Co-Founder of Fur, Lillian Tung, joins us today on the #HerHustle blog to share her business journey. In 2016, Lillian and her Co-Founder , Laura Schubert, launched Fur – a line of dermatologically and gynaecologically tested body care products. Together, they have spearheaded the movement to make beauty more inclusive while creating a space where people could discuss body hair and how to care for it. Let’s hear from Lillian herself!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and what inspired you to start Fur?
I’ve been a beauty marketer for many years. Back in 2014 my cofounder, Laura, (who also happens to be my best friend) and I were discussing exciting trends in beauty towards natural products and defining your own beauty, and away from prescribed standards. As we talked, we realized available body hair products were not in line with this movement—the ingredients were harsh, the packaging was unsophisticated, and they focused only on removal—hair as a problem. Fur is about a more inclusive definition of beauty, whether you think the bush is back or skin is in. We spent the next two years developing and testing and officially launched in 2016. Today, we’re still one of the few totally women-run and women-owned businesses in this space.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day has definitely changed since pandemic work-from-home life began, but it’s always included a good balance of family time and work time. My mornings start early at 7 am with my kids and husband, and then by 9 am it’s work calls/meetings. We try to keep meetings to a minimum, but I do love the collaborative feeling when we all get together (via Slack or Zoom) to brainstorm ideas and update each other. I talk to my business partner Laura at least once a day, if not more. I’ll work out in the middle of the day a few times per week then I wrap up my work day around 5 pm. As a business owner, I find I’m always on and so I will finish off last minute tasks in the evening before bed if I have to.
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
When we first started Fur, many industry veterans advised us to remove the word pubic from the packaging. When big retailers, editors, and industry experts tell you this it’s hard not to consider it, but I’m so glad we stood up for ourselves as there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
My mornings are a bit too hectic with two young kids to say they are balanced, but I do always find time at night to read at least a few pages of a book while in bed. I find these few moments taken to myself give me enough time to disconnect.
What is your biggest challenge as a business owner? What is your favourite part of being a business owner?
The biggest challenge is not having a template for marking the decisions or creating a process for the company. So often we are building processes and making decisions purely based on our own knowledge and not any previous experience, which can be scary. That being said, it's one of my favourite parts as well –which is creating a new category, and fostering the conversation to destigmatize the outdated taboo around body hair.
What tips or advice do you have for other women who would like to start their own businesses?
One of the things I’ve learned while starting my own business is you don’t have to be confident enough that you know what you’re doing before you start. You just have to be confident enough to know that you have the ability to figure it out.
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