After a decade of working for large corporations, Victoria Tsai, Harvard MBA, yearned for simplicity and authenticity in her life. On a trip to Kyoto, Japan, she discovered a world of pure beauty, craftsmanship and heritage. A chance encounter with a modern-day geisha changed her life. Thus born Tatcha, a skincare line inspired by the disciplined grace and beauty of geishas. I met with Tsai, the company’s CEO and her business partner, Brad Murray at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. The luxury store held a special Tatcha event for its discerning clients. The event attracted about 80 chic Barneys’s customers who surrounded Tsai to ask beauty questions.
“I created Tatcha as a way to share my treasure and knowledge I discovered on my journeys East,” said Tsai, the elegant Taiwanese American businesswoman who founded the company in 2009. Tatcha honors Japanese heritage with its simple and refined skincare collection based on a 200-year-old Japanese manuscript that introduced Tsai to the mysterious beauty rituals of geishas. It is believed to be the oldest beauty book written in Japan, and perhaps the only such work of its kind. The name Tatcha refers to the Japanese word for “standing flower” and is the inspiration for the company’s pure approach to effective skin care. They use only natural ingredients like red algae, green tea, peony, wild thyme, and ginseng roots, formulated and made in Japan.
During the afternoon, the debonair company president, Murray also mingled with customers. He told me he met Tsai at a Harvard alumni event in 2009. He has heard about the popular Japanese blotting paper, and saw the potential for expansion. He left his job in private equity to join Tsai the following year. The company’s headquarters is in San Francisco with a growing team of employees.