KEEPING IT REAL
"Failure isn’t an option. You mustn’t think that you have something to fall back on. You look ahead, because there is no other way to go.”
Kew Organics was conceived in 2014, becoming the first full-fledged organic facial boutique in Singapore and around the region to focus on bespoke organic facials that combine organic skincare products with non-invasive aesthetic beauty equipment so that its clients can achieve young-looking skin naturally without having to go under the knife.
Kew Organics launched its second outlet in 2016 and also developed water-based, organic and treatment-based formulations, and launched its own skincare products in the same year. Its comprehensive range of 28 efficacy-driven products are handmade in small batches to ensure freshness and quality, using Fairtrade-certified organic ingredients that are 100% vegan, natural and plant derived. The products, free from artificial fragrances, petroleum by-products and parabens, are readily absorbed by the skin and are suitable for the all climates. In addition, to preserve the freshness of the organic active ingredients, the products are luxuriously packaged in Miron Violet Glass which activates and energises the molecules of the contents in the glass 24/7.
In 2017, Kew Organics set up its distribution and service centre in Hong Kong, and launched Singapore’s first-ever peel bar concept, Sugar K Organic Peel Bar, featuring a blend of glycolic acids derived from sugar cane and organic botanicals and fruit extracts that provides a gentle yet potent exfoliating action on the skin. With no risk of chemical burns or irritation or downtime, clear, healthy, makeup-free skin can be achieved in 20 minutes.
In 2018, Sugar K also launched its first franchise concept organic peel bar cum retail store in Singapore.
It is hard to believe one’s ears when Lily Kew reveals her age. At 47, the mother of one is in great shape; her skin is flawless and she wears no makeup.
The impeccable condition of her skin is all the more astonishing when she shows you photos of how she looked before she entered the beauty industry. But Lily’s transformation today is more than just skin deep. Entrepreneurial struggles with her then business partner as well as a failed marriage were just some of the things that she endured before she emerged anew and became the founder and director of her own facial bars and line of products, Kew Organics. Hers is a story not merely of success, but also perseverance and fortitude in the face of heart-rending adversity.
My interest in the beauty line began because of my acne problems in my earlier years; after years of uncountable visits to salons and dermatologists, and trying out uncountable skincare products, only to be still plagued with acne and scars, and having to laden my skin with thick makeup to cover up the flaws, I put my foot down at 29 years old and went to learn how to cure my skin. I attended beauty school, my skin got transformed, and I felt this invisible stress and load lifted off me.
My self-confidence and self-worth escalated tremendously. I felt so joyful and confident, it gave me a reason to want to help others. I started my first business, Glow, with my sister by renting a 500-square-feet premise in 2004 and offered facials and gave discounts or free facials to people who could not afford them. But we saw differences in our vision for the company. In the end, I decided to let go of my shares in 2012 and subsequently founded Kew Organics 2 years later.
We focus solely on organic treatments. At first, we used imported organic skincare products, but it was frustrating because we weren’t seeing the results in our customers as fast as we wanted because the products were too mild and rich for our climate. So I started researching and developed water-based, organic and treatment-based formulations, and launched our own products in 2016. We promise our customers that their skin will become so clear and healthy they can ditch their makeup for good. To stay true to our promise, all our employees, including myself, are makeup-free. It’s not a promise everyone can make.
Failure isn’t an option. If you are serious about making a business succeed, you must not think that you always have something else to fall back on. You only look straight ahead because there is no other option. Also, business is about the team and their family whose livelihoods depend on you. With these forces pushing you, you will definitely succeed.
Customers volunteer to provide us testimonials and to write reviews for us — knowing they can choose not to put on makeup for good after embarking on their clean beauty journey with us. In addition, knowing that you can impact people’s lives and break their bondage feels amazing. One living example is my franchisee — not only did we help her to cure her skin problems, as a business owner now, she has more time to be with her family compared to the time when she was in the corporate world.