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Jean Baik: “There is no such thing as overnight success”

We should not compare our looks and image with what’s portrayed in media, but really start loving ourselves and accepting the fact that everyone is beautiful in their own way.Beauty starts with the inside, so more than what you put on your skin, take care of your inner beauty first by eating healthy, exercising, meditating […]

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We should not compare our looks and image with what’s portrayed in media, but really start loving ourselves and accepting the fact that everyone is beautiful in their own way.

Beauty starts with the inside, so more than what you put on your skin, take care of your inner beauty first by eating healthy, exercising, meditating etc. Inner beauty will lead to outer beauty!


Asa part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean Baik.

After attending Parsons School of Design in New York City and a short career in the fashion industry, Jean Baik, 34, pursued her dream of creating a beauty brand where everything was just one dollar. In 2013 Jean, alongside her husband Kenneth Baik, launched ShopMissA.com, a company whose mission is to offer affordable products to everyone without traditional retail markup but the same quality of ingredients and products as drugstore and high end makeup. In 2016, Jean took her passion for beauty to the next level launching her own line of makeup and tools, AOA Studio.


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?

After working in the fashion industry for a few years, I moved to Texas. My husband and I wanted to start a business, and he had a background in the retail industry as well as manufacturing. At first, our concept was just “Everything is going to be 1 dollar” so we had a good mix of jewelry, accessories and different brands of makeup that we could sell at that price point. I have always LOVED makeup and skincare and I knew I wanted to go into that path down the road. Now over 90% of our sales are our own makeup line AOA Studio where it’s all makeup and beauty related tools!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most interesting story is how I meet and hire the staff that I get to work with. As a growing company we are constantly hiring, and every time we need a specific position filled, it’s so amazing to see who comes by to cross paths with us. I am so thankful for the current team I have, and for every single person that has worked for me in the past. Our success would not have happened if it wasn’t for these team members, and I am also curious on who will come next. This is an ongoing story and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

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?

The first major tipping point was when YouTube influencers started reviewing our products for the first time. Although in the beginning they were micro-influencers, this really got us going and really put Miss A out there in the social media world! The second biggest tipping point was when we started developing our own makeup line, AOA Studio. The products we made were far more superior to the products we were selling from different brands, and our customers experienced that right away. When developing AOA Studio, we cut out all middle man costs and put everything into the product itself which makes the quality so much better.

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?

When we first started our line AOA Studio, I went to so many expos and trade shows around the world and made a lot of trips to Asia to find factories. In the beginning when I didn’t know so much and we were a small company, there was one factory where the Lead International Sales rep was so amazing and really helped me develop the first line of products. She was so inspiring, genuine and had so much knowledge in the cosmetic manufacturing that I learned so much from her. We have become good friends and we still work with that factory to this day. I am so grateful for meeting her!

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?

Yes, the beauty industry is becoming huge, and there are so many amazing innovators leading this industry. We are not an innovator, but I see our role as the company who is there for those customers who want to stay on top of the current formulas and products coming out but without breaking the bank. We are always working with our factories to test new formulations and always renewing our products.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?

First, is the shift and movement towards skincare in the U.S. In Korea, skincare has always been huge, and I am so happy that the U.S. is now paying attention to skin care, and protecting the skin. I am also always excited to see women founded beauty brands; this is so important and so amazing. And finally, the shift towards natural beauty, accepting your skin as it is and loving yourself as you are. Models are no longer the “supermodels” we used to see in the 90’s and the beauty industry is so inclusive of all skin tones!

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?

The over saturation of brands in the industry today. I think consumers really have to pick and choose what products work for them, and only truly great brands will survive. With the current pandemic going on, it’s harder for people to test and feel products in stores, and will shift to more buying online, so as an industry it’s really important to offer that experience and consultation via online. Lastly, with the shift of consumers more aware of ingredients, brands will have to be more transparent about the ingredients they use in their products.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

We should not compare our looks and image with what’s portrayed in media, but really start loving ourselves and accepting the fact that everyone is beautiful in their own way.

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.

1. Have a clear point in what your brand stands for. My brand is about affordability and not steering away from this 1 dollar price point. There has been so many times when I was tempted to break the 1 dollar price point and offer products that were more expensive to “keep up” but I have turned away from that every time.

2. Really connect and see who your audience is and offer products that are relatable.

3. Make sure your product and prices are competitive in the market. Consumers are so knowledgeable and savvy now!

4. Have your brand stand out among others with a key point. For us, it’s really pricing and that you cannot find a similar product with this price anywhere else.

5. Pay attention to packaging! Everyone loves to take photos and share what they got, so this is super important!

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. 🙂

Beauty starts with the inside, so more than what you put on your skin, take care of your inner beauty first by eating healthy, exercising, meditating etc. Inner beauty will lead to outer beauty!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“There is no such thing as overnight success”. All great things take time, and you have to keep working hard every day to build a brand and for everyone else to see your vision!

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram @jean_baik and @shopmissa

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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