You might think that first, you must work on your self-love and self-confidence levels before you can even start thinking about investing in one of the riskiest career paths ever - entrepreneurship. But for Joy, it was the other way around. It wasn’t until she started to see the quick positive results her new business produced, that she started to believe, trust and love herself. Joy Yap, now founder and CEO of Wyld Skincare, came from a broken family in Malaysia. When she was nine years old, her mother left and by the age of 14 she was out of her house and living on her own. Joy didn’t grow up in an environment where she felt like she received a lot of love. That affected how she saw herself as she never felt she was pretty enough, smart enough, or creative enough. And all those feelings seemed to weigh even more whilst growing up in Malaysia where as a woman, it is believed you are only good if you are pretty by a certain standard, submissive and very well behaved. Being that way could get you a rich boyfriend who would shower you with expensive gifts, a lavish lifestyle and kids. Joy grew up thinking that is how she had to be because that is what she wanted; afterall, it is what everyone wanted. But life took another, unexpected, yet incredibly propitious turn.
By her early 30s, Joy found herself extremely burnt out and unhappy at her corporate job. She felt trapped and stuck in a rigid box where she wasn’t allowed to express herself, speak up for what she believed in and felt like she could never do anything right. On top of that, Joy had been dealing with a skin condition called ichthyosis for years. Her skin was very sensitive and because of that, she wasn’t able to use any of the mainstream products. She would try them all, to the fanciest most expensive products to the most innovative. It wasn’t until much later that she found a solution in organic and natural brands. At the time, clean beauty used to be seen as more of a hippie, made in a kitchen type of product. There weren’t many options, they weren’t as accessible and a lot of them didn’t really put into practice their environmentally friendly philosophies. So, by the time Joy had become obsessed with researching clean beauty products and utterly miserable at her corporate job, she decided to quit and take a chance on something new, something she believed in, something that ultimately made her believe in herself. She started Wyld Skincare, a brand that focuses on developing exceptional yet sustainable skincare essentials whilst looking after the planet.
Joy started this venture aware that she didn’t know a lot of things she needed to, but that didn’t stop her. She learned as she went and as she made mistakes. It started off as a one-woman show, she did the accounting (or tried to), did the branding, the research, the everything. During the day, she worked as a freelancer to pay the bills and at night she worked on her new business. She very quickly understood there existed a responsibility for small businesses to undertake that bigger businesses were brushing off. Joy wanted to make a sustainable product using glass and aluminum packaging that looked good, was ecological, effective, accessible and did their part in giving back to the planet in ocean conservation projects. She wanted her product to not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Soon enough, things started to work out, Joy started to see results, people believed in her brand and she essentially started believing in herself. Within five months, the biggest department store chain in Canada wanted her products. Joy felt like she was reborn and it was only then that she started to embark on a spiritual awakening. She began a healing journey where she faced a lot of traumas and hurt from her past, she started feeling fulfilled. Wyld was able to attain profit since its first year, growing 100% year over year. And as she started growing and evolving alongside her business, Joy realized success is not just about money, it is about doing something that is fulfilling to you and that has its contribution to the world.
As Joy went through her entrepreneurial and self-love journey, she faced many challenges and learned a lot from them. When it comes to sharing some advice, Joy has quite a few. One of the biggest challenges she faced was having to learn about finances and accounting. Today, she says a big piece of advice would be to find and get the best accountant you can, someone you trust and who will be able to teach you how to understand and be involved with numbers. It is of extreme importance to get the hang of that especially if you want to build a business of value that you eventually would want to sell.
Joy’s favorite part of being an entrepreneur is the process of crafting a new product, having a vision for it and making it come to life; but, another big challenge she faced was finding a good designer who understood the ideas and translated it all to the visual world. That’s where Onlychild came into action. Another of Joy’s advice is to find a talented designer and branding company that has the fairy dust to make the magic happen - turn an idea into a visually appealing, tangible product people believe in and trust.
For people who are just starting their own business, one of the most important things Joy thinks they should do is to go back to the WHY: Why this business? Why sell this product? Why do people want this/need this? Why will it change lives? Becoming an entrepreneur because you don’t know what else to do or because you want to make money, is not the way to go. Joy believes people are driven by purpose, and she has definitely found hers. So even if it takes a little while, even if you don’t believe in yourself at first, Joy says to, “trust your instinct to surrender and whatever you truly desire will truly come to you.”
- BOOK: A Happy Pocket Full of Money by: David Cameron Gikandi
- SONG: Pink Lemonade by Yva
- PODCAST: The Highest Self
- BEST SPOT IN TOWN: Ikal Tulum Hotel
- EXERCISE: Yoga
- BEAUTY PRODUCT: Seas The Day Creamy Gel Cleanser by Wyld Skincare
All photos courtesy of Wyld Skincare
To learn more and shop Wyld, visit wyldskincare.com