Building a business is never easy. It takes more than a great idea, but also the tenacity to navigate the many moving parts and processes required to bring that great idea to life.
Meet Jae Won Jeong. She's a pro at all of the above and more, for as CEO of Haruharu WONDER, she's succeeded at building a business within the crowded, competitive, and ever-changing industry that is skincare.
"What I wanted was a brand that you really needed," Jae says of her WONDER Black Rice line, "a skincare line where small changes can offer a higher value. I thought that's an area where women can excel."
Jae's company makes it easy for all women to pursue natural, healthy beauty without having to sacrifice on overall effectiveness. "A woman who values herself and chooses what's good is our main client," Jae says. "That's the woman we're looking for."
Are you looking for WONDER? Read on to find out.
On Women-Founded Companies
Ohlolly: Do you think women-founded and women-run companies have an advantage when it comes to the skincare industry?
Jae: [As a woman,] I can understand the customer's position well. Because I use beauty products all the time, probably more than men on average, I take this as an advantage. I’m constantly getting ideas and inspiration for something better for my skin.
My own product experience is often reflected in our product planning.
On Clean Beauty
Clean beauty can encompass a wide range of products. How do you strike a balance with WONDER that honors an attainable price-point while also remaining safe and effective?
Both design and product development are conducted in-house, and we have our own labs so we can maximize the quality of our products while maintaining reasonable pricing.
For example, hyaluronic acid, the raw material is rated from grade 1 to grade 00 with grade 1 being the best quality. There's no compromise on our raw materials; we use the most effective, high-grade and that's why we supply materials directly through our own labs.
Based on experimental data, we've also been able to maximize the efficacy and effectiveness of our own technology, which allows our products to absorb into the skin smoothly, lightly, but deeply.
About the Star Ingredient
Let’s talk about the star ingredient of WONDER, fermented black rice. What makes this so effective for skincare?
Once called “forbidden rice” in China, black rice is an ancient grain that was enjoyed exclusively as a delicacy for the wealthy and royals. It’s written in the Chinese medical book "Bonchoangmok" as a great delicacy in preventing aging by making the blood circulation flourish.
At Haruharu, we were searching for ingredients that could help turn back time. We learned of the strong antioxidant energy of black rice, which has 4x more antioxidants than black beans, 2.5x more than blueberries, and 3.4x more than grapes. When fermented, the antioxidant effect of black rice is enhanced even more, by 4x.
Antioxidants are powerhouse ingredients that can eliminate free radicals, the main culprit of skin aging. Therefore, we decided that nothing is better than antioxidants to reign in early anti-aging.
Where and how do you source your ingredients used in the black rice line?
Koreans have been growing rice for 2,500 years and the starting point as the Gyeonggi Province area. With such a long history, the area around Gyeonggi-do is famous for its advanced rice cultivation technology and excellent soil quality.
In particular, Anseong-gu is one of the most popular granaries in Gyeonggi-do, and it is the best place to produce high-quality rice thanks to the air quality, abundant sunshine, fertile yellow earth, and lack of typhoons. We source Anseong Black Rice as our main ingredient. Then, for healthy and clear skin, we also source bamboo shoot extract, which is rich in vitamins, amino acids, and flavonoids.
More on Development
Did you develop all the products at the same time to work synergistically with each other? Or was it a slow build to establish the line over time?
Both! The base of the skin and skin barrier must be solid to maintain skin elasticity. So Haruharu Wonder products are made with ingredients that are necessary for healthy skin and can work together as a daily routine of toner, serum, essence, and oil.
Also, we offer different kinds of moisture care and anti-aging products that can be selected and used individually according to the customer's specific skin and skin problems.
What are your go-to products in your own skincare routine?
On What's Next
Are there any products in the works that you are excited about, or can tell us about?
My goal in 2020 is not just natural cosmetics, but meaningful natural cosmetics. So, we're preparing our own vegan line of ethical products. Please keep an eye out!
Thank you, Jae!
Shop Haruharu WONDER. Questions or comments? Email us at email@example.com.