02 03 Maple Tree: [Meet Up] - London AB Spring 2016 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

[Meet Up] - London AB Spring 2016


London Asian Beauty Meet Up - Spring Edition

Last weekend was the first UK AB meet up that I’ve organised and I’m really glad I did!
Met a lot of like-minded people and we all enjoyed devouring the dim sum and complaining about custom charges on imports.
Below is my write up of the day! Though from the pictures alone, they say a picture’s worth a thousand words, I’m sure you can tell we had fun.

London Meet Up Success!

 Meeting Up

We all gathered at the Korea Culture Centre on the Strand for a talk with Diana, the CEO of Inspire Me Korea.
There was the usual first date awkward atmosphere as we tried to guess who was for AB and who was just a random member of the public.
Once gathered, with a few latecomers finding their way later, we were fortunate to hear about Diana’s experience with setting up her own business.

Inspire Me Korea Talk
Diana in red. AB at the KCC

A graduation trip to South Korea changed Diana’s life. It made her realise how in the UK we aren’t exposed to Korean culture. Everyone has vaguely heard of K-Pop, who doesn’t know Gangnam Style, but the history and other aspects of Korean culture are often overlooked. Diana wanted to share the vibrant culture that she fell in love with on her trip and show that South Korea was more than just K-Pop.
The idea was planted in Korea, and over the months bloomed into the “Inspire Me Korea” Subscription Box, Magazine and Blog.
Each box contains a variety of items to reflect the diversity of offerings that South Korea has. There’s snacks, beauty products and Korean entertainment items. One of the key things that “Inspire Me Korea” offer is customisation. And Diana personally curates each box and signs them off.
She also is writer, photographer and editor for the magazine offering which comes with the box! Each magazine takes her 3 weeks to put together and contains information on that month’s box, Korean Culture trivia and even language lessons.

Logistics, logistics, logistics. There are many aspects to setting up and running a subscription box that people don’t realise. It’s not just simply putting a bunch of items into a box. From sourcing all the items, to getting the shipping right. Ensuring the customisation has taken place, to answering customer questions on email. And making sure that people know about the product in the first place! So market research and social media are vital for a successful product.
The idea was conceived in August 2015, but it wasn’t until this year that the first box launched. That just shows the time and dedication needed for launching your own business. Currently Diana works 10-12 hours a day, every day of the week!

Currently Diana is the sole Human working on the business, though she has excellent volunteers helping with the blog and videos. The blog is a collection of posts and stories from anyone and everyone about South Korea. It’s a really great read and if you have your own story to tell check out the submissions (link here).
Now you might wonder why I highlighted human and that’s because she has an animal partner, I mean of course her pet rabbit star of the video! Diana bribes the star with food to pose, and it in itself can be quite a challenge! Rabbits aren’t the best trained animals and a 3 second pose can take hours to film.
Check out the video below:

Beauty Talk
After hearing all about Inspire Me Korea and launching your own business we dove straight into beauty talk. A real variety of topics were touched upon. We’re all hoping that Korean Beauty starts to take off here as much as it has in the States and Asia. 3 week shipping times and inflated prices are no ones favourite option. And the strange sheetmasks we’ve had, like natto and placenta, or even weird uses like the breast sheet mask for firming….

Watch the entire talk here:

By 1 we were all starving and a short trip to China Town and Dim Sum was on the cards.
It felt like we ordered towers of dim sum, but we managed to finish it all! For some of us it was their first time at Dim Sum, but the empty plates and satisfied silence as we all happily tucked in, was a great sign that it was a success!
Yes we finished all of this

 Next up was the bag exchange and Inspire Me Korea Box Raffle. Diana had kindly donated one of the curated boxes for the group and we were all excited to see who would win it.
Inspire Me Korea
Lucky Winner!

We exchanged the Mask bags we ourselves had curated as well. First we compared the packaging, the more organised among us had pretty gift bags, the less organised (like me) had a more eclectic type of package.

Asian Beauty Meet Up

We split up post lunch to tackle the shops and the bubble tea. The shops were sadly over-priced, though one more intrepid member of the group found that London TK Maxx finally stocks KBeauty! Bubble tea was much more successful and a great end to a wonderful day.
London Asian Beauty
Once more, the beautiful UK AB-ers!
Made some great friends and can’t wait for the Summer meet up!

Keep an eye on the FB group (here) and the blog for details in July.


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