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Meet this self-made career woman who left teaching to carve out a career in beauty

Yura Won, founder of K-beauty e-commerce platform Cocomo, took the road less travelled when she decided to strike out on her own
 

Photo: Cocomo

A cherished teaching job of 9 years, a stable income, a Masters in Statistics - that was what Yura Won, 31, left behind when she decided to take a leap of faith to start a business of her own.

Today, Yura is a proud owner of Cocomo – an online one-stop shop for authentic Korean skincare and cosmetics. Cocomo is currently sporting more than 100 K-beauty brands, 60 of which are in exclusive partnerships with the company. Cocomo had even reportedly hit impressive five-figure revenues from the get-go.

Yura had initially kick-started Cocomo by selling the products on Facebook, but soon moved on to setting up shops on online marketplaces such as Lazada.

Where it all began

As a self-professed beauty aficionado, Yura first noticed a divide in the industry back in 2015. A fervent lover and early adopter of K-beauty products, she realised that K-beauty products were not the fad back then and that they were largely unavailable in Singapore. She also realised that amongst whatever little was available, there was no way to tell if they were authentic – a struggle that many K-beauty enthusiasts, like herself, faced.

Despite not possessing any business background or any idea on how to start a business, Yura's passion for K-beauty products spurred her on towards chasing her dream. And the rest, they say, was history.

The company is now raking in tens of thousands of dollars in the online campaigns on Lazada. On Lazada’s recent 7th Birthday Sale, Yura sold a whopping $50,000, and more, worth of K-beauty products in one day – making her one of the top beauty sellers on the marketplace. 

However, the climb to the top wasn't always easy for Cocomo. The first few months were rocky and Yura describes it as the "toughest times"; what with being a fresh startup. But her resilience and faith in her vision triumphed all adversity that came her way. As a result, Cocomo became a GST-registered company within four months of its founding and Yura was well on her way to materialising that entrepreneurial dream of hers.

Not afraid to get down and dirty

Yura (right) with Liz Kim (left) – Korea's most famous makeup artist and founder of the Liz K line

Before listing any product, Yura ensures that they are personally tried, tested and given her stamp of approval. She wants to stay true to what she believes in, and that is to only sell products that she believes in. On average, she goes to Korea two to three times a month to get the latest trends and strike partnerships with the brands and distributors in Korea to ensure that she is always keeping her finger on the pulse on the newest K-beauty releases.

The customer is always right

A strong believer in quality customer service, Yura has neither engaged any influencers nor devised any social media marketing tactics to help build her brand name thus far. Instead, she prefers to focus on providing top-notch customer service. The founder goes as far as providing an avenue for customers to contact 24/7 via WhatsApp to shipping out products to the same customer in separate shipments, just so that they receive their products within the shortest window of time. Yura attributes this to being one of the key reasons that she has been able to build thousands of loyal followers on her e-commerce stores.

Set yourself apart from the norm

Yura's tip to budding entrepreneurs? Don't be afraid to differentiate yourself from the sea of businesses out there by capitalising on the human touch. Customers do appreciate the intangible services that will value-add their shopping experience as well. 

She says, "It is important to have passion for the products and brands you’re selling, and price is not (the be-all and end-all) in e-commerce; there are other value-added services you can offer that will attract customers."

Yura's plans to further propel Cocomo towards being a household name has not ceased yet. Moving forward, she has her eyes set on expanding her business in the Southeast Asian region, and wants to sell on every single Lazada venture – namely Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

If you would love to get your hands on any of Cocomo's offerings, here's your chance to get some great steals. In celebration of female entrepreneurs, Lazada will be having its Women's Festival sale this coming Apr 24 to Apr 26, 2019. Furthermore, Lazada is an online marketplace that makes it a point to celebrate and provide strong support to emerging businesses. Enjoy store-wide flash sales and discounts of up to 70 per cent off over 4,000 new arrivals during this special sale. 

 

A post shared by COCOMO (@cocomo.65) on

Cocomo will be launching Korea’s latest and hottest brand, Sioris, during Lazada’s Women’s Festival sale – that is happening on Apr 24, 2019 – at 20 per cent off.

Another new arrival to Cocomo’s store is also the latest collagen supplements from Inner Young, which boasts of age-delaying properties with an opening price of $49.90 (U.P. $180).

 

Photo: Neogen

Another hotseller, the Neogen metal mascara, will also be going at special price of $19.90 (U.P. $80), which will come with a free metal mascara remover. 

Ladies, start wishlisting now.

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