had the chance to sit down with Jenny Hanh Nguyen, CEO & co-founder of Y’OUR Personalized Skin Care and Nature Queen, two successful beauty companies she founded after working as software engineer for Microsoft and other top firms.
We discussed how she switched from an IT career into digital entrepreneurship, the challenges she and her partner faced while growing their companies, and got her expert tips for all wanna-be entrepreneurs who are still on the fence.
What inspired you to start your two companies? What made you decide this was the right move?
As someone who was working in a traditionally masculine world, I always strived to keep in touch with my femininity, thus my brands take feminine and gentle approaches to self-care.
Fundamentally, both brands share the same motivation: helping people achieve confidence and empowering people to feel their best.
takes inspiration from my heritage. The core focus is utilizing natural herbs and essential oils in beauty, which Asian women have traditionally used for hundreds of years.
, on the other hand, was inspired by my journey in the beauty industry, listening to consumers’ concerns and pain points. I realized I can utilize technology and my technical background to help solve these pain points.
What are the biggest obstacles you have faced, and how have you overcome them?
The biggest obstacle is getting my foot in the beauty industry with no prior industry background. At first, I faced countless rejections from major brands when I cold-called them to ask for exclusive distributorship. Despite that, I refused to give up on my dream of making every woman feel beautiful in their own skin. Each time I was turned down, I used my frustration to fuel my determination and improve my pitch.
Through sheer perseverance, I eventually landed an exclusive distributorship with NYX Cosmetics when they were still a small 10-person company. Although luck may have played a part, it was my unwavering drive and determination that ultimately led me to success in the beauty industry.
Today, I am proud to have been a part of NYX’s journey to success, having played a role in their acquisition by L’Oreal for a staggering $600M. So when I say that I love beauty and want to make women beautiful, know that it is not just a passing fancy. It is a driving force that has led me to overcome rejection and achieve success in the beauty industry.
What are the key factors that contributed to your businesses success?
For me, the most crucial factor is having the right mindset.
Any business will often face rejection, setbacks, and challenges on a regular basis. It can be difficult to keep going in the face of such obstacles, but I am a big believer in our products and our mission. I know that what we offer has the power to change lives, and I am passionate about sharing it with the world.
I believe that mindset is everything, and that success in business is as much about believing in what you offer as it is about delivering a quality product. That’s why I am proud to be part of a team that is driven by a shared passion for our products and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of our customers.
What marketing strategies and tools have been most helpful so far?
For us, the most important core strategy is creating great products.
No matter how good your marketing is, if your products are not up to par, customers won’t stick around for long. That’s why we place a strong emphasis on developing products that are exceptionally unique and effective.
Once we have a great product, we focus our marketing efforts on what sets us apart from our competitors, rather than just competing on price. We know that there will always be someone out there willing to sell something cheaper, but we also know that quality and value will win out in the end.
Ultimately, it’s not just about making a sale or generating revenue. It’s about creating a lasting brand that customers can trust and rely on. And that starts with creating great products that speak for themselves.
If you had the chance to go back in time and do things differently, what would you do?
It is hard to say. Not everything was perfect, but rather than dwelling on our missteps, we choose to focus on the valuable lessons that we have learned as a result.
By embracing imperfection and learning from our mistakes, we have been able to make smarter decisions and avoid making the same mistakes twice. If we didn’t learn those lessons, we may have made different mistakes.
What tools are in your personal tech stack that you can’t live without?
My personal favorites are apps that feature the Pomodoro method. In my experience, effective time management is crucial for success. I usually do 20-minute work sessions, followed up by 5 minutes of rest. It helps me focus without getting burned out.
What do you see in the future of your industry, and what’s in your future?
So far, I can see a rapid increase in beauty brands in the market, with more and more celebrity and influencer brands. But fundamentally, most of these brands offer the same line of products, leaving consumers overwhelmed and confused.
With the pace of technological advances nowadays, we see AI technology will play a crucial role in the beauty industry, particularly in helping customers find the best products for themselves. For us, we focus on making sure we constantly update and develop our AI and formulations to make our products even more personalized and effective for our customers.
Lastly, your best piece of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice is simple: Trust your vision. While many people may have opinions about what you do, it’s important to stay true to your vision and follow your gut. Don’t let doubt hold you back. Instead, have faith in your abilities and execute your vision with passion and purpose.