During business school, I interned for one of the big beauty companies. I tested so many products on my skin that I gave myself acute dermatitis. My entire face was bleeding, blistering and scaling including my lips and eyelids. I was on steroids and antibiotics, but my skin would react to everything I came in contact with. My doctors said it would never return to normal. At the same time, I became disillusioned with my corporate work. I woke up one day and decided I wanted to find a simpler, more authentic approach to life. I began to travel, eventually finding myself in Kyoto. When I found the gold-leaf beating papers that would become the first piece in our collection, Tatcha was born. The papers, a sheet of 100% abaca leaf that were originally used to protect gold sheets, are one of the original beauty products, used to lift away excess oil without disturbing makeup or stealing moisture from the skin. I fell in love with them because they embodied everything I was looking for: natural and simple with high-quality ingredients, and imbued with history, authenticity and artistry. I sold my engagement ring, our furniture, our house, and anything else of value we owned to bring them back to the U.S.—if they resonated with people the way they had resonated with me, they would be the beginning of our skincare collection. The people I met in Japan taught me an entirely new way to think about beauty. Aging is not something to be reversed, but to be celebrated—beauty is gained over time, not lost. To care for the skin is to care for one’s health, because skin is our body’s largest organ and reflects our stress, our diet and our environment. Instead of constantly going to battle with their skin, they consider it with gratitude for all the incredible work it does for us. Their belief that beauty comes from a beautiful heart and a beautiful mind inspired “Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures”, our program for supporting girls education around the world in partnership with Room to Read, a leading nonprofit organization that works towards world change through children’s education. Every single Tatcha purchase helps fund education for an incredible girl around the world. We just passed the milestone of funding two million days of school—something all of us at Tatcha are humbled by. When I traveled to Japan, I found myself healed in the truest sense of the word. The beautiful ingredients and timeless rituals I was introduced to calmed my skin; the kindness and mindfulness of the people nourished my soul. Creating Tatcha was my attempt to bring a small piece of Japan home with me — I often call it my love song to Kyoto.