Glow Recipe, a beauty products company inspired by the South Korean beauty trend known as K-beauty, has also gone from a 2015 Shark Tank win to a spot on the 2018 CNBC Upstart 100 list.
Similar to the friendship forged by the naval students who came up with Lovepop, co-founders Christine Chang and Sarah Lee began Glow Recipe after 20 years combined working at L’Oreal.
Putting the pre-business relationship first was most important, and their friendship helped keep the start-up on course with their original mission.
“We actually first met in L’Oreal Korea and coincidentally ended up working in the New York office,” Lee said. “So it’s been an interesting friendship also as co-workers. We were both looking at Korea, where all the innovative ideas were coming from, and when we were catching up one day, we had this “aha moment.” We knew we had the bicultural and bilingual background and had access to the Korean manufacturers and markets while understanding the American consumers and retailers.”
The company won a $425,000 investment from Robert Herjavec on the show, but after a few conversations they decided not to accept the investment and parted ways amicably. But they still credit their “Shark Tank” appearance with helping their company.
This year sales of its products at Sephora are expected to reach $30 million. In 2017, Glow Recipe’s watermelon face mask was one of the best-selling products for the retail cosmetics chain, which is owned by luxury giant LVMH. Glow Recipe also has partnerships with Target and QVC.