Some people talk the talk. Some people walk the walk. Connie Tai does both. Founder and CEO of blossoming brand MIYU Beauty, this Edmonton-bred-Toronto-based trailblazer has developed top selling products for such major brands as Bliss and CARGO Cosmetics.
Deciding to pursue her dream, Connie snagged her MBA at University of Toronto, maintained her ever-so-popular blog Beauty Nerd, while combining her mad-scientist ways with a love of all things pretty to create the first lifestyle beauty brand to pair skincare with teas. Without a doubt, this girl is on fire!
We chat with Connie Tai about MIYU Beauty, what it takes to make it in the industry, and the importance of never giving up on your dreams:
Ashley De Filippis: MIYU Beauty is on the brink of launching – we’re so excited to see a Canadian brand blossom! What is MIYU Beauty’s brand philosophy?
Connie Tai: We’re so excited too! MIYU’s brand philosophy is built upon three main beliefs:
1. Beauty is a lifestyle – While we love our coveted creams and lotions, we believe that beauty extends beyond the topical and should encompass all your lifestyle choices including diet, exercise, sleep and emotional state-of-mind.
2. Complexions should also be nurtured from within – Borrowing from the teachings of ancient Chinese philosophies, we believe in matching what you do on the outside with what you do on the inside. After all, your complexion is a direct reflection of your internal health!
3. The secret to everlasting beauty is happiness – We really do believe that “happy girls are the prettiest” (quote from Audrey Hepburn) – this is the best-kept anti-aging secret of all!
ADF: MIYU Beauty is designed to cater to our lifestyle – how did that concept come about?
CT: Well, when I was living in New York, I started developing skin sensitivities that I never had before. Of course, channeling the inner scientist in me, I began to do some research on what may be causing these skin irritations and soon discovered the enormous impact that one’s lifestyle has on their complexion. Let’s face it; in NYC I was living a faster-paced, more stressful lifestyle and not always making the smartest nutritional choices. In fact, did you know that over 80% of skin ageing is caused by factors such as UV exposure, pollution, stress, poor diet and lack of sleep? Thankfully, these factors are well within our ability to control. The only problem is that it’s not easy to stay so disciplined. Because of this, I wanted to create a line of products that would be both easy and enjoyable to use, encouraging women to making healthier lifestyle choices for their skin. In order to incorporate this idea of “beauty from within” into my line, I came up with the idea to pair skincare with teas. Many people already love drinking teas, but more importantly, teas naturally contain high levels of antioxidants. By using some of the same ingredients in both MIYU’s skincare and teas, women can then truly address specific lifestyle concerns from the inside out.
ADF: As a skin care connoisseur, what is the biggest piece of advice you could offer to those looking to improve their skin care regimen?
CT: Do your best to select the correct skincare for your skin type and needs but don’t forget about the non-topical elements of your beauty regimen too! Choose foods that are high in antioxidants, exercise to keep your circulation going and strive to just be happy (surrounding yourself with friends that make you laugh is a good way to achieve this)! You’ll see that your skin will be glowing in no time!
ADF: Launching a beauty line is a dream for so many beauty junkies – you’re making that dream of yours a reality! What would you say are some of the key aspects one must have to be successful in this industry?
CT: Wow, I’m not sure if I’m even qualified to answer that question at this stage ! However, I would say that perseverance and passion are key elements for success. It is an extremely competitive industry, so be ready to face your share of rejection. However, if you love what you do, it will show in your work and you’ll be successful if you keep working at it.
ADF: Having developed top selling products, you have an extensive product development background. Shifting focus from one piece of the puzzle to being involved in every aspect of your brand as the founder and CEO, what are some of the challenges you face? What do you love most about this exciting new venture?
CT: Where do I begin? It’s true that I feel most comfortable in the product development space. However now, owning my own company, product development is only a small set of my responsibilities. The biggest challenge has been navigating unfamiliar territories such as finance, operations & logistics and e-commerce! What I love most about this new venture is being able to turn ideas into reality. All the hard work pays off when you can launch products that you are truly proud of.
ADF: As a product developer, you’ve been able to create and experiment with numerous formulas, textures and ingredients. What are some key features and benefits you knew you wanted to introduce in the MIYU Beauty line?
CT: It’s true! I have tried hundreds of formulas in my career so far… I’ve definitely developed a deep appreciation for luxurious textures and scientifically-sound ingredients. Of course, both of these characteristics were a must in MIYU. However, above that, I also wanted to create products with added value. For example, our beauty essences are a hybrid between a facial mist and a serum because I felt there was a need for a product with a refreshing and convenient application, while still delivering the best nutrients possible to the skin.
ADF: In such a competitive industry, one must set themselves apart from the crowd. What advice could you offer to an aspiring Beauty-Nine-To-Fiver?
CT: Don’t give up on your dreams. Show that you are hardworking and passionate about what you do. And always take the opportunity to learn as much as you can, be it through classes, a mentor or other peers in the industry. Your knowledge and passion will help set you apart from the rest.
By: Ashley De Filippis, Toronto
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