Episode 189
December 19, 2023

Travel Inspiration for Makeup Innovation

with Fiona Chan, Founder & CEO of Youthforia

About this episode

Joining the show today is Fiona Chan, the Founder and CEO of Youthforia, a beauty brand creating innovative makeup that acts as a part of your skincare routine. Join us as she shares her story of starting a business during the pandemic, self-funding before finding Shark Tank support, and much more!

This episode is sponsored by

Exclusive Deals from Our Sponsors:

AWESOME CX by Transcom provides high-touch, personalized customer experience services to consumer brands of any size! Email Lee at lee@stairwaytoceo.com to learn more about their award-winning services and Awesome Coffee Chats. 

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • [01:56] Fiona paints the picture of her early life, education and early jobs.
  • [10:44] Working in tech and a startup accelerator before becoming a founder. 
  • [14:41] How travel inspired the Youthforia brand and the hands-on process behind perfecting the product. 
  • [21:06] Building the brand on social media through storytelling and education. 
  • [24:49] Solving the funding problem through prioritizing inventory.
  • [25:48] The Shark Tank experience and the story of getting funded.
  • [29:21] Navigating new ways to get necessary data in a B2B context. 
  • [31:32] Product development and what’s next for Youthforia. 

To Find Out More:

Fiona Chan on LinkedIn

Fiona Chan on Instagram


Youthforia on TikTok

Lee Greene on LinkedIn

Stairway to CEO

Stairway to CEO on Instagram

Awesome CX


“You learn so much through osmosis.”  [0:12:13]

“There was something about the pandemic that really made me think about what I actually wanted to do.” [0:14:13]

“The sharks, the way I perceived it, really love and support entrepreneurship and enjoy what they’re doing. They’re really happy to see deals go through” [0:27:24]

“When I had the idea to create makeup that you could sleep in, my first idea was to make a really nice foundation.”  [0:28:42]

“When you switch from a purely B2C business to having a few sales channels, you don’t get data the same way as you would directly from Shopify.”  [0:29:22]

“Once you have a retail partner, there are more complexities, especially on the operations side.” [0:30:06]

“I did not start this business to be in legal docs and spreadsheets all day, but it is a big part of fundraising.” [0:30:58]

“I am always in a state of product development. I would say that product development is my number one passion in what I get to do.” [0:31:39]

“I always like to tell people exactly what to expect from me.” [0:32:18]

“Finding people whose working style aligns with mine has been really helpful.” [0:34:24]

“I really love sitting down and just defining what I expect in a role and what the best outcomes are. Doing that really makes the hiring process a lot easier” [0:34:52]

“When I onboard people, I tell them, this is what you can expect from my personality and my working style.” [0:35:07]

“My biggest advice would be just to start. It’s never going to be the right time.” [0:36:28]

Read the transcript

More Episodes

Episode 196

Baby Steps to Big Bucks

with Ben Lewis, Founder and CEO of Little Spoon
Episode 195

Brooklyn, Brews, and Botanical Breakthroughs

with Hudson Davis-Ross, Co-Founder and CEO of Plant People
Episode 194

Widening the Wealth Circle for Women

with Allegra Moet Brantley, Founder and CEO of Factora