Kang first started making her own cosmetics when she realized organic cosmetics were overpriced and had little effect on her sensitive skin. Kang attended handcraft cosmetic classes and began making her own soaps and lip balms at home in 2009. She has made approximately 20 kinds of natural cosmetics so far.
As Kang’s knowledge of her major increased, she applied various ingredients and scents with no chemical preservatives into her cosmetics. Adding paprika, cactus and rose geranium into soaps and mixing at least three natural fragrances to make solid perfumes, Kang continued developing new combinations of ingredients for her products. Kang first became known to Ewha students when she sold her products at the O-dong-dong flea market in April 2011.
“I first thought ‘who would ever buy this stuff?’ but later on, all the products I brought were sold out in no time,” Kang said.
Kang has continued holding several offline sales and also started mail deliveries from June, even sending to oversea countries such as China. Her solid perfumes have made her a star at Ewha.
“I never imagined that students would buy my products this much. I am so thankful and think I should do my best to meet every student’s various demands as possible,” Kang said.
The number of students eager to get her products increased as well.
“I can fully trust the quality of her cosmetics since she does a lot of research and they have a great effect on my skin,” Lee Mi-so (Library and Information Science, 4) said. “I became her regular customer as she even gives samples of her other cosmetics whenever I purchase her soaps.”
Recently, Kang has added more selections to her product list that includes body cleansers, scented candles, grain face packs, hand creams and tea tree sticks.
Despite her success, the process of planning, creating and managing the sales has not always been so easy. Making label stickers, designing and packaging the bottles among other tasks were big burdens for Kang.
“Unexpected extremely busy days continued, having a negative impact on my grades and life,” she said. “Sometimes I even thought ‘why am I doing this?’ But messages of cheer and appreciation from Ewha students encouraged me to set to work again.”
Experiencing self service stands also encouraged Kang.
“I once left the stand to grab a quick snack leaving a short absence memo. When I came back, I was deeply touched to see students’ notes about their purchases and the moneys they had left inside my diary.”
In response to students’ demands and lack of a proper place to hold sales in campus, solid perfumes, lip balms and soaps are available anytime at cafe Gama Bean, near Ewha Womans University. Kang is planning to update new products daily, and will donate 3 percent of her sales to Compassion Korea with the owner of the cafe. Offline sales are planned to be held once a week beginning in mid March.
Currently, Kang’s goal is to prepare for graduate school and hopes to open her own workshop where she can teach, enjoy and learn more about cosmetics. Kang also considers studying in England to learn advanced aroma therapy.
“I wish more Ewha students would share their talents with others. I believe they are talented, and wish they know that sharing one’s gift is not a difficult thing.”