This article was originally published here: Coreenna Ong – Co-Founder & Director of aspurely
Teenage acne led Coreenna Ong to experimenting with herbal remedies and she has made a career out of developing skin care products using natural ingredients.
What’s your story?
In my teens, I had a bad bout of acne outbreak. Nothing I tried seemed to work, at least not for long. In desperation, I turned to Chinese herbs. I boiled selected herbs in water and used this herbal water to wash my face. I also used it as some sort of toner. Within a few weeks, my skin cleared up considerably. Henceforth, I realised the powder of herbs in skincare and started experimenting with herbs for skincare as a hobby. It was only when I met my then business partner in 1998 that this hobby became a full-time career.
What excites you most about your industry?
I am most excited that consumers are increasingly advocating for cleaner skincare products and they are supporting companies that are more conscious of the environment. At aspurely, we are a clean skincare company inspired by nature and science with a focus on pure, efficacious ingredients and formulas. Our skincare is formulated in our own laboratories with a commitment to excellence and purity. We adopt the science of epigenetics to produce clean skincare made of high-performance ingredients in their purest form from natural sources. We want to express the vision that beauty care can be clean, pure, holistic and high performance.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
My love and passion for skincare. I have always believed that clear, healthy skin beats any make-up. Besides, as the skin is our body’s largest organ, taking good care of it is more than just looking good, it is in fact integral to our health and well-being, As such, I have always strived to ensure that our formulas are clean, pure and free of harmful ingredients. Often, there are many myths, misconceptions, hype when it comes to skincare and beauty, which cause disappointment to end-users. So I hope that with our products, we could really make a difference.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
I have a tendency to be impatient. So I guess I have learnt to be more patient, to be a better listener and observer. Because by listening and observing closely, especially when it comes to research and development work, things start to make themselves more apparent to me.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t be afraid to trust your own intuition, work steadily, don’t make hasty decisions but don’t be afraid to stick to your guns once you have weighed the pros and cons and discerned right from wrong.
Who inspires you?
My late business partner and my late father.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I have learnt that God answers our prayers in His own way and time. Not always in the way we want it. but often it is for the best, not just for ourselves but for people around us.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Back in the early 2000s, I would have focused more on marketing our own website and building our online presence. I would also have paid heed when my late business partner wanted to share with me our website server and domain access information. Because when he passed on suddenly, neither I nor our team or his family members had any idea about the access information. As a result, we lost the entire website and database of more than 15,000 customers.
How do you unwind?
I like to read, go cycling, hiking, and fishing.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
Being honest, passionate and true to one’s values, philosophy and beliefs. This may sound clichéd, and perhaps these are just words to others, but it is absolutely true … and people really do see it.
We have customers and business partners that over the years see we truly adhere to our beliefs and values. And once or twice when we have experienced opposing IP or products claims, I am so heartened to see their continued fervent trust given to us as a result.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn. It’s not a business or management book per se. In fact, it is about the biblical perceptions on money and possessions which I feel if put into practice by every business person, would really make the world a better place and give lasting meaning to one’s life on earth as a contributor and steward.
Shameless plug for your business:
Once you used aspurely skincare, you’ll not want to settle for anything else.
How can people connect with you?
Through my Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/coreenna-ong/) or aspurely’s IG account and Facebook.
Social Media Links?
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.