An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Beaubble’s naissance stems from Jordan listening to my nonsense for weeks. He never passively ‘listens’ to anything I ever have to say and I, and I deeply appreciate that. On the flip side, knowing that he is the best listener, it subconsciously made me be much more intentional about how I communicate. Every couple is different, but I think for us, listening has been the solution to every challenge we’ve encountered. Listening with intention, patience, and above all, love for each other!
As a part of our series about lessons from Thriving Power Couples, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jun Young (Jordan) Lim and HeeKyeong Seo.
Jun Young (Jordan) Lim and HeeKyeong Seo are Co-Founders of Beaubble, the first community-driven beauty studio that launches brands with influencers and brands alike. Recognizing that influencers have become the true leaders of beauty conversation, Beaubble gives influencers a platform to communicate with their already engaged audiences and work directly with their communities to create the beauty products that they actually want and need. Beaubble’s mission is to bring about truly inclusive, community-driven beauty, democratize the product development process, and to become a “full-stack” platform and service provider in beauty.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you two to your respective career paths?
Jordan: I’m fortunate to have had friends and mentors who are far more visionary and entrepreneurial, who served as inspirations for me to also fall in love with building products and companies. I always give the co-founders of Byline and Radish, Seung-yoon and Daniel, their due credit. If it weren’t for those two, I don’t think I would’ve jumped into the startup world as early as I did back in 2014.
If I have to pick just one person who stands out in terms of impact, without a doubt, it has to be the late Jung-ju Kim (Nexon and NXC). From VC investing to being a part of his corporate-backed venture and later spinning out to found a startup, it really is a challenge to sum up in a few sentences what I gained from his mentoring and all the learning opportunities he had provided. Most importantly, while working with Jung-ju, I met HeeKyeong, who at the time was working at NXC. Professionally and personally, his influence is quite profound.
HeeKyeong: I graduated college with far too many interests, and wanted to experience many different career options instead of being pressured into picking one. I didn’t feel rushed because I knew that I owed it to myself to discover what truly excited me.
So I did it all! I worked for a non-profit that helped North Korean refugees settle into South Korea, I was an art director for independent films, I worked in advertising/social media marketing at an agency in Paris. My visa finally expired in France, and the day before I flew back, my best friend called and asked if I would meet her boss who was looking for someone who has worked in film, speaks English and Korean fluently, and has worked in non-profit (a very random list of criteria, but it was a perfect fit for me)!
Hours upon arrival, I met her mysterious boss, Jung-ju Kim, and my life changed from that day on. Working with both Jung-ju and Jae-kyo (current CEO of NXC) has opened so many doors in the tech, startup world, and that is how I met Jordan!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you two got married?
HeeKyeong: We co-founded Beaubble soon after we got married! Beaubble started with my lifetime obsession with beauty. I yearned for a safe, embarrassingly personal and honest space where I could share a photo of my painful ingrown hair and ask for help. As it casually became our coffee, then a dinner, then a stay-up-all-night conversations, Jordan (definitely the ‘business guy’ between the two) started calling ‘it’ a digital playground for beauty enthusiasts.
A conversation became a business plan and one day it became a company! I still remember laying down on the floor of our SF apartment and screaming “BEAUBBLE.” The name just came to me without having to think about it, it’s a portmanteau, ”beauty” + “bubble”!
This is still our ongoing story, and so much of our life revolves around our “first born” (we adopted a cute fluff ball since), and we are growing with Beaubble every day.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
HeeKyeong: It wasn’t too funny back then, but I have extremely sensitive skin, and our first product was a high dosage lactic acid and niacinamide serum. Although recommended for bi-weekly use, I had to test the samples daily on different sections of my face, so my entire skin’s barrier broke down after a few months. The silver lining to it all is that we made a product to help combat sensitive, irritated skin as our second product; perks of being a beauty founder!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Jordan: Instead of pushing undifferentiated products to their audience, we connect creators with their community for meaningful engagements, to collaborate and co-develop more targeted products catered to their specific needs. More than ever, consumers want to be part of the creative process, they don’t want to be just your consumer or be entertained.
At Beaubble, we truly believe the future of beauty lies with creators and communities co-developing and distributing products directly to consumers — and every partnership we take on, every beauty product we co-develop, and every website feature we build are measured against this belief.
What else makes Beaubble special?
Well, I’d like to think that we were the first to take the next step in beauty product development and genuinely involve our audience and empower them to have meaningful input into the outcome.
Also, we can launch a beauty brand and new products in just a few months. Partially that’s possible because we leverage our close relationships with world-class labs for quicker turnarounds. The accelerated timeline can be attributed to our more conscious and sustainable approach to building enduring brands, too — instead of launching multiple SKUs all at once (and potentially running into the problem of overproduction and outsized risk), we focus on launching one to three SKUs at a time, products that consumers truly want.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Jordan: Yes, but unfortunately it’s confidential, so I don’t think I can share more details at this point. We want to level the playing field even further and democratize beauty — imagine digital creators having the same if not at least similar access to resources that only top celebrities like Rihanna once had when thinking about launching a beauty brand!
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Jordan & HeeKyeong: We are still figuring this out ourselves, we wish we had great advice to give, but if anything, we’d love to hear advice from other CEOs and founders on this topic!
How do you define “Leadership”?
Jordan: As mentioned for the previous question, we are still figuring this out ourselves!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Jordan: Other than the obvious (my family, including my amazing wife HeeKyeong), I think I already mentioned a few folks in my earlier responses. If possible, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask people to learn more about Jung-ju Kim and his contributions — I genuinely believe he warrants more recognition!
He inspired and mentored the new generation of Korean and Korean American entrepreneurs. Jung-ju and his team at Nexon are often credited as the first team to launch a commercially successful MMORPG game, and they are also often hailed as the first team to architect, operate, and popularize the modern freemium business model that we now see applied almost everywhere in the digital space. Zynga, Supercell, and even Tencent all are devotees of the freemium model that Nexon has pioneered.
There is one other person I’d like to additionally mention. Beaubble is fortunate to have the support of amazing investors who breathed life into Beaubble, and Ben Ling at Bling Capital was among the first to make a bet on us. He and his team have invested a tremendous amount of time helping Beaubble wherever we needed support. I’ve already done so a few times, but for any founders who are considering a seed round or fortunate to be in conversation with Bling Capital, I’m always happy to serve as a point of reference.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Jordan: Well, to any founder or aspiring founder within our network who reached out and cared to listen to our input, we’ve always openly shared our anecdotes to let them know where we also made mistakes, how we managed to resolve conflicts and problems, etc. We hope we can continue to pay it forward.
What are the “5 Things You Need To Thrive As A Couple”? Please share a story or example for each.
HeeKyeong: Beaubble’s naissance stems from Jordan listening to my nonsense for weeks. He never passively ‘listens’ to anything I ever have to say and I, and I deeply appreciate that. On the flip side, knowing that he is the best listener, it subconsciously made me be much more intentional about how I communicate. Every couple is different, but I think for us, listening has been the solution to every challenge we’ve encountered. Listening with intention, patience, and above all, love for each other!
You are people of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Jordan & HeeKyeong: Sustainable and mindful consumption. In fact, at Beaubble, not only do we utilize our business model and product drops in our attempt to validate the demand from consumers as much as we can to avoid overproduction and waste, but we also dedicate quite a lot of our time educating our audience the importance of sustainable and mindful consumption.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Jordan: I wouldn’t say I have a favorite life lesson quote, but lately I’ve been drawing quite a lot of inspiration from Steve Jobs.
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. It is so hard. You put so much of your life into this thing. There are such rough moments in time that I think most people give up. I don’t blame them. It’s really tough and it consumes your life. If you’ve got a family and you’re in the early days of a company, I can’t imagine how one could do it. I’m sure it’s been done but it’s rough. It’s pretty much an eighteen hour day job, seven days a week for a while. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about otherwise you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through. I think that’s half the battle right there.”
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Jordan: This is a tough one, but right now, it’d have to be Mark Zuckerberg. He’s at another pivotal point of his career, would love to get a more private, sneak peek into the sweeping transformation he has in store for the next phase of his company. I’m quite curious!
HeeKyeong: Wes Anderson! His creative world fascinates me. Not to be creepy, but my friend lived in an apartment next to him in Paris, so I may or may not have over-visited her flat hoping to ‘run into him’ during my time in Paris.
How can our readers follow your work online?
You can find us @beaubble across all social media channels and also visit our web app beaubble.com to participate in our drops!
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
Lessons from a Thriving Power Couple, With Jun Young Lim & HeeKyeong Seo of Beaubble was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.