MEET OUR MENTOR: ADA CHEN, FOUNDER & CEO OF CHUAN’S PROMISE
ABOUT: Ada Chen is the Founder & CEO of Chuan’s Promise, a natural skincare line focused on sustainability and inclusivity. She was inspired to start Chuan’s Promise by her experience caregiving for her late dad, a process that taught her the true importance of self-care. Ada is changing the beauty industry from the inside out by innovating on sustainability practices and donating 5% of sales to social justice non-profits. Prior to founding Chuan’s Promise, Ada led product marketing for a large, public tech company and early stage startups, and holds degrees in Finance and Economics from NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
What does impact entrepreneurship mean to you? Is it different from being a “regular” entrepreneur? How so?
To me, impact entrepreneurship means doing business while also doing good. Impact entrepreneurs build businesses that make the world a better place – whether that’s through the products they sell, through their business practices or both.
Being an impact entrepreneur is kind of like being in between the non-profit and for-profit worlds. As someone who has experience in both, I get to balance the needs of growing a bootstrapped business with making a difference in a way that aligns with my values. For most impact entrepreneurs, profitability is important, but it isn’t the end all be all because their businesses focus on driving change and improving society. I find that being an impact entrepreneur allows me to be even more strategic with my decision making process.
From your experience, what is the biggest obstacle young entrepreneurs face? Any advice for them?
The two biggest obstacles I faced were financial and mindset-related:
I graduated with a mountain of student debt and no one to fall back on besides myself, so I had to delay my entrepreneurship goals. In that time, I worked for other entrepreneurs and in a large corporate setting, all of which prepared me with some of the skills I needed to start my business, while also allowing me to pay my bills.
The other obstacle I faced was pacing myself and prioritizing my wellbeing. Like many young entrepreneurs, I had a tendency to run too hard and burn myself out on anything I was working on. This was unsustainable, and my advice for others is to make sure that you are taking time for yourself on your entrepreneurship journey.
Where can we find you? How can we support you?
You can find Chuan’s Promise at chuanspromise.com, and you can support us by following us on Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest: @chuanspromise.