As the character Vypra on the hit series “Power Rangers: Light Force,” Jennifer Yen played the villain who wanted to take down the Power Rangers.
However, in real life, Yen was struggling to find self-confidence in herself due to skin issues from wearing heavy makeup while filming for the show. Frustrated with trying techniques and products that didn’t work for her, she drew upon her Chinese roots, looking to her grandmothers for help.
In this episode of “LA Stories,” Yen explains to host Giselle Fernandez how her grandmothers used natural remedies such as soy milk, white tea and blue lotus flower to help with her skin during her upbringing.
“My grandmothers, they never had these crazy beauty regimens that we all know today,” Yen said. “They were very simple, and they used foods a lot as a healing sort of from the inside out.”
The experience led Yen to give up her budding acting career to create her first skin care line called Purlisse. She used natural ingredients just like her grandmothers did. Following some investors’ advice, Yen went with a French-sounding name and classic branding in hopes of selling her products to the masses — thinking that if the brand looked “too Asian,” it wouldn’t sell.
After years of being rejected by investors and almost finding herself homeless, the brand became successful. However, initial feedback was that the brand “wasn’t Asian enough,” that the brand did not reflect Yen at all.
The lesson learned was to “be truly authentic to who you are, because that’s what makes you unique,” Yen explained.
Yen went on to create a second cosmetic and skin care line called Yensa. This time, she celebrated her Asian heritage, giving the brand an Asian name and branding while infusing the superfoods that her ancestors have been using for centuries to help heal.
Now that Yen has found success, she hopes to inspire other women in business to continue to fight for whatever dream it is they’re chasing.
“I think that one thing that people should realize is there’s no shortcut to success. You literally have to suffer through the process.”
Watch “LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez” at 9 p.m. every Monday on Spectrum News 1.