Indie Pioneers Podcast Episode 11

PODCAST – ‘Just be a sponge’: Sephora Accelerate finalist on undertaking prestigious programme amid COVID-19

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

INDIE PIONEERS PODCAST: Sephora Accelerate finalist on undertaking prestigious programme amid COVID-19

Related tags indie pioneers podcast Acne Sephora

In the latest episode of Indie Pioneers, we sit down with Jasmine Kang, founder of anti-acne skin care brand Skinlycious as she prepares to pitch her brand to a panel of industry experts on Sephora Accelerate’s Final Demo Day.

As someone who has suffered from severe acne for 14 years, Kang is passionate about helping others alleviate their acne woes.

This has been driving her to expand her brand overseas to reach more consumers.

However, Kang admitted that without a background in business and marketing, expanding the Singapore-based brand has been a tough journey.

This is why Kang opted to join Sephora Accelerate, a six-month accelerator program that equips founders with the necessary skills to create a successful beauty business.

Skinlycious was selected as one of the 13 finalists for the program, which leads up to the final Demo Day where founders will have the opportunity to pitch their company to a panel of industry experts in October.

Kang tells CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that this has been an extremely valuable time for a small brand owner like herself.

“Overall, it was a very nice experience. The best thing I got out of it was my mentor from Sephora Singapore. For me, I don't have any co-founders, so it was really good to have somebody in the industry to possible point out certain blind spots that I had.”

Kang said she would encourage all brand owners to consider joining a similar programme.

However, she cautioned that all advice needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and to trust their own instinct as the founder.

“I went in with an open mind and heart, just to be a sponge and absorb what they said… but you don’t have to take in everything. A brand agency actually told me [what I should do] for my brand, but I didn’t have to take their advice wholesale, and use it as a reference instead.”

Unfortunately, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this year’s programme will be a virtual one, meaning all founders will have to pre-record their presentations for the pitch.

“I actually would prefer being live on stage [for the pitch], because I find that the energy is there. Speaking to the camera is a bit different than speaking to people live. I feel the impact is not as great... but at least it wasn't cancelled,”​ said Kang.

To learn more about Kang and Skinlycious, scroll up for the podcast.

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