|▲ Lalabeauty Cosmetics / CEO Borami Ahn
Lalabeauty Cosmetics CEO Borami Ahn, a legendary star developer in the cosmetics industry with numerous hit products such as ＆Aloe Soothing Gel＊ and ＆Aquamax Cream＊, is making waves in the global market with her brand ＆Lalarecipe＊.
Beauty brand ‘Lalarecipe’ launched by veteran star developer
Borami Ahn, who started working at a cosmetics company in 2001, joined Nature Public in 2009 as a founding member and served as the head of the product planning and development team, where she developed numerous hit products such as Aloe Soothing Gel, which sold over 160 million units and gained attention from the media.
In 2016, she was recruited by a Chinese cosmetics company and worked on branding launch as the head of product development in Guangzhou, China, and in 2018, she founded and operated a cosmetics consulting company, the predecessor of Larabeauty Cosmetics. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Perfumery and Cosmetology at Konkuk University, where she continues to work as an external lecturer and consultant in cosmetics production and development.
“While working in cosmetics consulting, I decided to create my own products, which led me to launch my own brand. The brand was launched with the global market in mind from the beginning, and although it was difficult at first, we joined forces with Andy Lee, who was in charge of overseas sales at POSCO ICT, and is now exporting to more than 40 countries.” says Ahn.
Popular at global cosmetics trade shows, resulting in multiple contracts
The representative product, Lalarecipe, consists of a mask pack line, four types of skincare hemp seeds (trouble line), and a citron line (whitening line). This fall, the company will also introduce an anti-aging line.
Lalabeauty Cosmetics, which launched three mask packs (Heart Goggle Brightening, Glow Face Moisture, and Heart Goggle Moisture) as its first products at the end of 2019, received a good response at Cosmoprof in Hong Kong. The company gained attention for its unusual mask packs, including pretty visuals with glitter and a goggle-like design, and signed contracts with a few countries, including Russia, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to export.
The company began expanding its items in May 2021 to introduce the brand to the global market, and last year, despite being a new brand, it won a 200,000 euro contract in Italy at the post-COVID-19 Cosmoprof in Bologna, appealing to foreigners with its colorful packaging and eco-friendly image. The company then participated in about 8 domestic and overseas fairs such as Singapore and Dubai, and completed contracts worth $200,000 each with Dubai, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and succeeded in exporting $800,000 last year.
“Hempseed products are excellent skincare products for skin problems that have been recognized for their acne reduction effects in global clinical trials. In addition, the newly launched Yuzu line is effective for whitening, melasma, and blemishes, and the cleanser is the best-selling product, selling 10,000 units a month. Recently, in March, 35,000 units were sold in a three-hour event on Russian e-commerce platform TimeDeal. In Korea, the hemp seed serum is sold at Olive Young. The cleanser will be available in August.” says Ahn.
“We are having difficulty with B2C because we have a small staff, but we plan to hire more people and increase our product lineup. This year, we plan to increase the product lineup from the current 13 to about 18 products, and once the product set-up is complete, we plan to strengthen sales and marketing.” adds Ahn.
Lalabeauty Cosmetics is currently certified as a venture company, ISO9001, 14001, 1,000 Global Strong Companies, and Women’s Business Enterprise. It has patents for hemp seed composition and anti-inflammatory treatment to enhance its competitiveness.
Starting this September, Lalarecipe products will be available at LOFT, a store with more than 600 stores in Japan, and the company is working to expand its global market presence.
Challenges for top notch products and becoming a Korean beauty icon
CEO Ahn emphasized that Lalabeauty Cosmetics has been able to introduce unique products because they do not compromise but strive for perfect products until they are satisfied.
“We don’t take what the OEM or ODM manufacturer gives us but we try to push the product until we’re happy with it. We don’t compromise, we just keep building and tweaking until we have a good product.” says Ahn.
Her dream is to make Lalabeauty Cosmetics a Korean beauty icon in terms of product quality and design.
“We want to be a company like Glossier, a popular American beauty brand. We want to be edgy and have a cult following. Lalabeauty Cosmetics started as a vegan brand, but we want to grow into an eco-friendly and ethical company, using cruelty-free and eco-friendly ingredients, and spreading goodness to society through sharing and donations.” says Ahn.
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