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Meet Isaac Kim of Pilot Men’s Grooming & Skin Care in Mid-Wilshire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Isaac Kim.

Isaac, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After growing up in the San Fernando Valley, graduating from Columbia University, and then working as an euqities trader in NY, I decided it was not for me. I found myself back in LA (/Calabasas) jumping around departments and learning a ton at Harbor Freight Tools HQ office. From there, I was given a great opportunity to move back to NY to work for L’Oreal, where I managed operations for luxury brands they own including Kiehl’s, Armani Beauty and Fragrances, and Polo Ralph Lauren Fragrances. While at L’Oreal, I saw a great opportunity in the men’s grooming and skincare space and a chance to do what I always wanted to do, start my own business. I moved back home to LA, gathered all my savings, convinced family to let me borrow some money, and went to work. Pilot Men’s Grooming & Skin Care launched just over two years ago in July 2017.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road, but I am grateful for the journey and where we are. Entrepreneurship is about problem-solving and persevering. You have to find ways to compete and a lot of times that means finding ways to make your dollars stretch as much as possible. Especially as a young company starting out, competing with huge companies that have huge budgets and giant teams of people is very hard. Thankfully we have managed to grow organically without pouring money into marketing because we prioritized making great products with high quality natural and organic ingredients here in the USA. Because people genuinely love our products once they try it, we have received unsponsored (not paid for) features in editorials like GQ, MensHealth, BuzzFeed, AskMen, and more. So many different hurdles along the way, even now.

Pilot Men’s Grooming & Skin Care – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Pilot Men’s Grooming & Skin Care aims to help people groom to be great by offering essential products made in the USA with the best natural and organic ingredients. Pilot also makes it a mission to do what we can to help people experiencing homelessness in LA by donating our Castile Soap and partnering with local barbers and churches to provide free haircuts and showers in our Shower Trailer for people who are homeless.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success from a business perspective in two ways – being profitable and feeling good about what you are doing to get that money. I feel good about providing great products that people love, and I am glad to be able to do what I can to help people who are experiencing homelessness at the same time. Personally, I would say I am successful if at the end of the day, I glorified God and was able to generously provide for and love my family & others. and did my best to make the world a better place.

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