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, Spotify iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Yang Photography.

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How Women’s Purchasing Power Is Creating a New Wave of Economic Opportunities In Sports

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

How Women’s Purchasing Power Is Creating a New Wave of Economic Opportunities In Sports
Samson Amore

According to a Forbes report last April, both the viewership and dollars behind women’s sports at a collegiate and professional level are growing.

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https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
LA Tech Week Day 5: Social Highlights
Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about the fifth day of L.A. Tech Week on social:

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LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: Six LA-Based Greentech Startups to Know
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

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samsonamore@dot.la
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