meet sarah and christine, the founders of glow recipe: your go-to brand for efficacious skincare innovations that deliver clinical results & sensorial self-care moments. delivering fruit-forward, clean formulas for glowing skin, we chatted with sarah and christine all about their career and what advice they have for our communities!
What is your story and background?
Sarah: From a young age, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do for my career. My goal was to work for an international company in beauty and work with diverse regions and consumers to help people around the world look and feel beautiful. I was fortunate enough to have started my career in L’Oreal in Korea, and then was expatriated by L’Oreal from Seoul to the New York City office. It was an incredibly difficult personal decision for me, moving halfway around the world, away from my family and friends. But professionally, I knew if I wanted to achieve the things I wanted in my career, I needed to live and work in a major international city. I had no idea at the time the massive impact this would have on my life - if I never moved to New York, I would have never met my husband, and I would have never founded Glow Recipe. So if there’s a takeaway from all this - do not be afraid to take risks and grasp opportunities when they are presented to you! You never know how you could change your life.
Christine: My first job after graduating was a marketing role at L’Oreal Korea. Starting at Kiehl’s at the time I did was a stroke of luck as I was part of the very small team that completely turned around the business, growing it from a niche brand, to a top 5 skincare brand in a very competitive local market. I enrolled in a masters program at Columbia University in New York after a few years of working to explore my interest in literature and translation. While I was grateful for my time in academia, I realized that I missed working in beauty and returned to L’Oreal after graduation - this time in New York. I resumed working at Kiehl’s but on the global team working on new business development, digital and heading up marketing and strategy for the fast-growing skincare category for the brand. Our a-ha moment came while my cofounder Sarah and I were bonding over sheet masks and wine as we often did after work. We realized an opportunity to fill a white space in the US beauty industry by creating a brand that made skincare approachable, less overwhelming, fun and sensorial - all while being highly efficacious and results driven. That led to the clinically effective, fruit forward brand you see on the shelves at Sephora and retailers globally today, and it’s been an incredibly rewarding journey over the course of almost 9 years!
What inspired the Mala x Glow Watermelon Candle? Besides Dew Drops, of course!
Sarah: We love to prioritise self care in our everyday lives and nothing is better than lighting a sweet smelling candle and applying your skincare routine to either start or end your day off right.
Christine: When we were thinking about what else was needed in our self care routine - a watermelon candle was exactly what we were missing!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Sarah: On a typical day, I wake up around 7am and immediately spritz our Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist - it’s by my bed at all times and it helps me feel awake instantly while hydrating my skin at the same time. Since moving to Miami from New York City last year, I’ve been trying to take outdoor walks 2-3 times a day. I take my first walk from 7:30-8am. Recently I’ve been doing this with my 3-month old and it’s been really fun showing him around. I’m fortunate to live by the water and there is a small island near me with a waterfront path so I usually do a full loop (about 2 miles). I use this time to clear my mind and plan out the day. If my baby isn’t with me at this time, I also take this as an opportunity to listen to business podcasts or books or respond to priority emails.
In between Zoom meetings throughout the day, I always schedule as many one-on-one coffee catch ups as possible with my team. This helps us stay aligned on projects, priorities, and helps me stay up to speed on what’s going on throughout the company. Whenever possible, I take these calls outside while walking (and sometimes grabbing a matcha). We have team members throughout the US so I love having these moments with them and getting to know them on a personal level.
After work, I make sure to bathe the baby every night as we’re trying to get him on a routine before bedtime. After feeding him and putting him to bed, I love catching up with my husband over dinner. This is really the only time during the day I turn my phone off and focus on my conversation with my husband and truly be present. It’s such a great way for both of us to unwind together from the day. After dinner, there are days when I would have conference calls with international retailers or vendors, and I love pampering myself with a full skincare routine (including a 2-minute double cleanse and lymphatic drainage massage) before going to bed.
Christine: My mornings are mostly about getting my daughter to school on time! It’s hectic but I love having breakfast with her and walking her to the bus stop. Every day is different - on some days it might be a product shoot or meetings with partner agencies or retailers. On other days we have meetings with our team members, mostly over zoom as we’re a remote company. I’m proud of how our team has navigated this new normal together. Our family likes to cook dinner together every night and my daughter helps to chop ingredients and prep while we chat. I log back on to do emails or work after I put her to bed. I’m a voracious reader and have been getting #booktok recommendations that I enjoy in the bath with a face mask (Watermelon AHA Facial is perfect for this) slathered on.
If you weren’t doing Glow, what would you be doing?
Sarah: If it wasn’t Glow Recipe, I would have founded another beauty brand. I am a beauty person through and through and deep inside, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and knew I would create my own brand.
Christine: I’d be a writer and photographer - but I’m lucky that Glow Recipe provides plenty of creative outlets daily.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Sarah: We’ve been fortunate to have received incredible support and mentorship from fellow entrepreneurs throughout our journey. This network of founders, especially female founders, have served as a critical source of advice and guidance and our recommendation is to always reach out for help and guidance versus trying to do it alone.
Christine: Another piece of great advice we’ve been given over the years and have always taken to heart is to put your customer first. From the early days of Glow Recipe, our customers have been a huge part of the brand and also why we’ve worked so hard to create a safe space on our social media platforms that prioritises real skin acceptance. We’ve pledged not to use words like flawless, poreless or perfection or retouch any of our imagery because we want our diverse customer base to feel seen and heard. In the current digital age, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re listening to your customer base and truly hearing what they need from you - whether it’s more transparency, certain products, or types of content.