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Founder Aoxue standing on the balcony with other buildings in the background.

Meet the Founder:Aoxue Tang

Sunny (and Safe!) Skies Ahead for This Skincare Brand Founder

Aoxue (pronounced “o-shay”) Tang is a woman on a mission. She wants to ensure everyone has access to high-quality, skin-loving sunscreen that makes them feel good and — most importantly — keeps them protected and healthy. This is her founder's story.

Founder Aoxue standing on the balcony with other buildings in the background. Title: Meet the Founder.

Putting More “Care” in “Skincare”

In college, Aoxue wasn’t all that bothered about her skincare routine. That is, until a friend of hers faced a terrifying diagnosis: skin cancer in her early 20s. Fortunately, Aoxue’s friend beat the disease, but seeing her challenges inspired Aoxue to dig deeper into skin cancer prevention. She began researching, and what she discovered was an industry with splashy marketing but outdated formulas.

I started to look into sun protection and take it more seriously. I was surprised to find that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. But it's also entirely preventable with daily sun protection. I said, ‘Wow, how hard can this be? Let me try and find something or let me try and make it.’ So that's when I started on the journey of creating this brand.

Aoxue Tang

That was in 2018, and in the years since, July Sky has gone through many of the ups and downs that come with launching a small startup. Aoxue says she was surprised to learn that creating an ideal sunscreen wasn’t as cut and dried as she thought it would be.

“Something that not a lot of people know about sunscreen,” she says, “is that it's the hardest skincare product to formulate. It requires a lot of years of experience, it requires expertise, and knowing how the ingredients mix to make a really effective sunscreen that's also easy to use.”

Products of July Sky lying on the table

July Sky is a skincare company focusing on sun protection.

Entering the Manufacturing Arena

The difficulty Aoxue uncovered in creating a sunscreen formula that met her high expectations could have derailed her plans entirely. But every time she heard “No” or “Impossible” from a potential manufacturer, she simply pressed on.

She finally found a manufacturer in the San Francisco Bay Area up to the challenge and navigated the compromises and collaboration required to reach the finished product. It took years of testing, but it was critical to Aoxue that they get it right.

We want to be very intentional about what we produce and what we sell. And because we're so focused on sun protection, it's really important to introduce only the best products that we trust and that people will love.

Aoxue Tang

As of now, that means focusing on one product Aoxue calls their “hero product” — an SPF 30 mineral sunscreen with added vitamin C for brightening benefits called C-Shells. She says, “What I love about it is just that it’s simple. It’s not fussy.”

Aoxue credits the success of July Sky on her focus on quality and her decision to zero in on a singular product, which now has a devoted and growing following. For Aoxue, the real reward is in making sunscreen usage an accessible and enjoyable part of a daily skincare routine.

A woman holding skin cream of July Sky

Founder Aoxue Tang made her product easy to use and effective.

Aoxue Tang sitting at the desk.

Aoxue focused her brand on a single product to find success.

What’s in a Name? A Major Headache

Like all small businesses, Aoxue had a few hiccups early on. One of the biggest hurdles happened in the first year of business when the founder of a larger beauty brand ordered the product. Flattered, Aoxue initially saw this as a show of support. But a short time later, the other brand launched its own sun protection product, using the same name and similar packaging. Aoxue felt her hands were tied, as she hadn’t registered a trademark on her brand.

One of those mistakes early on was not trademarking our name, especially in such a competitive field like skincare. We didn't trademark the old name, and I knew that it wasn't going to be the last time this happened. If we don't own the name, we don't own our brand.

Aoxue Tang

Aoxue made the decision to rename and rebrand the product to the current name, July Sky, and she credits this as an important growing pain from which she hopes other business owners can learn.

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Founder Aoxue Tang with July Sky products in the background.

July Sky is now sold in over 40 retail locations.

Aoxue’s Top Business Tips

Growing a skincare business with a single product — especially one as nuanced and complex as sun protection — is no easy feat, but Aoxue learned many valuable lessons throughout her journey that she wants to share with other founders.

So what are her best business tips?


Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Due to her independent and strong-willed nature, Aoxue initially felt like she could do it all herself. But that often came at the expense of her own well-being and that of her business. She’s changed her tune over the years and now understands the value of a strong support network.

Aoxue Tang sitting on the sofa with a dog. Title: Ask for help.

Take risks and maintain momentum.

Early on, Aoxue was committed to selling her product online only, direct to consumers. She was hesitant about expanding into retail locations but soon realized customers needed to touch and feel the product before purchasing. Now, July Sky is sold in over 40 locations and counting.

Smiling Aoxue Tang standing in the background of her products.

Start small.

Aoxue knows it seems daunting to start a business, but she says the key is taking small, attainable steps — even if it’s a doodle or a potential name. Put something down on paper, and go from there.

July Sky products laying on the table.

What drives me is creating a product or an experience that changes other people.

Aoxue Tang

What’s Next for Aoxue and July Sky?

Aoxue is still maintaining focus on making her hero product a beloved bestseller for skincare enthusiasts. But she also understands that her journey will take her down new roads, and she’s ready to explore them. Here’s what she says lies just over the horizon:


Remain intentional.

Aoxue doesn’t mind when others say she’s moving slowly. Any future product launch will be just as intentional and thoughtful as C-Shells was, and she’s fine giving new products the time and care they deserve.


Expand the product line.

Though she’s not in a rush, Aoxue knows that July Sky will need to broaden its horizons to gain new customers and satisfy existing ones, saying, “How can we meet our customers where they’re at?” She’s considering a lip suncare product, among others.


Collaborate with brands.

As of now, July Sky is carried in over 40 retail locations in 30 cities, including her home base of San Francisco. But now, Aoxue is looking at growing her brand partnerships to get the product wider exposure. “It’s something I’m really excited about,” she says, “how we can collaborate with other brands.”

Why Aoxue Chose Bizee

When Aoxue started, she wasn’t an expert on business formation…and she didn’t want to be. From the beginning, she wanted to prioritize her product, and that included hours of hard work with manufacturers and designers. It didn’t leave a lot of room for business planning and incorporation.

“I wanted to be an expert in my product and my customers,” she says. “Bizee was incredible in that it took care of the things I wasn’t an expert in.”

Bizee took care of all these things that didn’t have anything to do with creating an amazing product but were necessary in creating a business. And it was so simple, so easy to use. Those are all the things you can really ask for in a tool or service…that it’s easy to use and has great customer service. It saved me so much time.

Aoxue Tang

Aoxue says using Bizee allowed her to let the experts handle all the paperwork and hassle of forming the business, so she could focus on what was most critical to her — creating a compelling product.

A woman sitting at the desk and writing.
July Sky products

Aoxue’s Top 3 Business Tools

  • Shopify
  • Figma
  • Bench Accounting

Sun protection is a literal lifesaver. But it doesn’t have to be a hassle. It doesn’t have to be expensive. And it doesn’t have to be unpleasant to use. Aoxue Tang is tackling the myths around suncare head-on, and she’s ready to give her customers a brighter — safer — future in the sun.

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