Rise’s Radical Renegade is a monthly series featuring interviews with trailblazing career mavens. Meet Lin Chen, founder of Pink Moon – a company who strives to work with women-owned brands that share similar ethos in sustainability and wellness + products that are ethically made with the environment and health in mind.
Why did you start your company and what motivates you every day?
I began my career in natural beauty at age 21 with my first job out of university at 100% Pure. From there, I dabbled a bit in tech and solar then returned to natural beauty with Ayla in San Francisco. I moved to NYC 4.5 years ago to work with Bottega Organica. Finally, in June 2017, I launched Pink Moon! With Pink Moon, my mission is to elevate women-owned ethical + sustainable beauty brands. The two underlying philosophies that guided my journey with Pink Moon are my beliefs in the importance of female empowerment and holistic health. I want to inspire women to start their own businesses, specifically young Asian American women who are vastly underrepresented in the entrepreneurial space. Secondly, because I live a holistic eco lifestyle, aligning my passion with my career is very important to me. I work with clean beauty brands that are mission-driven and friendly to the earth, mind, body, and spirit – brands that want to do good and give back to the community. I’m also inspired by my mother, who raised my brother and I while working full-time, taught me to resilient, and inspired me to rely on myself for my financial and emotional needs. I want to help change gender stereotypes and inspire other women to be a boss lady and pursue their passions without fear.
What are some of the major lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was stressing myself out by working till 1-2am some nights. I wanted to do everything by myself, but I knew I had to hire someone to help me. Finally, I hired an intern last summer who now is on my team part-time. Another major lesson is to wake up early and establish a routine! During the winter, especially, it’s hard for me to get out of bed in the mornings. But I started to go to the gym in the morning, which helps to kickstart my day and get my blood flowing. Then, I find myself having a more productive day versus if I were to wake up at 10am and work through the night.
Tell us about a setback you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
When I first launched my company, I was dealing with anxiety and depression. I was two weeks into the launch, and I had talked to many potential clients on the phone, and no one was signing on. Some dropped off the face of the earth, and some told me they needed to wait a month or two before starting. I spent most of my time pitching, on the phone and in person and I felt like I was hitting a wall. Granted, I had just launched two weeks before, but I was starting to worry about how many months I could survive on my savings. I reached out to my therapist, close friends and my brother, and they all told me to relax and be patient. With patience and diligence, I had signed on 5 new clients two weeks later.
What advice do you have for women who feel stuck in their careers?
Take risks, pursue your passions without fear, and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. For me, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d start a company at age 27. Of course when I first had the idea and started acting upon the launch, I was afraid to tell my mom and was afraid of failure but I pursued my dreams.
We all know how difficult work/life balance is, how do you draw the line to create separation in these two spheres?
Being an entrepreneur who primarily works from home, it definitely is had to have a healthy work/life balance! I make sure to go to the gym at least 3 times a week, nourish my body with wholesome fresh foods, meditate/chant, and be present when I’m with my loved ones. It’s about being more mindful about your habits – not looking at phone first thing in the morning, getting at least 8 hours of sleep, being active and getting out of the chair every so often, and going outside for some fresh air.
We love to support women-founded ventures. Is there a company/product that you’ve come across recently that you think more people should know about?
All the brands I work with are women-owned! One of my newer (new to North America) clients is an ethical + organic self-care brand from Mongolia called Lhamour. This brand has amazing values and is a social impact company that gives back to the environment and marginalized communities, empowers girls and women worldwide, and their products are just incredibly effective and affordable.