Beauty brand scrubs up all right

Central Telegraph - - CLOSET -

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, re­becca.sul­li­van@news.com.au

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