I want to tell you a little story today. It’s one of Peach & Lily’s very first stories — and it speaks to the incredible commitment to quality of one of the very first brands we curated.
In 2012, I quit my job at the Boston Consulting Group without a business plan or any funds raised to start Peach & Lily. All I had were a vision, passion, and determination. The vision was to create a destination where we could empower people to improve their skin health through the most innovative products from Korea and expert skincare advice. This would mean that every product we curated for Peach & Lily had to be of the highest quality, using beautiful, skin health-promoting ingredients that would deliver big results. We wanted brands that shared this commitment to quality and weren’t just in the skincare business to make money. We wanted brands that took skincare seriously and truly cared about their customers.
When I was in Korea, researching products and meeting with companies, I discovered the very first brand that resonated with my vision for Peach & Lily’s future customers — Be the Skin.
I had first heard about this brand in the context of its parent company, Saeng Green, one of the first natural Korean beauty brands. I heard Sung Joon-Jae, the son of the founder, was incredibly passionate about skincare and that he had wanted to develop a brand that combined powerful Asian herbs and Western botanicals to create beautiful never-before-seen formulas that would pamper skin. I then learned that this was an “insider brand,” beloved by celebrities and true skincare enthusiasts, because the brand wasn’t one that was widely known — Be the Skin was less focused on marketing and more interested in creating impeccable formulas.
I knew I had to meet this founder.
I contacted Sung Joon-Jae and asked to meet for coffee. I’d never met him before, and I was immediately blown away by his sincere passion to help others improve their skin by using only the most healthful and transformative ingredients. However, he unfortunately declined my audacious request to carry his brand on our website. Though I was disappointed, I understood; Peach & Lily did not yet have a single customer or even a functioning website at that point. All we had were a vision, a mockup of a website, and a lot of passion — these were our beginning days, after all.
I continued meeting with many other Korean beauty brands, many of whom were keen to work with us, offering great terms. However, when I tried the products and vetted the formulas, I didn’t think they lived up to the standards I wanted to offer our future Peach & Lily community. I kept going back to Be the Skin. I knew I had to convince the founder to work with us because I wanted to offer these beautiful, unique formulas to our future customers, and I didn’t want to compromise and start Peach & Lily by carrying brands that didn’t excite me or align with my vision.
Determined, I asked Sung to dinner again. This time he brought his mentor who asked me a series of polite but pointed questions about my understanding of skincare, my commitment to quality, why I had left my job to start Peach & Lily, my personal beliefs on business, and so forth. I knew what the purpose to these questions were — Sung wanted to see how I would answer these questions and get to know me better. He needed to find a partner he could trust because that’s how much he cared about Be the Skin. In the end, he asked to meet again, leading to a series of dinners and coffees over the next few months.
By this point, I had been in Korea for four straight months. I had originally thought that I’d go to Korea for a few whirlwind meetings, secure at least a handful of brands, and return to the U.S. and launch the Peach & Lily site. Instead, here I was, four months in, without a single brand secured. I wasn’t paying myself a salary; I had nothing set up; and I was running out of time.
It was tempting to say, “Let’s just go with the brands that want to work with us, so we can at least start selling products,” so that I could then use some of that revenue to help cover the expenses that were accumulating as quickly as my savings were depleting. In those moments, I reminded myself that, even if it meant putting Peach & Lily on pause and going back to the Boston Consulting Group (which is a great place to work, by the way), I was going to commit to my vision of curating only the brands that I truly believed in.
I shared this with Sung over a meal once, and, at the end of that meal, he told me that he’d decided to take on Peach & Lily — no website, no customers, no anything — because he believed in me and the Peach & Lily vision.
I’ll always remember that conversation because it stands for a few things that are still fundamental to Peach & Lily today: (1) we don’t take shortcuts or compromise — we want to bring you the best; (2) we look for partners who share this commitment to quality; and (3) we won’t give up on bringing you the best, even if it requires the harder route. Be the Skin has never wavered in their commitment to quality since their first days until now. We are also proud to say that we’ve never wavered in our curation process from our first day until now.
We are reminded every day of why we do things the way we do when we see how many of you have fallen in love with Be the Skin. As you’ve experienced your skin improving because of their unique and exceptional ingredients, you’ve enthusiastically shared your stories with us, and we’d like to share a few here:
I used 1 bottle of this toner and saw a great improvement in my dry flaky, red, eczema skin...my skin is very soft and supple with it and my serums and moisturizers absorb better with it. I am 52 soon to be 53 and people are shocked when they find out my age. - Nancy, Verified Reviewer
I have ruddy, acne-prone skin, and adding this toner to my routine seems to have calmed down my redness A LOT. And it doesn't break me out. I'm always scared every time I add a new product into my routine, because there's usually a high chance it'll break me out. But this stuff works like a dream. I love the consistency, too. - Kathleen, Verified Reviewer
Best. Toner. Ever. And I’ve tried a LOT of toners. This is a HG product. If you have oily skin. If you have dry skin. If you have sensitive skin. Try. This. Toner. Seriously, I have been all these skin types over the past year since I purchased this toner and I keep coming back to it because it is just so soothing and hydrating. - Wendy, Verified Reviewer
Has helped reduce oiliness! I have had oily skin for all of my life and NO product has ever helped except for this toner! So happy with this toner because I can actually see a difference in the oiliness of my skin. It is very lightweight and moisturizing and great for my sensitive skin. -Katherine, Verified Reviewer
Clean and Fresh! I have acne-prone and combination skin, so it is really hard for me to try new products without breaking out. This toner is super hydrating and was one of the few products that I have only beneficial reactions to! I definitely recommend for all skin types, especially oily skin. - Katrina, Verified Reviewer
So refreshing. Love this toner! Tightens pores over time and really leaves you feeling clean and fresh. It smells so nice too! - Rebekah, Verified Reviewer
These are just a handful of reviews you’ve shared with us, from the many, many incredible reviews Be the Skin’s entire line receives. You simply can’t go wrong with any of their impeccable formulas. I hope Be the Skin continues to help so many of you in your journey of keeping skin healthy and radiant for a lifetime!
As always, cheers to radiance, and a big XO!