#QuickChatWithPamper: From Soko Glam to Then I Met You, Charlotte Cho on Building a Korean Beauty Empire

Charlotte Cho, the founder of Soko Glam and Then I Met You

A beauty advocate turned entrepreneur, Charlotte Cho has always been at the forefront of the K-beauty movement. Through her e-commerce platform, Soko Glam, she introduced Korean beauty products to the US market, and with her own K-beauty-inspired skincare line, Then I Met You, she continues to bridge cultures and deliver innovative, effective formulas.

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Charlotte about her journey, from falling in love with Korean skincare during her time living in Korea to launching her own successful brand, which will soon be available in Sephora stores in Malaysia.

A Korean American born in California, Charlotte’s journey into the world of beauty entrepreneurship is as inspiring as it is transformative. “So essentially I lived in California and I did not have my own skincare routine at all,” she recounts. “I moved to Korea for 5 years after college. I worked as a PR for Samsung, and I was just so happy to be there because it was very different from living in the US, and most importantly, I fell in love with skincare.”

While living in Korea, Charlotte discovered a world of effective and innovative Korean skincare products that were inaccessible in the US at the time. Driven by her newfound passion, Charlotte embarked on a mission to share her discoveries with others. “I wanted to share what I had learned in Korea about skincare and all my favorite beauty finds and products,” she explains. Thus, Soko Glam was born — a platform that revolutionizes the way K-beauty products were perceived and consumed in the US market.

What started as a personal endeavor soon evolved into something much larger. Soko Glam quickly gained traction, becoming a go-to destination for K-beauty enthusiasts seeking high-quality, curated products. “At first, I just brought my friends the products when I went home for Christmas, and then they wanted more and more and more,” Charlotte recalls. “So I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll make this little blog,’ and it was kind of fun, and then it blew up. The New York Times wrote about it, and all of these beauty publications wrote about Soko Glam, and it just became this bigger thing.”

Charlotte’s approach to curating products for Soko Glam was guided by her personal experiences and a commitment to quality. “I pretty much went with mainstream brands, like special skin foods, and then as it got bigger, I started pursuing real relationships with brands,” she says. Through Soko Glam, Charlotte became a trusted voice in the industry, advocating for authentic, high-quality Korean skincare products.

Then I Met You – a K-beauty inspired skincare line curated by Charlotte Cho

As Soko Glam flourished, Charlotte’s passion for skincare continued to evolve, leading her to launch Then I Met You in 2018 — a brand that embodies her ethos of authenticity, innovation, and self-care. “Every formula is intentionally created, every formula was specialized developed,” she emphasizes. With a focus on quality over quantity, Then I Met You has garnered a cult following, resonating with consumers who seek skincare rituals rooted in intention and efficacy.

What sets Then I Met You apart from other K-beauty brands, according to Charlotte, is its authenticity and commitment to innovation, where each product is formulated with thoughtfully chosen ingredients and a focus on sensory experience. The brand avoids “off-the-shelf” solutions, but invest in research and development to develop unique formulas, resulting in proprietary formulas like the popular Living Cleansing Balm, which took three years to perfect. “I tried so many cleansing balms throughout my curation of Soko Glam. I knew that if I were to create my own cleansing balm, my goal would be to get the luxurious texture that gives a soft, pleasant feel.” This dedication to perfection is evident in every product, from the luxurious Living Cleansing Balm to the transformative Birch Milk Refining Toner.

Charlotte also unveiled a new addition to the Then I Met You lineup, set to debut in Sephora soon: the Bong2 Bounce Cream. Infused with the delightful aroma of Hallabong, this innovative cream is formulated to fortify the skin’s natural barrier while maintaining a feather-light consistency. Charlotte explains, “The Bong2 Bounce Cream is crafted from the extract of Hallabong oranges, a fruit unique to Jeju Island, renowned for its thick peel and resilience to the winter cold. Its shape mirrors that of the fruit, inspiring the playful name ‘Bong Bong,’ which hints at the ‘bounce’ effect it will give your cheeks. Among all our offerings, this cream embodies a sense of playful indulgence.”

Bong2 Bounce Cream

Looking ahead, Charlotte remains committed to her vision of empowering individuals through skincare. “We’re going to be continuously launching new products,” she says. “We want to make a sunscreen that’s globally compliant. I like tone-up, like a little bit of skin tint. I wanna make that but for universal skin tone. I want to make a serum too. I mean, we’re working on a serum right now.”

Charlotte’s entrepreneurial journey is not just about building successful brands — it’s about fostering a deep connection with her audience and empowering them to embrace self-care as a form of self-expression. “I feel like I have ‘Jeong,’ which is like a deep connection you have with someone or something,” she explains. “It makes you think with your heart and not with your head.” This emotional connection is evident in every aspect of Then I Met You, from its carefully curated ingredients to its thoughtful packaging and branding.

As Then I Met You will soon make its debut at Sephora in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Philippines on April 18th, Charlotte is excited to introduce her brand to a new audience while staying true to her core values of authenticity and innovation. “We’ve never been in retail before, always online,” she shares. “So this is gonna be our first time going into retail.” With Sephora’s regional reach and Charlotte’s dedication to quality, she believes Then I Met You is poised to make a lasting impact on the skincare industry.

Read also: #QuickChatWithPamper: Getting to Know Ksisters, the Premium K-Beauty Online Store – With Its Founder, Jungmin Lee