Farah Lopez Del Aguila & Carina Schaefer
Co-founders of Nude By Korea
What brought you to Shanghai?
Farah: Exactly 5 years ago I arrived in this strange, amazing city that exudes the type of energy that feeds many dreams. Having lived in Amsterdam for 5 years I decided to travel around the world. I ended up staying in China because I felt like Shanghai was so full of possibilities. I still carry that excitement now, as if it were that first day when I decided to start my new life here.
Carina: My University brought me to Shanghai and Beijing for a semester and an Internship. Before I came to Shanghai I never thought I would move to China. However, back in Germany while trying to settle down, the thought of Shanghai never really let me go and I ended up cutting all my plans, selling almost everything I had and moving to Shanghai. I’ve never regretted taking that step as it led me to many amazing people and opportunities in my life.
How did the idea for Nude By Korea come about?
Farah: Nude by Korea was born out of frustration with the lack of safe and effective skin care options for people with extremely sensitive skin. I have suffered from rosacea and eczema for years. So I was trying to find products that wouldn't make my sensitive skin freak out. Previously I lived in Korea. I found their knowledge, technology and innovation within the beauty industry to be a much needed alternative to the highly processed and chemical based skincare products often offered in the western world.
Carina: For me, skin care has always been something that either has to be quick and convenient or something to indulge in. I was that person that used the 2 in 1 body lotion (including face :) ) or the one that whipped up a self made mask because it was wellbeing Sunday. NUDE by Korea is not just a way to help others tackle their skin problems for me it is an opportunity to do better for people and for the planet. To create, inspire and to just be you - NUDE - without any excuse.
For those who want to start their own business, talk us through how you made the move from corporate job to starting your own business.
Farah: Explore yourself. Be willing to look at different aspects of yourself (personality, social styles, age) and listen to your intuition. We tend to ignore intuition even though deep down we often know the truth. Asking yourself lots of questions and being willing to learn each day is key!
Do what you know. Look at the work you have done for others in the past and think about how you could package those skills and offer them as your own services or products.
Learn about other businesses that interest you. Solve a common problem. Is there a service or product you would like to bring to market?
Important things to pay attention to before you quit your current job are:
1. Have a prepared savings account
2. Set short term and long term goals
3. Prepare for stress
4. Sell by creating value
Carina: When I was in my 20s I had defining moments where a small action of mine meant the world to others. I felt that I could and wanted to do more and I always carried this in my heart.
So when I met Farah I knew I wanted to do something that would change the world for the better.
What I didn’t know yet was how I would be able to do it and stay true to myself.
NUDE is the how and it is a beautiful how that aligns with everything I believe in and more.
I never had a real corporate job as I do not believe in this. I always worked in companies where I am able to create and make a difference. Nonetheless, with NUDE I encountered my higher purpose, which no other company has been able to spark. I gave quite a long notice period to my company and gave them the chance to compromise with me and let them know they will still have my support and I won’t leave them hanging.
The steps in short would be:
1. Find the why
2. Find the What & How
3. Find The Who
4. Arrange a work situation that lets you grow at your own pace
5. Make a decision to either deep dive or quit
6. Love what you do ( I know it's cliche, but it is important) and keep dreaming unrealistically big
Even though some of the steps came at once for me this might not always be the case. It is really important to check in with yourself, where you are, where you want to be and what you are willing to do. If your why does not challenge you in some way then you might have a good business, but it probably won’t be your true why.
What’s a strategy to keep focused?
Farah: Focus requires self-control, discipline and the ability to resist short-term temptations for long-term gains. For me, exercise, reading, connecting with more business people to exchange knowledge, being open to different points of view and expertise are effective ways to boost my willpower, inspiration and my focus.
Carina: I like to time block if I can. So I have a certain amount of time where I do not talk to anyone, no phone etc. during that time I get into my flow and often can achieve more in that hour or 30 minutes than during the whole day without the time block. I remind myself regularly why I am doing what I am doing and that the choice is mine. This gives me balance and strength and I can reset my focus on what really matters.
What is a Konjac sponge?
Carina & Farah: A Konjac sponge is 100% vegetal power!
Made from the Konjac root, a porous vegetable that grows in China, Korea and Japan. Konjac sponges were first created as a way for Japanese farmers to cleanse a baby's skin. So it is very good for any skin type!
We add natural ingredients such as green tea, bamboo charcoal, a few clays for added benefits.
It contains various minerals and antioxidant ingredients. Konjac is rich in Vitamins (A, B1,B2,B12, C,D, & E) proteins, lipids, fatty acids and natural minerals such as, zinc, iron and magnesium.
After about 2 months when the sponge looks worn you can pop it in a pot plant, it will decompose and retain moisture for your plant.
What do you see as the future trends in skincare?
Farah: Consumers want more than just products. They want to have a personalised approach.
Evidence based approach to skin analyses with the technology and tools to analyse skin care over a life time. And products designed to help consumers to achieve their natural skincare routine needs a more personal, inclusive, and authentic image.
I also think the men’s market is growing and they deserve the same attention to skincare as the ladies.
Carina: I believe it is really a fine line discovering what trends are on the rise and which of them is tackling current consumer problems as this will be the one picking up most quickly and sustainably. Consumers become more aware and more skeptical about the products they are using, but are not yet in a state to evaluate the massive amount of information about their products to distinguish what is true and what is not. A brand that will educate the consumer as well as providing transparency about their products in my opinion will be the one that will not just grow with the trends of the Beauty industry, but also with the consumer itself as it is much closer to them than other brands. With the recent development due to Covid-19 I see a huge increase in digital collaborations and the conscious mind of brand owners. The future lies in the hands of the people who can see the whole domino effect their business has and find ways to not harm the Planet nor the people without forfeiting the goal of a sustainable business.
What inspires you?
Farah: I feel inspired by people who are willing to compromise to create changes for a better world. There are people who want to try to do better but won't compromise enough to get there as this requires hard work everyday. Determination to change everything for the greater good is very important, not just the desire to try to change.
Carina: Personally I find inspiration in the small things. I believe that everyday we are given choices.
It is really up to us to make the choices that will enrich our lives and the lives of those around us.
When I think of people around me the ones that most inspire me are the ones who are kind, patient, humble, dream without limits and do not retreat on this because others may not be kind to them or patient with them. They are in balance with themselves and are not reliant on others to fuel them. This is something I aspire for myself and it makes me work hard on myself everyday.
If you would like to find out more about NUDE By Korea you can find them at:
Farah WeChat ID:
Carina WeChat ID: