Gold Rush Fall 2020 Founder Spotlight: James Oh, Founder of Avarelle

James Oh is the Founder of Avarelle, a cosmetics company innovating acne-care by offering safe, clean, and affordable products. The Gold Rush Founder Spotlight Series showcases the Gold Rush 2020 Accelerator Program Founders that will be featured in our upcoming online sale from November 27 — December 1.

Company Overview

What inspired you/your team to create your company?

I was frantically looking for products that were already out on the market for my wife, who had long been battling acne. My wife has always struggled with pimples and it only worsened as she became pregnant with our first child. Her fluctuating hormones had caused an intense acne flare-up, affecting even her chest and back.

Having witnessed firsthand the decline of her confidence that even brought changes to her personality, I no longer wanted to sit passively and decided to set out on a journey to help my wife. I created a product that is all-natural, simple, and safe to use, even during pregnancy!

What distinguishes your company and product in the market?

Using only clean & safe ingredients, our factory has a patent on their technology and built their machine from the ground up. This patented technology is only exclusive to Avarelle. Our ultra-thin acne patches have been approved by board-certified dermatologists and selected by top Allure Beauty Editors. We offer a variety of our acne patches at an affordable price while keeping our eye on sustainability.

The Founder’s Journey

Has being of Asian descent played a role in your success, or has it ever been a challenge?

It was both a challenge and a success. There was already strong trust in Asian skincare products from the great Asian skincare pioneers. I was lucky to join an industry where Asian skincare has already gained trust and brand recognition. However, acne patches were new to the market and started from an Asian community. Letting non-Asian communities try the product was most challenging to convince them of the value of the product which is something we are still battling today.

Tell us about a major milestone in your life that forced you to pivot. What did you learn?

After 6 years of trying for a baby, my daughter was born with a congenital heart defect and had two open-heart surgeries. After this event, my eyes were opened to individuals with disabilities and I knew my life’s work had to support these individuals in some form. So I started the support program: LIFT, “Life Is Full of Trials” Hire. This program is a promise made by Avarelle to hire individuals with disabilities to help them become a part of the workforce. LIFT represents the many trials that people with disabilities face while trying to find a stable job in the workforce.

If you could share a meal with anyone in the world, who would it be, where or what would it be, and why?

I want to share my mother-in-law’s homemade Kimchi. She raised my wife with four other daughters. She also had to support my father in law who was an artist. Even though she was incredibly busy, Kimchi, the staple food for Korean, was always there. I am pretty sure whoever tries to make Kimchi will appreciate this. It is nutrient-dense, contains probiotics, strengthens your immune system, reduces inflammation, and prevents yeast infections while supporting heart health.

The Journey Ahead

Tell us about one of your core values and how it influences the way you plan to scale your business.

I follow a principle from one of the landmark stores in NJ, Stew Leonards. Rule 1: The customer is always right! Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule 1!” We also believe in creating honest products while making skincare routine as simple as possible and continuing to seek natural ingredients that work. We want to provide people with the best, affordable patches to incorporate into their daily use and regain confidence through clearer skin.

What are you most excited about in the next year for your business?

We currently have 22,000 reviews on Amazon.com and are aiming to continue this growth. We are excited to see that our product is becoming one of the essential products for many people. I hope we can reach more shelves to support customers with unwanted blemishes and skin trouble.

To meet more of our Gold Rush Fall 2020 Founders visit our Medium page and subscribe to our newsletter at www.goldhouse.org/subscribe. Avarelle will be featured in the Gold Rush online sale along with our other Founders that begins November 27 at www.goldrush.market.

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