In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re proud to shine a spotlight on the female entrepreneurs who have come through (or are currently participating in) reSET’s Impact Accelerator program. Kicking our series off is Eliana Cardeno, Founder & CEO of Kiyomi Beauty Box.
Meet Eliana Cardeno of Kiyomi Beauty Box
Eliana Cardeno is the Founder & CEO of Kiyomi Beauty Box, a bi-monthly subscription delivering the best of Korean beauty care right to your doorstep. Eliana is part of the 2019 Impact Accelerator cohort.
reSET: What is Kiyomi Beauty Box?
Eliana: Skincare can be confusing – there are so many options, it’s difficult to find the right solution for your face and body. In that way, Kiyomi Beauty Box is a lifesaver; we navigate the Korean beauty industry for you and include high-quality products for all of skin types and lifestyles. The bi-monthly subscription box delivers 5-6 full-size k-beauty products right to your doorstep, so you can try out different products and treat your skin the way it’s meant to be treated!
reSET: What are some challenges you’ve faced and overcome as a female business owner?
Eliana: There’s a challenge in getting people to invest in a product they don’t know anything about. It was important for me to think of the differentiators behind my company and brand. That’s one of the biggest things I want to add to my website and company mission: information about how to use the products and what the products entail to empower individuals and help them feel more confident.
Another challenge was the idea of wanting to be perfect, which I think is something many women face due to societal pressures. I was so afraid of how the website would look, if I was using social media effectively, or if I was doing the blogs or the newsletter correctly. It would take me forever to finally get something accomplished and that in turn affected my initial launch date.
I finally realized, people are just happy to see something different and new. All you need is a platform where people can see what you have, buy the product, test it out, and then from there you can develop accordingly and grow. Instead I was bogging myself down with minutia: Is it perfect? Are people going to like it? Is there a market for it?
I still have moments of doubt but I’ve received a lot of encouraging feedback about the website, my social media posts, and how much I interact with my audience. Looking back, I wish I told myself: Just do it, it will be fine!
reSET: Who are some of your female role models?
Eliana: I am a huge fan of Karlie Kloss; a young entrepreneur that got her start as a model in the fashion industry. At just 26, she has become a full-time entrepreneur, who has a number of business ventures including a youtube vlog, cookie company and ‘Kode with Klossy,’ a STEAM learning camp geared towards young girls in order to inspire them to pursue careers in science or technology.
Cheryl Strayed is also one of my role models; she embodies so many virtues that I admire, she is a great writer and fights tirelessly for female rights.
I wish there were more Latinx female role models that I can look up to, but I think the tide is turning and there are now more and more women of color that are pushing the boundaries, fighting for female rights and pursuing careers that do not fit our stereotypes, including, Sonia Sotomayor, Jessica Alba, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,and America Ferrera, to name a few.
reSET: What’s one piece of advice you have for fellow female entrepreneurs?
Eliana: Don’t ever limit yourself. Your mind is capable of achieving anything that you believe it can. Also, never stop networking, I believe it is the best way to continue to connect and learn from new people and broaden your beliefs.
reSET: What are you looking to get out of the Impact Accelerator program?
Eliana: This program will be an opportunity to not just help me grow my business but to also help me grow as an entrepreneur. I am hoping to deepen my understanding of the entrepreneurial world, and how I can position my business as a developing yet capable entity amongst a wide-range of competitors. I would also like to learn how I can position my company to make a social impact both through our mission and our products.
Through the program, I hope to receive mentorship and support as I continue to build my product and business; have networking opportunities with other start-ups in the area, as well as with business advisers and community partners; set goals and deadlines for the growth of my company; learn to pivot as challenges arise and as I continue to develop my product to fit my niche and clientele; and lastly, continue to build my confidence and strengths as I navigate this new yet very exciting venture.
reSET: Anything else we should know?
Eliana: I hope to continue to grow the Kiyomi Beauty brand. Ultimately, I’d like to bring this box across the world. My current focus is to ensure that we increase the educational understanding behind Korean beauty, increase the number of customers we are reaching, and build our brand to reach both the American and Latin-American audiences across the US and globally.
To subscribe to our boxes or sign-up for our beauty newsletter, please visit www.kiyomibeauty.com. Our bi-monthly boxes start at $39.99 and include free shipping within the US and Puerto Rico.