I’m a serial entrepreneur and have always been passionate about small businesses and entrepreneurship! I started my first company when I was 15, called Jezie Jewelry. (I wrote a post about how I started Jezie Jewelry here.) I’ve mentioned this briefly in a few blog posts but I recently started a new company with my friend Dave. We’ve known each other for more than ten years, since childhood! Read more to learn about my newest business venture:
My latest project is Mount Lai, a wellness oriented brand focused around high-quality, well-designed jade rollers. I thought it would be good to document the process of starting a business from the ground up. In college, I was the co-president of a club called Entrepreneurial Exchange Group where we brought in founders of companies like Refinery29, Birchbox, Harry’s and even Dominique Ansel Bakery to talk about their entrepreneurial journey. It was always so beneficial to learn about their lessons, mistakes and successes. I thought that documenting the building of Mount Lai could be useful for others down the line. I plan on communicating mistakes and learnings that I come across throughout this process.
It all started with my grandmother’s jade roller, a Chinese skincare tool that’s been used for thousands of years. Jade rollers have so many benefits, ranging from increasing circulation, draining the lymph noses and relaxing facial tension. My grandma has been using her jade roller for decades but when I tried to purchase one of my own, it was difficult to find one that was credible. I purchased two online and while they were really cheap, they both broke after only a few weeks. It seemed like all the jade rollers being sold online were cheaply made and made without intention.
I saw an opportunity in the space to make this miracle tool more accessible, with a focus on quality and design. I brought up this idea to Dave, my co-founder and we both thought that this was worth pursuing.
Our biggest challenge was finding the right manufacturer and jade roller design. We went through many different designs and tested out so many prototypes.
In the image above, the four on the left were just a few of the designs we tested out. A lot of the current jade rollers in the market are held in place by glue. We chose a design where all the components are soldered on for durability. The final design is the one all the way on the right and it’s the only one that passed our quality control test. The manufacturer we decided to go with also creates jade rollers for luxury French spas and had extensive quality control and years of experience so we were happy with the results.
Our website just went live a few days ago to collect emails pre-launch. You can check it out and sign up here to receive something extra when we finally go live!
Our next focus is on packaging. We wanted the box the jade rollers are housed in to be clean and minimalist but still luxurious. We finalized the design recently and are now testing different thicknesses, sizing and silk insets. Hoping to launch soon and am very excited about it! In the meantime, you can keep up with us on Instagram.