Monday, February 20, 2012

[Interview] Caroline Chu, Founder and CEO of Caroline Chu Skincare and Cosmetics

Remember last year I had the opportunity to try Caroline Chu Skincare, and have been wanting to interview her? Well, I'm glad to say that she finally found time to do this interview with me! Caroline is from Taiwan (just like me!), and is the founder and CEO of her own skincare and cosmetics line, her story of working in the high tech industry here in Silicon Valley and later decided to switch industries completely and start her own line is really amazing. Visit her website to see her full bio.

Let's get started with the interview:

Have you always been into beauty and skincare products since you were young?

Growing up in Taiwan, beauty and skin care products were always too expensive and I could never afford anything "fancy." I didn't know much about skincare or applying makeup. I remember one time I was invited to a wedding and my make up looked horrible in those photos—me in my mom's bright blue eye shadow—I obviously didn't know less was more!
Was there a special someone in your life who inspired you to explore this industry?
There were many people in my life that have inspired me, many were my mentors that guided me throughout my school and career years. But as far as this industry, I’ve just always enjoyed beauty products and how they can transform one’s look or feel.
You were the Creative Director at NVIDIA, what exactly triggered you to leave your high-paying job to start your own line?
At that time I was commuting from San Francisco to Sunnyvale, so I spent a lot of time in the car thinking what would be next for me and what’s my real dreams were. I asked myself what I could see myself doing in 5 or 10 years. I knew I wanted to create something personal and meaningful. I was ready for a new challenge, so I left.

You traveled around the world for 2 years after you left NVIDIA, was the intention to conduct research for your line? How has your trip help shape your business?

At first I felt like I just needed to recharge myself. I encourage everyone to take time out for themselves, whether it's just a few or a thousand miles away. My trip quickly turned into an inspirational research journey. I met wonderful people, saw beautiful places, and was introduced to some great new fresh ideas for ingredients to be used in skin care.
What advice can you give those who have the same career goal and interest?
Take baby steps, but also—make that first step. Stay away from those who are negative and bring you down, and focus on your own dreams. Don’t let others define what you can do or who you are.

Also, network, network, network, and don’t be afraid to reach out for advice or help. Find your own path and help others along the way. Be patient as you might not find your rewards immediately, and setbacks are also normal, so you have to surround yourself with those who believe in you. You might also find that some of your friends will walk away from you while you are trying to redefine your life or career, but believe in me, new and true friends will appear as you move forward!
How did you decide to name your line after yourself and not choose another company name?
I wanted to create a brand that could allow others to share my own journey, my discovery, my passion and my philosophy. So Caroline Chu is not just my name, but a brand that encourages women to pursue their dreams, and to take the time to nourish themselves.
What is your brand philosophy and how does your brand differ from others?
My company as a brand represents women today, and stands for more than appearances. Every product is meant to help maintain healthful skin—the very basis of looking and feeling beautiful, starting from the inside. Beauty is about embracing the feeling of empowerment and comfort in one’s own skin. Every product of ours is made in small batches and is personal—there is something for all needs and skin types, and each product is a showcase of beauty and diversity from around the globe.
What are your "must-have" makeup products?
My skincare products! I use them in my every day routine. I really like my new eye shadow collection— the colors last the whole day!
What are some of your favorite makeup and skincare products at the moment?
Besides my own, I love Estee Lauder's DoubleWear foundation, Dior and YSL lipsticks.
You mentioned you have a new eye shadow collection, but I don't see it on your website, is it not available yet?

Yes you are right.  This new collection is inspired by the tropics.  After I left my job as a creative director in the high tech industry, I put all of my belongings into storage and set out to travel. In different countries I became inspired by the vivid beauty of the tropical birds I encountered. Still an artist at heart, I have sought to create a palette of eyeshadows that captures the brilliance of those flying colors.

Look for the limited edition collection's debut in the April issue of Lucky Magazine and available on on 2/28/2012!

How exciting, the new eyeshadow collection looks really bright and colorful.  Very excited to see what Lucky Magazine has to say about this :)


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