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🎧 Today on the DTC pod, we’re sitting down with Hero Cosmetics cofounder and CEO Ju Rhyu. Ju recently sold the company for $630M after bootstrapping it from zero in just five years. 🤯

Hero Cosmetics, creators of the Mighty Patch, is an affordable acne and skincare brand that provides consumers with a real, consciously-clinical solution for any and all pimple emergencies.

‍The takeaways 👇

🛡️ Protecting the brand

CEOs are often seen as the face of a company. These days, it’s common to see CEOs at the forefront of marketing materials, making a conscious effort to create a more direct line to the consumer. However, Ju has a different personal philosophy on being the face of her own brand that includes wanting to share the story, not be the story.

“The founder story is important. It gives [a] brand more soul and history, but when you are the brand, it actually increases the risk for the actual products in the brand that you are marketing. You do need to advocate for your brand and really tell the story, but you're not going to be the face of the brand forever… When I see brands so intertwined with one person, I just question the longevity of that brand because what happens if that person goes away? Does the business suffer? I just prefer to share the story and tell the story but I don't want to be the brand.”

💄 The Lipstick Effect

With Q4 in full swing, the thought that’s on everyone's mind boils down to one word: Recession. When asked about how she feels Hero Cosmetics will be affected by this looming downturn, Ju talks about how the company may be spared by the “Lipstick Effect,” a term coined by Estée Lauder in 2001. The Lipstick Effect is essentially the rise of consumer spending on small luxury goods (like lipstick) during times of economic downturn.

“I think what we have going for us is that people see our products as a need-to-have versus a nice-to-have. It really is a necessity because when you have that pimple, you really want it to go away and people will spend a lot of money even in a recession, I think, to buy the products they need to have clear skin. So I think we're going to be pretty durable during any sort of economic headwinds.”

💰 What Ju would do with an extra $100K:

Ju discusses a few scenarios, but ultimately would hone one channel specifically.

“I [would] probably put it towards Amazon because that's the channel where we see the highest ROAS every time we put more money into it. We tend to see really great returns and there's still a lot that we can do and want to do on that channel.”

👉 Listen to the full episode with Ju Rhyu here!

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