This year, Victoria Tsai (better known as Vicky Tsai) celebrates her 12th year of motherhood and the Asian beauty brand she founded, Tatcha. For Mother’s Day 2022, PrestigeOnline Malaysia got the opportunity to speak to Vicky herself, on how this skincare juggernaut balances her roles as mother and founder of Tatcha — and she drops some pearls of wisdom that will prove to be valuable for aspiring multi-hyphenates out there.
The brand has come a long way since its launch. Vicky, who personally suffers from acute dermatitis, found herself in Kyoto where she found the answer that healed her skin condition. Now, the Tatcha Institute in Tokyo crafts formulas that meld innovation and tradition seamlessly. Here, botanicals are supercharged with research to achieve glowing skin without sensitising the largest organ.
With Tatcha, Vicky’s primary goal is to attain balance for the skin. The brand is currently working on phasing out the use of terms such as “normal skin type” and “anti-aging” beauty, as these phrases go against the core values of the brand. Instead, the brand is claiming the term “healthy aging”, as it is deemed a gift, and the skin is considered to be an organ that goes through perpetual changes due to factors like weather and lifestyle choices.
Tatcha’s hero product, The Water Cream, is the perfect item to try out from this brand, if you haven’t already filled your beauty closet with their goodies. Whether you battle with oily skin or dryness, this hydration-in-a-jar is the answer.
Giving people across the globe a solution to imbalanced skin is not Vicky’s only purpose. In 2014, the brand launched a fund to keep girls in school to reach their potential through the Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program. To date, Tatcha has provided 6 million days of school for students and will soon support the printing and distribution of 70,000 diverse books in the Bay Area with the U.S. literacy initiative.
In light of Mother’s Day 2022, Vicky Tsai shares how her role as Tatcha’s CEO has influenced her journey as a parent
There’s something really profound about love for a child. It’s bigger than the love of self, it’s the greatest love story of your life. The great thing about children is that they are full of wonder. As we grow up, we sometimes lose that sense of wonder, but when you have a child, you almost get to experience childhood again. For example, the past few winters we’ve had nothing to do because of COVID, and my daughter would pull me outside while it was snowing, and tell me to lie down on my belly to examine the snowflakes. It was unreal! She helps me stop and appreciate the little things.
I think having a business and having a child is similar to having multiple children: one of them is always going to demand more of your attention. For me, the most helpful thing is establishing boundaries. When I’m working I’m not thinking about what I’m not doing as a parent. I’m just present, and getting my work done. And then when I’m home, my daughter knows that from dinner time through tuck-in time, she has my undivided attention and she doesn’t have to compete with the company.
My daughter just turned 12, and I’m finding that these early tween years are a lot about identity. It’s caused me to reflect a bit on my own constructs of identity. We spend a lot of our time labelling ourselves—business person, wife, mother, sister, Asian American—but there’s a difference between labels and identity. Right now she’s evaluating who she is, what she believes, what she stands for, who her people are, and where she feels most at home in the world. As I go into this second half of my life, I’m watching how she’s negotiating and finding herself and trying to be really open and thoughtful for myself, too.
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My daughter tests every formula and gives me lots and lots of feedback. The Indigo Body Butter was one I made for her. She was little at the time and starting to have dry skin, and it was either make that, or let her use my face cream head to toe! Gentle strength guides our formulation philosophy, because I want to be sure that whatever I’m passing to my daughter is kind on the skin.
My tip is to remember that your skills as a mom can apply to your business and vice versa. As a parent you’re trying to provide support and guidance to a little person, and as a business leader, you’re doing the same thing, but for a team of people. They’re similar but different, and what you learn in one area of your life can inform another. Being a mom has made me a more multidimensional leader, and I share my experiences with my daughter so that she’s more prepared, should she ever choose to lead.
Featured and hero images credit: Tatcha