We’re excited to welcome Sally Kim, the founder and CEO of We Are Wild to our Behind The Brand series for a comprehensive look into her business journey and what constitutes a modern skincare philosophy.
Hi Sally! Can you pls introduce yourself to our audience and let us know how We Are Wild came about?
Hello! My name is Sally Kim, and I’m the founder + CEO of We are Wild, a new skincare brand based in Portland, Oregon. We are Wild is the first all-solid skincare system designed for everyday use. We are all clean, probiotic, cruelty-free, vegan friendly and travel ready. We started a little over a year ago and the inspiration came from my active, outdoorsy lifestyle & wanting to create products that you would be able to carry with you anywhere. I had an opportunity to live in South Korea as an expat over the past 5 years and got immersed in all the amazing skincare innovations and R&D there. Because I travel so much for my job, I was looking for easy, natural and effective products to take with me anywhere.
“I couldn’t find the right formula, so I teamed up with a chemist that specializes in solid skincare and skincare probiotics and ended up coming up with a prototype for We are Wild.”
Before I started the company, I was a marketer for several big companies like Samsung, Microsoft, PepsiCo & T-Mobile. What fascinated me about all my previous jobs is the innovation and creativity in building a brand and also staying engaged to people and their needs.
“We are a 100% self-funded private company with a small and nimble team based in Portland and Seoul.”
Why did you name your brand “We Are Wild”?
At the heart of our brand is community. We call all of our customers family.
“We want to foster a healthy, active community and so the name symbolizes a movement of being in the wild but also sticking to ingredients that are as clean, natural and “wild-harvested” as possible.”
In the midst of so much competition, especially in the natural skincare arena, what makes We Are Wild different?
We are different from our competitors because we don’t consider ourselves to be a beauty company.
“We’re not on a mission to give you youthful, flawless skin. We want you to be comfortable in your own skin and our goal is to help you achieve and maintain healthy-looking skin!"
We also don’t target specific age groups as our products are designed for all skin types. We have customers as young as 12 to as old as 70, both male and female. Our products are for people who are busy, active and on-the-go, who are looking for an efficient and effective skincare routine. We’re all about breaking free from the typical 7 (or 10 or 20!) step skincare regimes by making skincare natural, fun, and easy!
We love how you’ve incorporated probiotics into a natural cleanser, and making that super portable! How do you go about challenging todays’s standards of beauty and creating such innovative, breakthrough products?
Our company’s mission is to bring innovation back into the market by making skincare natural, fun and easy. We believe that skincare products should enable you to live a full life, without worrying too much about what you look like, and believe that active skin is beautiful.
“A huge part of our brand DNA is to disrupt the confusion and pretentiousness of the beauty industry that celebrates perfection, flawlessness, anything “anti-wrinkle” & “anti-aging”. It’s a modern thought process that enables us to create unique products that I’m proud to say break barriers.”
As a new brand, I’m sure you’ve had numerous struggles and challenges along the way. Can you give us an example of one of them and how you managed to overcome it?
We’ve had so many obstacles in our journey! Most recently we developed a sun product called Solid Block. We had 3 missed launch dates and numerous ingredient changes in order to make it safe for both the skin as well as the earth.
“We re-formulated Solid Block to use non-nano titanium dioxide & zinc oxide (which we believe are the safest physical sunblock ingredients) and that was the right thing to do even with missed launch dates because we have to be able to stand by our ingredients 100%.”
Even though we’ve had setbacks and missed dates, we feel proud that we stuck by our brand values and delivered a product we feel truly proud of. That makes any obstacle worthwhile.
We absolutely love your Solid Clean Probiotic Cleanser, which we’re featuring in our April 2020 box. Please let our audience know a little about this unique cleanser and why there’s so much love for it!
Our Solid Clean Probiotic Cleanser is an award-winning cleanser and one of our bestsellers. It is a 3-in-1 texture that glides on as a balm, turns into a cleansing oil to dissolve even the toughest eye makeup, and finishes off as a micro foam once activated with water to rinse off. We formulated it so that your skin feels soft, supple and hydrated and not tight or dry after use.
“We came up with the idea because it is SO difficult to travel with different cleansers and makeup removers. We wanted to also save the environment by reducing the usage of wipes and pads for removing makeup before and after cleansing. This magical balm does it all!”
As a female founder, do you participate in any initiatives that support like-minded individuals?
Yes! We support women-owned businesses and events and are a member of the Female Founder Collective. We’ve supported events like SheLeads Media, and We Are Women Owned. We also support local sports and recreation organizations that support women in sports like Rose City Track Club, Burn Cycle, etc...
“We also recently kicked off our own recycling program where customers can send back their used packaging, and we will properly recycle on their behalf. We pay for the cost of shipping and provide 25% off on their next purchase!”
Where can our readers and subscribers learn more about your brand?