A former model, Sherry Lim had walked the runways of many top designers before landing a demanding job as a globe-trotting Executive Assistant to an entrepreneur. Unable to get fashion out of her system, she went on to co-found a fashion and accessories retail store until she decided to take a sabbatical to spend more time with her family as her parents were getting older.
“I was travelling often for work and having to tackle breakouts because of the environmental conditions,” says Sherry. “Also, the hassle of having to switch between different skincare products for different climates sometimes meant I ended up with unused products because they didn’t suit our tropical weather. I decided to do some research on skincare ingredients and formulations for sensitive tropical skins, which led to the creation of Luchaskin‘s first and bestselling product, Green Clean Macha Facial Powder, a powder to foam facial cleanser.”
Ahead, we talk to the beauty entrepreneur about her day-to-day life, the challenges in breaking into a saturated industry, and the importance of listening.
Name: Sherry Lim
Profession: Founder of Luchaskin
Company size: I do most of the work as I’m very hands-on, and I have an assistant to help me out with packing and sorting orders to be sent out, etc.
Start up: 2020
Tell us about the new Luchaskin!
Luchaskin just launched an anti-maskne skin soothing mist made from pomegranate extract which is very effective in combating skin irritations and ‘maskne’/acne problems caused by prolonged wearing of face masks. We are also looking into holding skincare formulating workshops, probably launching sometime in early 2021 so that’s going to be really exciting for us.
What is a normal work day like?
Typical work day would be liaising with my partners in Taiwan and Japan whereby we will often be working on developing new formulations and testing sample products. Some of our loyal customers also get to test our new product before it is released, because that’s when we get invaluable feedback too. Our initial sales were really by word of mouth because our customers especially the ones who have problem skins such as eczema, would recommend Luchaskin to their friends and that was really very encouraging for us.
As a child, what did you aspire to be?
I had always been interested in beauty and my mother had started me on sunblock when I was young. As I grew older, I was fascinated with skincare and I developed a stronger interest as I grew older especially when tackling my own skin problems.
How hands-on are you?
I’d say I am hands on in terms of quality control and product efficacy including serum texture and the scent of a product.
It is important for me to ensure that our products always feel luxurious while at the same time is fuss free and effective at solving a customer’s skin problem. So it is a constant learning process because I’ve had to adapt to consumer preferences, for example what I like may not necessarily be what the customer likes or needs. The most important thing will always be listening to our customer’s concerns and solving their skin problems.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I would be catching up with friends over lunch or tea, sometimes pamper myself with spa massages and just ‘space out’ for a short while.
What has been your biggest hurdle? How did you overcome it?
Hesitation. Luchaskin started out with only one product, Green Clean Macha Facial Powder and not a whole range of skin care. Would people even take a second look at us because we are so young and a small niche brand, but we have been blessed to have a loyal group of clients and my family has been extremely supportive. I’ve also been very fortunate to be able to seek advice from friends and tap on their experience and advice.
Looking back now, what would you have done differently?
Nothing too different I think, I am learning something new every day and it has helped the brand to adapt easily to consumer’s needs.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start up?
I’d say go for it if you really believe in something. The road to entrepreneurship is at times lonely and tough but the rewards are so satisfying.
Enjoy the process and don’t be afraid to fail because chances are you’ll learn from your mistakes and benefit from the experiences.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you do now?
I would be doing something related to fashion and entertainment.
Which markets will be important for you?
Wherever our customers are based would be an appropriate way to say it because we are only available online therefore we have international clients. We are also in constant contact with our distributors, communicating with them, and that they understand our brand and at the same time we are able to address their needs.
How do you define success? Do you consider yourself successful?
To be able to do what I love right now which is formulating great skincare products, is what I consider successful. It is even more satisfying when a customer tells me that Luchaskin’s products solved her skin problem and that we’ve got a fan for life! That gives us the drive and makes us strive to improve constantly.
What’s next for Luchaskin?
We are currently working directly with small farms when sourcing for ingredients and creating each product in small batches. Another initiative we are looking into, is to help relieve excess crops off farmers whenever we source for ingredients. We will attempt to create new skincare products and this also allows the farmers to manage their yield.
(Main and featured image: Lightspade Studio; all other images courtesy of Sherry Lim/Luchaskin)