Startup Tapping a Beauty Product Goldmine from Taipei

Startup Tapping a Beauty Product Goldmine from Taipei

What you need to know

Ten questions with the founder of a startup tapping into the world of Asian beauty product reviews.

Amabie founder Katrina Yee (pictured above, center) talks about the journey from being a disgruntled customer in a Taiwan pharmacy to providing information on beauty products to tens of thousands of women every month.

The News Lens International (TNLI): What is the origin of Amabie and when did you come up with the idea for the business?

Yee: Amabie is an American-Taipei based company. I came up with the idea a year ago when I was at a Watson’s, interested in buying a Taiwanese beauty product and trying to search for reviews for it but could not really find any.

TNLI: Can you briefly describe what Amabie does?

Yee: Amabie is the only community-based web platform for users to write and find reviews on Asian beauty products from their friends and peers.

TNLI: What is the target market for Amabie in terms of age and nationalities?

Yee: We are focusing on the U.S. market; the consumers’ age range from 23 to 40.

TNLI: What is the current company status, including the scale, employees, numbers of users and the courses uploaded online?

Yee: We currently have five employees. The website was established about six months ago and officially launched several months ago in the U.S. There are now over 1,000 users, 7,000 beauty reviews, and about 10,000 monthly visitors on our website.

TNLI: What do you regard as the biggest success that Amabie has achieved so far?
Reaching 7,000 beauty reviews so far. Every day our community contributes reviews and the website becomes more and more useful and helpful for readers. We already get positive messages from our community that our website has helped them and they are happy that our website exists.

TNLI: What makes Amabie different from other beauty product businesses?

Yee: We are different because we are the only review site that exists with users from all different ethnicities, focused on Asian beauty products. In addition, there is a platform for bloggers to write their reviews and promote their blogs. English and Chinese translation of the reviews are also provided to make the content bilingual. We also reward our top quality reviewers by sending them more beauty products for them to test and review.

TNLI: What have been the biggest challenges for you so far? How did Amabie solve such problem?

Yee: The biggest challenge has been finding information on Asian beauty reviews in a timely manner. Before our website existed, the most common way our target market found reviews is by going to Google and having to search through each blog for a review. In fact, they have told us that it takes over one-plus hours to find reviews for just one beauty product. Amabie solves this problem by partnering with writers to put reviews all on one website so that reviews can be found in seconds.

TNLI: Does Amabie plan to promote itself in a Western market? How will Amabie grow in the future?

Yee: We currently partner with bloggers in Asia as well as in the Western market. We continue to grow by partnering with more companies to provide more products for our users and appeal to new users by having the chance to review products for free.

TNLI: What does Amabie hope to achieve in the long-term?

Yee: We hope to become the “number one” go-to resource for all beauty product reviews.

TNLI: What are Amabie most exciting upcoming products or plans?

Yee: We are creating a section on our website for a product trial countdown so that any Amabie user can apply to try products for free in exchange for an honest review. We also are working on a communication feature so our beauty users can all talk to each other about their beauty questions and needs.

Editor: Edward White