In this special column called the “TLC x Fempreneurs Series”, we will be featuring inspiring Female Entrepreneurs (Fempreneurs) in short. You will be able to have a sneak peek at their mindsets and their daily habits.
Believe in the power of community. On some days when you feel big goals are impossible, or when you feel like giving up, you need to lean on your like-minded community. You can even “borrow” motivation, and in turn “return” with your own inspiring stories to pay it forward.
Meet Zhang Ai Li (Kuko Beauty)
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your business/ brand about?
Kuko Beauty sets itself apart from conventional cosmetic and plastic surgery methods. As the Founder, an esteemed beauty expert and senior teacher at an American beauty academy, I have dedicated my career to skincare research since I was 18 years old, consistently maintaining exceptional skin. However, upon reaching the age of 40, I noticed a significant and perplexing acceleration in facial sagging and aging.
I am proud to be recognized as the Asian Traditional Chinese Medicine Plastic Surgery Goddess, leading a team in the independent development of a comprehensive collection of Traditional Chinese Medicine plastic surgery techniques. Personally, I uphold the pinnacle of beauty every day through these techniques. Numerous women have achieved superior results compared to traditional plastic surgery, all without the need for invasive procedures or injections. The success of our approach relies solely on word-of-mouth recommendations, causing tremendous excitement among countless women who admire legendary beauty transformations!
What got you started on your business?
What initially inspired me to enter this industry was the chance to pioneer the first in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) plastic surgery alternatives and establish the world’s first TCM plastic surgery facial clinic.
Before you started on your business, what did you do on a full-time basis?
Before starting this business, I was initially involved in teaching at an international beauty academy and later started my own beauty company. I came to Singapore to explore new fields and devoted myself to the research of Traditional Chinese Medicine plastic surgery, finally making a breakthrough in this field.
What were some difficulties you faced in your life and how did you overcome them?
One of the most significant challenges I have encountered in life was the experience of living in different cities at different stages. This constant relocation required me to swiftly adapt to new environments, work dynamics, and dietary habits. Each time I moved, I felt a profound sense of loneliness due to the absence of familiar friends. However, this circumstance forced me to develop self-reliance and independent thinking, relinquishing my reliance on the opinions of others. Through this process, I honed my ability to handle diverse situations autonomously and improved as an individual.
Who inspires you?
Motivated by my personal journey and the quest for a solution, I embarked on a transformative path of self-discovery and innovation. Along the way, I became a beacon of inspiration to myself and others in the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine and plastic surgery. Together with my dedicated team, we delved into extensive research encompassing facial muscle analysis, expression analysis, facial meridians, and acupoints.
Through our diligent efforts, we successfully formulated a comprehensive set of pure Traditional Chinese Medicine plastic surgery techniques. This monumental achievement led to the birth of the Kuko brand in Singapore in 2018. Throughout my exploration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I also drew inspiration from facial yoga. I pondered upon the possibility of utilizing facial yoga, which trains the muscles to reset, to reset the muscles utilizing the meridians within our bodies.
Given that meridians traverse through the subcutaneous fascia layer, muscle fascia layer, and deep fascia layer, we theorized that tightening the fascia would result in the elevation of sagging skin and muscles. This innovative approach opened up new possibilities for non-invasive rejuvenation techniques, leading to exceptional outcomes in addressing skin sagging and aging.
What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me the most about my involvement in the field of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) facial transformations is witnessing how it contributes to the health and confidence of individuals. Observing the happiness and heightened self-assurance that customers exude following their transformations brings me immense joy. It’s a sentiment that I can genuinely empathize with.
What is your vision / personal motto?
My personal vision and motto embody the belief that every experience we encounter, regardless of its nature, holds only temporary significance. The challenges we face, even the most daunting ones, serve as stepping stones toward inner strength. As we navigate through uncertain and turbulent times, we transform hardships into reservoirs of resilience, creating cherished memories and fostering unwavering determination. This perspective empowers us to face the future with courage and unwavering perseverance.
Do you have any words of advice for other ladies who are starting their businesses/ starting to pursue their dream?
When aspiring women entrepreneurs embark on their business journey, it is crucial for them to make informed decisions by conducting thorough market research, rather than solely relying on personal interests and hobbies.
Entrepreneurship inherently involves risks, and therefore, it is essential to assess whether the chosen industry exhibits growth potential or if there are avenues for introducing unique innovations. The profitability factor holds utmost significance in entrepreneurship, as without a promising return on investment, sustaining long-term operations becomes challenging.
During the initial stages of entrepreneurship, it is imperative to personally undertake and manage every task. This hands-on approach allows for personal growth and improvement throughout the entrepreneurial process. Attracting and retaining talent can be difficult in the early stages, and if faced with employee resignations or betrayals, it is crucial to possess the ability to handle the situation independently.
What have you learnt recently that you hope the other ladies can take back?
Recently, I have been immersing myself in the realm of advanced aesthetics, delving into the principles of “Light and Shadow Aesthetics.” This pursuit has deepened my understanding of aesthetics and refined my personal aesthetic perspective. I firmly believe that every woman holds the power to cultivate her innate charm through the exploration of aesthetics, ultimately allowing herself to shine even brighter and stand out among the rest.
How do you think you can help ladies to feel confident and empowered?
I am confident in my ability to empower women by highlighting the significance of personal grooming. By emphasizing the importance of appropriate makeup and clothing, I aim to enhance their overall appearance and create a positive and lasting impression.
What is one thing you are grateful for?
One thing I am deeply grateful for is the unwavering support and assistance we received from my husband’s boss during the most challenging period for our company. Without her invaluable help, the emergence of TCM plastic surgery in the market would not have been possible, and our ability to positively impact the lives of numerous individuals would have been limited. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to her for her immense contribution and support.
What do you do in your free time as self-care? How do you unwind?
In my free time, I enjoy being in nature, surrounded by the delightful fragrances of trees and flowers. Cooking for my family in the comfort of our home, accompanied by the gentle aroma of incense, while indulging in the soothing melodies of classical music, brings me a profound sense of relaxation and tranquillity.
Let us know more about what you do!
Kuko Beauty uses Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques to enhance the body’s internal and external connection. We use a method called meridian fascia resculpting to stimulate the skin and body for aesthetic improvements. This technique targets different levels of the fascia layer to improve skin elasticity, muscle contours, and relax muscles.
You may also find us featured on Urban Ladies, Vanilla Luxury, and ELLE Singapore.
Connect with Kuko Beauty!
Are you a Fempreneur too?
Connect with us – we’d love to feature you! Say hi to us at [email protected] or reach out to us via our social media.
Read TLC x Fempreneur Series:
- Margaret Wu, For Beloved One (Singapore)
- Nerissa Low, Liht Organics (Singapore)
- Maddy Barber, Madly Gems (Singapore)
- Dr. Menka Gupta, Nutra Nourish (Singapore)
- Lily Kew, Kew Organics (Singapore)
- Vikki Tear, SoyCraft (Singapore)
- Ezza Yusof, 2morrow Official (Malaysia)
- Julie Yim, Lilin+Co (Malaysia)
- Zairin Azman, UMMA (Malaysia)
- Liza Morales, Ecotecture Design Studio (Philippines)