Most Mongolians know Kh.Namuun as the eldest daughter of famous comedy-actor D.Khurelkhuu, who brought laughter to many with his brilliant comedy skits and films. Now, she has become a passionate entrepreneur after establishing Wolarsen Cosmetics Startup Company nearly nine months ago.
Kh.Namuun strives toward her dream believing that every obstacle she overcomes is a reward. In the interview below, she spoke about her ambition and the start of her startup company.
Congratulations on opening your very own cosmetics shop. It seems that Wolarsen Cosmetics is gaining a lot of attention among young women lately.
Thank you very much. I have spent quite a long time studying and researching cosmetic and beauty products. I was finally able to make my products open to the public only eight months ago and set up my first store three months ago. These past eight months have been extremely busy for me.
Didn’t you study accounting in university?
It seems that a lot of people assume that I’m an actress like my father, who is a brilliant actor. I actually graduated as an accountant. My mother works in the banking sector as well. Although I didn’t pursue a career in accounting, I still make use of my knowledge by handling the finances of my small business.
It’s easy to misunderstand because you played in “Tagnuulch Aav” (Spy Dad) with your father and in other films, such as “Shuugian Tarigch” and “Galzuu Zugaalga”, in 2016. Do you get many offers to play in a film since you were a child actress?
Yes, I do. I actually get tons of offers. I’m very grateful to directors and film producers who choose a nonprofessional like me to participate in their projects and give me plenty of words of encouragement. I never studied acting so I obviously lack acting skills compared to other actresses. However, I don’t like to create another person inside of myself through acting. The most important thing in acting is listening to the director and following his or her advice and instructions. I immediately get into character when I think about what I would do in a particular situation (laughs).
Does your father give you advice on acting?
I sometimes perform in films without telling my dad (laughs). My father is not keen on me having a career in acting, but he does advise me to be realistic, show authenticity through my eyes, not to mumble and speak clearly. Besides that, we don’t sit down together to discuss film scripts and go over lines together.
Your father played many roles both on stage and screen. Which of your father’s roles was most impressive to you?
I love every single role my father played. I especially enjoyed his roles in “Shine Usgiin Bagsh” and “Yaduugiin Zovlon”. Those were the roles he created in his early career when he was young. The latest film he took part in was “Yaduugiin Zovlon 2”.
Do you enjoy comedy shows and films?
I watch comedy plays without skipping a single one. Most recently, my father performed in a comedy show with artists of X-Tuts Production.
You reportedly went to several countries, including Singapore, South Korea and Turkey, to research cosmetic products and other brands. Is it true that Mongolia doesn’t have professionals or the necessary equipment for producing cosmetic products?
I have yet to find a Mongolian expert in beauty product production. But I can’t deny the possibility that that kind of Mongolian specialist might approach me and even ask to work together after reading this interview. It’s possible to domestically produce skin care products in Mongolia. Domestic production of cosmetic products, on the other hand, hasn’t developed yet. We don’t have ingredients, specialists or equipment necessary for making cosmetic products. Therefore, I’m searching for ways to first work with foreign companies, and then, introduce the technology in Mongolia.
Besides, I lack experience in this area. The beauty and cosmetics field is very broad and requires extensive knowledge and skills. I face obstacles at every step I take. As a matter of fact, I have tried and tested all sorts of beauty products on myself. I first got my hands on the recipe and ingredients for making a homemade lipstick during my trip to South Korea. Later, I tried making it myself, analyzed my work, and went to Turkey to have it checked. Afterwards, I tried packaging and making boxes for the lipstick in Hong Kong. My one-year work contract ended just recently. I will soon go to South Korea to work in cosmetics production.
…I realized that people do whatever they can to achieve what they truly want. I was very proud of myself and felt a bit of accomplishment when I was able to start my business on my own…
Every woman would want to have her own beauty brand. Was it your idea and desire to launch Wolarsen or did someone propose a collaboration?
This was purely my idea to start a cosmetics company and brand. I set it up with my own strength. I was a little bit upset when no one helped me set up the store and I still am. I never wanted to give up even if I came across a tough obstacle. In fact, I realized that people do whatever they can to achieve what they truly want. I was very proud of myself and felt a bit of accomplishment when I was able to start my business on my own.
Wolarson sounds very unique. What does it mean?
A brand needs to be unique. You can’t find our products anywhere in the world because it is made with exclusive recipes and have one-of-a-kind packaging designs. As for the name, it doesn’t have a specific meaning so it can’t be translated.
Four years ago, I tried to create an Instagram account with my own name but it wasn’t accepted so I changed an existing name and forgot to change it since. In a way, it can be said that Wolarson is my Instagram name. My close friends call me Wolarson as well.
Wolarson Cosmetics is receiving good reviews and feedback from girls and young women. Is it true that you’re planning to open another branch? Is your family supportive of your business?
My family didn’t understand what I was trying to do in the beginning. It seems that they couldn’t grasp the idea that well and though it would fail. When I first told them my idea, they disregarded it and told me to focus on my work instead. Now, they are very supportive both mentally and financially. It’s been three months since I opened my store. I plan to open my second store very soon. I’m glad that my plans are working out well one after another.
Nowadays, Mongolian girls pay a lot of attention to beauty products. Can you share any of your beauty tips with them?
I noticed that most girls and young women in Mongolia are very interested in beauty products. They are gaining a lot of knowledge about cosmetics and beauty products. Makeup looks really good on clear skin. So I recommend that they maintain a healthy and clean skin. Obviously, the secret to perfect skin is a healthy diet. There’s no use applying thousands of good makeup products if the canvas, or the skin, isn’t good. Clear skin is the most important thing. It’s one of my concerns too.
Recently, you made a statement related to your brand on Facebook. What was it about?
Like there are no roses without thorns, people started spreading various rumors about me. Some people wrote that I made products at places I’ve never been to and that I imitated other brands. They were so outrageous, unexpected and extremely upsetting. In the past, I would have just ignored them because I cared about my work more than anything else. But these rumors are getting worse so I decided to make a statement on my Facebook page.
It seems that young people are split into two groups right now. One group works hard to contribute to the nation while the other group does nothing yet criticize and discourage those who are trying to accomplish something. The latter group is denying other people’s efforts. I hope they find some kind of hobby even if they are unemployed and have nothing to do.
Have you received collaboration offers from foreign companies?
It’s been almost nine months since I launched my brand. I don’t like to immediately get to the top no matter what it is. I prefer getting through every step of the way and experience the satisfaction from overcoming obstacles and challenges. Of course, this might take a long time. In my case, I will never leave my brand – I will continue to develop it.
So far, I have received offers from Japan, China and Russia. Moreover, numerous Mongolians living abroad are requesting to use my products. A Japanese cosmetics company asked to collaborate just recently.
Wolarsen Cosmetics was founded not long ago. Even so, it launched over 20 types of products in 2016. Can you tell us what new products you’re working on?
The first thing I wanted to make was matt lipsticks, which everyone is interested in these days. I never thought that I would make another product back then. Yet, many women started supporting and encouraging me, and helped me expand my brand. Wolarsen is quite successful right now thanks to all the support I received. I want to make all kinds of beauty products suitable to the skin types of Mongolians in the future.