With the growing wellness industry, it is always refreshing to find womenpreneurs who step up and are passionate about health as well as helping others. We spoke to Dr Cheng, founder of Women Infinity, which is a brand of collagen that has been helping women achieve better skin as well as better joint health. It is quite unique too in the sense that Women Infinity is one of the few brands with doctors’ recommendations. Read on as we learn more about the woman behind the brand.
Q: Why don’t we start off by learning a bit more about you, Dr. Cheng. What field do you specialise in?
I graduated with as a doctor in veterinary medicine in 2010 and started my carrer as a poultry veterinarian. Later on, I went into feed additives (which is part of poultry nutrition and feed). While reading about additives and supplements in order to understand how they work in animals, I also read about human health as I was interested to improve my own health and learn how to improve my exercise performance.
With this combination of knowledge of both humans and animals, my conclusion is that humans are still considered animals but we’re just at the top of the hierarchy in the animal kingdom. Various animals are still mammals and we are all living organisms that need certain diets and lifestyle in order to be healthy.
Personally, I love to share my knowledge and experiences with my friends, and hope to share with more people through the Women Infinity blog.
Q: Women Infinity is meant to target busy women who want to look and feel good without having to waste time and money on products that don’t fit the bill. What inspired you to create Women Infinity originally and what inspired the name?
The name Women Infinity is a result of a very personal journey. I used to be quite a dependent girl but after some lousy relationships, I decided to be alone for some time. During my solo journey, I learnt to be independent and realised that females are amazing creatures (don’t you think your mum is the most fabulous woman?). The power of females is unlimited and they are able to do and achieve anything they want. Women’s abilities are to infinity. Women love infinitely and unconditionally. And I think that women deserve the best infinitely. Thus, the name “Women Infinity”.
Q: What makes Women Infinity’s collagen different from other brands out there?
I find many supplements and products out there containing many ingredients that claim to have results that seem almost magical, but all are not up to the key ingredients’ effective dosages. People need to understand that for every vitamin or mineral you consume, it needs to be at a level needed to cause a positive effect in your body after a period of time of consumption.
A lot of brands often put many ingredients into their products in order amaze the consumers. This is purely a marketing tactic, giving the illusion that these products are going to have all the various health benefits of those ingredients. But if not in effective dosages, those ingredients don’t really work or have any effect. To me, they are as good filler ingredients, regardless how expensive the actual ingredients may be.
Moreover, retail stores generally take up 30-40% off the margin, therefore it is also difficult for manufacturers or brands to make products that incur higher cost. If manufacturers or brands were to make products with many ingredients all up to their effective dosages, the product would be too expensive to produce and sell. For me, I personally would want products that work for me without filler ingredients. I don’t buy into how many things/herbs/natural/magic stuff the product has. I prefer pure and genuine products. Thus, I created a product that I wanted to use for myself. To be honest, there is nothing to hide. My product content is very simple. There is no “special” stuff to be claimed to do magic on people.
Dr Cheng relaxing at a cafe in Bangkok, Thailand
Q: Did you have a tough time starting Women Infinity? What was your journey like?
I would not say that it was very tough as I did not hit rock bottom and then had a break through. It was just as simple as starting a business when I decided to have a beauty and health business. I chose to have consumable products because based on Science, absorption rate in one’s gastrointestinal tract is higher than through the skin. Thus, the sayings “You are what you eat” and “beauty starts from the inside” are so true.
I started my business with a full time job, and am still in my full time job. The tough part was tight finances when I had to buy stocks and of course, incur other start-up costs such as website hosting, designers etc. I did not take loan to start my business. Moreover, I’m an introvert who is very shy and I started the business not knowing how to promote and market my business. As such, I had to also invest time and money to learn more about this through books and courses.
Besides financial aspect, time management is also something difficult to manage. I need to find time to design pictures for social media, brainstorm and feel what I want to write, and find time to post regularly in social media. People who don’t understand will think I am playing with my phone (games, chatting) and complain that I am “always” on my phone when I am actually working. With limited resources and time, I had to juggle work, social life and exercise. Fortunately, my family and close friends have been very supportive since the beginning.
Along my journey, I’ve met nice people and learnt a lot from them when they share experiences and opinions with me, which is why I feel like doing the same to others. I have also learnt that the time will come and there is no need to rush. Interestingly, I have started to appreciate and support small businesses because their products are often made with love and lots of effort; more often are of better quality compared to big brands.
Q: What would you recommend for women who are trying to find something that can make them look and feel beautiful?
First thing to look and feel beautiful is to fix your lifestyle. You can’t party every night, sleep late every night and still expect to look young and beautiful after 5 years. The most important secret is to sleep adequately and drink a lot of water. Without these two, it doesn’t really work no matter what you consume. You also look younger and prettier when you workout routinely and apply sunblock. Not forgetting a balanced healthy diet. There is no magic shortcut except plastic surgery. Supplements come after your lifestyle.
For me, I am quite lazy and do not have 30 types of skincare products. I do the above and only use facial masks whenever I find my skin turns dry, especially after long exposure of sunlight. Many people think that applying many creams on the face and doing many types of masks will make them look young and beautiful. I am not saying that creams dont work, some, if not all, works but not very much.
If you are looking for supplements, don’t be greedy and look for the most “effective” ingredients or those that make exaggerated claims. I personally do not believe that you can see results in short period of time. Everyone is different with different absorption rates, therefore everyone experiences results at their own pace. Clinical trials for supplements are carried out for a minimum of 3-6 months to measure the effect. As for my products, my customers and friends experienced results after a few months of consumption.
One of Dr Cheng’s way of keeping fit – pole dancing, and her Women Infinity helps to ensure her joint health
Q: How has Women Infinity changed you compared to when you first started?
I have learnt to be more patient. I was also never a good listener but since I started the business, I have started to listen more – not pretending to listen but listening genuinely. I am also more open to suggestions and new ideas. With my patience, I am also becoming more forgiving for small mistakes.
Most importantly, I’ve learned to be myself. Previously, my social media was managed by others but then I decided to manage it by myself. With this, I am able to share my real thoughts, feelings, experiences. I was afraid to let anyone to know my true self because I used to think that I am weird. But now, I don’t care anymore about what others think as I am just being myself and genuine to almost everyone I meet. Only by being yourself you will find your true love. (PS: I would love to connect with all the weirdos out there…hahaha).
With continuous learning and advice from the experts, I learned the do’s and don’ts in business as well as in life. I learned through the hard way by losing lots of money. I knew what I did wrong in the beginning and I know what to do in future if I start another business. I used to see Women Infinity as a failure, but now I see it as my learning platform.
Q: How do you plan to make your brand grow going forward? What’s the next big thing for Women Infinity?
I’d love Women Infinity to continue serving my loyal customers. As my boyfriend always likes to say, “Giving is living.” so I believe in giving back and with the growth of my business, I plan to donate a portion of the profit to some causes or charity. I also hope to reach out to more women (to support each other) and hopefully gain more resellers/ distributors/ agents.
Although collagen is a very common supplement, it is mainly marketed for the skin but there are more benefits to the body other than the skin. I am planning to develop a new range of products targeting specific pain points of people (aging people mainly). I want to help reduce their suffering so that they can live a happier and fuller life.
Q: Is there any advice you’d like to give to those seeking out to start their own beauty-related company?
Do your research and learn what are the ingredients inside your products. Please be ethical. Start small. It is okay to start small. Starting is better than nothing.
We would like to thank Dr Cheng for this interview and if you would like to learn more about Women Infinity or their collagen products, do visit their website at www.womeninfinity.com.
Photo credits: Dr Cheng and Women Infinity