Cute products and packaging?! Say hello to your new favourite beauty brand and learn all about the founder that started it all.
Maesa Koeber is CEO/founder of New York City-based Gorjue, an upstart beauty brand with shades and packaging inspired by food. Keep reading to learn all about her and her amazing story.
Tell us all about yourself and how you started the brand, Gorjue. How did your love for food and beauty inspire you to create this amazing brand?
I actually really wanted to pursue a career in art ever since I was a small child, but growing up, I came from a traditional Asian family so there were always conflicts growing up as an Asian-American. I rebelled quite a bit and I got pregnant at 17 years old. The moment I knew I was pregnant, I took accountability, owned up, and gave up pursuing an art career to find something with more stability in order ensure a better future for my daughter. I got a lot of backlash for having a daughter young and many told me my life would most likely “be over.” I knew if I had the will and focus to succeed, I could make anything possible, so I got it together and worked really hard. I earned a doctorate degree putting 200% in providing for my family and have worked in healthcare for 15 years now. Nonetheless, deep down inside, I’ve always had a love for art, but I wasn’t sure how or when to turn that into a professional dream. My daughter and I connected a lot over makeup and food shows (a different form of art I would say) and while watching a makeup tutorial, my daughter made a joke and noticed that the lipstick swatch was hotdog color! We both laughed hysterically! I knew I wanted to buy a hotdog lipstick for my daughter, but could not find one in the market. The idea came to me like lightning! I knew it made sense because food and makeup were not just my passion, but two massively trending entities within social media. My daughter and I began working hard to build a high-quality, quirky food-themed cosmetics line and full circle, we were creating the art I always wanted to do! I always say it’s as if I had to have my daughter or she was meant to come into my life in order to lead the way for me in finding my dreams and helping them to come true.
Can you tell us about your products and how they differ from other beauty brands on the market?
We knew we wanted something that really captured the essence of our theme, which is “colours inspired by foods from around the world.” I went through a lot of different designs, spending many nights sketching my vision and this is what really stood out to me. So, all our products are hand designed, then customized by my daughter and me. A lot of lipstick containers show the colour of the formula at the bottom of the lipstick, so why not show the food at the bottom of the container that the colour represents?
Do you have a favourite product from your lineup?
My favourites are the ones I really took risks with, and coincidentally, those are also our followers’ favourites! Every time I look at the Shrimp Fried Rice Lipstick and the Asian Foodie Fusion Bundle Set, I really get nostalgia from the cuteness of it all. Not only are they wearable daily colours, but they are also my favourite foods, veganized that is!
What can consumers expect when they shop your products?
We want our followers to have luxurious makeup that makes them feel beautiful, but with an additional experience of nostalgia and fun! Additionally, I’ve worked with cancer patients the majority of my healthcare career, so it’s always been a priority for me to create a clean brand. Our products are currently vegan/cruelty-free, soy, gluten/wheat, paraben-free, etc. We want to be able to continue perfecting our formulas by really learning about the cleanest ingredients that are not hormone or immune disruptors while preserving wearable quality. To this day, we are working on perfecting and curating even cleaner formulas.
Can you give us a hint about what’s next for the brand and your future dreams for Gorjue?
Sure! We are working on new projects at the moment, and one is not lipstick! Also, anyone ready for brunch on the go?!
Check out Gorjue.com to shop for the latest products and find out more about the brand.