Peiru Kim came to the United States from Taiwan when she was just 13. After witnessing how hard her parents worked, she committed to also working hard to pay them back for their sacrifices and to make them proud.
Kim took a traditional career route, graduating from Georgia Tech and working as an asset manager in real estate for over a decade. During the 2008 recession, she was laid off from her job and had to pivot.
Kim knew she wanted to start her own business and have more control over her future. She began browsing businesses online at bizbuysell.com.
“Sugarcoat (salon) popped up,” Kim said. “It was just something for me to do until I could get back to real estate.”
After purchasing the business, she ran the salon during the day and attended cosmetology school at night to learn the trade.
In 2012, Kim was encouraged by a Sugarcoat client to focus less on day-to-day operations and more on expansion and growth. The client also told her about the UGA Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
She reached out to the UGA SBDC at Kennesaw State University and was connected with Andy Fried, a business consultant. Together they worked through Kim’s financial projections and explored different paths and opportunities for expansion.
“Andy is amazing with his spreadsheets,” Kim said. “He opened my eyes to see what the future holds and pointed me in the right direction for growth.”
Over the past 10 years, Sugarcoat Beauty has grown from one to 10 locations, with two more slated to open in 2023 – one in Fayetteville, Ga., Kim’s hometown. As a one stop beauty destination, Sugarcoat offers nails, haircare and skincare, and has a signature line of nail polishes that are non-toxic, vegan and made in the U.S.
Kim’s background in real estate has helped her identify prime locations and negotiate leases.
Fried calls Kim’s success to her “uncommon sense.”
“I just painted the picture in numbers,” he said. “She had a vision of what it could be. She understands math and put it all together.”
As Sugarcoat expands, Kim plans to continue relying on the SBDC for assistance.
“Working with the SBDC helped broaden my vision for the business,” she said. “It has helped me gain the confidence to move forward with solid financial knowledge and insight.”