Caroline Chu is the CEO and founder of Caroline Chu Skincare and Cosmetics.
Her company “strives to inspire tranquility in the lives of women through the pleasures of nurturing skincare and cosmetics.” Her product line includes skincare, body care, and hair care products, all at an affordable price.
Though originally from Taiwan, Caroline has been in the Bay Area for a considerable amount of time. She graduated from San Francisco State University in 1990 with a Master’s in Industrial Arts and Graphics Communication.
HER FIRST CAREER
In 2000, Caroline had a significant impact at NVIDIA as a Creative Director, building up the creative team from 800 to 10,000 employees. However, in 2006, after her daughter, ready to start the next phase of her life, left for college, Caroline decided it was time for a change in her life too.
“My daughter packed everything and rented a U-Haul and left for LA. At the same time, I put all of my belongings into storage and decided to quit my job.“
After Caroline resigned from her position in 2006, she states the whole experience felt “liberating.” Once she resigned, she no longer had to answer hundreds of emails a day or commute for 2-3 hours in Bay Area traffic.
She claims she hit the “glass ceiling at Silicon Valley.”
After her resignation, Caroline traveled to numerous countries, but she did not have an end goal in mind. Caroline considered going back to her corporate job but also thought about trying something completely new. Even though it was nerve-racking to start all over, Caroline took the risk, and it paid off. She traveled for around two years before coming back fully rejuvenated and ready to create.
Caroline acknowledges that creators do not like to stay put; they always need to move on to the next project, which she did. Caroline has always had a love for beauty and wanted her next creative piece to be one she could share with everybody, and this sparked the idea for her skincare line.
HER SECOND CAREER
With all that said, Caroline launched her line of skincare products in 2007, which proved to be very successful over the years. Her products were featured on many talk shows and magazines such as Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, Fox News, The Wendy Williams Show, Lucky Magazine, and 7×7 SF Magazine.
In true entrepreneur fashion, Caroline has sponsored many nonprofit organizations like AIDS Walk SF and Simply Health Foundation. Caroline has also given speeches at the University of North Texas, a Christian university in Taiwan, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and San Francisco State University.
BEAUTY IS CHANGING
With Caroline having 14 years of professional experience in the beauty industry, we asked her about how the beauty industry has changed in the past decade. Her answer revolved around sustainability, environmental awareness, and ingredients used in products.
In terms of packaging, many companies, including Caroline’s, are reducing the number of materials used in product packaging. Some companies are getting rid of the extra boxes and the plastic wraps that are used to make products more appealing on the shelves. However, some companies only choose to incorporate compostable and recyclable materials in the packaging.
When it comes to ingredients used in beauty products, consumers are becoming increasingly aware. As a result, companies are replacing their harsher manufactured chemicals with natural ingredients. With beauty companies making this change, consumers are more comfortable buying certain products. This comfort stems from seeing the first listed ingredient being a simple fragrance or essential oil instead of a long, complicated chemical.
The CEO and Founder is far from being done. Caroline has contacted multiple retailers and is getting her products in more chain stores. Some retailers are showing a particular interest in her new collection tailored towards people who live a more active lifestyle.
In the beauty industry, many consumers overlook what precisely goes into making a product. Caroline informs us that it can take well over a year to bring a product to the market.
Her advice to those who are planning on a career change is to know that “it is okay.” She explains it is better to start over in a career you are happy in rather than being stuck and disengaged in your current job. Her advice for students is to find a mentor and learn the power of networking and embrace it.
Birdseye thanks Caroline for her time; we appreciate everything you had to say, and we are all inspired by your journey. Thank you for your insight, and thank you for allowing us to share your story with our readers.