In Today's episode of the K-Beauty Founder Series... Meet Jin, the Founder & CEO of Momme, one of Eunogo Shop's most recently onboarded Inner Beauty Brands. Her success is no accident; through her hard work, learning, studying, and most importantly, her passion to support the health and happiness of moms out there, Jin is achieving her goals and dreams. Team Eunogo Shop prepared several questions for Jin so read on to find out what she has to say!
Q. Could you please introduce yourself briefly?
FOUNDER & CEO OF MOMME
Hi! I’m Jin, the founder and CEO of Momme.
I am a Consumer Behavior (a.k.a. Marketing) Ph.D. who was stuck in grad school for over 10 years. I have a son who is now 5 years old, and I am actively present on Instagram. I never thought I would become an entrepreneur or an influencer (let alone both!). All of my products, services and content are driven by my mission to support the health and happiness of moms.
Q. What does Momme mean?
FEATURING JIN & HER SON
Momme is a combination of the words "MOM" and "ME." There are way too many strict labels for moms. A mom should "do this and that, be good at this" etc. Hence, so many moms feel guilty for not being a universally ‘perfect mom.’ However, we are all special and unique versions of a ‘mom’: a MOM that is ME. The mission of Momme is to provide products, services and contents for the health and happiness of mothers. We support their path in becoming the true MOM + ME.
Q. Can you tell us the story of how you decided to start your own business?
I was the ‘golden girl’ with a highly accomplished school record. I graduated from top schools in Korea and the US, and achieved two Bachelors, two Masters, and one Ph.D. until my mid 30s. Although I was crushing my career, I was mostly depressed and unhappy.
It was only when I became a mom that I realized the way I live would affect my child. I certainly did not want him to be depressed or unhappy. So I started my Instagram account as a small step toward a happier life, although I didn’t really know where those steps would lead me to.
I ran a small business selling children toys and books for a couple years and wrote a book about it, but even then I thought I should become a professor. Afterall, that was my initial plan when I started research in my 20s. Only losers give up, right? When I finally received my Ph.D. after 10 years of grad school, I knew I had to rethink my future. A loser is not someone who gives up but who sticks to a miserable plan just because.
I decided to give myself a chance to explore what I really wanted to do with my life. I came to a conclusion that I wanted to start a brand. Specifically, a brand that caters to the health and happiness of moms with the ideas from moms. I gathered collective wisdom from my community on Instagram and discussed with expert moms around me, and that was the beginning of Momme.
Q. In particular, red ginseng jelly is a K-snack that is receiving much attention worldwide. How proud are you of your product?
Red ginseng is becoming very popular worldwide due the popularity of K-dramas, movies, and music. You may have seen the main character having a red ginseng stick in various situations. It might have seemed tasty since, well, they are doing their job. Shockingly, however, red ginseng is really bitter and most products on the market are difficult to eat if you're a ginseng novice and the red and gold colored design that you commonly see isn’t exactly Instagram-friendly.
Supplements are ‘food’ so it is hard to take regularly if it doesn’t taste good. Taste is especially important when persuading kids and husbands to eat something good for their health. So we developed a tasty red ginseng product for the whole family. Momme was born on Instagram, and we believe better design is always better. We aimed to deviate from the design of traditional ginseng products with a trendier vibe. The result from our effort: a bitter-sweet jiggly red ginseng jelly with apple/pear flavor in a convenient and cute mint colored package.
Q. Where do you usually get inspiration from when developing new products?
All initial ideas come from team Momme, who are 3040 moms interested in health and happiness. However, magic always happens through communication with "MeMe", our community of moms on Instagram (around 30k followers over two accounts)! We run polls and ask for opinions when we have new ideas. Most of our product names, designs, and flavors are based on feedback from the MeMe community.
Q. I understand that the Momme team is made up of mothers and run by digital nomads. As a leader, you will have important concerns about various activities and leading the company with value. Are there any keywords that you consider important as a leader and why?
Health, happiness and motivation!
I strongly believe healthy and happy employees creates a healthy and happy work environment, which leads to healthy and happy consumers. If the people who are executing the value of the brand are not healthy or happy, everything that comes from it is doomed. So I invest a lot of my time and energy understanding what makes my employees healthy and happy. People fully bloom when they believe in what they do. Motivation comes from persuading one self on ‘why'. Whenever I come across a new idea or plan for a new product, I share why we do what we do and lay out various angles so my employees can come up with their own reasons to fuel their motivation. Momme is not about me, it is about the collection of values that our team represents.
Q. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to become a female business leader?
Check out Red Ginseng Jelly Sticks here
Don’t follow the rule book. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t listen to the naysayers!
We live in a world where anything and everything is possible. Niche culture drives consumer trends. Social media is the core communication channel for most businesses. Being an avid consumer is the best quality an entrepreneur can have. Our ideas driven from everyday life, interactive communication skills mastered by relationships with friends and families, and curiosity and desire toward consumer goods are all valuable assets for a powerful business. Afterall, we create human beings and encounter endless impossible missions everyday. If we can do that, we can do anything! So, don’t feel intimidated! It is finally our time!
Q. Lastly, what brand would you like to be remembered for?
We want to be remembered as every moms’ best friend, who laughs and cries together through motherhood and beyond. Momme is not just a collection of products or services but a collaborative value that empowers moms to be their true self.
Thank you for sharing your insights with us.
Shop MomMe and I'mMe on Eunogo Shop here.