The enterprising CEO of the cosmetics startup the Blessed Moon, Eunbin Moon is a make-up enthusiast. Her love to carry all essential makeup in her bag using some DIY kits inspired her idea for the startup.
Moon and her dynamic team have created a portable makeup kit for today’s modern women that makes it easy to carry all daily essentials -concealer, cheek blush, eye shadow, lipstick and eyeliner easy and compact.
Eunbin Moon talked with koreatechdesk.com about her revolutionising product in the beauty industry and her journey from the start to future goals.
1. Please tell me about your personal background, and what are you working on currently?
I grew up in Korea and have been always interested in the beauty industry. I wanted a product that could be efficient and look cool at the same time. I carried a small number of cosmetics with me. Instead of having all these things in my purse, I wanted to look cool and free. That’s when the startup happened.
I’m currently working on the globalization of the company. We are attending expos all over the world and we are connecting with buyers and customers with different cultural backgrounds.
2. What motivated you to get started with your company? And how did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?
The main product the Blessed Moon kit is an upgrade of what I was using as a teenager. I used to carry lip, concealer in the lens case and shadow in the other circle of the lens case all bundled together in a rubber band. I decided to make it a product so I could use it myself while expecting more people would be in need of such a product.
I used to work for a trading company for clothing which involved overseeing manufacturing in other countries and dealing with retailers in the US. I also worked at a heavy-duty manufacturer where I learned to oversee manufacturing. These two experiences enabled me to deal with both manufacturing and overseas sales.
3. Please tell me more about your founding team? And how did the team come together?
I ran an interview ad looking for someone who could perform multitasking while having great taste in the beauty industry. This young lady walked into my office with ripped blue jeans, bright hair color with stylish makeup on. She didn’t have experience in the industry, but she was telling me that she got that taste of beauty. At the time, she didn’t have skills such as an illustrator, but she became our main designer and now all posting and product designs need her approval.
We also hired a makeup stylist to give real-time feedback on the quality of cosmetics and design. However, she was good at creating documents especially related to government, so her focus has been changed. My brother helped here and there when I started. He joined the team from the US, and he is dealing with foreign sales. Last, we have a new employee with a strong passion. She is young and has a fresh point of view.
4. How have you attracted users and grown your company from the start?
Attracting users started with surveys done at my church. I’m a volunteer teacher for high school students at my church. I have always respected the opinions of youngsters at my group and the church. For example, while we were deciding colors for the Blessed Moon kit, we showed the samples to students and applied their opinions.
Pricing went through the same procedure to provide affordable products for students as well. Applying customer opinion is how we attract users. We will take their point of view and combine our concept with their needs. With that in mind, our first approach was cloud funding in Korea. We told them our story, how convenient it is and why we made such a product. The first cloud funding was very successful and that was our start.
5. What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue? What strategy worked best?
Our business model is to support the interest of the employee. We have a meeting at the end of the month about their satisfaction at the company regarding our work responsibility. Within a functional boundary, we let the employees choose what they want to do because we believe in self-interest. Nothing would give better motivation than self-interest and we respect it. In the meantime, we look for sudden expansion as a company, especially production, so we could go through the trials and come up with a better product. So far respecting customer opinion and employees’ interests have worked the best.
6. What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and the obstacles you’ve overcome?
The biggest challenges were to find the right partners to produce a product that never existed before and to reach the intended quality with it. We were creating a product that has never existed before.
Yes, there have been attempts where companies have created portable pallets, but it was not a cylinder shape nor small enough. We had to visit various companies to convince them to work with us. Since we were a very small company and we were not introduced to the beauty market, we had to explain ourselves with our product that was not out there in the market yet. We finally got a team and partners to work with but it was a great challenge to ask them to build the product to its quality while our order quantity was not a lot.
7. How much money have you raised in total so far? When was the recent funding round?
We have raised $12,000 through our first cloud funding. The rest of the funds were given as support from the Korean government reaching $ 0.2 million. We are currently working with the government to support us with our next project.
8. What were the challenges faced in the process of fund-raising?
We focused ourselves on cloud funding in the beginning and customers had no idea who we are. We had to explain ourselves with our brand-new product that did not exist before. We had to lead the customer to understand our product before they supported us through cloud funding. On top of it, we had limited resources when we were stuck with the number of tasks to be done as a startup. Finding a work balance with the right focus and following due date was very difficult when we did not have enough available resources.
9. What are your milestones for the next round? And what are your goals for the future?
We are working on globalization of our brand. We want to be introduced to the world and let them know what we are bringing to them. We will face more people with various backgrounds, culture and races. Our goal is to enable global consumers to have convenient access to their cosmetics while customizing each aspect.
10. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? And what advice do you have for someone who is interested in doing similar things or in a similar direction?
Setting up a due date and respecting it is the most important advice I have ever received. There is a lot to be done and time and resources are limited. I believe finding a middle ground is the most important talent.