Seize the chance when nobody else sees it. The beauty industry was hit hard by this Covid-19 incident. As the beauty stores were forced to close its doors, we lost most of the orders from the store sales, and the income fell sharply. Still, we have to keep making payments for rent, payroll and other expenses. I was annoyed by the situation, but on the contrary, I saw this was a big chance. We have never seen people staying at home like this before. I felt huge opportunity and I wondered how to make the most out of this opportunity. And when I learned that people’s screen time have increased by 2–3 times after the lockdown, I felt that this was a great marketing opportunity. Our main marketing used to be store based product demo and samplings. But we largely moved our marketing budgets towards online and social media. As a result, we received great reactions and the sales increased dramatically.
As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Koji Kamoda, CEO of Toyo Life Service International Inc.
Koji born in Tokyo, Japan was one of the founding members of Toyo Life Service Co. Ltd in Japan. With over 20 years’ experience as a longtime director/manager, he was in charge of overseeing all domestic and international operation for 22 countries including United States, UK, Australia, China and Singapore. With his excellent management and marketing skills, his major accomplishment included bringing the company to a global corporation and successfully built #1 selling brands.
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?
As someone who has always been curious about new discoveries, I became fascinated with the beauty industry when I came upon the existence of ‘miracle water’. I was so excited to learn about these unbelievable waters that could heal all kinds of diseases! Tlacote water is one of these miracle waters found in the world. The secret of this miracle water is ‘hydrogen’ which discovered active hydrogen. Hydrogen helps redox. Oxidation causes all kinds of troubles to human body, called aging. More than 70% of our bodies are made of water. Therefore, Hydrogen water makes oxidation reduction much easier. It is very important to keep your body in a condition which every body cell is happy.
After I learned about hydrogen water, I became so excited and wanted to tell this story to everybody by way of the beauty industry. This motivated my company to make hydrogen water which led to our #1 selling product called Cure Aqua Gel and Cure Water Treatment.
I was born in Tokyo, Japan and became one of the founding members of Toyo Life Service Co. Ltd in Japan. With over 20 years’ experience as a longtime director/manager, I was in charge of overseeing all domestic and international operation for 22 countries including United States, UK, Australia, China and Singapore. With my management and marketing skills, I accomplished bringing the company to a global corporation and successfully built #1 selling brands. These brands have won countless awards in the cosmetic industry. In March 2007, Toyo Life Service International, Inc. was established as a US subsidiary where I was appointed as CEO. Since its’ inception, sales have grown dramatically and continue to grow in the US market.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I believe ‘Wish’ is an energy. If you wish strongly, it will create power and energy, The stronger the wish, the more powerful the energy flows. That energy will give power to other people and in turn, become more powerful. Eventually, the wish will come true.
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?
It was difficult to determine when the tipping point was, but I saw the momentum several times at several store locations. The products sold out 50,000 bottles in a day. And the business took off and products ‘flew’ from the shelves. I do not remember exactly what I did but all I remember is that I “gave, gave and gave”. I just kept giving product demos, giving samples and making customers happy. Then I repeated the process over and over again. And then customers in return brought other customers and word of mouth finally brought us where we are today. We got picked up by many TV shows and magazines and the sales took off dramatically.
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?
Three people who have helped me to my life: my teacher, my master in business and my wife. Without them, I could not be who I am today.
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?
Our innovation is to bring at home spa solutions to the consumer market at an affordable price. Not many people can afford the luxury facial treatments on a regular basis. Facial treatments can cost from 60 dollars to hundreds of dollars per treatment. With 38 dollars, you can experience facial treatment at home. One bottle of Cure Aqua Gel can last up to 3–4 months. What is more important, the formula is very gentle and does not hurt your skin. Even those with a sensitive skin type can use Cure. It is also beneficial to those who suffer from for acne.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
Skin care is finally catching American’s heart! Americans tend to focus more on makeup than skincare, but we believe that skincare is the key to true beauty. We are revealing a Japanese secret to the American market. I am so excited to see the movement.
I see endless possibilities with social media in beauty industry. We can connect with the customers directly through social media and we believe YouTube and Instagram is the best way to introduce beauty products.
We are living in the time when we can determine the quality of a product immediately found online. You can see product reviews everywhere online before purchasing. I believe only the ‘real’ products can survive, not by advertisements but by real customer reviews. Big name cosmetic company has large advertisement budgets and medium and small business like us could not get as much brand awareness due to limited advertisement budgets. however, the time has come for us. If you have enough trust from your customers, we can still compete with the large company. I think this is a huge opportunity to compete with major companies. I really enjoy seeing our product reviews. After all, happy customer reviews make me happy.
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?
Covid-19 has truly hit the beauty industry badly. Beauty salons and stores are forced to shut down, people are ordered to stay at home and do not go out any more. It has completely changed our lifestyle and the way we do things.
This situation has made me feel helpless. If I could, I would suggest that people take this time to educate themselves through on-line programs or videos. If we are forced to remain inside, let us all do something positive for ourselves.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
I believe beauty comes from within your body. Moisture is the key to your beauty. Drink a lot of water every day. Water will give you moisture and energy. The energy gives you healthy cells and reveal your inner and outer beauty. You will see the difference by simply providing your body with water.
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. Give, give, give. Make your customers happy!
Keeping customers happy is the key to success, if you make customers happy, they will make you happy in return and you will get rewarded in the end. My business deeply depends on our customers trust and their word of mouth brought us where we are today.
2. Make employees happy and healthy, Employees cannot make customers happy if they are not happy and healthy. Create a great working environment, this is the key. You cannot work by yourself.
3. Seize the chance when nobody else sees it.
The beauty industry was hit hard by this Covid-19 incident. As the beauty stores were forced to close its doors, we lost most of the orders from the store sales, and the income fell sharply. Still, we have to keep making payments for rent, payroll and other expenses. I was annoyed by the situation, but on the contrary, I saw this was a big chance. We have never seen people staying at home like this before. I felt huge opportunity and I wondered how to make the most out of this opportunity. And when I learned that people’s screen time have increased by 2–3 times after the lockdown, I felt that this was a great marketing opportunity. Our main marketing used to be store based product demo and samplings. But we largely moved our marketing budgets towards online and social media. As a result, we received great reactions and the sales increased dramatically.
4. Never give up until you succeed
I think the only difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is whether they do it until they succeed or they stop it on the way. Nobody knows the perfect way to succeed. Of course, you will make mistakes and there will be a time when we feel frustrated and desperate, but that’s when we can learn and we can fix things, and we will be one step closer to success. It is important to learn from mistakes and never give up.
5. Protect the environment and contribute to society.
Money comes and goes, but our planet and environment is indispensable. My main motivation is to contributing to the society and help saving our planet by making my business successful.
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 am always excited to make people happy and smile. I like to see people surprised and excited.!! I like to make a difference in someone’s life and giving hope. I like to make people happy, excited and surprised.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I like the quote: ‘Everything happens for a reason’
Actually, it took a long time for me to be ready to accept whatever happens in my life. I used to ask when bad things happened to me, why did this happen to me? What did I do wrong? Etc etc. But, when I used to think that way, I felt a deep struggle to get out of the situation and got more frustrated. Instead, I took a different approach. I stopped struggling and instead I accepted the situation. After that I realized it happened because there was a reason. Both good and bad things happen for a reason, when that happens, you just accept it and you will find a true reason and a solution.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.