We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathan Han and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nathan, how do you think about risk?
I tend to be a person who is not afraid of risk, but if I said that risk didn’t keep me up at night, I would be lying. Risk, to me, is very dynamic and certainly isn’t the same from person to person. Risk is unpredictable, can have due dates, can rely on other people’s ability to achieve in their role, and so on, but the best opportunities come from taking risks. This, in my eyes, makes risk-taking a lot of fun. It is a chance to bet on yourself, your team, etc. and to achieve something with low probability for success and be better off from it. However, a key distinction between types of risk is that high risk tends to keep us on our toes or elevate our blood pressure. And so when I take high risks, I better have a roadmap and a plan, along with contingencies, or else things can go downhill quickly. When taking risk in my own life, the biggest element for me lies in the preparation stage. When evaluating whether or not to commit and take a risk, I am the type of person who has to spill all the beans. Everything there is to know must be on the table and whether I like it or not, will provide context to the bigger picture. My thought process is that in order to create the best strategy to achieve your top level goal, you must have enough pertinent information that can be analyzed and assessed to create low and mid level goals. This process, for me, takes the longest amount of time because I always begin my position as being neutral to the possibility of both outcomes, failure or success, and try to create the most effective strategy for both sides. This aspect of analyzing risk is fun to me because I can problem-solve while being creative.

Learning from taking risks is also extremely important to me because there will be quite a bit of bumps along the way. A part of risk taking that I have learned from is being complacent and not realizing where and how you are exposed to risk. As an example, advertising online is getting more expensive each year, whether it be Google, Facebook & Instagram or Tik Tok, so it has been important for our business to stay on top of our weekly and monthly cost and performance metrics, such as return on ad spend. Profitable advertising campaigns and strategies last month or last year may not be profitable anymore, so adjusting and finding new ways to remain profitable is necessary. Because of how fast things can change online and because spend on advertising will be “risky” for as long as we continue to spend on ads, I stay vigilant of this risk that we take everyday, while trusting our ability to create effective ad campaigns as they change. Risk pushes us and as an intrapreneur, taking risks allows me and our family business to reach new heights and open doors that were once closed. I encourage us all to take more reasonable risks in our own lives because we can only accomplish so much in one lifetime, so let’s challenge ourselves to reach our fullest potential.

What should our readers know about your business?
Han’s Beauty Stør is a family-owned, beauty supply retailer and full-service salon founded in Baldwin Park, CA in 1985. For over 30 years, we have been committed to providing customers, licensed professionals, beauty fanatics, and more, with an exceptional one-stop-shop shopping experience for all of their professional beauty and personal care needs. As an authorized retailer, we take pride in our ability to carry and sell a wide selection of some of the best salon-quality brands and products that are 100% authentic & genuine. This includes a selection of approximately 150 beauty brands and over 10,000 products that includes a variety of women and men’s hair care, hair color, skin care, cosmetics, and nail supplies, ranging from brands such as Redken, UNITE, & Olaplex to Dermalogica & Murad, to Jane Iredale & Sorme, to OPI and Zoya. Today, Han’s Beauty Stør is located in Pasadena, South Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, and La Crescenta, where we have a long history with our community who we are proud to continue serving. I believe that the Han’s Beauty difference begins with one of our core pillars since our inception – to provide customers with a personable experience centered around 1 on 1 communication with knowledgeable beauty experts. Customers can rely on meeting and getting to know their Han’s Beauty team, who are there for you nearly every day of the year. The best part is that you can see a licensed nail technician, hair stylist, and esthetician, while bringing home with you the best products in beauty, all at the same place! On an individual level, I am most excited about growing our e-commerce sales channel and expanding our reach into different cities and states. So far, in just 10 short months since it was released to the public, Han’s Beauty Stor has shipped to 48 states and has already exceeded nearly all performance metrics goals for our first year. Our customers have responded with great feedback of being able to visualize all of our product categories, brands, and individual products on an easy to use web-store at the convenience of their location and time. We are also proving to our local customers who do choose to purchase from us that we are able to compete with competitors’ shipping speeds, such as Amazon 2-day, through our free local delivery option. We take pride in that we are able to deliver orders in 2 days or less to our surrounding communities such as Monrovia, Arcadia, Pasadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, Altadena, La Canada Flintridge, and La Crescenta-Montrose.

Joining a family business may sometimes not be what you expect and oftentimes will initially leave you with more questions than answers. I encourage everyone who is debating about working for your parents, brother, sister or another relative is to begin by just absorbing everything around you. If they are hiring you, there is a high likelihood that they are doing something right, so listen and learn. Our job, really, as new employees of the business, is to create trust – to show that we are competent in our position, reliable on a daily basis, and have a willingness to learn. When I learned that creating trust was my job, the more responsibility I was given. In my case, it took a couple of years to really learn the ins and outs of how the business operates to then setting small goals where I could make an impact. It began with learning business processes, then learning about products, then becoming a store manager, and ultimately becoming the creator and web-store master. There were many times where I didn’t enjoy what I was doing or questioned if I was adding any real value, but these experiences taught me so much about looking at the bigger picture and playing the long game. I expect to continue to have many ups and many downs, but I trust that a continuous reminder to stay disciplined, to problem solve, and to keep working hard over the course of many years will provide me with the right mindset to grow individually and professionally.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One thing that everybody knows about me is that I love to eat and I love to golf. One of our first stops would definitely begin with Lucky Boy for a breakfast burrito. I’d recommend starting with 1/2 the burrito, which if you know the size of these burrito’s is enough to fuel you till your next meal. Me being me, I like to finish the whole burrito and ask questions later. We would also play golf, lots of it, because there’s no better way to catch up with somebody than to golf for 4 hours together. This, of course, would be at the amazing courses up and down the Southern California coast from Torrey Pines in San Diego to SandPiper in Santa Barbara. Not only can we experience the more serious and professional side of golf, I tend to prefer the casual, laid back, music blasting, and endless terrible jokes type of golf with my friends. My rule is that every great day tends to end with a great dinner, so this is typically the best part of my day. Some of my favorite meals would be at my house for a bone-in Ribeye Steak made by yours truly, Bear Flag Fish Co. in Huntington Beach, Chiquita Bonita in Pasadena, or Quarters Korean BBQ in LA. I tend to be pretty easy going so sharing good food and good drinks with good people is all that I ask for. I am sure a couple stops at the beach, a live sports or entertainment event, and the usual LA tourist spots would be mixed in.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, shoutout to my family, especially my dad and mom, Eric and Michelle, for teaching me so much about life. At our core, we are a family of immigrants who escaped the Vietnam War to come to America and to imagine their life experiences and what they’ve sacrificed to provide us with an amazing life keeps me humble and also leaves me with a chip on my shoulder to achieve and experience things they still dream about to this day. Hearing stories from my dad such as being hospitalized due to hypothermia because he didn’t have a jacket during a snowy winter when escaping Vietnam or carrying bags of rice for a grocery market as his first job for just a few pennies an hour ingrained in me what many refer to as the “immigrant mentality”. They are truly my purpose and my “why” as I attack each day and push myself to my potential.

I’d also like to thank my twin brother, my right hand man in both business and in life. Being the younger brother, I’ve always looked up to him and he makes my life easier by being someone I can rely on and also trust with my life.

Lastly, I’d like to thank my incredible network – friends, Han’s Beauty Stor employees, golf buddies, and many more (you know who you are). As I’ve gotten older, I have learned that winning cannot be achieved by an individual alone – it is the sum of those around you who all play a pivotal role to keep the wheels moving. I want to give a big shoutout to these people – I am excited to see what more we can accomplish together!

Website: www.hansbeautystor.com

Instagram: @HansBeautyStor

Facebook: @HansBeautyStor

Yelp: Han’s Beauty Stor

Image Credits
Aaron Han.- AaronHanPhotography

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