SINGAPORE – Mother understands finest – and so splendor entrepreneur Ashley Yong roped hers in to start off her elegance manufacturer.

The 29-year-previous founder of vegan skincare label Two Halves says growing up with a mother in the splendor marketplace nurtured her possess really like of skincare and cosmetics.

Mrs Jo Yong, 60, was formerly a brand name supervisor for Estee Lauder and Tom Ford Magnificence at Estee Lauder Providers and had labored in the magnificence industry for a lot more than 25 yrs.

“As a younger female, it was really fascinating to go into her home and discover so a lot of items – it was like a department keep,” states Ms Yong, who did holiday getaway internships with Estee Lauder Corporations when she was an undergraduate.

Considering the fact that her times in college, she had acknowledged she wanted to begin her very own beauty manufacturer. But her moms and dads were uncertain about entrepreneurship and encouraged her to get a full-time occupation to start with. A organization management graduate from The College of Manchester, she took up a occupation as a romance supervisor at a community bank, but left right after a 12 months to go after her desire.

At the conclude of 2017, she booked a flight to Hong Kong to go to a cosmetics trade show. She spoke to formulators, cosmeceutical laboratories and suppliers to develop her skincare manufacturer from scratch, eschewing obtaining completely ready-made factory formulation.

It kicked off a two-year-prolonged process of product or service enhancement.

Ms Yong, whose husband performs in his family’s packaging company, states his sensitive pores and skin was her key inspiration. Though he was unbothered about his skin, he frequently acquired remarks from others about it increasing up. “He said he will not want excellent or easy pores and skin. He just wants it to be tranquil,” says Ms Yong.

“I realised there is a market place for people who are not hunting for great pores and skin. With how elegance has progressed globally, men and women want higher potencies of an component and speedy success. I needed a skincare model that can take factors slower and encourages men and women to practise a harmony between great skincare and very good self-treatment.”

In October 2019, she released Two Halves with a solitary products – the Greater Harmony Comforting Hydration Essence ($85) – on the web and in property-grown magnificence retailer Novela.

Its somewhat gender-neutral packaging was intentional to tap the men’s market place, though Ms Yong jokes that “the way to get gentlemen to use your goods is to influence their companions”.

She named it Two Halves to symbolize her and her mother, who is a co-founder.

But it took some convincing, states Ms Yong. “Originally, my mum was quite resistant. She played devil’s advocate and gave me 101 causes why this would not do the job. Coming from a major manufacturer, it was hard for her to get me seriously.”

Only following Ms Yong presented a stable sport system detailing her area of interest – vegan skincare produced for delicate and sensitised pores and skin – did Mrs Yong concede. She matched her daughter’s financial commitment and lent her field know-how in the brand’s founding.

Vegan skincare label Two Halves. Picture: TWO HALVES


Mrs Yong, who still left Estee Lauder Companies in 2015 and is now human resource director for Henatenn Holdings, remains a silent investor. She continues to advise Ms Yong, who runs the exhibit.

Their weekly enterprise conferences can get heated, but Ms Yong’s new nine-month-aged son can help to preserve the peace.

Regardless of pandemic-similar disruptions in its production line, the model is on monitor with its prepare to release just one solution a year. It introduced its second, a moisturiser “packed with a ton of skin-nourishing components”, in February this 12 months. A evening product is planned for next year.

In June, Two Halves released on iShopChangi, a milestone Ms Yong experienced chased for a few several years.

“Before the full start of the brand, I told my mum I was going to get our product on iShopChangi and she informed me ‘good luck’,” she remembers with a chuckle.

“The following milestone would be to gain again what ever capital we’ve put in and reinvest it into our following products.”