Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Heyyoung Kim, founder of Respekt, located in San Jose, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Respekt is a skincare company born to solve the problems of Harsh Chemicals and Stress in our personal beauty. We are teamed up with a medical doctor and beauty and meditation experts to offer holistic skincare solutions for people of all skin types, gender, ages, and lifestyles. We produce lines of skincare products with skin-friendly ingredients, free of toxic chemicals. And what we are most passionate about is helping minimize the impact of daily stress on our skin with our skincare app, Respekt Beauty Mediation.

The app is also for people of all ages, gender, and lifestyles. Stress causes 30 % of our skin issues, and it should be seriously treated for our overall skin health and beauty. Here, we are to solve that problem with time-tested and proven ways of meditation techniques and mindfulness.

Tell us about yourself

My background in psychology, meditation, and strong passion for individual beauty and bringing it out lead me to start my own business. The person who influenced me the most was my mom, who was a psychologist and a meditator(for more than 50 years!). Growing up under such an influence, I naturally became interested in people, mind and body, life problems, and their solutions. As I stepped into the beauty business, I actively applied what I gained and realized through them. Respekt was founded under a strong mission of 'No Harsh Chemicals, No stress,' and I believe those two are the factors that we have to solve in everyday skincare.

Having had serious skin issues for years caused by my first skincare cosmetic set that I received for my 12th birthday gift, I was obsessed with finding clean, safe, and working cosmetic products and became a witness to the vicious cycle of stress-depression -skin problems. It was not just avoiding the use of products that had chemicals I paid close attention to my mother's words, "You need to take a break, breathe out your worries and stress, look into your mind because it shows in your face." Her words were a reminder of the dangers of stress on the skin because she knew how dangerous stress was.

In my early years in Korea, I learned to do mindful breathing. Whenever I encountered life's big and small problems or insecurities, my mother led me to deep breathing. By doing this, my problems became manageable, my heart regained a calm, normal rhythm of its own, and my tense muscles relaxed. Not only the signs of my heightened emotions did find peace, but my flushed appearance in the mirror subsided. I could smile from my heart again.

I found myself applying meditation techniques in whatever I do, when I study, work on my projects, or do other chores. I learned to mindfully breathe and watch all my thoughts and emotions rise and disappear like the clouds in the sky, learned to allow and accept them and protect myself from them. I discovered after a long time that it had a huge impact not only on the inside but on the outside as well. I didn't even notice it, but I was incorporating it into the skincare routine that I breathe, visualize and make into a ritual. My skincare routine became the time to be present at the moment, face myself, and be more pleasantly engaged in it.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is that I finally am getting to that point of work-life balance, and day by day, I am becoming more confident that what I am offering my customers will benefit their lives.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Understanding and acknowledging what attracts and what pushes them away from my products. It can be a whole different story from what I have expected and intended, so I am constantly trying to understand our products from our customers' perspectives.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Always maintain respect for your customers because that is the reason you started your business.
  2. Continuously educate yourself! Learn from others' successes and failures and be open to the most current trend to best serve your customers.
  3. Balance your personal wellness as a priority - Your body and mind wellness is important as your company's bottom line. Your customers and business rely on it.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

The one thing our skin and beauty deserve is 'respect' (that's where my brand "Respekt" came from!). Try Respekt Beauty Meditation app to pursue your beauty that is rooted in your wellness!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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