Woman Crush Wednesday.
We love to celebrate female movers and shakers who are successful locally, nationally, internationally, and most importantly, personally.
This week, we are so excited to highlight Alicia Yoon, founder and CEO of Peach & Lily, the foremost authority on Korean beauty in the United States.
We asked her to share with us her story and her thoughts on success.
How did you get started in your field/career?
I grew up loving skincare and had trained as an esthetician in Korea out of curiosity about taking care of the skin. I grew up struggling with eczema, so this topic struck a chord with me. I didn't pursue a career in the beauty industry, and had instead gone into finance and consulting.
When I was a management consultant for a global beauty company, I had my "aha" moment for Peach & Lily. A cosmetic chemist and I were chatting about the cutting edge skincare formulas coming out of Korea, and I thought about how I would constantly lug back suitcases full of beauty products from Korea for years for myself and friends. And I wanted to start Peach & Lily to try to make these innovative products available in the US. And that's how I ended up starting Peach & Lily!
Biggest roadblock and how did you overcome it?
The biggest roadblock was towards the beginning of Peach & Lily. Korean beauty in 2012 was an unknown category and so much education around the category was needed. With little marketing budget and a very tiny team, it took a lot of scrappy work to get the word out there. It was meeting editor after editor and emailing influencers throughout the whole day to share about Korean beauty. It was a very high-touch marketing plan, but that's what it took to get the word out.
If you could tell your younger self one thing to jumpstart her career, what would it be?
Life is a marathon and a journey. A dream job may not be right around the corner or may not be the first job you end up having. However, that's OK. Every part of a career path is filled with learning opportunities. So stay patient, listen to your heart as it guides you towards your passion, and keep moving forward. And it's amazing how all the pieces can come together. So I would actually say that it's not about jumpstarting a career, but embracing all the steps that will culminate in a way that truly resonates when you keep going forward with positivity.
Alicia Yoon, Founder & CEO, Peach & Lily
Peach & Lily is the foremost authority on Korean beauty in the States.
Founded and helmed by Alicia Yoon, in 2012, Peach & Lily curates and distributes a rigorously chosen selection of high-quality and innovative Korean skincare brands ranging from affordable skincare for beginners, to targeted treatments from luxury brands for skincare aficionados, and everything in between.
Alicia grew up in both Seoul and New York City and attended esthetician school in Seoul before receiving her undergraduate degree at Columbia University and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She is also a New York licensed esthetician. Prior to founding Peach & Lily, Alicia had a successful career in finance and consulting for beauty and retail clients. Her passion for skincare and business background provided a rich foundation for establishing and growing Peach & Lily into one of the most popular beauty retailers and one of the fastest growing businesses in New York City.
Peach & Lily retails directly to consumers through its e-commerce site as well as its brick-and-mortar store at Macy's in New York City. Peach & Lily also distributes to select retailers including Barneys, Sephora, QVC, Macy's, Target and Space NK (and of course, Violet Grey!).
Alicia is the most trusted K-Beauty expert in the States. She is the K-beauty correspondent for Byrdie Beauty, has appeared numerous times as the Asian beauty expert on QVC’s first-ever Asian Beauty segment, and is regularly quoted in publications including Vogue, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar and W. She is a frequent contributor to popular beauty & lifestyle sites including Into The Gloss and Man Repeller. She has also been selected by WWD as one of the top 50 Most Influential People in the Multicultural Markets, one of the top 25 Most Innovative Beauty Executives, and 50 Beauty Executives under 40 Driving Innovation.