Last Autumn, I had the chance to meet an oil fairy at INTERCHARM KOREA beauty expo. It was the first time I attended a beauty expo in Korea and as a first-timer, I was overwhelmed with the number of exhibitors showcasing a variety of products with different ingredients. It was indeed a beautiful sight to behold. But amidst the beautiful chaos, one particular brand caught my attention.
Why? Because of it’s unique ingredient: SESAME!!!
Sesame is the last thing I would think to put on my skin. It was just out of this world for me.
So, out of curiosity, I approached their booth and was greeted by their friendly staff. I inquired about the product more and found out that the products were made by farmers. Who doesn’t love a cause like that. Farm to face, a concept that I love to support. I was so lucky that the CEO was at the booth and she agreed to have an interview with me.
Cheong Jong Eun is the CEO of Jirisan Cheorum farming Corp., a farming association corporation that produces, processes and distributes agricultural products at the foot of Jirisan Mountain. Oilaria is one of the brands under the said corporation. Based on the health and beauty data of traditional natural seeds, OILARIA constantly tries to discover seed crops with the best efficacy of nature created by Jiri Mountain. OILARIA, along with the Institute of Natural Cosmetic Industry for Namwon develop the technology for people’s skin health and beauty by uncovering natural beauty crops hidden in the living Jirisan Mountain ecological environment and Namwon area.
In this interview, Cheong Jong Eun shares with us the story behind OILARIA.
Q1: Tell us about yourself.
I am a farmer. I am originally a city girl but my love for nature made me want to live near nature. So from the city of Seoul, I moved to Namwon, near Jiri Mountain. I have been a farmer for 10 years, farming sesame and perilla.
Q2: What inspired you to start Oilaria?
As a farmer, I wanted to make our crops’ value higher. I am disheartened when I see that the crops we toll on so hard are being sold cheap in the market. As part of the farming community, I want to have a voice and make the crop value higher. I wanted to produce high-quality crops to get higher value.
Oilaria, actually means, oil fairy. In this case, the fairies are the farmers, farming high-quality crops to make high-quality products.
Q3: Why did you think of using sesame oil in skincare products?
Sesame oil is actually good for the skin. I did extensive research and found out that sesame has been used for a long time, dating back to our forefathers in the Joseon dynasty to effectively cure scars. That’s why I decided to put this ingredient in our skincare products, and soon in our hair and body products.
Q4: What is your brand philosophy?
Simplicity and dignity. it is an honest and authentic farming professional beauty brand that seeks to combine advanced agricultural technology and beauty science to make people’s skin healthier and more beautiful.
Q5: What sets oilaria apart from other skincare brands?
I admit, there are many good quality skincare brands out there. But aside from attesting to the high quality of our products, what sets us apart is our care for farmers. We advocate inclusive growth for the farming community.
Q6: What is your biggest challenge in growing your business globally?
Language. I can’t speak English or Chinese fluently. It is difficult to relay my thoughts to others. Persuading clients to buy our product is part of the language struggle.
Aside from language, another major challenge that we had in producing our product is the technology behind it – the unique concept of using crossover of food and beauty.
Q7: Where do you see OILARIA in 5 years?
In 5 years, we hope that our products will be spread all over the world and be loved.
Who wouldn’t love a product that advocates advancing the value of farming while spreading natural beauty?
If you want to learn more about OILARIA, you can visit them here.
If you want to experience how sesame oil can help beautify your skin, join our OILARIA give away here.