Yanghee Paik and her co-founders are on a mission to improve women’s lives with natural and effective feminine care. The entrepreneurial force and her team are behind Rael, the brand that offers holistic self-care solutions, for that time of the month and beyond. What that means: Rael makes pads, tampons, and liners with organic cotton (and without the toxic additives commonly found in these products), as well as botanical-infused skincare products and solutions that target every phase and symptom of your cycle, including sheet masks, herbal heating patches to ease cramps, and invisible acne patches. Can we request Rael dark chocolate next? Below, this Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, who has a full-time team in Korea and another in Orange County, tells us how she preps for a busy (and sometimes seemingly 24-hour) work day. 

7:50 A.M. 10 minutes before my actual alarm goes off at 8:00 A.M., my eyes just open. I had never previously identified myself as being a morning person and usually always needed an alarm, but after starting Rael, I now understand what having an internal clock is like. After giving myself a few minutes to wake up, I check my calendar for any important meetings in bed to get a sense of the day.

8:00 A.M. I usually go to bed somewhere between 1:00 and 2:00 A.M. because I’m messaging with one of my co-founders, Binna, who moved to Korea last year to build the business in Asia. We catch up on the day by messaging each other on an app called KakaoTalk, which is what many people use to communicate in South Korea. We joke and say we’re a 24-hour operation, but it’s really true. As I shut off, our team in Korea turns on and by the time I check my app when I wake up, I already have 100 messages on all of the progress made on our plans! 

8:10 A.M. Before I jump in the shower, I have a ginseng drink called Hongsam which was gifted to me by Aness, our third co-founder. The Korean drink comes in a pouch that you drink from. It has benefits for your immune system and is the ultimate energy booster, which is crucial for me these days. My co-founders and I are very aware that while we may not have the so-called work-life balance that we all strive for these days, we are each others’ support systems, which I’m so thankful for. This, in addition to our mission, keeps me going every day (the ginseng drink helps, too). 

8:15 A.M. Time to get in the shower. There’s nothing that wakes me up more than taking a hot shower. I’ve been using a Korean shampoo called Ryo that I discovered through one of my friends who is trendy and always trying a bunch of different products. I’ve been using this same shampoo for three years, it has a fresh scent that I just love. I also use our Rael Himalayan Pink Salt Toothpaste every morning and night. It’s a product that we launched earlier this year, inspired by a hot trend in South Korea, and our whole team is obsessed!

8:25 A.M. I spend the most time on my hair and skincare. I start off with my sped-up skincare routine first. I’m sure you’ve heard how meticulous Korean women can be about their skincare steps… Spending my time growing up split between Korea, the U.S., and Paris, I’m someone who cares a lot about taking care of their skin. I have tried just about every highly-rated product out there. When I was in my 20s, there weren’t as many choices, and I was loyal to bigger brands. These days, I’m much more into experimenting and have been looking for cleaner products. Right now, I’ve been testing samples of our new 8-step skincare line launching soon–-and they are truly amazing! I try to fit in a Rael face mask too, when time allows. Oh, and of course, I must top everything off with an SPF. I then switch over to drying my hair with my Dyson hairdryer. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite beauty splurges of all time. I used to spend so much time drying my hair and after using the Dyson, I feel like I get so much extra time back. Most days, I keep my beauty routine pretty simple: a touch of CC cream, brows, and pop on my favorite lipstick from YSL Rouge Volupté Shine. 

8:30 A.M. I get dressed and start heading towards our office in downtown Los Angeles. On my way there, I usually stop by my neighborhood juice spot to pick up my go-to morning drink that serves as my breakfast and coffee in one. My drink is called the Rush Hour, which is the most delicious concoction of greens, healthy fats, oat milk, and espresso. It’s become an all-in-one morning essential, which I usually finish during my 30-minute commute. 

8:35 A.M. During my drive, I love listening to the podcast, How I Built This. Listening to other founders talk about their journeys keeps me inspired. Most recently, I listened to the episode featuring the founder of Stitch Fix. More so than all of the successful milestones, Katrina shared all of the rejection she faced from so many VCs but how she still pursued her vision, which eventually led to her being the youngest woman founder to IPO. 

9:00 A.M. I arrive at the office, catch up with the team, and turn on the music. It’s time to start the day!