NEW YORK — Joanna Chien wants American women to treat skin care as an essential daily regimen — much like brushing their teeth. Her goal is that all women will be able to afford the latest technology.
That’s why she abandoned her management position at Deloitte seven years ago and, with a $30,000 investment, founded Unt Skincare (Unt is an abbreviation of untitled). The vision was to deliver high-technology products backed by physicians at affordable prices, often half of upscale counterparts. For example, Unt’s Prodige plant stem cell serum (formulated with rare apple stem cells) retails for $59.99 for a 1-oz. bottle.
There are 10 physicians on board, ranging from plastic surgeons to dermatologists, who help Unt stay on top of skin care trends including whitening, antiaging and acne remedies. Visitors to the Web site, shopunt.com, can upload a photo of themselves and get these experts’ recommendations on skin remedies. Other items in the lineup feature everything from hyaluronic acids, copper peptides and stem cells.
Unt products are currently sold in almost 91 countries, mostly via Internet sales. The architecture of the firm — a tight staff, small advertising spending and costs controlled through Internet distribution — allows Unt to keep its retail prices down. But just as many retailers and suppliers are hungry for growth in U.S. brick-and-mortar stores. Chien has a goal of bringing Unt to American mass chains and direct marketing channels within the year. The timing could be right, as there is mushrooming demand for Asian products and high-technology skin care at prices that fit the drugstore and discount channels.
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The line is broad, encompassing more than 250 skin care stockkeeping units, but also nail and color cosmetics.