June was born around the time my wife was pregnant with our second child (in two years) and Julien’s wife with their first. I was complaining about how expensive so-called healthy or organic food was in Hong Kong, and how misleading the labels were. Julien explained the difference between organic labeling in the U.S. (where I’m from) and France (where he’s from), but neither of us knew the standards in Hong Kong.
Over the coming months, our friendship grew with each expectant-father bonding session. We shared what we learned, from how to prevent frostbite when our wives were in control of the bedroom air-con to more serious topics like parabens, endocrine disruptors and toxins in baby products, including French regulatory action against the diaper we had our daughter in.
Then, there was the time Juno puked into my mouth the same week that Luca had a POONAMI down Julien’s leg! We recovered from that by initiating an ongoing test of Japanese whisky vs. bourbon.
The more we researched, the more we started to question the things we put on our skin and in our bodies. We took it upon ourselves to find safer, cleaner and better everything for our homes. Julien switched out his family’s bath and body products, handing over samples to me (although I could never match his well-groomed beard). I switched us over to Bambo Nature diapers, when we could get them.
By then, our wives were breastfeeding and all we could do was try our best to contribute to the home. Through it all we met consistent challenges: obscure labeling, conflicting “advice,” over-priced products and constant stock-outs.
And so June, at least in concept, was born.
We talked about the idea of starting a business. I didn’t think our ask was unreasonable: no BS, simplified research and better-for-us products that are tested and approved by people we trust.
We wanted to empower others to make more informed and conscious choices. There was an opportunity to make a difference; to share our experiences with expectant fathers and mothers alike, to adults waking up to the world of toxins in everything, to those dealing with aging parents... the list goes on.
Soon we were on a plane to Canada to meet the people behind one of the top natural-products brands. We traveled to almost 10 more countries in two weeks–flying red-eyes to cut costs, celebrating my birthday in Paris, spending a day at a commune in the German countryside–and visiting a range of brands that shared our mission, an unwavering commitment to making better products with no toxins more widely accessible.
Along the way, we laid the foundations for what we hoped would become long-lasting partnerships.
Back in our adopted home of Hong Kong, we honed our vision for June over more bourbon (paired with burgers). We started building our team, with everyone hired based on a work-hard-play-hard ethic and a shared spirit to “make a difference.” We recruited friends, local experts and service providers to share their experiences and practical advice.
At long last, June went live in March 2018.
On the surface, June is an e-commerce site. But at its core, It’s an extension of our own friendship–a community to share insights and know-how. Every product we sell has been carefully researched and vetted by us. There are shared customer reviews, ratings and questions right alongside our own review of why you’ll love it. We know convenience is a factor, so we started with same-day delivery to much of Hong Kong, and are increasing our service as we grow. We hope this gives you peace of mind so you can have more time to do what you love with the people you love.
Julien and I now have five young children between us, so our households reflect June’s current line-up: stacks of diapers, cans of formula, tubes of mineral sunscreen and just enough chaos to keep things interesting. No doubt this will change and evolve, just as we see e-commerce and June taking us all in new and innovative directions.
Serving new parents and young families is just the start. We want to make healthier living easy for everyone, and we hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey!
Let’s do this!
Eugene & Julien