Business in Focus

Meet the Makers – Yong-Li Zhou from Enbacci Skincare

Just like that, Meet the Makers is back after a 2 week break while I was in Hawaii. I met some amazing Makers while I was in Hawaii and I’m thrilled that some even said yes to taking part! Keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of weeks for various blog posts on where I visited, where I ate and where I stayed while in Hawaii. I can’t wait to show you all my adventures.

Tonight however, we are chatting with the beautiful Yong-Li from Australian made Enbacci Skincare. Nan, her mama and co-founder, and Yong-Li created the beautiful range right here in Melbourne with Nan wanting to create something that worked with her sensitive skin.

I have been trialling 3 Enbacci Skincare products and will have a full review for you published this week, keep your eyes peeled!

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Yong-Li Zhou

R. Welcome to Meet the Makers Yong-Li, I’m excited to learn more about Enbacci, especially since your line has some great concepts such as the use of fruit and plant stemcells. Tell us, how was Enbacci Skincare born?

Y. My mum had always suffered from sensitive skin, but as she got older, the severity of her allergic reactions worsened. It didn’t matter how luxurious the item was, if she had a reaction, she would end up with sores and open wounds. It was because of this that Mum and I sat down together and decided that we needed to create something that she could use.

R. Ouch! That sounds super painful. I like you pointed out it didn’t matter how luxurious a product was, your mum would still break out. Sometimes it’s easy to think that just because something is expensive it will work, when really it’s all about the ingredients and how they work together.

Walk us through an average day at Enbacci Skincare.

Y. A typical workday sees me sculling down my protein shake in the morning before heading off to the gym for a morning workout session. I am not really a morning person but I have found this to be an effective way to get me going for a day at my desk.

Between 8am and 8.30am, you can find me on my phone updating all our social media with a post for the day.

By the time 9am hits, I am at my desk writing down my to-do list for the day. Tasks can range from accounting, product development planning or just doing some product development, product designing and editing, ensuring our website is up to date and answering interview questions like these. I also like to be in the know when it comes to our clients, so you can often find me in our new store chatting away with them, getting to know them and developing some rapport. For me, the contact at a retail level is one of the most important for a business as this is where clients determine through their experience whether they will be returning or not.

R. I have been meaning to get into the retail store! I really wanted to attend your last event, I was sad when I couldn’t get there. 

What do you think you would be doing, if you weren’t running the business?

Y. I co-founded the business with my Mum when I was in my first year of Uni. I was so quick and eager to finish my degree (having graduated within less than three years) so that I could properly focus on the business. If I wasn’t running this particular business, I think I might have gone on to do more studying for a time being but I definitely would have found a way to start a business of my own, one form or another

R. What have you found to be the biggest challenge so far in business?

Y. There are so many challenges both from a business perspective and from a personal perspective that one may experience in business. I think for me, it is finding that balance between the two that is most challenging. It is easy for friends to say “you need to relax and take a break”, but what they don’t understand is that you relaxing and taking a break means time away from your business which ultimately provides for your livelihood and the ability for you to relax and take a break free from stress.

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R. Agree! It’s especially tough when you are running a business and have so many ideas and dreams – your mind is constantly on the go. 

I recently found out someone has started copying one of my ideas, it’s a bit rough but I’m trying to take it as a compliment. How do you deal with negativity on a business level?

Y. Not going to lie. It is hard, particularly when you get negativity about something you pour your heart and soul into creating. I recently watched a Youtube video that had someone review one of our products that they received in a Bellabox. The negative comments started to flow out just as she began to open our products. Firstly, she didn’t like the particular full size product that was in her box (there were four possibilities that month) just because it’s not something she needs. Her comments then followed on to suggest how wasteful our product packaging is and how unnecessary it all is and how she would never go on to purchase a product with so much packaging. Ok, valid comments, but that really hurt to hear given that my Mum and I do everything in-house from developing the product, designing the packaging, even selecting the packaging types and finishes so that we are as environmentally conscious as possible as a brand, to hand wrapping (yes, hand wrapping) each of the products in their recyclable plastic security sleeves. Needless to say, this kept me up a couple of nights thinking about how we could fix everything wrong with our packaging until my Mum stopped me in my tracks one day and said, “you can’t listen to every single negative comment out there. We just need to stay true to who we are”. And she was right. There are people out there who aren’t going to like us, but I know that there definitely people out there who love us and love what we do. So now, I listen and I consider the negativity and if it isn’t constructive feedback, then pfft…oh well and bye, not-a-potential-customer.

R. That’s intense, I really enjoyed seeing how you tackled it and got into a better head space, with the help of mum. If I am writing a review, I am always thinking about sticking to what’s relevant, ingredients and how I found it worked. 

Anything new happening in the world of Enbacci Skincare?

Y. We are always working on new and exciting things. The most exciting project at the moment is the development of sheet masks. Its taken us a very long time to develop a serum formula that we meet all of our criteria and more importantly, that we are able to combine them with the particular sheet masks we have designed. We are also working on a campaign for the sheet masks that I am really excited about because to me, it just highlights who Enbacci is and what we are all about.

R. YES! I am so excited to hear this, I absolutely love sheet masks. 

Tell me, how do you celebrate a win?

Y. With family, good food and good wine, then, a good sleep-in!

R. That sounds perfect! Who has influenced your personal and business journey?

Y. Definitely my parents. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their unconditional support. Growing up, I saw them start and end several businesses of their own. I believe I developed that drive I have for business from watching them working hard.

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R. Is the use of organic/natural ingredients important to you and your brand?

Y. Something I say to my clients all the time is that I don’t like using the words organic and natural in our industry. I feel like they are heavily conflated words. Something that a lot of consumers may not know is that organic and natural ingredients are often not a closely regulated, which could mean allergies or other side effects that have not been disclosed, or that they are more likely to have microbes

I prefer to say that we try to use ingredients that are naturally derived or organically sourced, but to me, to have a product that is actually natural or actually organic, the final product won’t last two weeks in your fridge. The exception to that are certain balm/wax products but that’s getting into more of the science and preserving ability of ingredients.

R. There is just so much to learn about terminology, and how much greenwashing plays into it all. I really love your honest and clear response.

Outside of Enbacci Skincare, what do you like to get up too?

Y. I love reading, particularly fantasy and sci-fi genres. When I’m not going through a text-book, you can find me sitting on the couch, rugged up in a blanket with a good book and a cup of tea.

I do also love cooking and baking. I love creating gluten-free decorated layered cakes and other sweet treats that can be enjoyed by family and friends. I have seriously considered turning this into another side-business!

R. I think you could be onto something, gluten-free layered cakes sound delicious!

What would you say is your purpose?

Y. Tricky question! I believe everyone definitely has a purpose but I don’t believe we all have to know what it is. I definitely haven’t figured mine out yet. My mum says to me that my purpose was to kick my parents up the butt so that they would get their act together when they were younger, but I would like to think that my purpose has changed a bit now. Perhaps it is just to be the best person I can be and a role model for others?

R. Well, I think your work ethos is incredibly inspiring! Purpose constantly changes, so don’t worry if you haven’t got anything set in stone.

Favourite part of the day?

Y. As much as I do love my work, there is nothing quite like the feeling of coming home to my husband and furbaby and enjoying a home-cooked meal.

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R. There is nothing like time on the lounge with the fur baby! I’m excited to see mine furbabies after 2 weeks away, and the husband – ha!

I love hearing about other’s beauty routines, walk us through yours.

Y. Morning: Cleansing with our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Gel Cleanser, followed by our Age Revitalising Eye Defence and our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Essential Creme. I usually just apply a little eye liner and fill in my brows and that is my make-up for the day.

The following is my full night regime that I do once-twice a week:

  1. Remove makeup with makeup remover.
  2. Scrub with our Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub.
  3. Apply our Detoxifying Clay Mask and let that sit for about 20 minutes whilst I am watching something on TV.
  4. Rinse off the mask and apply our Creme.

On most nights, I forego the scrub and mask and just use out gel cleanser to get rid of the excess dirt and oils from the day.

R. I am loving the Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Scrub!

Favourite skincare and makeup product?

Y. My go-to skincare product is our Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating Creme. I always tell clients how important it is to moisturise your skin no matter your skin type.

My go to makeup product is black waterproof liquid liner. My favourite is MAC liquidline because it is the only one that does not melt on me.

R. Agreed! The MAC Liquidline is amazing, and stays put on eyes too without transferring to my upper eyelid. 

How do you practice self-care?

Y. As basic as this may sound, getting a good night’s sleep and keeping yourself hydrated. There are so many studies out there that look at the negative effects of each of these can have on the body when we lack good sleep or adequate amounts of water. The only thing we are required to do is make a few habitual adjustments.

R. Sleep is so important, not only mentally but physically too. I always know if I’ve pushed myself too hard and not gotten enough sleep – you can tell on my skin!

If you could pick anywhere in the world to relax, where would you go?

Y. Definitely by the beach. Any beach is fine but if I really had to pick one, it would be Kua Bay in Hawaii.

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R. Oh Hawaii, take me back! There is so much beauty there, my favourite too!

Lastly, imagine money was no object. What would you do? 

Y. I’d hire more people to help me run my business so that I can go travelling the world more!

R. Oh that’s the dream isn’t it! Maybe you can launch Enbacci in different countries around the world and use that as an excuse to travel the world!

Thank you so much Yong-Li for your time and your open and honest answers. It was so refreshing to learn a little more about Enbacci Skincare. 

If you would like to see the full range of Enbacci products, you can do so here http://www.enbacci.com and also connect with Yong-Li on Instagram @enbacci

As I mentioned above, I will have my Enbacci product review live this week too, stay tuned!

Happy Saturday!

Renee
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