Beauty brand scrubs up all right
IT MIGHT sound like an unusual recipe for entrepreneurial success but the founders of Australian beauty brand Frank Body have made millions by convincing women to take photos of themselves while slathered in coffee body scrub.
Jess Hatzis, 30, and Bree Johnson, 29, from Melbourne, started the company with just $5000 and say they now make $20 million a year in revenue.
It all started when Hatzis’s fiance and co-founder of Frank Body, Steve Rowley, who owns several cafes in Melbourne, found his female customers were asking for his leftover coffee grounds to use as a body exfoliator.
“He started chatting to these women and we were all really intrigued and it was right at the time when there was a big move to natural health products,” Ms Hatzis told news.com.au.
“So Bree and I concocted up the first formula, making all the scrubs by hand for the first few months. We each took home a little bag to try and while we felt ridiculous covering ourselves in coffee, when we washed it off our skin felt amazing,” Ms Hatzis said.
They are a self-funded start up and initially had no marketing budget, so they promoted their product exclusively on Instagram.
“We didn’t have any marketing budget, so it just made sense for us and our demographic, because [Instagram] is where they spend most of their time,” Ms Hatzis said.
“There weren’t a lot of brands using social media in that way. We were very lucky getting in ahead of the pack.
“When we first launched we sent product to a whole bunch of people we thought were influential – make-up artists, beauty bloggers – but our most important and valuable ambassadors are our customers. We love to hero them as much as we can.”
The brand encouraged customers to share photos of themselves slathered in the signature brown scrub on social media. The unique photos are collated using branded hash tags – #frankeffect and #letsbefrank – and are easily recognisable to young, digital-native women.
Famous faces such as Lara Bingle, A Bikini A Day’s Tash Oakley and actress Tammin Sursok have all plugged the brand on their Instagram pages.
Yesterday Ms Hatzis and Ms Johnson were named the 2017 winners of the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award, which is awarded to businesswomen under 40 who show “innovation, audacity and fearlessness”. — Rebecca Sullivan, firstname.lastname@example.org