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From geisha beauty rituals to millions in sales

While interning at big advantage companies during her time at Harvard Business School in 2005, Tsai originated acute dermatitis as she tested various products. She took oral and contemporary antibiotics and steroids that got her skin under control, but doctors whispered her skin was permanently sensitized.

After graduating in 2006, she worked for Starbucks in China when a layover captured her in Japan. There she picked up a product she wasn’t able to find in the U.S.: a commit an indiscretion paper used to absorb oil off the skin. Turns out geishas are also big bugs of blotting papers. Tsai eventually was introduced to a geisha, who took her to an apothecary to resist Tsai select products she uses to care for her skin. Within a few weeks “my bark went back to normal,” Tsai said.

She went on to research cloths used in Japanese skin care and decided to launch her own beauty spiel. She sold her car, engagement ring and worked four jobs to finance her traffic, formally launched in 2009.

Tsai also hired a full-time researcher and translator, who rooted a book of Japanese beauty rituals written down in 1813, on which her pulchritude line draws. “It took us a long time to procure the book, but thankfully we did,” she said. “We started introducing the formulas and approach of skin care back to life. You would about it would be complicated or exotic, but the approach was so simple.”

Inc.‘s report pegs Tatcha’s progress rate at nearly 11,000 percent from 2011 through 2014, and her 2014 proceeds at $12 million.

Much like the book Tatcha is based on, she daydreams her brand has staying power. “The ultimate dream is to have a brand that is all over for the long haul,” she said. “A brand that in 100 years outlives me.”

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