Even though Tatcha founder Vicky Tsai’s business is thriving, she still hasn’t paid herself a real salary.
Restraint and frugality are defining characteristics for this skin-care entrepreneur, who says she worked multiple jobs and sold her belongings for seed money during the San Francisco-based company’s early days. Why not just follow the local trend and seek support from venture capital? She certainly saw the allure of fast cash, but according to this piece in the Evergreen Journal, that didn’t mesh with her vision:
I started building Tatcha out of my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. As an entrepreneur in the heart of the tech world, I was tempted to go the venture capital route. All around me, I saw friends taking millions of dollars in investment money, selling out quickly and reaping the material rewards of a quick exit.
Given my long-term goal, though, that didn’t feel right to me. I was building my business based on my respect for these ancient traditions. I wanted to build something that would last 100 years.
This gutsy broad could sit back and count her money, but instead she reinvests it into her company — and into the charitable organization Room To Read, which funds girls’ education in impoverished countries.
“Investors might have frowned on that diversion of funds,” she says, “but I’m proud of the fact that in the first 18 months of our partnership we have raised enough for 1,000 years of girls’ education.”