This week we spoke to Jean Seo, Founder of the anti-aging skincare brand Evolue, to talk about the story behind Evolue, and what she loves most about working in the beauty industry. Read on to find out more about their company, and what advice she would give for emerging beauty brands...
Tell us about yourself and the story behind creating Evolue?
My name is Jean Seo and I am the creator of Evolue x Lue Skincare. I grew up in Korea and was always intrigued on formulating my own multipurpose beauty products. Putting on my crazy scientist goggles and heading to my lab (aka my kitchen), I spent days perfecting on the cleanest formulas. After 5 years of dabbling at the task: I decided to launch Evolue exclusively to my Beverly Hills store.
What do you look for in your stockists and what values are important to you?
10 years ago I started Evolue out of thin air. As a small business I found it hard to compete with beauty behemoths in this lovely “cut-throat” market.
Now that my business has matured, I reflect on that difficult period that small businesses are facing and realise that they need help more than ever. I have a bleeding heart for independent stockists that are driven with passion… and often limited cash-flow.
Sure, large orders from household retailers are exciting and gives Evolue more visibility (hello Superdrug?!). However, I have a special place in my heart for little shopkeepers.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on?
As you know, I focus on making multi-purpose skincare with the cleanest ingredients. This shows in my decisions to constantly reinvest in Evolue’s own lab for the latest research and development.
In 2021, this will result in the release of Godzilla’s favourite: (my mascot and real-life furry companion) Evolue’s Honey Wash. Harvested from Arizona’s Organic honey, this biodegradable formula will combat inflammation and restore balance to any skin issue making you say “See you later acne!”
What types of stores stock Evolue?
Our current stockists can be classified into 2 distinct categories : the beauty connoisseur - boutiques for our Luxury range: Evolue and the department store for our mainstream budget range : Lue.
I won’t bore you with a list of our current stockists or I’ll be typing all day lol.
What area would you like to see the brand in or grow into?
Like most conscious beauty innovators, I really inspire to set synthetic-free products as the new standard. I want Evolue to oil up the “eco-conscious beauty “machine that I have been in motion; stomping over the industry’s unethical practices. Organic skincare basics need to be affordable for everyone. It’s not a luxury anymore. It is a necessity for us and the planet.
What do you love most about being a business owner in the beauty industry?
That might sound pretentious : but I love being a curator. Educating my clients on ingredients and skin regimen is really thrilling . That’s why Evolue’s CUSTOMER SERVICE is our main USP. If you have a skincare question, product question or any related skincare concern, I will personally answer you and work with you until you are confident in your decision and satisfied with your products. I may not be saving the world, but I have made countless women/men/non-binaries feel more beautiful.
What has been the biggest triumph since starting Evolue?
2020 has been a year tinted with negative disruptions as we all know. However, (and to my surprise) this year has been Evolue’s best in terms of milestones and achievements.
Besides setting our own lab in Arizona this summer, we recently got awarded the prestigious “President’s “E” award 2020” . For the readers on the other side of the pond : this award presented by the US president of commerce reward firms that made significant contributions to the expansion of the export trade of the United States. Not too shabby right?
Do you have any advice for emerging beauty brands?
8 out of 10 new brands failed within the first 18months. This shows you how overly competitive this 535 USD billions industry is. There’s surely some money to be made but I beg of you : make sure that your brand sails towards a clear brand vision and that you have a MASSIVE amount of funds available. If you ever make money within the beauty market, you are set to succeed in any other industry.