At some point in our lives, we would all have wanted to throw away our jobs, start a company, and be our own boss. But, for many, it is only a momentary thought and the thought fleets away with time. Being a CEO is not based on momentary thoughts but determination and persistence. Only the persistent few who ride the initial storm make it big in their lives. Meet Kimberley Ho, the CEO of organic skincare startup Evereden, who turned down $2 million funding to drive the company to success on her own pace and terms.
The Early Days of Kimberley Ho
Born and brought up in Malaysia, Kimberley Ho moved to the U.S. when she was 18 to pursue her Economics degree from Stanford University. Kimberley recalls how her friends were very skeptical of her having a career in finance since she was very sweet. Eventually, she landed a job in Goldman Sachs and then became an investor at Oaktree Capital.
The Emergence of the Startup
Kimberley revealed that whenever she used to go to Asia, all her married female friends would ask her to get bay skincare products from the U.S., as they believed that the U.S. skincare products were 100 percent organic. Being an avid investor in CGP companies, she was very familiar with the brands, their products, and the manufacturing process. It didn’t take long for Kimberley to understand that the baby skincare products are not as toxin-free as they are thought to be.
This was the “Eureka” moment for Kimberley. She did some fieldwork talking to a lot of companies to understand how different they are from one another. She understood that all the companies were using the same ingredients, same manufactures, and little or no deviation from the formula. Kimberley decided to start a 100 percent organic skincare line of products for babies, and thus Evereden was born.
Evereden - “Every Person’s Eden”
There is always an interesting story behind the name of the startup. Kimberley recalls her road trip with her husband and co-founder, Huang. They were determined to make the best skincare products and wanted the company to be “every person’s Eden.” The startup claims that all its products are 100 percent organic, created from natural and safe products with the help of pediatric dermatologists. The company’s portfolio includes six core products for babies, such as body washes, shampoos, sunscreens, and diaper creams.
Achieving Success at her Own Terms and Pace
The investor turned CEO said that the primary goal of the startup was to stay in the market for a hundred years. Surprisingly, she had turned $2 million funding from venture capitalists. “There is no such thing as free lunch. With VC funding, strings always come attached”, stated Kimberley on turning down the investment. She even went to the distance of being the lowest-paid employee in her own company. In her own words, “I pay my interns more than I pay myself.”
A Story of Grit, Determination, and Perseverance
The success story of Kimberley Ho is a story of grit, determination, and, most importantly, perseverance. She has been featured in Forbes, along with her startup. Set-up in the U.S., Evereden also offers its services in parts of Asia. Kimberley revealed her plans to expand the services on a global level. This might be still early to say, but the startup has already shown enough promise to believe that it is here to stay.
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