Episode 150
March 21, 2023

Gel Nails and Target Sales

with Christina Kao, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Le Mini Macaron

About this episode

Today, we are joined by Christina Kao, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the DIY gel manicure and nail care brand, Le Mini Macaron. Christina opens up about her personal journey from Alabama to New York, to Shanghai, and beyond, and shares the genesis story of her brand. We learn how her brand went viral on TikTok, the challenges she faced as her business evolved, and the role Covid played in the brand’s success. Tune in to discover how to make a smooth career transition and bootstrap your way to the top!

This episode is sponsored by

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • [03:15] Le Mini Macaron Co-founder, Christina Kao, shares her unique background.
  • [06:48] Her experience of living and working in Shanghai for 10 years, and her entry into entrepreneurship.
  • [16:59] Christina’s advice for making a smooth career transition.
  • [19:29] The genesis story of Le Mini Macaron and how the brand evolved.
  • [26:30] How Covid positively impacted the business.
  • [30:57] Christina describes Le Mini Macaron’s unique product.
  • [36:30] How the brand went viral on TikTok; advice for other brands looking to go viral.
  • [47:24] Christina’s greatest challenges along the road of building her brand.
  • [53:54] Le Mini Macaron’s bootstrap approach and future fundraising goals.
  • [56:30] Christina’s vision for the brand and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

To Find Out More:

Christina Kao on LinkedIn

Christina Kao on Instagram

Le Mini Macaron

Le Mini Macaron on TikTok

Le Mini Macaron on Instagram

Lee Greene on LinkedIn




“After working in an operational food and beverage business, I realized, “I don’t think I can do this.” It’s a very hard business to scale.”  [0:15:20]

“For people who are at a transition point in their lives — don’t just quit your job totally, but maybe go half time.”  [0:17:08]

“The initial wave of people who bought into the brand and the products were the first base of people that we started an e-commerce website with.”  [0:21:58]

“Our brand was present in international markets with more of a presence than it was in the US when we first launched it because we were overseas.”  [0:24:41]

“Being a nail product and specifically doing gel manicures at home — Covid changed everything because people who were stuck at home and had no access to the salon [were] looking for this product.” [0:26:34]

“Our US business has doubled year over year since 2020.”  [0:28:05]

“Having your nails polished and feeling polished doesn’t have to be a splurge or for a special occasion. I really wanted to make it accessible for anyone.”  [0:33:08]

“We have had over 20 viral videos on TikTok in the last 18 months.”  [0:36:53]

“Our product is pretty eye-catching so [it has] thumb-stopping power. That’s what you want on TikTok.”  [0:42:03]

“As people are tapping, you want something that’s going to catch their eye and make them want to watch the video.”  [0:42:16]

“You want to show the problem, solution, and result.” [0:43:35]

“It really matters who you’re partnering with because that’s the person you’re riding those ups and downs with.”  [0:48:38]

“We’ve never raised any money. We have been bootstrapping since day one. We have also been profitable during all these years because we weren’t answering to investors and we weren’t necessarily looking for an exit.”  [0:53:55]

Read the transcript

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