"The collagen craze is alive and well, and our August MM Cowgirl, Sally Kim, was ahead of the curve on this wellness trend when she started Crushed Tonic. Sally sat down with us to share her story, which is sure to inspire you to not only nourish your body inside and out but also with her savvy business advice as a self-starter in the skincare industry."
Tell us about Crushed Tonic.
Crushed Tonic is an anti-aging ingestible skincare beverage brand formulated with marine collagen, probiotics, biotin and flavored with popular superfoods like matcha, turmeric and lucuma.
Tell us about your choice to pave your own path as an entrepreneur.
It wasn't necessarily my choice to become an entrepreneur. I discovered the power of collagen after getting severely burnt when I had to find ways to get my skin to heal and regenerate as quickly as possible. I became obsessed with getting everyone around me to take collagen once I saw all the benefits I was seeing in my skin, hair and everything else. I was evangelizing it to all of my friends and family around me, and that passion is what led me to found Crushed Tonic and write my upcoming collagen-based cookbook called The Collagen Glow. I still sometimes can’t believe that my brand is able to bring collagen to so many people who never even knew what it was — I feel incredibly lucky each time I receive an email or note from my customers who have benefited from its effects!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Giving back — helping students achieve their dreams and build their own companies.
Writing more — answering people’s questions about their skin woes and how various remedies (whether it be collagen or CBD) can help them.
Founding a foundation — for women and men who struggle with eating disorders, the same way I did when I was a teen.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
“Stop trying to persuade everyone that you are not going to fail.”
Some people — investors, partners, customers, friends — will never understand your product, your vision or your market. You shouldn’t be spending time trying to prove to everyone that you are right or to persuade them that you are not wasting your time. No one else is as invested in your company as you are — believe in it, and execute on it.
This advice came from being bummed out at the start of founding Crushed Tonic when many investors told me that the anti-aging supplement market is too niche and small for their interest — it was too “small of a fish to fry,” they said. I moved forward confidently knowing that anti-aging is a $300B market and supplements are over $445B. To put things into perspective, the men’s shaving market is $15B.
What advice can you give to other woman entrepreneurs?
“Don’t just follow a brand from far away. Reach out to the founder — even if you’ve never met them — and offer to add value in some way without asking for anything in return.”
Don't be scared to reach out to those who have inspired you, and let them know exactly why you were inspired. They may or may not respond, but if they do, do your best to become absolutely invaluable to them. You will learn so much from simply watching and listening to them, and if they learn anything from you, you’re doing something right. There’s probably at least one way you can try to help them achieve their next goal, whatever it may be—and who knows—you may become so integral to their company that they ask you to come onboard. If that’s not the case, you can still garner a great relationship and get to personally work with your own source of inspiration.
Tell us why you love fashion/arts and give us a taste of your style!
I’d say tomboy, sporty, with a touch of outlandish—like a camo jacket, pleated leather skirt, and khaki thigh-high boots. I also love to mix and match textures and fabrics that you usually don’t see together.
What is your favorite Madison McKinley jewelry your own and why?
The Dare Necklace — it adds edge to any outfit!
What is your favorite way to style your Madison McKinley Jewelry?
Layering the thin gold chains on top of one layer of color.
What is your favorite vacation spot? Tell us your favorite spots in the area!
Bali—it’s a truly energizing place. I love the black sand beaches there, and hanging gardens is an amazing place to get deep tissue massages (in the middle of the forest)!
What is your favorite go-to everyday outfit?
A crop top and joggers or cargo pants with high tops.
Are you a Wrangler girl or a Levi girl?
A Levi girl — I love vintage Levis!
What is in your travel jewelry bag?
My favorites are my Miansai cuff, all-metal band watch by Uniform Wares, and this Chan Luu wrap! And of course, my Madison McKinley's!
What is your go-to lip balm?
Right now my favorite lip product is by Fred’s— it’s super hydrating and beautifully pigmented.
If you had a horse, what would you name it?
Thanks for joining us In the Saddle as our August MM Cowgirl, Sally! See below for her website, book (available for pre-order now!) and online features.
Founder of Crushed Tonic + Author of The Collagen Glow