We had the good fortune of connecting with Youn Chang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Youn, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
“Work on your weakness.” I used to fall into this conventional advice in my early days, focusing on what I need to improve and what I lack. However, I realize that my so called weaknesses are the flip side of my strengths. So now I try to focus on matching my strength to the tasks I can be most efficient, and getting help from others on the tasks that other strengths perform better. It’s win-win and self-compassionate.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
OJOOK is clean, sustainable and innovative oral care. Our products are made with natural fluoride alternative nHA (nano-hydroxyapatite) and Korea’s medicinal bamboo salt. We are differentiated from conventional brands with following 3 major ways.
OJOOK is the first brand to transform oral care into lifestyle – a mindful, self-care ritual infused with Eastern wellness principles. In Asia, wellness is believed to stem from a series of sustained, healthy habits rather than an approach of “Problem –> Quick-fix solution.” The mouth is considered the gateway to the body and studies have shown that healthy oral microbiomes are linked to healthy hearts and brains.
OJOOK toothpaste uses 30%~50% fewer ingredients than industry average (only 12 ingredients and water) and is made with only those of the highest quality. For example, the 2 hero ingredients are traditional Korean medicinal bamboo salt (it’s roasted 9 times in 1700 C heat, taking 1300 days to create it) and nano-hydroxyapatite that has been gold standard in Japanese oral care for many years (originally developed by NASA!).
And we don’t compromise between efficacy and sustainability. We believe that the longevity of our bodies is tied to the longevity of our environment. The products have zero single-use plastic and packaging is 100% recyclable or compostable.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My daughter Jojo. She’s the whole reason why my oral care brand OJOOK started.
I always had a dream of creating something of my own, but the aha moment really came when I had my daughter in September 2018. Because my husband is not Korean and my whole family is in Korea, it really hit me that if I don’t make a conscious effort, my daughter may never innate my Korean heritage. She inspired me to start OJOOK to make Eastern wellness philosophy more approachable through highlighting small daily rituals. And I live every day to make my daughter proud.
Also, now more than ever I am inspired by emerging brands run by WOC female founders whenever possible. When I choose a product, it goes through my belief filters first: social justice, sustainability, and efficacy / science (vs. just fancy gimmicky packaging). Studying the brand’s philosophy and what kind of impact the brand tries to create allows me to learn so much and I try to reflect that lesson with OJOOK as well.