Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skin care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jack Jia, Founder of Musely, located in Santa Clara, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Musely is a disruptor in skincare. It is a prescription skin, hair, and body care company focusing on accessible, effective telemedicine. We connect patients with board-certified dermatologists and pharmacies, giving women (and men) access to 10x more efficacious skincare medications for the first time ever at one-tenth of the cost. Our goal is to educate consumers on the benefits and accessibility of prescription skincare products so that they don't waste their money on over-the-counter products that are just scented water. The $300B skincare industry is more concerned with spending money on supermodel spokespeople over research and development that would create better results for their customers. Musely stands out by debunking the misinformation put forth by the skincare industry and instead offers scientifically proven medications that slow down and even reverse the biological clock on aging and other skin conditions. Our patients are women aged 30-60 who have struggled with skin conditions for many years and have failed to find a solution. They are skeptical and exhausted after trying dozens of over-the-counter products, expensive laser treatments, and prescription alternatives. They are now blown away by the results they see with Musely. Now, Musely's mission has become even bigger: to democratize the knowledge and access to skincare that works for everyone instead of the few elites.
Tell us about yourself
We initially started Musely as a community forum where you could create and share tips, which led me to uncover a tip that set the business off in a new direction. In late 2018, my wife Cherry and I came across a tip about prescription skin care treatments from our friend and renowned dermatologist, Dr. Marie Jhin. Cherry and I visited her practice in the Bay Area. After receiving our prescriptions, our skin went through an unbelievable transformation. Cherry, who had spent tens of thousands of dollars over the years on multiple laser treatments & OTC products, found that her dark spots and melasma were gone in less than two months! Our wrinkles, sun spots, and drooping eyelids significantly decreased. The treatment from Dr. Jhin included a prescription for tretinoin, hydroquinone, and other ingredients that can only be obtained through visits to the doctor and pharmacy. We wanted to make Dr. Jhin and her treatments accessible to everyone while making it ten times cheaper and faster than physically visiting a doctor and pharmacy. And that's how Musely FaceRx was born!
Since 2019, we've allowed hundreds of thousands of patients to access effective prescription skin treatments, turning long-time skeptics into believers. This social cause and real-life impact on our patients make Musely not just a business but a social movement. Seeing our patients experience life-changing results brings me to tears at night and wakes me up in the morning. We are on a mission to empower all our board-certified dermatologists to see 100 times more patients than they ever could from their physical practice - anywhere and anytime.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
What makes me feel most accomplished is seeing the transformations and hearing the stories from our 350K+ patients as they have regained their confidence and restored their love of life. These heartfelt stories and profound emotions have created momentum that fuels the entire Musely team. This shared passion and sense of a bigger purpose allow us to be more than merely a beauty brand. Another aspect of being a business owner I love is witnessing the younger generation of Musely's employees who have grown from entry-level jobs to senior executives. Watching them lead teams and run the business is an incredible part of business ownership that makes me proud daily.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In the early days of a start-up, one of the hardest things is overcoming the mental and physical challenge of doing something completely independently. Since we as humans are pack animals, venturing out on our own requires us to go completely against our natural instincts. In other words, entrepreneurship is fundamentally inhumane! It's difficult, but you must try and be prepared for the giant emotional ups & downs that come along with paving your way. In the later stages of start-up business ownership, it's about keeping the innovative culture alive. We only hire "A" players and stay lean and mean for capital efficiency. Most importantly, you must be willing to iterate fast, fail faster and succeed in the end. Remember that the journey of a successful start-up is not linear but rather a zig-zag road filled with unexpected twists and turns.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Team is everything. You and your co-founders must be "A" players with passion, talent, and some (just some) experience in the area of your business.
- Find an ocean to play in, not a pond. Great teams will always find transformational business opportunities in a large market, but it's hard to do so in a pond.
- Recognize that feeling lost and in despair is part of the entrepreneurial journey. These feelings can hurt and stop you, but you can't break through without them.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you are someone with talent and a passion for changing the world, you should consider starting a business - it may just be the best thing you'll do in your entire life. I have never heard of an entrepreneur regretting what they have done. Enjoy the journey, and you'll be grateful for what you learn along the way.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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