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Au Natural

Launching a skin-care company from the ground up

This story appears in the December 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Susie Wang, 24, sometimes feels disconcerted that she's not yet bringing in millions with her San Francisco natural skin-care company, Aqua Dessa. But Susie, we're here to tell ya, while your sales may still be under half a million, the notoriety you've received from the likes of Mademoiselle and the business press is nothing short of remarkable, when countless brands aren't getting any coverage at all.

Three years ago, Wang, then a math communications major/business minor at the University of California, Berkeley (school's on hiatus for now), borrowed $5,000 from her 19-year-old junior-pro-golfer brother, James, to begin researching ways to start a skin-care line. She could either go the easy route-hire a private-label manufacturer to mass-produce everything from moisturizers to shower gels-or start from scratch, which is what she did.

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