Behind Her Empire Podcast: NYX Cosmetics Founder Toni Ko On Building a $500M Brand When The Odds Are Against You

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Behind Her Empire Podcast: NYX Cosmetics Founder Toni Ko On Building a $500M Brand When The Odds Are Against You
Stephanie Yang Photography

Toni Ko is the Founder of NYX Cosmetics and Bespoke Beauty Brands. At 13 years old, Toni came to the U.S. from Korea and got started in business almost immediately. Through working in her family business and having a desire to buy makeup she could afford, she saw a white space in the market for quality cosmetics at drugstore prices. At the age of 24, Toni was inspired to launch NYX Cosmetics and disrupt the cosmetics industry, aiming to provide department store beauty at a cheaper price.

Fifteen years later, NYX became a household name and eventually sold to L'Oreal for a reported half a billion dollars. Although she instantly became one of America's richest self-made women, Toni has openly talked about the personal challenges she faced while building the business and life after selling it. Toni lost her sense of self and fell into depression which made her realize that although money is valuable, it's not the key to happiness.


As the natural serial entrepreneur that she is, Toni fell back into her passion of starting businesses, where she felt the happiest and most recently returned to the beauty industry with her latest company, Bespoke Beauty Brands.

We talked with Toni about the personal sacrifices she made in her life and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur even when the odds are stacked against you. Toni shows us how being a college drop out, first generation immigrant and young woman in her early 20s was an advantage when it came to her fulfilling her dreams of starting her own business.

Want more? Subscribe to Behind Her Empire on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, SpotifyiHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Yang Photography.

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10 TikTok Gadgets That Went Viral In 2022

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

10 TikTok Gadgets That Went Viral In 2022

Part of TikTok’s evolution over the years includes becoming another outlet for consumers to purchase popular gadgets. The app generated $821 million in global consumer spending across the App Store and Google Play in the first quarter of 2022 alone.

And since the holiday season is among us, it’s time to get some gifts checked off your list. So here’s 10 tech gadgets that went viral on TikTok that you can buy for your loved ones.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: Disney Taps Bob Iger for CEO, Former Meta Exec Joins DeSo

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Disney Taps Bob Iger for CEO, Former Meta Exec Joins DeSo
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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This Week in ‘Raises’: Swell Energy Lands $120M, Modyfi Draws in $8M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Swell Energy Lands $120M, Modyfi Draws in $8M
This Week in ‘Raises’:

As funding in Los Angeles continues to slow down, Swell Energy still managed to raise fresh funding to accelerate the company's mission to deploy 26,000 energy storage systems in homes and businesses across the United States.

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