Quote: “People give you the benefit of the doubt if you just try.”
In this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Vivian Ke Story, the Founder, and CEO of Soul Story Seoul, a skincare company that proudly offers high-quality products from ingredients sourced from Korea and Europe, with an emphasis on using the power of natural and healthy ingredients. They pride themselves on conducting no animal testing and having products that are one-hundred percent toxin-free and free from harsh or abrasive chemicals.
They discussed Vivian’s own soul story and how she came to be where she is today, her journey to find her tribe, her experience being an invisible minority, and the cultivation of her business.
Fight and Claw
“I grew up in a highly-concentrated immigrant community, which is the nicest way of saying poor,” laughed Vivian.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Vivan was brought up through her single mom and extended family from Seoul, South Korea. Vivan described her experience growing up as a child in an immigrant family, she said that despite growing up in the situation she did, it was a really great starting ground for her to learn some really strong life values.
Vivian explained those life values she’s learnt over the years, reflecting that although they emerged from their unfortunate circumstances fighting and clawing, you’ll never forget it.
Finding Her Tribe
“I never felt like I fit in anywhere,” Vivian shared.
It goes without saying that everyone who grew up in an immigrant family is from a variety of backgrounds, however, there are certain experiences that they, unfortunately, all share.
During her childhood, like most immigrant children, Vivian struggled to find a sense of belonging. She discovered from a very early age that there were not only physical borders but also cultural ones that were arguably just as pervasive.
Vivan explained the challenges that came with trying to assimilate into Western culture as there was a physical barrier which was her skin which prevented her from being accepted. On the other hand, when she tried to assimilate back into Korean culture, she felt like an outsider due to her different values and beliefs.
They discussed Vivian’s experience of being a part of an invisible minority and how she evolved and grew to be confident in her own skin.
Writing Her Soul Story
“People give you the benefit of the doubt if you just try.”
Most people would agree that any breakup is difficult and painful. When a relationship ends, especially a long-term relationship, it almost feels like having a rub pulled from beneath you, and all senses of normalcy seem to suddenly dissipate. Oftentimes, we’ll all embark on the road of self-discovery afterward, which was what Vivian was doing when she discovered skincare.
As she wandered through Seoul, South Korea, trying to reconnect with her homeland, Vivan had started to become more interested in investing in self-care which included skincare. She discovered the world of Korean skincare and wanted to introduce it’s benefits to South East Asia.
She explained that originally she wanted to introduce multiple brands from a vast range of sizes to new markets, however, she wanted to only provide the best and most healthy skincare. Thus, she requested formula changes to “cut out hormones and other bad chemicals,” but as these businesses looked at the estimated returns, they declined.
Vivian then decided to take the reins and made the decision to do her own research and digging to find the best manufacturing company and the best labs she could. They discussed her learning journey in the world of beauty and skincare, from researching labs through to launching her first set of skincare products.
To learn more about Vivian Ke Story and her soul journey, listen to this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast today.