He puts the ‘extreme’ in extremely dry and sensitive skin.
It is precisely because of this that he has such an unconventional history to becoming a cosmetics maker.
Being the founder of Earthcare Asia, Tatsuya Inoue has the opportunity to meet countless people throughout his work-related endeavors. Many of these people say, with various meanings, “You’re not like other founders.”
The reason behind this lies in his way of thinking. Combining his naturally curious mind, his own experience with skin troubles, and his years of corporate experience, Inoue’s way of thinking is completely unconventional from that of an ordinary cosmetics business founder.
- From the construction industry to the cosmetics industry
- He thinks and communicates directly with his own voice
- He became the guinea pig during product development
- He isn’t influenced by the mainstream
- This is something only he can do
From the construction industry to the cosmetics industry
After graduating from university at 22 years old, Tatsuya Inoue began work as a salesman at a construction company in his hometown.
The reason why he chose this company was because it was close to his parents’ home and he could work without worrying about catching the last train.
Determined to work hard, Inoue did everything: he did manual labor at construction sites; he organized parts and materials from blueprints; he developed new businesses.
He became a Yes Man, working regardless of day and night.
Soon enough, the bubble era for the construction industry ended. Inoue realized he saw no future in continuing work at the company and resigned.
After moving from job to job in booming industries, he was approached by a cosmetics manufacturer. It seemed like there was no ‘economic bubble’ in the cosmetics industry and he felt that he could work to his full potential at this company.
This became Inoue’s gateway to the cosmetics industry.
He experienced everything, from product manufacturing to marketing
Being a man who has having unbelievably dry and sensitive skin, he never found skincare products that he could loyally use. The idea that “cosmetics are for women” was also ingrained in his mind.
“How do you use toners?” “Why do you use lotions?” He hardly had any knowledge at all.
But during the first 6 months at this cosmetics company, he was given the opportunity to work at the company’s factory and engage in the manufacturing process. At the factory, Inoue worked side by side with the other employees in the production line. He filled product tubes, tightened caps, assembled boxes. Through this hands-on experience, he learned first-hand about product design, packaging, and so much more.
After finishing his factory duties, he had private lessons with the founder about cosmetics. Inoue was at the factory from 9AM to 6PM, and studied cosmetics until 5AM the next day. This routine continued for days.
After learning complex knowledge about cosmetics chemistry, Inoue asked to visit the company’s lab to gain hands-on experience with making the physical product. This is where he obtained his foundation of skills and knowledge of cosmetics manufacturing.
He participated in launching other brands
After about a year, he was approached to become the CEO of a subsidiary company. The job etailed rebuilding a business with defective stock. He took the offer.
With the company’s registry in one hand and creating and distributing presentation materials about the OEM product in another, he rigorously worked to build a network of distributors from scratch. Using his unconventional and unique ideas, Inoue succeeded. Through this experience, he participated in the manufacturing process of now-famous brands, and was able to gain experience with kickstarting major businesses today.
What started as a company with defective product stock, they now had distributors nationwide, and Inoue successfully built a sales network within a year.
After racking multiple successes and gaining confidence, Inoue resigned from his position as CEO and began working toward founding his own company.
He thinks and communicates directly with his own voice
Very bluntly, Tatsuya Inoue cannot restrain himself. If he wants to do something, he has to do it. If he puts his mind to something, he has to do it. Being self-aware of this fact, he knew that the reason he wanted to found his own company was purely because he wanted to be independent from everyone.
At 26, he founded Earthcare.
At this point, he had let go of the sales network and distribution network that he had created at his previous employment. This is because Inoue felt uncomfortable with the method of selling ‘wholesale’ products with sales stores in between.
From a sales store’s point of view, Earthcare Asia’s products are nothing more than one of the many items they handle. Their knowledge about cosmetics is shallow and they don’t know the details of Earthcare Asia’s products. It was questionable to Inoue whether these stores can provide sufficient and satisfactory customer service.
Having extremely dry and sensitive skin himself, he had an abundance of knowledge and experience. He had even stood in the factory production lines of cosmetics manufacturers and physically made cosmetics. He participated in kickstarting brands from scratch, and was already very well-versed in the cosmetics industry.
“Shouldn’t I, then, be the one helping others with their skin too?”
He became the guinea pig during product development
Inoue had extremely dry and sensitive skin. He could never find skincare products that wouldn’t make his skin red and itchy.
- At work, he had rashes and inflammation on his neck from the shirt glue on his button-ups.
- At part-time work, he had blisters, cuts, and high fevers from dermatitis after standing in the sun for 2 hours.
- On business trips, he had rashes on his scalp and neck from the hotel’s shampoo and conditioner.
- At the pool, he had rashes and inflammation all over his body from the chlorine.
“It’s almost funny how sensitive my skin is.”
He thought that if he became the guinea pig, he would be able to help other people with skin troubles. Since then, he began testing directly on himself, working toward creating a product that people like him, with even the most sensitive skin, could use.
At the same time, Inoue avoided common business practices that he didn’t agree with.
For example, skincare products are typically sold through a manufacturer or wholesaler, so the price become expensive. It’s even more expensive if the products are sold at physical stores or at department stores, because you have to pay for the employees to work there even if there are no customers.
Inoue removed all of those business practices.
He isn’t influenced by the mainstream
For example, it is now common logic that skincare only requires one basic product. In the past, this wasn’t universal and many people couldn’t understand why that was the truth.
As a cosmetics manufacturer, making multiple products means increased profit for the company, so we wouldn’t purposefully reduce the number of products we make.
However, Earthcare Asia has not changed its product formula for over 20 years.
There are other examples of how Earthcare Asia doesn’t follow the mainstream.
- We only sell online: Although selling at independent stores and department stores is popular, Earthcare Asia provides a convenient online service where customers didn’t have to leave their homes to purchase our products. Not to mention, we don’t spend additional costs on sales workers, meaning we can use that money to improve our products. You can buy the products whenever you want. You won’t be nagged by sales workers either to buy more than you want.
- We’re a cosmetics manufacturer and seller: Because we don’t have a middleman, Earthcare Asia is able to spend money that would be paid to third parties to our products.
- We don’t use fancy packaging: For something that eventually gets thrown away, many brands spend an abundance of money on packaging and design. Instead, we value simplicity and usefulness. We would much rather cut back on those additional costs and spend them on our products.
- We use our own experience: Not only do we provide cosmetics and skincare information on our website but also personal experiences. We also provide a call center where you can connect with certified skincare advisors to build trust with our customers.
- We never include sales pitches during your call center inquiries: From experience, Inoue fully understands that customers are calling to receive information about skincare and have their questions answered – not to be persuaded into buying something. That’s why, at Earthcare Asia, we conduct call center services with a disregard for profit and thoroughly guide customers to their satisfaction. Thanks to this, we hear many customers say, “There’s no other company that answers my questions this thoroughly and patiently.”
- We release subjective information: It’s difficult to know what a product is just by looking at its ingredients list. That’s why we share our staff’s thoughts and comments after using Earthcare Asia’s products, providing a subjective perspective that customers can relate to.
By building up on these practices, Earthcare Asia has created products that are unthinkable in the cosmetics industry and has solidified its presence.
This is something only he can do
Because he’s a man in the cosmetics industry, Inoue was able to approach things from a perspective that perhaps women might not have.
- Immense curiosity
- Deviation from the conventions of the cosmetics industry
- Valuing the product over anything else
- Having extremely dry and sensitive skin himself
- Being a cosmetics manufacturer and company founder
With this, the unique roots of the unconventional cosmetics company, Earthcare, are born.
“If there’s something you don’t think is right, correct it.”
“Listen to our customers’ voices and apply those.”
These continue to be our core values at Earthcare Asia.
By continuing the following, Earthcare Asia has remained an extremely stable company:
- Product manufacturing that relies on the basic element of skincare: moisturizing
- Releasing information about correct and proper skincare
- Offering support with certified skincare advisors
- Conducting courteous customer service that prioritizes the customers’ needs and wants
Perhaps when you think of cosmetics, you don’t imagine men in the picture.
What has remained unchanged in the industry is the fact that the ‘face’ of cosmetics is always a beautiful, young female. Inoue is, of course, not that – he’s a middle-aged male with extremely dry and sensitive skin.
However, if you feel that Earthcare Asia is an interesting and unique company with an unconventional founder, perhaps our products and services are perfect for you.