Kiani Tea enters the Korean Beauty market - by Kiani Tea
Right before their launch earlier this month, Kiani Tea had a small Q&A with Jinne, founder of Jinnier Shop. Read our interview, to learn more about former Korean top model Jinne and her journey with setting up Jinnier Shop.
Kiani Tea: Hi Jinne, today you are launching Jinnier Shop, and I (Sara) am so excited to be a part of your launch. You reached out to Kiani Tea at the very beginning of my very own journey when I had just launched Kiani Tea, so I really feel you have followed Kiani Teas's journey from the beginning and now I am excited to follow yours! What I really liked about you taking contact with us was that it felt like you had picked up on our low-key expression of Tea and downtime as being a huge part of beauty/self-care routine. (for me at least, it really is!)
Is that what you feel too or what eactly made you reach out to Kiani Tea when setting up and curating Jinnier Shop?
Jinne: Jinnier Shop is created from my interest and passion for beauty & wellness. We all have our own ways of taking care of ourselves - whether it be a slow morning coffee time before work or using body wash with that special scent that you like. I interpret these little things that we do as us practicing self-care. As for myself, my ways of focusing on self-care comes in many different ways. For example, I dedicate a full 30minute face-care ritual at home when I feel a little down and need the bright and treated skin to lift my mood up or I go for a quick fast-paced walk early in the morning when I need full-level energy to get through the day. As for tea, it has always been my favorite drink (I’m definitely not a coffee person). I grew up in Thailand and England where tea is very frequently consumed and I had opportunities to try some exquisite teas thanks to my friends from China and to my sister who’s living in Shanghai. When thinking of “wellness”, tea is the first thing that comes to my mind as it can give you different kinds of energies - tea and chat time with friends can give you a lifted mood and a quiet tea time by yourself can calm your mind. To me, Kiani really broke down these details of interpretation. It seemed that Kiani wasn’t just another tea brand but a place where tea is detailed, explained, and guided into our everyday lives. Kiani was perfect for Jinnier Shop’s wellness partner.
Kiani Tea: You have a very impressive background in the beauty Industry. I would love to hear about your time in London, your years working for Deciem, and your return to South Korea. Please share your story briefly.
Jinne: I was born in Seoul, Korea, and my family moved to Thailand when I was 6 years old. Then when I was 14, I was sent to England to study and I came back to Korea after I finished university in London. My plan was to stay in Korea for just 6 months before returning to London but that never happened - it’s my 11th year in Korea already!! I think I always was interested in beauty and when I decided to become a fashion model and won an award for Korea’s 2012 SBS Supermodel Contest it really took a big part inside me. I managed a startup company making diet supplements and then really delve into the beauty industry when I took the opportunity to work as Deciem’s Asia Pacific Partnerships Manager. Such experience along with my other work experiences in beauty distribution and beauty marketing really helped me with launching my own business which I’m so grateful for.
Kiani Tea: That is great, you have such a rich background in the beauty industry. At what point did you start to feel "I want my own business"?
Jinne: I remember writing a list on the plane to Korea about things to try during my 6 months of stay in Korea. It’s funny how I actually tried everything that I listed and starting my own business was the last one on the list which I am doing now. It was something I ultimately wanted to achieve and then stick to it. :D
Kiani Tea: What finally pushed you to go for it, and start working on Jinnier Shop?
Jinne: Jinnier Shop is actually a sister company of my original company ‘From One To Ten’ which is a K-beauty retailing and marketing company. While focusing on this original company, Jinnier Shop wasn’t to come for another few years. But COVID-19 hit and I realized I had to quickly pivot and take things online. Having more time to stay home during this time definitely helped and so it’s been fun 6 months or so.
Kiani Tea: Can you tell us a little more about your original company From One To Ten?
Jinne: From One To Ten is a K-beauty retailing and marketing company that I founded in 2019. On the retailing side, we had some big projects planned for Thailand and Miami but because of COVID19 these are on hold at the moment. Hopefully they will resume soon! And on the marketing side, we have been working very closely with K-beauty bloggers and helped brands grow international brand awareness and build product exposures in the global market.
Kiani Tea: That’s incredible. Great work! What have your biggest challenges been, setting up Jinnier Shop?
Jinne: Everything was such a big challenge since it was new to me and I think i’m facing bigger challenges every day! Right now I would say that it’s strategizing and planning for Jinnier Shop’s future in having its own warehouse and distribution center.
Kiani Tea: And what have the happy surprises been?
Jinne: I was so happy to hear how brands liked what Jinnier Shop is doing. To hear that they (including Kiani) want to work with me really made me happy and gave me so much more motivation to move forward with this adventure :D
Kiani Tea: Is there something that is important for you, when picking out products for Jinnier Shop?
Jinne: Yes - quality of the products, the brand’s philosophy, and how the brand will be grown.
Kiani Tea: What are you most proud of at Jinnier Shop?
Jinne: The fact that Jennier Shop is going live. It feels like I’m seeing one little sprout from where I planted a tiny tiny seed.
Kiani Tea: What does a typical morning routine look like to you?
Jinne: Since I work with different time zones, the first thing I do is to check my emails (even if I reply to them later) and Jinnier Shop IG account. And then a cup of water to really wake me up.
Kiani Tea: What lifts you up when you're having a bad day?
Jinne: When I’m having a bad day I give myself a quiet me-time. I could either soak in a hot bath or do a full 30minute home face-care.
Kiani Tea: Your best beauty advice?
Jinne: Drink enough water, get good sleep, always use sunscreen and eye cream(which I also use on my smile lines)!
Kiani Tea: How have you taken care of yourself during the pandemic and during lockdowns?
Jinne: Even though I need quiet me-times, I am a people’s person. So I made sure to stay connected with friends. Working on Jinnier Shop was definitely a way to stay focused and motivated during this time.
Kiani Tea: What do you think people are doing completely wrong in their beauty/skincare routines?
Jinne: Using too much makeup and/or using it to cover skin troubles. For me, I think the best way to keep skin happy is to let it breathe and know different skincare routines that your skin likes in its different states.
Kiani Tea: When did you start becoming interested in beauty/skincare? I have been following k-beauty news for a few years and a beauty regimen seems to be so important in Korea from a very young age!
Jinne: I grew up seeing my mother use many steps of skin care and I chose which skincare products to buy and use for myself since young age. This naturally led to learning and choosing better products with age but I really got into it when I did fashion modeling. During those days, I frequently had to wear heavy makeup and from choosing the right cleansers and skincare to soothe and calm my skin after was very important to me.
Kiani Tea: We are far away from Korea (London), so for us, what we see online, is what we get. But how is beauty culture really in Korea from your perspective?
Jinne: Fair skin, peachy cheeks, cherry-red lips, and a well-well-defined nose were the standards of beauty in Korea for thousands of years. This standard lived through time and still applies to our modern days. I think this is why Korea is very open about plastic surgeries. Very naturally, Koreans have learned beauty know-hows from their previous generation and now it’s being called “K-beauty” where these insights and knowledge are put into physical products with the development of modern technology. Beauty definitely is a big part of Korean culture and of Korean history.
Kiani Tea: Anything you can share with me in regards to K beauty in Korea, I will be so happy to hear about it!
Jinne: There are many many K-beauty brands out there but there is one special brand that I am waiting for to launch - “Princess Hwahyup”. Princess Hwahyup (1733-1752) is the seventh daughter of King Yeongjo, the 21st ruler of the Joseon era. It is known that the princess was known for her beauty but died of measles before the age of 20. From 2015 to 2018, during a research on her tomb, relics of her beauty tools were found - a comb, a mirror, and cosmetic products. The National Palace Museum of Korea have joined Korean National University of Cultural Heritage and local cosmetics manufacturer Cosmax to recreate these cosmetics which were used over 270 years ago. As you can see in the photos (above), the brand will maintain the shapes and designs of the containers and I am so excited to see how Korea’s history of beauty will be brought to life.
Kiani Tea: Thank you Jinne for your time, we loved getting to know you!
You can now shop Kiani Tea on on www.Jinniershop.com and you can pick up Korean beauty products too while you are there :)