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Lioness Innovators: Lisa Yang on Inclusive Beauty

Lisa Yang of Faceted Beauty shares her guiding vision: "Beauty transcends a one-size-fits-all."

Lisa Yang set out in 2019 to create a beauty brand that would reflect not only her own individuality as a queer, gender-fluid woman of color, but would also stand out as a brand that represented inclusivity of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. Faceted Beauty offers limited edition, re-usable, custom press-on gel nail kits. Unlike some local drug store nail kits, Faceted Beauty nail kits are fortified with real gel, 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. They are also good for up to three to five uses as opposed to the typical single use.

The wear time of the nails is not the only thing that has proven to be long-lived. The roots of founder Lisa Yang’s entrepreneurial dream were planted when she was a child.

Survival versus passion

Yang was raised watching her parents pursue entrepreneurship out of necessity. It wasn’t until she moved to Boston and became associated with an organization that educates and supports entrepreneurs that she saw examples of business owners who pursued their visions out of passion.

“As a daughter of immigrant refugees, my parents were thrown into entrepreneurship when they came during the Vietnam war as a means of survival,” says Yang. “What you’re starting to see with entrepreneurship is that it’s generally no longer an issue of survival. Instead, we ask, ‘What is your dream? What is your aspiration?’”

On Yang’s site, you can see a wide arrange of models wearing her custom-made nail art. The site perfectly reflects her brand message and the passion that drives her. “Beauty transcends a one-size-fits-all.”

The journey

As Yang reflects on where she’s come from and the influences that have contributed to her success along the way, one piece of advice in particular comes to mind. “Just go for it.” This was a common undercurrent in the advice from other entrepreneurs whom she’s had the pleasure of meeting along her journey.

“I’m someone who tends to be risk-averse based on my upbringing in an immigrant refugee household. Taking a risk was difficult,” says Yang. After two successful years in business, Yang can genuinely say that she is grateful she took the leap.

“Faceted Beauty was established in 2019. Generally, they say within the first year [of a] startup, you’ll know if you’re going to make it or not. The fact that it’s two years in, really says a lot to me,” says Yang.

The value we bring to the market

The value that Faceted Beauty adds to the market is evident in more ways than one. “Generally, women in the United States spend over $1,300 a year on their nails,” says Yang. “With Faceted Beauty, when you decide to switch to our nails, we’re actually putting 65 percent of that money back into your pocket to spend on other areas of your life.”

Aside from the cost-per-wear, the quality and design of each of Faceted Beauty’s nail set are incomparable. Styles are one-of-a-kind and are measured to fit each individual client’s nails.

So, how do you scale such a custom business?

Scaling a custom business

“I am really grateful that we are handcrafted because it allows us to pivot and make changes accordingly, versus having to check with the manufacturer,” says Yang.

Yang’s goal is to continue to grow her business while maintaining the quality, the level of artwork and the integrity of the Faceted Beauty brand. When she imagines what is next for Faceted Beauty, it involves honing the brand’s strong digital presence. With a product that is currently exclusively sold online, Yang understands that it is essential to build an amazing digital experience for her clients.

“The market for DIY beauty and nail care has grown exponentially. For example, Amazon sales of nail care have grown almost 300 percent, which is amazing, on a year-over-year basis. These types of indicators show me that our next move is building out that digital experience.

“People have asked me ‘Will you ever open up a storefront?’ And I’m not going to say ‘no’ to that. But for now, it’s really focusing on our online community and what they’re looking for,” says Yang.

To learn more about Lisa Yang and Faceted Beauty, be sure to watch our full interview.

About the author

Olivia Brown

Olivia S. Brown is a graduate journalism student at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management with concentrations in Global Brand Marketing and Integrated Fashion Communications from Thomas Jefferson University. Olivia is a storyteller, not only through her personal style but also through her work as a writer and public relations professional. Known by her hashtag #LookstoLivIn on social media, she hopes to capture her personal travels, style, and her continued discovery of self while particularly encouraging other millennials to embrace and celebrate a journey of their own.

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