Cover Photo: Aaron Lee/Lensworks

The beauty entrepreneur shares some insights into the clean beauty brand

The free-spirited and bubbly Bella Kuan's foray into the beauty industry started after meeting with Lynsey Lim, the founder of Handmade Heroes, a homegrown brand that champions organic skincare. They formed a friendship which led to Kuan getting involved with Handmade Heroes.

Recently, it made news here when Lily Collins, star of Emily in Paris, made a shout-out to the brand's Cocolicious Luscious Lip Scrub in a video she made for Vogue about her skincare routine.

We chat with Kuan about the brand's success.

Related: Cover Story: Bella Kuan And Teo Yi Ping On How Travel Has Strengthened Their Friendship

What did you do before getting involved with Handmade Heroes?

I was a full-time social media content creator where I did a lot more production and commercial work for other brands. With Handmade Heroes, I get more control when it comes to brand creativity and direction as well as marketing.

How did you get involved with Handmade Heroes?

I met Lynsey when she just started brand—it was just the right place and the right time. The story behind the skincare brand inspires me to take the brand move forward and finding ways for it to evolve.

What empowered you to make Handmade Heroes what it is today?

Having a vision of how far the brand can be expanded, our love for it and believing in our products. It's also teamwork and the constant support from our customers. It's definitely challenging but also very rewarding. 

Have you always loved working in the beauty industry?

When I was a social media content creator, I worked very closely with various skincare brands and that cultivated my love for skincare. The amazing thing about skincare and technology is that it's always evolving and there's still a lot to learn.  It's a constant learning journey for me.

Tell us more about Handmade Heroes.

Handmade Heroes is an all-natural skincare company that curates skin and body care products made with botanical oils and extracts. It was established about seven years ago by Lynsey who started making her own clean skincare at home with basic ingredients. She then gave them to her friends and family.  I used it and thought it was great, and so we decided work together and share it with the world. 

What's the story behind its name?

It's called Handmade Heroes because it was originally handmade by Lynsey in her kitchen. As the brand got bigger, the products aren't made in her kitchen anymore but the philosophy of producing clean skincare still holds.

What makes Handmade Heroes different?

We're always conscious about the ingredients that go into our products so we're absolutely transparent when we say all our products are natural and vegan. We do all the research and production. We source the ingredients ourselves so we know exactly what goes into our products. We make sure that they are also free of preservative and paraben.

Was it difficult when you first started?

Getting the name Homemade Heroes out there took a while but I wouldn't say it was incredibly challenging. All brands are special in their own way and the products always speak for themselves. At the end of the day, it's all about educating ourselves as well as our customers about our products, how they work and how they can benefit them.

How has the pandemic changed the outlook of Handmade Heroes?

The pandemic helped us in the sense that it made everyone more aware of the brand through social media. And since everyone is doing a lot of online shopping, it has definitely expanded our customer base and brand growth.

Read also: 6 Sustainable Malaysian Beauty Brands To Support

What’s your favourite Handmade Heroes product?

I have a few and they are The Ultimate Bakuchiol Booster Oil, Butt Kickin' Deep Detoxing Coffee Scrub and the Cocolicious Luscious Lip Scrub. I use them religiously every day, either morning or night.

For someone new to Handmade Heroes, what would you recommend they start with?

I'd recommend the lip scrubs because people don't really take care of their lips as much as they take care of their face and body. 

How does it feel knowing your products have reached global prominence especially with the likes of Lily Collins?

It was such an honour to know that we've made it internationally but it's also a push for us to work harder. The recognition proves that we can be as good as the more famous brands out there. 

What’s your advice for future entrepreneurs?

For me, the process is very important. I believe that if you believe in the brand, and if you put in a good amount of hard work and patience, you'll see the results. Be patient and don't be afraid to ask for help or ask questions. It's also important to have a team that shares the same goals and vision. You can't possibly do everything on your own so having a solid team is important.

What can we see in the future for Handmade Heroes?

We're constantly trying to improve ourselves. We're definitely going to be expanding our face care range as well as newly formulated products with better ingredients.

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