terms of brand building. They're really good at sales and distribution. But i for me like the brand and the story That was connecting with customers. That was really important to me. And so from the beginning i knew for me was that i wanted to make my own product my own acne pats brand and bring it to the states so you launched in two thousand seventeen. I remember you guys launching. I with which seems crazy now because nobody was doing that at the time. But how are you thinking about getting american customers on board with this because you know historically american customers when they think about acne. It's about covering and hiding than it is presenting like. Hey i've pimple. I'm using an acne patch. Yeah i there are some indications for me that that the american audience was already ready for a product like this so when i was doing research about hydrochloric acne patches i film on into some reform or something like that and people were talking about other kind of medical oriented brands of highly qualified. And they would say. Oh i just by these large strip Strips or sheets of hydrocholoride and the cut them up. And then i put the little squares on my pimples and so for me that that showed me that people were already exhibiting an interest in a desire in acne patch in patches for their acne and so that gave me more confidence that oh you know if i create this brand specific for the american audience i think they're going to really be excited and really bite and then and then also just to kind of hedge your bets a little bit. We launched on amazon. Which was i think. A lot of new consumer brands launch dc. I which i understand. Why but for us. We went on amazon because honestly it was fastest. Cheapest and easiest. And i just wanted to prove out my hypothesis which was that if i create an acne pass brand the western audience I it's going to be successful. That was my hypothesis and so it was just an easy way to test. Product market fit And so we launched with the mighty patch original product