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Launching A K-Beauty Brand

January 13, 2021

Launching A K-Beauty Brand

Launching a K-Beauty Brand


Episode Description:

To celebrate the 20th episode of the Korean Beauty Show Podcast, on Episode 20, we’re going to take a look into what it takes to launch a K-Beauty Brand!

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Episode Summary:

At STYLE STORY, we are celebrating the launch of our first in-house brand Jelly Ko!

Today, I’m going to take you behind the scenes to talk about:

  1. Firstly, how we did it;
  2. Secondly, why we did it;
  3. Finally, some of the trials and tribulations that go along with setting up a new brand.

Topics Discussed In Launching A K-beauty Brand 


Why we decided to do it! There were four main reasons, which I’ll go into detail about:


1 The Timing Was Right

  • Firstly, as a K-Beauty expert, I’ve consulted with a lot of brands for many years. I've helped them:
    • put together everything from their marketing strategy
    • planning new product releases
    • naming products
    • helping with labelling
    • ingredients
    • and more.
  • Secondly, as part of my job, I’ve analysed literally thousands of product ingredients lists and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). I know what makes a good product, a bad product and just a mediocre one. I also know that no matter how good the product, sometimes they just don’t translate well once they launch.
  • Finally, I’ve also learned a whole lot about what people like and dislike in their beauty products and have been able to use that data:
    • to better plan new product launches for STYLE STORY
    • match those to our customers’ needs.

Launching a K-Beauty Brand


2 Australian Cosmetic Regulation

  • A lot of products can’t be sold in Australia because they contain certain ingredients or because the ingredient can’t be sold in that percentage. This is a huge task for cosmetic distributors because they have to work out exactly what can and can’t be sold in Australia.
  • Then, they need to work out what needs to be relabelled.
  • In short, there are a whole lot of different cosmetic regulations, requirements and laws that need to be complied with.
  • This is a huge part of the work we do at STYLE STORY. It is expensive and very time-consuming.
  • Case in point – some of The Ordinary’s products that can’t legally be sold in Australia. Recently there was a  ig case about fake The Ordinary products circulating in the Australian market. It was easy to spot because the products weren't supposed to be sold in Australia and savvy consumers knew this. 

3 Many Things to Take Into Acount 

  • Many Korean Beauty products can't be sold in Australia, including:
    • Korean sunscreens, none of which have ever been approved by Australia’s TGA
      • YouTuber Liah Yoo had the same problem when she was trying to introduce her Krave sunscreen into the US. Because she used non-US approved sunscreen filters she wasn't able to market her product as a sunscreen 
    • Many Korean products contain certain ingredients that can’t be sold in Australia.
  • As a result, STYLE STORY says “no” to many products and brands
  • Sometimes we have to say no because we just don’t have the time to fill in all the paperwork that needs to be done to import certain products.
  • A lot of sellers, even big players, are willing to break Australia’s cosmetic laws and sell Korean Beauty products that can’t legally be sold here. 
  • However, as industry leaders we are not willing or able to do that.
  • This has been a continuous source of frustration for us over the years as it takes up a lot of our attention and time.

Launching a K-Beauty Brand

3 Reformulations And Discontinuations

  • Anyone that has been using Korean beauty products for a while will be familiar with the cycle of reformulations and discontinuations.
  • This is a constant source of stress for us as distributors, because we have to spend the time and money to:
    • analyse the ingredients lists all over again
    • check that they comply with all Australia’s cosmetic regulations, which is not a short process and
    • break the news to customers, many of whom are not as happy about reformulations
  • We wanted to break this cycle by coming out with our own line of products that we control.

4 We Wanted To Make A Brand We Wanted To Use!

  • Firstly, we’re all about combining great ingredients with beautiful packaging and textures that are beautiful to apply and look at
  • Jelly Ko’s brand concept is to "tasty skincare for your face".
  • Secondly, we have combined Korea’s design innovation and skincare technology with a fun brand concept that makes you look forward to using our products every day
  • Thirdly, a lot of the Korean brands we are seeing these days are like carbon copies of each other, they all have a same propolis line, a cica / centella line, an AHA/BHA line, ceramide line, tea tree line, trouble skin / dr xx
    • I sometimes think this is designed to make you buy more and more products.
    • It’s also very confusing for consumers.
      • We talk to people every day who are just so confused with what products they should be using, what order to use them in, etc.
  • Finally, we wanted to focus more on a good, well-rounded formula, with textures that we adore and love to use rather than a fad. We’ve also designed products that can be used by multiple different skin types so you don’t need to shop across multiple lines.

The Hard Part Of Starting A Beauty Brand:

  • Starting your own beauty brand is definitely not easy – it takes years to come up with the right formula, find the right packaging etc
  • We were very lucky to be able to work with some of Korea’s best cosmetic chemists
  • Overall, the process was very complicated with packaging, design, formulation, complying with cosmetic regulations and also the various stability tests

What To Do if You Liked Today’s Episode – Launching A K-Beauty Brand Ep-20

  • Come and visit us Instagram
  • Save 10% off your Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream with code ‘podcast’. Click here where Bubble Tea is now being served!

Winner Of The $100 AUD STYLE STORY Gift Voucher:

Review 14.09.20

I am enjoying this Podcast so much, it’s so genuine, honest and nurturing.

I am a guy that has been so interested in skin care since I was a kid. My mum always helped and and this Podcast makes me feel included.

I’ve been using Japanese / Korean / and western brands like La Mer! This is helping me find what is best not just for my skin but also for my friends and family.

I cannot wait for more and to see where this goes!

Well done! ”

  • Please get in touch with our team STYLE STORY to claim your gift voucher!

STYLE STORY – Your Go-To For K-Beauty

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Jelly Ko Cherry Blossom Sleeping Mask
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Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream
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"At STYLE STORY, we are celebrating the launch of our first in-house brand Jelly Ko!"

- Lauren Lee, Host of the Korean Beauty Show podcast

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