It’s always inspiring to learn and understand how small businesses start out within our industry; how they come up with their ideas and what the pivitol moments were in their journey that lead to success.
At AMFAM we’re all about providing a real and unbiased insight to the world of fashion and beauty. So when we were given the opportunity to sneak in a few quick questions with the Bali Body babe, founder and creator Laura Foley; picking her brain on social media, her plan that saw her reach over 1M followers and what’s on the horizon, we couldn’t say no!
*There’s also a few cheeky pieces of advice so make sure you take note for your own business venture.
How did Bali Body start out, what made you decide to create a tanning oil?
Bali Body came to life in 2014 in Canggu, Bali, where my fiancee and I were living at the time. We both love the sun and bronzed skin, and we wanted to create a natural tanning oil that can be used on sensitive skin. So, we sourced some high quality natural oils and started playing with formulas. From there, we created our first product (Tanning & Body Oil) and created the brand identity.
We started gifting bloggers immediately to build awareness, then we moved back to Melbourne and locked in suppliers, and launched Bali Body with an online only business model via our website balibodyco.com All our products are 100% Australian made, Bali was purely the source of inspiration for the brand.
The tanning market is quite obviously saturated, so what was your plan to
stand out and get ahead of the already established big players?
The tanning market is definitely saturated, but when we launched in 2014, the market for high quality sun-tanning oils was completely ours. We were the first all natural sun-tanning oil, and while there has been many imitation brands pop up since then, we feel that our products and brand remain exclusive in their own special way.
So in saying that, what is it that Bali Body does better than any other brand?
At Bali Body, we are committed to using natural or naturally derived ingredients wherever possible. All our products are designed for use on sensitive skin, and while our products excel at meeting their claims, they also offer so many other benefits.
For example, our natural sun tanning oils promote an amazing natural bronzed tan, but they also soothe and nourish your skin, leaving you feeling silky smooth after a day at the beach / pool. Bali Body takes you to that sunshiny place, no matter the season.
Obviously you’re smart thinking and creative juices helped your business grow through social media – but first of all, how did it all begin and as a reflection on that, how has it changed over the years? Everyone has to learn and adapt, so how have you had to too?
I have outlined already how BB began, but to delve further into the building of the brand on social media – we immediately began gifting influencers with our first product. This grew our brand awareness to the point where we had 30,000 Instagram followers before we even started selling our first product. Over the years the social media landscape has changed massively, it is a huge amount of work to stay relevant and ahead of competitors.
It is critical that we are across all upcoming changes to social media channels, staying on top of trends within our target market, and adjusting the way we connect with our BB babes to ensure they remain interested in the Bali Body story.
What has been the biggest struggle or hurdle faced for you and Bali Body?
At this stage, the big hurdle we are trying to overcome is to educate our target market on the extent of our product range, to change peoples perception of Bali Body, so that customers do not just think our products are for summer only, we have a great range of products that can be used all year round, and this side of our range is growing fast!
Now, coming back to yourself, what does your everyday routine look like?
6am alarm goes off, walk our english staffy, (office dog, Zara) head to my fave cafe for a coffee, in the office by 745am. Emails, chat with our PR agency in the USA, work with the marketing team, review product development, meetings, emails, phone calls, emails emails emails!
For someone looking to start up their own business, whether it be in the beauty industry or not – what pieces of advice can you give now that you yourself have gone from zero to hero?
Well I am definitely no hero (but, thank you) I do however think of myself as a hard worker, and if you are willing to make the sacrifices and put in the hard work, then your business will flourish. My advice would be to ensure you are being as original as possible, if it is your creation, your passion for the product/service will never diminish. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and do your research!
The most important advice above all, is do not give up. There have been times in the past 3 years, especially the first 6 months, I would be tears as suppliers let us down or something went majorly wrong with the packaging, but always, we made a plan and believed in the brand and found a work around. There is always a work around.
What’s been the biggest mistake or regret that you and your partner have faced over the years? Being to do with Bali Body or your own career?
Our biggest regret would probably be initially sourcing our packaging from overseas. When we first launched, our packaging was sourced from China. We had HUGE problems with leaking bottles, and it was incredibly stressful and costly.
We changed over to Australian made packaging ASAP, we have a great relationship with our suppliers now, and this makes running a business much easier. In saying that, for us to start the business with the start up money we had, this was the only way, so again this brings me to the above question, we toughed it out, made best with what we had and never gave us, always found a work around.
Counteracting that, what’s been the biggest ah-ha moment or triumphing moment?
We have had many, and we never take enough time to celebrate them properly as we always so busy trying to reach the next goal! We LOVE when a customer gets in touch about how our products have improved their skin conditions, or just improved their life in some way, that is really nice to hear.
Hitting one million followers on Instagram was also amazing. We love being on the other side of the world and seeing a group of girls, tanning with their Bali Body. It is a pretty cool feeling.
Lastly, now that Bali Body has been expanding and growing so quickly –what’s next on the horizon? Where do really want to take Bali Body? What defines success for you?
We want to continue to expand our product range, so that people view Bali Body as a year-round brand, not just summer related. We eventually want to get Bali Body stocked in-stores worldwide, making our products easily accessible to babesworldwide!
*This post is not sponsored we just really love Laura Foley and her Bali Body brand and we think you should too!