705
8 min 46 sec

Friends Foster Korean Face Mask Frenzy

When several friends and colleagues discover the consumer craze over Korean face masks, they team up to create their own subscription box side hustle.
Beauty Product Service Subscription Box

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What It's About

The best of Korean beauty masks delivered right to your door!

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Curating & Coordination
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Although blogs are notoriously good for SEO, isn’t always necessary and, in this instance, doesn’t match the professionalism of the rest of the site.

The Takeaway: If you don’t have a good reason to have a blog or any particular social media profile, don’t do it. There are plenty of other things you can focus on!

Fun Fact

Korean face masks, or sheet masks, are single-use pads that have been soaked in hydrating, skin-rejuvenating ingredients. There are lots of different kinds, ranging from aloe to kiwi to lavender. One pack of 10 cost about 10,000 Korean WON, or just under $10.

For a generation of millennials looking to not spend a bunch of their hard earned cash on "magical beauty creams" with a not so magical price tag, Korean beauty masks are where it's at!

Notes from Chris

Episode 705
Daniel Yi is no stranger to the world of subscription box services. For 8 years, he worked at Loot Crate as the Director of Digital Analytics. While he loved working for Loot Crate, the more business skills he learned, the more Daniel had an itch to start a subscription box business of his own. One day, he and his friend Diana Chang were chatting at lunch and they started to ask themselves, “Why can’t we do this?”

Soon, they brought their other colleagues into the mix: Jason Lee and Bryce Travis - and formed the ultimate power team. Daniel knew all about the digital side. Diana was a designer by profession and a beauty enthusiast at heart. Bryce had been at Loot Crate from the very beginning. Plus, all of them were familiar with the ins and outs of successful subscription box businesses. Loot Crate was one of the oldest and best in the niche.

They had a team and a business model, but no product. Luckily, right after that lunch, he embarked on his annual trip to Korea. There, he realized that Korean beauty was the next big global trend, especially face masks. There was a craze for it!

Getting a range of authentic Korean products in the U.S. isn’t the easiest thing to do for most people. If he could make them more accessible, he could really be onto something.

As soon as Daniel got back to the United States, he started working with the team on their new business. They decided to name it Piibu, after the Korean word for skin. By September, they held a pre-launch of their business, then eventually fully launched through their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The team grew Piibu using grassroots methods at first. They simply told their friends and family about the business, then they would tell other people, and so on. Once they built up a little momentum, a few publications reached out to them and they got exposure on more popular websites. With their increased profits, they decided to reinvest the money back into paid advertising, to increase their subscriber base even further. They focused on paid search and paid social digital marketing channels.

The team chose to price their boxes competitively. To subscribe for an entire year only costs $18 a month. To buy an individual box, it costs $20. This has paid off. Piibu is reaching a huge number of people every month and has more than 900 active subscribers. That adds up to about $20,000 a month in recurring revenue.

For now, Daniel has chosen not to take profits home from the business. Instead, he’s been investing everything he makes back into Piibu to make it even better.

Sometimes it pays to think inside the box!

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Piibu: To learn more about this Asian beauty craze, head on over to Daniel's website!
  • Loot Crate: The "geek subscription box for gamers and nerds" that Daniel works for

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"Only start your own thing if you're passionate about the product you're selling. Don't start the company to make a quick buck."
—Daniel Yi #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau