The beauty market has always been a promising direction for business. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, with new brands and types of cosmetic products emerging in the market. At the same time, there is a growing consumer demand for them. Buyers have become more selective and discerning, preferring high-quality natural cosmetics at an affordable price. These two criteria were fundamental for businessman Roman Ustymenko when choosing the subject of trade for his business. We asked the founder of the online stores crispy.ua and alfabeauty.com about his entrepreneurial activities in Ukraine and the USA, and why he chose South Korean brands from the vast variety of cosmetic products on the market.
Roman, how did you come up with the idea to open an online store?
Due to the events of 2014 in the country’s east, my family and I had to move from Luhansk to Kyiv and start from scratch. I chose to sell cosmetics. It was the fastest way to earn money and the opportunity to purchase goods with a relatively small amount of money. At first, I sold cosmetics to friends and acquaintances, then to friends of friends, and the business started to grow. I began to earn well, and my income increased. That’s when I realized it was time to open my own online store, which I did in 2016.
Why did you decide to sell Korean cosmetics?
At that time, Korean cosmetics were just beginning to gain a foothold in the Ukrainian market. Detailed product analysis and user reviews indicated that it was in high demand and had several competitive advantages. I liked that cosmetic products were predominantly made from natural, environmentally friendly components, underwent mandatory certification, had attractive packaging and innovative design, and were affordable while maintaining high quality.
So, it’s safe to say that you made the right choice?
Absolutely. My achievements in business, which were highly praised by the Assembly of Business Circles of Ukraine this year, speak volumes. I received a prestigious award – the “Order of Honor” and the title of “Great Ukrainian” for my significant contribution to the country’s development and economic prosperity, active civic position, and volunteer activities aimed at helping the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Lately, it has become fashionable to talk about the mission of a business. Could you tell us what mission your company carries?
The mission of our company is to help people take proper care of themselves, emphasize the virtues of their appearance, address skin imperfections, and preserve their natural freshness and youth for as long as possible.
Last year, you opened an online store selling Korean cosmetics in New York. Does the strategy of your American company differ from the Ukrainian one?
If we talk about the overall business strategy, it remains unchanged. Both in Ukraine and in the USA, our primary goal is to provide consumers with high-quality cosmetics and the best brands, offer the best wholesale prices for such products, and provide customers with top-notch service. The only addition to the strategy of the American company is to provide consumers with exclusive branded cosmetics.
If we talk about the business strategy, it does differ because the goals and tasks of the companies are different. In the USA, there are more opportunities to scale the business and implement new ideas, so the goals and plans are more ambitious and forward-thinking.
Could you elaborate more on your plans in the USA?
My goals in the United States go far beyond just promoting an online store. However, at the moment, it is the main focus of my business, so I plan to further develop it and become the number one supplier of exclusive Korean branded cosmetics in the USA. In the near future, I have set my sights on realizing my long-time dream of creating a personal brand that will simplify the multi-step Korean skincare routine for American and European women. In simpler terms, if currently achieving the maximum effect from using Korean skincare products takes approximately 40 minutes a day, my cosmetic products will reduce the beauty ritual to just 10 minutes.
I also intend to create interesting collaborations with well-known American cosmetologists, perfumers, and the New York Institute of Beauty. This is a multi-year project. By 2028, I plan to launch my own production of under-eye patches and skincare products, consisting of 2/3 American raw materials.
It’s important to note that the implementation of each goal will automatically lead to the creation of new jobs, contribute to the growth of the American economy, and provide significant benefits and financial advantages to consumers.
The determination and diligence with which Ukrainian businessman Roman Ustymenko is conquering the American beauty market only confirm the seriousness of his intentions and inspire confidence in the success of all his projects.