409: Dying to Ego and Embracing Failure with Toni Ko of Bespoke Beauty Brands


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Toni Ko's first beauty brand, NYX Cosmetics, made $4 million in year 1, and eventually exited to L'Oréal for $500 million. Craving a new purpose, she started a sunglasses business. It failed after 3.5 years—and Ko says it's one of the best things that ever happened to her. Ko's lessons from that "failure" empowered her to launch her third and current venture: Bespoke Beauty Brands, which partners with influencer entrepreneurs on everything from concept creation to product development, marketing, and fulfillment distribution.

Listen to Nathan and Ko discuss:

  • Being a third-generation entrepreneur of Korean immigrants
  • The early days of NYX Cosmetics, when she had 6 job titles
  • Raking in $4 million in retail value in NYX's first year
  • Why she's not good at sales
  • Selling NYX in 2014 for $500 million to L'Oréal
  • Experiencing depression after exiting her business
  • Starting a sunglasses business and failing
  • Launching Bespoke Beauty Brand
  • Working with celebrity influencers like Kim Chi and Jason Wu
  • And much more influencer entrepreneur advice…

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