Be Confident: A Conversation with Jen Yu, Co-Founder of Jaxon Lane

Written by 2021 Jr. Judge Teesha Sreeram

The 2021 junior judges cohort had the opportunity to virtually meet and speak with the co-founder of Jaxon Lane, Jen Yu. Jaxon Lane is a new men's skin care brand, currently bootstrapping. Started by a joint husband and wife team, Jen focuses on marketing and finances.

Starting off with Jen’s story, she was a pre- med in college and after going through the program realized that the career was not for her. Hence she started working in business, doing client meetups and creating business plans. This gave her some initial knowledge.

Jen had a spark for business and wanted to have one of her own. She noticed that her partner would use her sheet masks and realized that there were none marked towards men. In Asia sheet masks are very common, but in the US there were no sheet masks created for men. This is how one of their signature products, the “bro-mask” was born. Having little knowledge on skincare the team decided it was time to travel.

They went to Korea to learn more about the ins and outs of skin care. At first they wanted to purchase from Korea and sell it in America, but scaling was hard. There was no trial run, since they were ordering from Asia they had to place large orders which was a bit of a risk. With their first few orders they had thousands of pieces of inventory and had to go directly to getting a storage facility for the product. Their main marketing was social media, specifically Instagram. They would reach out to micro-influencers to get the name out. They then moved onto working directly with a manufacturer and creating products with high quality ingredients.

Currently Jaxon Lane has really come a long way. Nick Jonas added a Jaxon Lane product to his list of 10 things that he can’t live without! Through reaching out to retailers and having retailers reach out to the company, Jaxon Lane is now launched in some Bloomingdale's locations. The hard part about retail is staying in and continuing to sell products, at times the founders have gone into the stores to help sell the products themselves.

As a junior judge here are my personal takeaways from chatting with Jen. First, to be confident, “Don’t be in a meeting if you're not going to say something.” This statement is really powerful to me and shows how important it is to show up and accomplish what one sets out to do. When partnering with someone (brand or person) it is important that the relationship if for the long run, both parties should be interested in each other's work and be excited about the partnership. And lastly to just reach out, one of my final questions for Jen was whether she was accepting interns, her response was to use my confidence and reach out to her.