Follow Your Passion: Joy Chen Talks The Biggest Move Of Her Career
Attention all aspiring entrepreneurs! Have you ever dreamt of owning your own company? Does the term #GirlBoss light a fire under you? Well, the Simply Stylist ‘ Do What You Love’ Chicago 2016 Fashion & Beauty Conference is just around the corner, and we are thrilled to add Joy Chen of H20+ Beauty to our panel! Joy is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for H20+ Beauty, which specializes in premium skincare globally. In the past year, she has taken her #GirlBoss status to an entirely new level! Before joining the H20+ Beauty team, she work for YES TO Natural Beauty and completely revamped their business model, which eventually quadrupled the company’s revenue. Since then, Joy has taken her professional expertise to H20+ Beauty, where she rebuilt the team, moved the headquarters to San Francisco, and is planning for a global relaunch this spring.
Joy embodies everything we could want in a #GirlBoss and more! We can't wait for her to share her expertise with all of our attendees at #SimplyStylistCHI. In the meantime, see below for Joy's Q&A below!
SS: Tell us about H20+’s philosophy. H2O+ Beauty was founded in 1989 with the goal of putting beauty back in the hands of the consumer. Founder Cindy Melk chose to break from the convention of overly complicated beauty routines and highlight the power of pure water, believing that hydration was the source of beautiful skin. That brand philosophy has carried through to today, even as we have relaunched with fresh product lines, a brand new website and social media channels, new channels of digital communication to improve access for our audiences, and a different distribution model.
We also believe that progress is forged when communities support, challenge, and inspire women. We are inspired by the courage of our own founder and seek to share that courage with undeserved women and girls in our community. To fulfill this mission, we’re raising money from sales of our best-selling Oasis Hydrating Treatment for organizations that help women and girls.
SS: What was the inspiration behind leaving Yes To for H2O+ Beauty? I saw H2O+ Beauty as a brand with significant potential, and I enjoy the challenges that come with restoring a business to profitability and growth. I had success doing that during that my time at Clorox and again at Yes To, and I was eager for the opportunity to do it again at H2O+ Beauty. Finding the right strategy to turn around a business is a significant amount of work, but I find it extremely rewarding.
SS: How did you know it was the right move? I follow my passion. It took me a while to discover my passion for leading companies through transitions and turnarounds, but once I did, it was very liberating. It also took my work from good to great. I get excited about restoring businesses to growth while creating an amazing team and building a company culture to support it.
SS: As the CEO of H20+ Beauty, what is in store for the future of the company? We want H2O+ Beauty to continue to innovate, listen to the needs of our customers, and adapt to changing consumer habits and behaviors. We recently implemented a sweeping strategic shift in our business model to prioritize innovation over manufacturing, resulting in the closing of our former plant in Chicago. Now, H2O+ Beauty products are manufactured by trusted third parties in the U.S., enabling the team to focus on product innovation, sales, geographic growth, and marketing from our new headquarters in San Francisco. Because of this shift, we were recently able to reformulate our products with modern, specialized ingredients that effectively target skin needs without unnecessary additives.
Our new website now serves as both our flagship store, attracting consumers around the world, as well as a tool for communicating and interacting directly with our customers. For example, we have H2O+ Beauty staff on hand to connect with customers and answer their beauty questions in real time. What’s especially notable about our new website is that all redesign decisions were made to prioritize mobile. For us, making the user experience as visually appealing and as simple as possible is first and foremost, especially since we know mobile use will surpass desktop use.
SS: Any advice for someone looking to make a big career move? Find your passion, follow your dream, and believe in your abilities. Life is too short to live someone else’s dream. I followed my dream when I left Clorox after 17 years to become the CEO at a startup beauty brand. I always wanted to run a business, and I found that one of my greatest strengths was in building strategies to restore businesses. I took the risk to follow my passion and live my dream. I am very grateful for my decisions and have not looked back.