Do not get investors too soon. When you start a beauty brand, you want to keep the brand authenticity. With an influx of investors, you will be under the pressure of putting out new products for the sake of putting out new products. You may not have the infrastructure to sell through and ending up with a lot of inventories.
As part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ginger King.
Ginger is the founder & CEO at Grace Kingdom Beauty, a cosmetic product development firm in New Jersey specializing in helping you to create your beauty brand from concept to launch.
She has been quoted by over 30 top beauty magazines such as Allure, Self, Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar, Shape, Teen Vogue and Women’s Health. Ginger has served as Allure’s Beauty Judge for Breakthrough Products 2017, Yahoo’s Diversity In Beauty Award 2018, Beauty Packaging Award Judge 2019 and New Beauty Magazine Brain Trust 2020. Ginger’s latest venture is FanLoveBeauty (www.fanlovebeauty.com), a clean vegan beauty brand inspired by her mentor Daymond John of Shark Tank to take care of entrepreneur’s appearance so they can keep crushing on their goals.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was 16, I really wanted to become a makeup artist. However, due to being Asian, it was very important for me to pursue if not a pHD, at least a master’s degree so I decided to study chemistry and becoming a cosmetic chemist. Later on, I felt just being a cosmetic chemist was not enough so I explored other opportunities in product development marketing and sales and even co-founded a skin care brand. Building a startup is difficult so I started doing consulting to support myself.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
My first position after college was not with a cosmetic firm because there was not any cosmetic firms in northern California where I resided. I landed my first full time job being an analytical chemist for fortune 500 Dole Foods company analyzing vitamin C content in pineapples. I also moonlighted at Macys working for Estee Lauder as a beauty consultant to fulfill my makeup artist dream. Because I love cosmetic so much, I was even able to solve an issue for Dole foods. There was this “pink disease” seen in pineapples. None of the senior scientist could figure out why. At the time, Estee Lauder just launched sunless self-tanner. I bought the product and compared to the pink-diseased pineapple and yes, it was the same phenomenon. I was so glad that I was able to use my passion in beauty to identify a non-related issue.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
My success would be attributed to the fact that I have been quoted regularly by over 30 beauty media as a credibility booster. I did not start doing anything differently because if something is going right, you repeat and not going away. My success with media has to do with my rate of response. I understand press is always under pressure, so I always treat them priority when there are any questions.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Definitely. Everyone needs a mentor and I luckily have two mentors. One is Daymond John of Shark Tank. He taught me branding, including emotional branding. He knows how to treat people special. The other one is Grant Cardone of UnderCover Billionaire. He taught me the concept of money and sales. I am lifted by these two business moguls on how I can reach my potential and beyond.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?
I am a strong believer in clean beauty because except OTC products, the industry in USA is still much self-regulated. I am only interested in putting out the very best products out there. When I develop products, I always have consumer in mind as if consumers can not appreciate the innovation, whatever I develop will only be a museum piece and not a contribution to the society.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
Retailers are taking responsibilities to scan the products they bring into the store as a consumer protection. Editors are giving out beauty awards to clean/vegan/conscious beaty. Consumers are also more aware of what they are putting on their skin. In this world of Best Known Beats Best, it takes an army to scrutinize what is a really good product versus who spends the most money in advertising.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?
- 100% Natural may not be a good thing (eventhough I do make 100% natural products as well). People need to choose between natural and efficacy.
- Remove the word Organic completely. Organic is even worse than natural and there are limited number of products chemists can make.
- There is a strong push for sustainable packaging. However, when it pushes to extreme, products may leak through package or will have to decrease shelf-life. There needs to be a balance for packaging or non-packaging as some brands pride themselves. This limits the product forms as well as contact hygiene. Just like clean beauty is a blend of natural and synthetic. Packaging should be that way too.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
- Wear a lipstick or tinted lip balm as your lip color reflects your health. You want to look good. This should instantly brighten your mood.
- Wear a blush. A rosy complexion like a baby also makes you feel good.
- For an even better look, do a cat eye with liquid eyeliner to give your eyes a wide-awake appearance.
Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”. Please share a story or an example, for each.
- You must have a strong reason why you want to create your own beauty brand. There are simply too many beauty brands. If your motivated by money, you will be disappointed to know for the first one to three years, you may be bleeding your bank.
- Do not get investors too soon. When you start a beauty brand, you want to keep the brand authenticity. With an influx of investors, you will be under the pressure of putting out new products for the sake of putting out new products. You may not have the infrastructure to sell through and ending up with a lot of inventories.
- Know your target market. When you say everyone that means no one. Your product will attract a specific group of people. Make the cult-like culture. Inclusive is important but you have to have a core group supporting you or you will soon be just like any other brands.
- Know where you want to sell. A lot of time people say I want to sell on line and go to Sephora. The reality is if you are going retail, most retailers take 50%-60% of your margin compared to the profit you can make by going directly on line. So knowing your distribution strategy is absolutely crucial for the long game.
- Build relationship with press early and on. Press is free however it takes time to nurture. On average it takes 30 touch points before a consumer will take action to purchase so the more they can see your products in print or on line, the better. It will cost a lot less than advertising.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I already started the movement and hopefully people can really jump in the bandwagon with me. I launched FanLoveBeauty in February 2020. The idea is based on celebrity crush. The celebrity does not need to be in Hollywood but rather someone who inspires, educates or entertains the society. I will co-develop a beauty product for them if you tell me #WhoDoYouLove. For example, the first collection under FanLoveBeauty brand is for speakers. I developed a line of vegan lip balms for speakers so they can speak confidently when they talk on stage or to a crowd. Even experienced speakers get stage fright. The lip balm was inspired by, created for, and loved by my celebrity crush and personal mentor, Daymond John of shark tank. He uses my lip balm. When others know this, they will be aspired to speak like a shark. This is like M.A.C. is for makeup artists but we buy it because we are aspired makeup artist.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
There will never be a good time. Commit first and the rest will follow. I do not have any investors. I do not know exactly how I am going to scale my new beauty brand but creativity follows commitment. I know I will make it because I committed.
How can our readers follow you online?
IG: The BeautySharkGinger
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.