“The most important thing is to focus on quality. You can always get someone to buy something once, but to build a loyal following and to keep customers coming back again and again, it is important to create the very best quality products. “
Susie Wang was a student at UC Berkeley when she realized her true passion in life. Noticing that oxidation was occurring in skincare products, she invented a way to stabilize natural ingredients from oxidizing and filed patents for this amazing technology. Many global cosmetic companies were impressed by Susie’s invention and recruited her to develop products for them so she put school on hiatus and pursued her dream job.
Susie spent the next five years formulating cosmetics for one of the world’s largest cosmetic companies. There, she became disillusioned because she found out about all the toxins that go into formulating cosmetics. One day, she knocked over a chemical onto the lab table and was horrified that it burned through the table. Susie dug deeper and found out that many of the chemicals were clinically proven to cause tumors and were carcinogens. She decided it was time to leave and produce a healthier alternative. Susie partnered with her then-boyfriend (now fiance) Ric Kostick and her brother, James Wang, to develop 100% Pure. Their mission was to develop the healthiest line of cosmetics in the world.
Soon after, Susie discovered “fruit pigments” while picking berries one summer day in her organic garden. The idea to use fruit and vegetable pigments to color cosmetics is revolutionary since cosmetics are typically colored from synthetic dyes or minerals. Fruit and vegetable pigments are the best since all the vitamins and antioxidants of fruits and vegetables are actually in the pigments, which makes 100% Pure fruit & vegetable pigmented cosmetics the most healthy.
100% Pure launched in 2005 and has been doubling every year since inception. Because of 100% Pure’s rapid growth, Susie founded Incville – a cloud-based communication, task and project management platform. Susie is proud that her dream and passion have come to life and is continuing to inspire and inform people about the benefits of using healthy ingredients for a truly pure and beautiful life.
Where did the idea for Incville come from?
The need for Incville came from 100% Pure’s rapid growth. When a company is blowing up that quickly, there are way too many tasks, projects and teams to keep under control so Incville allows us to track and manage tasks and projects more efficiently. Also, it’s a communication platform that builds company culture and strengthens the community. Since we’ve implemented Incville, our company turnover is far less because everyone feels more of a part of the company and all projects and tasks are getting completed much quicker.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical work day is usually nothing but work, so I’ll tell you what I usually do on a typical weekend. I live with my three rescue dogs, my mom and dad and Ric, my fiancé. We usually start out our day by going to brunch. Afterwards, I am usually doing something with our dogs – either taking them swimming, hiking or to the park. By late afternoon, I usually bike ride around the Bay, to the Stanford shopping center or around my neighborhood. And then I come home and take a long bath and get ready for dinner. I usually go out to dinner or I’ll cook something and then in the late evening, depending on the night, we do something like watch a movie, go to a club or meet up with friends.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m blessed to be surrounded by an incredible team that helps execute my ideas.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Electric cars and solar energy. We all have Teslas in our family and our entire office and new house is solar powered.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Because I’m our chief creative ambassador, I tend not to get involved with the day-to-day operations of the business because it is not conducive to my creativity. I know it’s strange to not know about our financials or all the strategies, but I notice that it brings me down and so we decided early on that my focus would be on the creative end. I also like to shop and travel a lot to see what else is in the market.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I have never had a job that I hated, but I have had an abusive manager. As strange as it sounds, it was a good thing because it taught me to always love and cherish my employees because I know how hurtful it can be to have a mean boss.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Be more careful about hiring.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The most important thing is to focus on quality. You can always get someone to buy something once, but to build a loyal following and to keep customers coming back again and again, it is important to create the very best quality products. My recommendation to any entrepreneur is to always produce a superior product.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Our biggest strategy was to produce the absolute best products. That is how our company grew so much. We tracked our web sales and 88% of the same customers who bought from us in 2005 still were buying from us regularly in 2012.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest failure was hiring a terrible employee and trying to help her improve for three months instead of firing her right away. I finally learned that with a bad employee, it’s best to cut ties immediately instead of trying to help improve them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Maybe it’s already in the works, but I would love to see a solar-powered car.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I have a hard time saying no and being mean to people. I’m naturally a people pleaser so I’m always struggling with trying to say no.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Fresh Plum is software that we use to generate more sales. Google Business software, in addition to Google Analytics, is also great for keeping track of events and duties in an extremely organized and efficient way. Salesforce is used mainly for wholesale accounts. Incville is the cloud-based platform that has helped us be more productive, finish tasks and projects quicker and where we build a stronger culture.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recently saw Sheryl Sandberg at our local neighborhood cafe and we ended up having a nice conversation about toxins in nail polish. She got me very interested in her book ‘Lean In‘ so I’m currently reading that.
Susie Wang on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susie-Wang/108505082529414