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Kelsey Landforce swapped C-suite aspirations with owning a business

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After Kelsey Landforce became a mom, she wanted to design her own career. So she became a business owner.

October 3, 2023

Kelsey Landforce thought the curve of her career path was headed just where she wanted. After earning a marketing degree at Oregon State and working more than a decade in sales and tech, Landforce, ‘10, landed a senior management position following the birth of her daughter in 2020.

Landforce recalls feeling excited for the opportunity to continue that upward trajectory at Cameo, a platform where you can buy personalized videos from celebrities, whose clients include rapper Snoop Dogg.

“It was a dream job,” Landforce said.

But she wasn’t satisfied with her work-life balance. Becoming a mom had been an inflection point.

So, she began researching companies she could buy.

Landforce came upon Glowless, a company selling skin patches that prevent the symptoms associated with alcohol flush reaction. Landforce was intrigued by the opportunity not only because she believed she could increase sales, but also for the potential to help people who experience alcohol flush reaction, like she does.

And that’s how the once embarrassing effect of drinking turned into the business opportunity she couldn’t pass by.

Landforce bought Glowless and eventually left Cameo in 2021.

Glowless is a transparent patch that is worn discreetly. Its proprietary formula of vitamins and antioxidants target the breakdown of acetaldehyde, the toxic byproduct of alcohol that causes facial flushing and is linked to other unpleasant effects, including a racing heartbeat, nausea, congestion, hives and migraines.

People of East Asian descent are more likely to have the inherited genetic mutation that causes this enzyme problem, hence the nickname, “Asian Glow.” But anyone can experience alcohol flush reaction. The patch starts working in 30 minutes and some customers report it even prevents hangovers due to its detoxing effects.

Running her own company has required Landforce to let go of perfectionist tendencies. She’s hands-on with nearly every aspect of her company, from advertising and sales to fulfillment and customer satisfaction.

Landforce lives with her husband and now 4-year-old daughter in Portland. She is able to scale her work for a better balance. She has no regrets with giving up aspirations of becoming C-suite for a startup.

She has a goal of growing annual sales to $1 million by expanding Glowless in international markets. Right now, the product is only sold online. However, Landforce is exploring the possibility of adding retail outlets soon.

From personal experience, she can see the benefit and convenience of being able to buy a patch at the store for an event, such as a wedding or New Year’s Eve celebration. Landforce recalls how in every picture of her drinking with friends before Glowless, her face is red from alcohol flush reaction.

In becoming a fearless entrepreneur, she even posted a video of herself that went viral, collecting more than 5.2 million views on TikTok. The account proclaims, “I used to get the Asian glow. Now I make patches to prevent it.”

“I have a passion to help people,” Landforce said.

She’s also a volunteer with College of Business events and is eager to share what she’s learned. One thing she wishes she had done differently in college would have been to develop a skill like graphic design, project management or data analytics, for example, to be able to immediately add value to a business.

“Finding a job after college with limited experience is tough,” Landforce said.

She encourages students and alumni to enjoy life as much as possible and to not be afraid to take the leap if the right opportunity presents itself.

“Give yourself space to design your life,” Landforce said.

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