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WWD Beauty Inc Awards: Tatcha’s Vicky Tsai Wins Founder’s Award

At Tatcha, Vicky Tsai is committed to having personal connections with customers and working with Rooms to Read, a nonprofit focused on girls' education and literacy.

Vicky Tsai isn’t just caring for skin, she’s caring for humans. After dealing with her own dermatitis issue for years, the founder of Tatcha has developed a cult product line that uses carefully developed formulations to treat even the most sensitive skin. The products are inspired by ancient geisha beauty rituals, but modernized in line with beauty trends, like skin-care makeup hybrids. Those products, such as Tatcha’s Silk Canvas Filter Finish Protective Primer and The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment, have gone on to be some of its most successful launches. Unlike other category hybrid products, which sometimes just add pigment to skin care or skin-care ingredients to pigment, Tsai’s team of in-house scientists build her formulations from the ground up, even when that process takes years.

Beyond her dedication to her formulations, which she’ll sit on for long periods of time until they meet her standards, Tsai is dedicated to people. She wakes up early to answer e-mails, and personally responds to paragraphs-long direct messages via social media. Historically a Snapchat fan, Tsai switched to Instagram in 2018, to prompt more direct communication with followers, shoppers and friends. There, topics run the gamut, from product inquiries to personal struggles to health, and Tsai responds to every inquiry. Her dedication to people goes far beyond just those who shop with her. Through a long-standing program with Rooms to Read, a nonprofit centered around girls’ education and literacy, Tatcha has funded more than 2 million days of school for girls in Asia and Africa. And it’s clear that Tsai’s community loves Tatcha as much as Tatcha loves its community. Industry sources estimate 2018 sales skyrocketed 80 percent to almost $120 million at retail.

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