Early on in her career, Melinda Wang created a presence by being an early adopter of the digital-first mindset and was among the first generation of Hong Kong bloggers who helped set the foundation for aspiring influencers. Now, she’s taking her insights in fashion, branding, and marketing to the beauty space and has co-founded vegan skincare startup, Nomel in 2019 with Taiwan-based celebrity makeup artist Novia Hoo – a brand that caters to millennial values and aesthetics.
While preparing for the launch of Nomel’s hybrid showroom and flagship store at the heart of Taipei, Melinda spoke to us about her views on entrepreneurship and how she and her team are approaching skincare with fresh eyes.
How did the concept of Nomel come into form?
It all started off from a personal voice within as I often contemplate what beauty should mean. Beyond product, I wanted to create an inclusive platform where people can practice self-love and accept their natural beauty. A person’s physical and mental health should correlate and see eye to eye.
What makes Nomel different from other beauty startups?
We listen to our customers and create products based on their needs as we believe everyone is a professional themselves with their own beauty hacks. It’s almost like a transparent process where we co-create products together by asking for their feedback and testing our samples through social media interactions and offline events. You’ll not only find a powerful range of items centred around your daily beauty routine but also a young, lively community that is passionate about skincare, living healthy and taking care of the environment.
Could you share your insight into the beauty industry in Taiwan? Is it a thriving space for skincare?
Taiwan’s biotech is actually one of the strongest in Asia, and, unfortunately, it doesn’t get much of the spotlight. Many local Taiwanese brands have outstanding products but they lack the brand image they need to appeal internationally. So, here at Nomel, we really want to be able to bridge functionality, efficacy and aesthetics.
What characteristics do you think makes a good entrepreneur?
Be humble, appreciative and hardworking! Being an entrepreneur means you are also new to this ever-changing landscape. Be respectful of the people who are helping you out along the way and give them recognition because the backbone of a successful business is a strong team. I’m always very thankful for my team and want to help each of them shine.
Who are the ones to watch regarding homegrown Asian brands with fashion and beauty spearheading the D2C model?
I would say Krave Beauty and Tambourine from Gentle Monster. Krave has a fantastic line with legitimate ingredients, and Tambourine, to me, really hits the spot on the aesthetic side of things. The branding and packaging are very on point.
We are opening up our first shop in Taipei, which would be our main focus for the coming rest of the year. D2C is still our business model for now, but with Covid still going on, I wouldn’t mind exploring potential distributors as we do get a steady flow of inquiries on this account. I think this is the funniest part of being an entrepreneur; you set your three to five years’ business plan, but there’s always going to be hiccups in between that can change everything.
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