Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Lauren Wong, who turned her hobby into a business when she created Lilly & Lola to launch her line of all-natural coconut oil skincare products. We caught up with her to find out what inspired the idea and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I am the creator of Lilly & Lola skincare products, made only with simple, effective, and clean ingredients. If you wouldn’t eat it, why would you put it on your skin?
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
I have been working in brand management for several years, launching and growing big brands. As far as Lilly & Lola, it was born out of a need for more effective skincare and grew from a hobby into a business. One winter I suffered from embarrassingly dry skin (to the point where I was applying face cream 4-5 times a day). I went in pursuit of a moisturizer that was extra hydrating. After much research, I developed a line of all-natural coconut oil skincare products made specifically for face, hair and skin.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Prior to starting Lilly & Lola I launched a children’s line of robotic pet toys that won US Toy of The Year in 2014 and 2015 and were the hottest toy on the market. As for Lilly & Lola, the best is yet to come!
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
In the next 5 to 10 years, I see Lilly & Lola as a global skincare brand, leading the movement toward clean beauty while continuing to manufacture locally. In the long-term, I would love to use my experience to mentor young entrepreneurs and stay invested in new ventures.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Start small. Start somewhere. Everyone is looking for that “big idea,” but the reality is that most ideas start small and evolve into something legendary. An idea is worth nothing without execution.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I support United Way because they help people in need who are living right here in Toronto.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
I have always dreamed of owning my own business (a line heard from most Millennials), but I imagined that I would have a co-founder. It took me almost a year to accept that Lilly & Lola is a solo venture and to believe in myself as an entrepreneur. I am so grateful for Lilly & Lola’s early supporters who amplified my passion for the products through and through.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Someone or something not to be ignored. To be significant.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
I am a self-proclaimed foodie, and generally don’t like going back to the same restaurant twice. However, Bar Isabel, Gusto and Khao San Road are some of my favourite go-to spots.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Website: Pinterest & BuzzFeed Food.
Song: anything Mumford & Songs.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Think Dirty. I love learning about new non-toxic beauty brands. Their app allows you to scan products and find out their toxicity rating. After scanning several products in my bathroom, I was shocked to learn how “dirty” they were. Think Dirty was one of the first companies that inspired me to become part of the clean beauty movement.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
One of the most memorable places that I visited was South Africa and Botswana. From the view at the most southern tip of the continent to hiking one of the largest waterfalls, each day was a new adventure. I was also bit by a lion on safari, but that’s another story.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Having to miss out on travelling opportunities for any reason.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Ms. Vickie’s Salt & Vinegar chips… and wine. Not necessarily together.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I wish I could spend less on flights within Canada. I am originally from Calgary, and fly back often. Haven’t missed a Stampede in years!
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Health, wealth, and happiness.