Interview with Bree Johnson, Co-Founder of Frank Body

1. How did you choose the name, frank body?

The name comes from the idea of: ‘let’s be frank’. We were sick of the hyperbole and fluffy language used in traditional beauty companies. We wanted to cut through the crap and just be really honest, open and frank. This ethos extends to everything we do; from the natural ingredients we use in our products to the way we communicate on social. From here we developed the character of frank. He’s a bit cheeky and allows us to have some fun with our customers. It tends to be difficult to figure out what a start-up’s market and the target audience is. How did you go about it? We actually established our target audience before we created our brand. We knew we wanted to target females interested in the health and wellness. So we created a product and brand specifically with them in mind. We saw people becoming more aware of what they put in their bodies so it made sense to us that soon they’d start thinking about what they are putting on their bodies. That’s why our products contain no parabens, PEGS or phthalates just simple natural ingredients.

2. What do you want to accomplish with frank body, besides running a sustainable company?

We like to say we’re on a mission to take over the bathrooms of babes all over the world. I’m already very proud of the company’s accomplishments so far and the community we have created. From the start we’ve connected with our customers on a more personal level. frank body listens to what his customers like, what they don’t like, and what they would like to see next and I hope we can continue to do that. The goals for this year are around expanding into the UK and US even further. And helping frank help his presence in the real (offline) world.

3. Have you scientifically tested your products to get proven benefits?

For us the benefits for skin conditions was always a secondary message. But after we started receiving before and after images from our community we decided to delve into it further. We worked with medical researcher, Yuri Morgulis on a review of caffeine and its effects on various human diseases. The study pulled together a number of peer reviewed studies and concluded that there are proven results when using caffeine topically on skin to target cellulite and stretch marks, acne and rosacea. The best feedback we get is from our customers!

Photo: Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev

4. What’s the best thing a customer has told you about your products?

We receive emails and messages from customers every day but one particular story has stuck with me. A mother sent us an email, her daughter who was only 10 years old and suffered from acute psoriasis all over her legs. It had become so bad that she was too embarrassed to go to school because the other children teased her so much. Her mother had tried lots of treatments including a heavy dose of steroids but decided the side effects were too much for a small child. She came across our brand on social and they gave the Original Coffee Scrub a go – and saw amazing results. Her daughter got her confidence back and they were so much happier using a natural skincare alternative. Stories like this one make me really happy – we have actually helped to improve peoples lives using natural ingredients and a little tough love.

5. How do you create all your amazing imagery?

It seems to be never ending! We are constantly creating new content and working with photographers and talent from all over the world. We’re also lucky to have amazing user generated content from our customers. You are right – it is never ending and a full time job.

6. What’s your biggest current challenge?

There are constantly new challenges coming up everyday. Right now I like to say that frank is a teenager and we’re going through puberty. There are growing pains, a few pimples to pop, we’re trying to find out where we fit in the world. It’s a really exciting time but also a challenging one.

7. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

That’s a tough one. I think it would be to make sure everyone has access to a good education. Knowledge is power and that shouldn’t be restricted.

8. Could I use the left over coffee from home to rub on myself in the shower?

Haha people actually used to think we used left over coffee. We definitely don’t. Left over coffee grinds have had the caffeine extracted when filtered to make coffee so you will not receive the same benefits as using fresh coffee. We use fresh ground Robusta coffee beans – they are specifically sourced selected for their high caffeine content as this is one of the most important ingredients we use to use target pesky skin conditions.

9. What’s your best way of helping:

a) yourself?

Exercise, long baths and time away from a screen. Switching off is a constant challenge for me. If I don’t give myself time to wind down I’ll lie in bed going over work issues all night.

b) others?

Time. It’s the most valuable thing in the world. Whether it’s a 5 minute chat in the morning or a trip away with a close friend spending time with others is the best way you can help

Please visit: https://www.frankbody.com/ for more information!

Stephanie is the founder of Helpings and the creator of all content on the platform. Watch her TEDx talk, 'Holy Shit', about digestion on YouTube, organized at King's Collage London in 2016. Stephanie is currently building her second business, a chocolate brand called kAAKAO, and she shares her experience by means of inspiring other entrepreneurs to excel in business and in life.

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