HomeRule BreakersFemale Founders: Passionate About Developing Cruelty-free Skincare, Dr. Julia Bao 

Female Founders: Passionate About Developing Cruelty-free Skincare, Dr. Julia Bao 

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As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Julia Bao.

Dr. Julia Bao is the founder of BAO Laboratory, a natural skincare company that utilizes small molecule formulations to deliver nourishing and restorative benefits to the skin. With a background in analytical biochemistry, Julia is passionate about using science to create innovative and effective skincare products that align with her values of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. 

Many thanks for doing this for us; how would your best friend describe you?

If you ask my best friend, they would likely describe me as an entrepreneur driven by a passion for creating new opportunities and solving problems. They would probably say that I am always looking for ways to improve and innovate in my industry and am committed to staying humble and open to feedback to achieve growth and success. My best friend might also mention that I have a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to excellence in everything I do. While I am proud of my accomplishments, I know there is always more to learn and ways to improve, and I am constantly striving to do so. 

How did the idea for your business come about? 

The idea for my business came about due to my passion for skincare and a desire to create effective, safe, and environmentally friendly products. After years of struggling with my own skin issues and being disappointed by the products available on the market, I decided to take matters into my own hands and develop my skincare formulations using natural, non-toxic ingredients. Through extensive research and experimentation, I discovered the benefits of small molecule formulation and the use of natural ingredients that are gentle yet effective on the skin. I wanted to create a skincare line that would improve the skin’s health and appearance and contribute to a more sustainable future for our planet. This led to the creation of my business, which is dedicated to providing high-quality skincare products formulated with natural ingredients, small molecules, and sustainable practices. Our mission is to help our customers achieve healthy, radiant skin while minimizing environmental impact.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?   

There was once an eye serum oil product launched in the North American market with very little attention from customers. Despite its unique formula and benefits, it failed to gain traction, and the company was considering discontinuing the product. However, the story took a surprising turn when the same product was launched in the Asian market. To the company’s surprise, the product became an instant hit, and sales skyrocketed. Customers raved about the product’s effectiveness, and it quickly gained a cult following. This story highlights the significant cultural differences in skincare preferences and routines between regions of the world. What may be popular or effective in one market may not necessarily translate to another. It also highlights the importance of market research and understanding the unique needs and preferences of customers in different regions when launching new skincare products. This story also emphasizes the potential for success in expanding businesses to new markets and the value of considering cultural and regional differences in product development and marketing strategies.

If you had a magic stick, which are the three things you would change in the world?

Ensure everyone has access to basic needs: My first priority would be to ensure that every individual has access to basic needs such as clean water, food, shelter, and healthcare. This would help improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide and provide them with the foundation they need to thrive. 

Promote global environmental sustainability: My second priority would be to promote global environmental sustainability. This would involve creating policies and initiatives that reduce carbon emissions, protect natural resources, and encourage conservation efforts. By protecting our planet, we can ensure that future generations have access to a healthy and thriving world. 

Dr. Julia Bao is the founder of BAO Laboratory,

Increase access to education: My third priority would be increasing access to education for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. This would involve investing in educational programs, resources, and infrastructure that make it easier for people to access knowledge and learn new skills. By empowering people through education, we can help create a more equitable world where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

What part of your life experience would you alter if you had the chance to?

My sincere belief is that every experience, both positive and negative, has played a role in shaping who I am today. While there may have been challenging moments or difficult decisions along the way, these experiences are opportunities for growth and learning. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Rather than dwelling on past mistakes or missed opportunities, I prefer to focus on the lessons and skills I have gained from my experiences. This mindset allows me to move forward with confidence and continue to grow as a person. Therefore, if given a chance, I would not alter any part of my life experience. Each step I took, good and bad, has played a crucial role in shaping me into the person I am today, and I am grateful for every experience that has brought me to this point.

What is the definition of “beauty according to you.”

I believe beauty is not limited to physical appearance or aesthetic features. True beauty comes from within and reflects one’s health, confidence, and inner qualities. When people feel healthy, confident, and at peace with themselves, they radiate a unique beauty that cannot be replicated by physical features alone. While physical beauty can be pleasing to the eye, it is essential to recognize that it does not define a person’s worth or value. I believe true beauty comes from being comfortable in one’s own skin and embracing one’s unique qualities and characteristics. Ultimately, the definition of beauty is a personal and subjective experience, and it can vary greatly between individuals. However, I believe that beauty is best defined by qualities such as health, confidence, and inner peace.

What challenges did you face at the start of your entrepreneurial journey, and how did you overcome those?

At the start of my entrepreneurial journey, I faced several challenges due to my lack of overall business operation and sales marketing experience. Starting a business requires a diverse skill set that includes marketing, finance, and management, among other areas. As a first-time entrepreneur, I had to learn these skills on the go and figure out how to navigate the complexities of running a successful business. To overcome these challenges, I sought out successful role models who could provide guidance and mentorship. I read books and articles about entrepreneurship, attended conferences, and networked with other business owners to gain insights and advice. I also worked hard to acquire new skills and knowledge in areas I needed to improve. This involved taking courses and workshops, hiring consultants or mentors with specific expertise, and practicing my skills through trial and error. While there were obstacles and setbacks along the way, I overcame these challenges by staying focused, committed, and adaptable. By learning from successful role models and working hard to develop the necessary skills and knowledge, I was able to build a successful business and achieve my goals as an entrepreneur.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, I find it helpful to focus on the present moment and remind myself to look forward, not backward. Rather than dwelling on past mistakes or missed opportunities, I try to channel my energy into productive activities that can help me move forward. I also find it helpful to work hard and stay committed to my goals, even when facing setbacks or obstacles. This involves setting achievable goals and taking action to accomplish them rather than letting self-doubt or fear hold me back. In addition, I try to surround myself with positive influences, whether it’s through connecting with supportive friends and family, seeking out mentors or advisors, or engaging in activities that bring me joy and fulfillment. Ultimately, building myself back up in moments of self-doubt or adversity requires a combination of self-reflection, hard work, and a positive mindset. By staying focused on my goals and maintaining a sense of purpose, I can overcome challenges and continue to grow and succeed as a person.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

As a company, we have always been committed to improving the world through our products and actions. Our focus on creating healthy skincare products with natural ingredients has helped many people with skin problems improve their skin health and feel more confident. In addition, we also support charity and research initiatives that align with our values and mission. We have contributed to various organizations that support environmental sustainability, social justice, and healthcare initiatives, among other causes. As a responsible and successful company, we believe it is our duty to give back to our community and help create a positive impact in the world. Using our success to support important causes and initiatives, we hope to inspire others to do the same and make a difference in their communities.

What valuable advice would you give new entrepreneurs starting?

As a seasoned entrepreneur, I would offer three valuable pieces of advice to new entrepreneurs starting out: 

Meet intelligent people: Building relationships and networking with smart, successful people is crucial to success in any industry. Seek mentors, advisors, and peers who can offer insights and guidance, and take advantage of opportunities to learn from those who have already succeeded in your field. 

Work hard: Starting a new business requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Be prepared to put in the time and effort needed to achieve your goals, even if it means sacrificing some personal time or leisure activities. Staying focused and committed to your vision is essential to achieving success. 

Trust yourself: Believe in yourself and your abilities as an entrepreneur. Have confidence in your ideas and your ability to execute them, and don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and try new things. Trusting yourself and your vision is key to overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals. 

By following these three pieces of advice, new entrepreneurs can position themselves for success and achieve their goals in the competitive business world.

What are your plans for the future? How do you plan to grow your company?

As a health-focused company, our plan for the future is to continue expanding our business in the skincare and healthcare products industries. We are committed to creating products that use natural and organic ingredients to promote health and wellness, and we believe there is a significant market opportunity in this area. We plan to introduce new products that address specific health concerns, such as eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions, while also expanding our product line to include healthcare products such as supplements and vitamins. In addition, we plan to leverage technology to improve our products and services, using innovative tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to optimize our formulations and improve customer experiences. We also plan to continue partnering with like-minded organizations to support environmental sustainability, social justice, and healthcare initiatives, among other causes. Overall, our goal is to become a leading brand in the skincare and healthcare industries, known for our commitment to natural and organic ingredients, innovative technology, and dedication to creating products that promote health and wellness.

What are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?

Adaptability: Entrepreneurship involves navigating a constantly changing landscape, and successful entrepreneurs must be able to adapt quickly to new challenges and opportunities. This requires a willingness to take risks, make difficult decisions, and pivot when necessary. 

Resilience: Building a successful business takes time, effort, and persistence. Successful entrepreneurs must be able to weather setbacks and failures along the way, staying motivated and focused on their goals in the face of adversity. 

Creativity: Successful entrepreneurs must be able to think creatively and innovatively, finding new solutions to old problems and identifying opportunities that others may overlook. This requires a willingness to challenge conventional thinking and take calculated risks to pursue their vision. 

Overall, successful entrepreneurs must be adaptable, resilient, and creative. These skills allow entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and seize opportunities to build successful businesses.

What role do you think social media plays in the business world today?

Social media has become an essential tool for businesses of all sizes in today’s marketplace. With billions of users across various platforms, social media offers a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with customers, promote their brand, and drive sales. Social media allows companies to reach customers in a targeted and cost-effective way, with the ability to tailor messages and content to specific demographics and interests. It also allows businesses to engage with customers directly, responding to feedback and inquiries in real-time. In addition, social media has become an important channel for brand building and reputation management. By creating compelling content and engaging with customers on social media, businesses can build a strong and loyal following, leading to increased brand awareness and customer loyalty. Looking to the future, social media will likely continue to play an increasingly important role in the business world. As connectivity becomes more transparent, businesses will need to stay on top of emerging trends and adapt their social media strategies to remain competitive and engage with customers effectively.

What would you want to be if you were not a businesswoman today?

As an entrepreneur, I do not define myself as a ‘businesswoman’ or limit myself to any particular title or role. Instead, I see myself as a person who is driven to pursue my passions and make a positive impact in the world. If I were not an entrepreneur, I would still strive to make a difference in my community and in the world at large. Whether it be through volunteering, supporting charitable causes, or pursuing other creative endeavors, I would seek to use my skills and talents to create positive change and make a meaningful contribution to society. Ultimately, I believe that success and fulfillment come from pursuing one’s passions and positively impacting the world, regardless of the specific title or role one may have.

Lastly, where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, I plan to continue to pursue my passions and work hard to build upon the successes of my current project. Whether it be expanding into new markets, developing new products or technologies, or pursuing new creative endeavors, I am committed to continually growing and evolving as an entrepreneur and as a person. I also see myself using my success to make a positive impact in the world, whether it be through supporting charitable causes, promoting environmental sustainability, or pursuing other initiatives that align with my values and beliefs. Ultimately, I believe that the key to success and fulfillment is to continue pursuing one’s passions while also striving to make a positive impact in the world. I am confident I can achieve great things in the next 10 years and beyond by staying focused on my goals and remaining committed to my vision.

What is your favorite quote?

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

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