Miranda Tei, Founder of TONIC

Miranda Tei is on a mission to help men take better care of their skin. The entrepreneur has streamlined, simplified and customized the skincare shopping process with TONIC — an online men's beauty supply store that sells easy-to-use skincare kits to match each customer's profile. 

A FEW WORDS ABOUT TONIC

TONIC is an online platform that makes skincare easy for men. The site features more than 1,000 products — all suitable for different skin types. After answering a few simple questions, TONIC will suggest an easy three-product regime for each customer. The kit comes with user-friendly instructions, free shipping, and one-click refills to ensure the entire process is hassle-free. 

A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE

I work full time in banking and run TONIC on the side. Running a business with a full-time job can be tough, but skincare is a huge passion of mine. 

At first I thought I'd target women, but then I delved into it deeper. Men don’t talk to their friends about what they use to get ideas and don’t have a clear place to go to for advice. Men’s skincare and grooming are markets that are growing very quickly, at around 20-35% a year.

For anyone who isn’t a natural entrepreneur or who doesn’t have a background in this kind of work, you have to learn pretty fast and you will as you have to do everything yourself.

I am one of those people who just doesn’t quit. I am very persistent. People like me are very good at doing all of the legwork of building a business, creating the platform, the product and the service. 

People like me are very good at doing all of the legwork of building a business, creating the platform, the product and the service.

But where we fail is the marketing side of things. Marketing is a huge part of the business in order to build up hype around products and that is something that I wish I had focused more on. 

Execution and attitude are huge factors in whether your business will succeed. Running a startup is a huge commitment and you have to be willing to make sacrifices.

Other Hong Kong entrepreneurs are always helpful. I have attended quite a few of Hong Kong’s startup events and am involved with FEW. I went to startup garages and met some people who have been very supportive. 

If I could go back in time, I would like launched later and worked on a solid marketing plan. I would have definitely worked with others and asked for help with the marketing process.

If you really want your business to succeed, you have to let go and take a chance. Let go of whatever you have at the moment and just go for it. Letting go is hard.  

Entrepreneurship is also about confidence, belief in your idea and your ability to sell.

A FEW MORE QUESTIONS

What do you do every morning?

I am not a morning person, so I stumble out of bed.

What is your favorite meeting spot?

I love having meetings at Tastings, the wine bar on Wellington. 

What tools do you use to be more productive?

Trello is great. It’s for communicating with different partners. We also use Onedrive to store everything, so I can easily access and share things.

What is your favorite power meal before a big day?

I’m a bit of a fitness and health freak though, so I try to eat as healthily as possible. At the end of the day? I usually opt for a glass of Burgundy or Macallan.

Secret stress reliever?

I do a lot of yoga — I like vinyasa flow at Pure.