Artisanal Heritage Meets Modern Innovation
107 was founded by Chloe Kwak, a Certified National Aesthetician in Korea, and Seyong Shin, CEO of one of the oldest and largest aged vinegar breweries in Korea. Chloe and Seyong first met in 2012, at a volunteer event for a philanthropic NGO Seyong had established. They became close friends in the years that followed, due largely to their shared belief in pursuing healthy, purpose-driven lives, both at work and at home. They launched 107 in 2015 because of another shared passion, aged vinegar. Entrepreneurs by profession, they started 107 to give purpose to that passion. To this day, Chloe and Seyong run 107 with a few goals committed to heart: to renew age-old beauty secrets using modern skincare technology; to develop skincare products that are truly effective and beneficial for all people; and to promote holistic wellness and welfare (not just physical beauty), both as a company and as citizens of a global community.
A Note from Chloe
Looking back, I am eternally grateful that I met Seyong when I did. I got to know him during one of the most stressful and challenging periods of my life. On top of work and health issues, I was dealing with some soul-crushing skincare problems, namely eczema. Some of you may relate. With severe rashes on my face and body, my self-esteem was at an all-time low, and it affected me in every possible way. Whether at work or at home, it was like a heavy anchor that weighed on my mood and mental wellbeing. Problematic skin was not new for me, but this was the worst it had ever gotten. I had tried everything (I mean everything!), but nothing helped. It was hard to even bring myself to smile back in those days, for fear of bringing attention to my face.
When Seyong found out what I was going through, he gave me something to try. It was a remedy made by his mother, a pharmacist who had studied traditional Asian medicine. All he told me back then was that it was made using aged vinegar from HANEGA, his family’s brewery. It was a very kind gesture on his part, but I was naturally very skeptical. Having grown up in the US and worked in the beauty industry, I had come across my fair share of “magic” potions for beautiful skin. I almost stuck it in my pantry and forgot about it. But then, I met Seyong’s mother, and I couldn’t help but notice how smooth and radiant her skin was and how she looked so much younger than her age. I remembered thinking: what was her secret?
So, I decided to give her remedy a try.
What happened next surprised and thrilled me. Within days of using the remedy, my skin started to recover, and within another week or so, the rashes disappeared completely. Needless to say, I became enamored with HANEGA’s vinegar. The more I learned about its heritage, the more I fell in love with it. Handmade using centuries-old secret recipes and methods, based on traditional Asian medicine remedies, aged and cared for like the finest of wines – there was no other vinegar like it.
After the fact, it made complete sense to me. I was in the beauty industry. I had already known about the powerful benefits of using fermented ingredients in skin care. It didn’t take me long to become convinced that aged vinegar could be purified and incorporated into truly effective skincare formulations. So, I approached Seyong with an idea: to start a new business together that would use modern skincare innovation to harness the power of his family’s vinegar to help rejuvenate skin. 107 was born shortly thereafter, with a purpose adopted from Seyong’s mother and her team of artisans. No matter how long it took or how difficult it was, we would dedicate ourselves and our company to helping others improve their holistic wellness.
I would have never discovered the countless benefits of aged vinegar had I never decided to volunteer at the charity Seyong ran (where we first met). This fact has left a lasting impression on me. For some people, wellness is not easily accessible. Like the herbs used in HANEGA’s vinegar, wellness needs fertile soil to propagate. It requires a community of dedicated artisans who can nurture it to produce truly amazing outcomes. That is why Seyong and I decided to also establish 107 Foundation. Wellness can be paid forward, but it needs a place to grow roots before it can be harvested. We hope to make 107 Foundation such a place, and we hope you’ll join us there.
Thank you for spending time with us! I hope you’ve had a chance to learn more about 107. If you ever have any questions, or just want to share a story, feel free to reach out to me directly at email@example.com.
Until next time,
Co-Founder & Co-CEO