Today we’d like to introduce you to Youn Chang.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have always been passionate about consumer products that offer an elevated customer experience. I worked at Apple and Glossier before founding OJOOK. When I had my daughter in 2018, it triggered me to really think deep about the meaning of my career in conjunction with raising my daughter who is half Korean. I really wanted to make sure what I do will pass down my Korean heritage to her and make her proud. So, I started working on bringing earth-friendly oral care with Korea’s treasured bamboo salt ‘Jukyeom,’ hoping to inspire the US market with Eastern wellness philosophy.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When I was knee-deep in developing and ordering products from vendors, the Covid19 pandemic happened. We launched in August 2020 at the height of it. Our journey has been challenging for a lot of reasons, but on the bright side, I am grateful that it gave us the opportunity to reflect on many fronts. Physical and mental health, gratitude, and the importance of preserving our environment are the core missions of OJOOK.
We were also very lucky in the beginning. Many media and retailers noticed us for our sustainability mission and Eastern wellness philosophy. By January of 2021, we were in Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters and since then, many boutique stores and zero waste retailers across the US. LA has been an especially great market for us as there is a culture of wellness and connection with nature that I love here. We are hopeful 2023 will open more opportunities as we recently updated our packaging and continue getting great feedback from our customers and retailers.
We’ve been impressed with OJOOK, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
OJOOK is an efficiently run small business. We work with world-class manufacturing partners, talented freelancers, and agencies who help us grow. Our tagline, “Routine to Ritual,” helps to differentiate us as we aim to provide holistic oral care guided by research-backed science and Eastern wellness philosophy.
1. Unique and innovative ingredients:
Nano-hydroxyapatite for enamel health: nHA is a bio-compatible natural mineral that makes up 90% of tooth enamel. It is the only scientifically proven fluoride alternative on the market. It’s a multi-functional and updated ingredient to fluoride. It is great for sensitive teeth cavity protection, fluorosis, thyroid health, whitening, and dry mouth. Korean 9x baked bamboo salt, Jukyeom, for gum and oral microbiome health: this Eastern medicinal salt is baked in bamboo 9 times (Jukyeom) and takes up to 1300 days to make. It’s great for gum disease, canker sores, and bad breath. Korean bamboo salt is rich in micronutrients and has a strong alkaline (pH 9). It restores the ideal mouth chemistry for healthy gums and fresh breath while creating a harsh environment for cavity-related germs that seek an acidic environment.
2. Clean and minimal formulation:
Our formula is made simple by eliminating everything that does not serve a purpose. On average, we use 30% to 50% fewer ingredients in our formulation. Our products are also free of SLS, Carrageenan, PEGs and related Petroleum-based thickeners, Preservatives, Triclosan, Phthalates, Colorings (both natural and synthetic dyes), Sweeteners, Hydrogen Peroxide, Flavors, and fragrance (both natural and synthetic).
3. Eastern wellness philosophy
We aim to provide a cohesive oral care system that’s intentional and purposeful (ritualistic), different from the mechanical and mindless daily task (routine). We encourage our customers to cherish the morning and evening time that involves their personal care and to set an intention for each day through various tools. Through the law of attraction, the energy that you vibrate out will come back to you, so starting your day with a genuine intention opens you up to opportunities that support your intention.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you.
I always feel really lucky. I have a healthy family and a talented group of business partners to help me grow the business. However, I think one should be ready to catch the luck when the time and opportunity presents itself. I try to make sure I am ready for all types of situations. And when there are mistakes or setbacks, I try to learn from the experience and reflect on course correcting the future business direction.
- Website: https://ojookcare.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ojook_official/?hl=en
- Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@ojook_official