Reflecting on 5 years of The Bod Society

Posted by christie McGann on

 The Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Skincare perth Australia

IT'S OUR 5TH BIRTHDAY- Let's take a trip down memory lane.

 
FIVE YEARS. 1,825 DAYS OF THE BOD SOCIETY. 
From carport to factory, solo to 6 staff and 4 products to over 100+  And it's all been possible because of you beautiful humans and your love for clean skincare.
It's time to do some reflection and look back at all the wonderful & wild things we have done within this brand in the last five years.  Let's see how many of you are OG's and remember the journey. If you're new here then grab a cuppa and get ready to read some magic. 


YEAR ONE / 2018 - 2019

The Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Skincare perth Australia

The Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Skincare perth Australia2018 was an unfamiliar year, filled with a little sadness and uncertainty. I started this brand by making a couple of products for my dad who was having some pretty extreme treatments for cancer. I kind of felt helpless during that time and the only way I knew I could help was with his skin. So I started formulating a body oil, bath soak and body scrub. My grandpa also used the products and both of them suggested I sell it, although I thought they were just joking. 
At the time I was working in my home beauty salon and had a few clients ask about the products so I took a bit of a leap and decided to start a little side hustle. This was when the bod society began.
I hosted a tiny launch party at a pub in hammond park for close friends, family and salon clients. It was great and I loved every second of it. The brand kind of sat there and slowly got known by people in our area and building our community on instagram during its first year.

YEAR TWO / 2019 - 2020

The Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Eco Friendly Skincare Makeup Australia

I had the foundation of The Bod Society, knowing I wanted it to be vegan, cruelty free and natural but in early 2019 when my husband and I travelled to malaysia the brand took a big turn (for the better, obviously) 
One of the days we went out to a little island and on the boat ride I was really disappointed in the amount of plastic pollution in the water. It wasn't just a little bit here and there, You could put your hand down and skim it across the top of all the bottles, bags and packets. When we arrived on shore all I could notice from then was the sunscreen bottles, lip balm tubes, body lotions etc washing up. I felt a deep sadness knowing I had created another beauty brand that was contributing to that kind of waste and pollution. 
By the time we got back to our hotel I had ordered my first samples of compostable lip balm, face mask/scrub & deodorant packaging along with glassware and aluminium. We even started a project called "the seed and smudge"
I had my vision, my mission and there was some serious excitement behind making these changes. When we arrived home I had organised all our labels & thank you cards to be changed over to vegetable ink & compostable/biodegradable materials. 
This turneThe Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Eco Friendly Skincare Makeup Australiad out to be our biggest year of identity growth and it really sets in now how truly important it was for us to have this moment. We started creating from our values not from demands and this is what I think a lot of brands are missing. Are values were family, sustainable and natural.
I started markets to expand our name and brand, It was  a bit of a love hate for this one but the only reason I kept doing them was because of the people I got to meet. It brings me so much joy to see people in person and help guide women and men with sustainable skincare. 
Do you remember our perfume rollers? This was the year we launched them and oh boy do I miss the spicy one! Should we do a comeback? 

YEAR THREE / 2020 - 2021

The Bod Society Skincare Vegan Cruelty Free Makeup Australia

WE HAD STOCKISTS & RENOVATED OUR SHED INTO A STUDIO!

Like what?! My little brand that started in my carport was getting an abundance of inquiries from other businesses across australia? 
I was in no way ready for it but jumped straight in anyway. Luckily my grandpa became very involved at this stage and started hand making wooden displays for all our stockists. He was a very special person in my life. My eyes are welling with tears as I think back at the gentle, cheeky and unconditional man he was and how his love for this brand was so strong. He'd go down the back, in his shed filled with cobwebs, sawdust and wooden curl shavings. He would make stands for my lip balms, lip butter scrubs and perfume rollers. Sanded ever so smoothly and cut to precision, they were perfect. 
I had well and truly outgrown the carport and in the very late 2019 and early 2020 we decided to gut our shed and turn it into a studio. THIS WAS A BIG JOB- would not recommend haha. 
We gyprocked the whole thing, roof, walls everything. Epoxied the floor and got a massive amount of stainless steel benches and shelves. It was a necessary but hard job. 
This year was also the hardest year personally.
Right before the big C hit Australia around march we had just found out that I was infertile. With around 2 years of trying I knew something wasn't right so we went and had some tests and it was confirmed I would have to do IVF. I really struggled with it mentally as I had led a pretty natural lifestyle, not ever taking medication, not even a panadol to then having to inject myself.  
The Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Eco Friendly Skincare Makeup Australia beard Oil
Straight after our initial consult ivf was not deemed as essential so they put treatments on hold which almost made the situation feel worse knowing time was not on my side. Not long after that, home beauty salons were to be closed which ended up being for 3 months. I do believe in divine timing and this was it for me. Ivf reopened in may and we went straight in for our first cycle. Long story short- We were blessed with a beautiful little boy & and I never reopened my home salon. 

The bod society doubled in growth within a few months during this weird and strange time of the whole world being locked away. People started connecting in a different way-online. So for us this was a very difficult time but in fact it was also beautiful and evolutionary for our brand. 
We ended the year with a bang! I was about 6 months pregnant and I don't know if it was the crazy hormones or my impulsive personality but we signed a lease for a factory in forrestdale just a week before christmas. WILD, I KNOW. 


YEAR FOUR / 2021 - 2022

The Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Eco Friendly Skincare Makeup Australia

The rebirth 

Our little boy was born in March 2021 and with the creative juices flowing during my pregnancy we released a collection for mamas. It was the birth of a new collection.
I took some well deserved time off a few weeks before our son was born so I could get ready to become mama. It was beautiful, The birth was incredible and we were in a gratitude and love bubble. 
Five days after our son was born my grandpa passed away. He held on to meet "little ray" (he wanted us to call him that if he was a boy). I believe that we become connected to those we love deeply, in an intuitive way and I knew on the drive to see my grandpa in hospital that it would be our last time together. He held my son, we cried, I laid in bed next to him and cuddled his soft wrinkly hands and said I love you and will see you soon for a cuppa and tim tams. Between the time of us leaving and getting home he had slipped away. I never really gave myself the time to grieve his loss and the impact he had on my life, instead I focused on work and being a good mum which got me through a very difficult time.
It was about a week before my husband was due to go back to work and one morning I woke up & said "you can't go back to work, you need to quit your job", so that's exactly what he did and started working for me as "Mr bod society" or as he likes to say "The CEO" 
*rolls eyes* I loved working with him and spending more time together as a new fresh family. 
The OG'S will remember this but later in the year we launched the tropical body butter! This was huge and is still one of the most loved products. We did a super fun reveal with a bunch of local women, Seeing their reactions was like butterflies in my heart. 
This was my biggest year in trying to learn how to ride the wave of being a new mum, grieving loss and finding balance in expansion. Looking back now, This was the year that shaped me as a woman and as a brand the most. The contrast between all the joys this year brought and the challenges that I lost/fought is a little overwhelming but realising now that this can be the beautiful in the chaos. A quote I often like to tell myself as I truly and deeply believe that there is exactly that, Beauty within chaos. 


YEAR FIVE / 2023!

The Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Eco Friendly Skincare Makeup Australia

The big one 

We outgrew our little factory in forrestdale very quickly and within about 8 months we were already looking for a bigger space. We had three girls working casually for us at the time and my husband who was on full time. After months of trying to find a decent factory to lease we dabled in the idea of buying a commercial property. Now this gave me MAJOR anxiety. I still felt like I was this little brand, a hills girl and high school dropout. Who did i think i was looking to buy a commercial property in my late 20's. 
It took me a few weeks to get out of that imposter syndrome headspace. For me, I need to make decisions quickly, If I sit and think about all the what if's I will almost always convince myself it is a bad idea. When evidence has shown that diving into something that usually scares you, works out to be the best decision. And it was. Again, A few days before christmas I signed an offer on a property in cockburn central. 
I had no idea what I was doing, We made a few major mistakes and it took about 4-5 months to settle. BUT we got our own space, It was ours. 
In this year celebrated our 4th birthday by having a fun event and it set an inspiration fire within me to have more of these to meet our community and celebrate or brand. Not to brag but it was so much fun and the energy was a contagious happiness spreading throughout the room. 
This was the year of our mineral makeup collection. Never did I think we would go down the track of makeup as it is a huge industry but I knew something was missing and that was sustainable & ethical mineral makeup. So of course I had to do it¬†ūüėȬ†We began sampling brushes- just to note we tried 40 kinds of options, until we found the perfect blend. Creating a mineral makeup collection was by far the toughest range of products we have done. Shades, consistency and of course more sustainable and eco friendly packaging.¬†
It was a mammoth effort to get our minimalistic makeup collection finalised, close to 18 months actually. 
In between that we also created an entire baby range with body butters, booty balms, baby konjac sponges ( Named after our son koa, They're cute!). The brand kept expanding with biodegradable sheet masks, body washes and more. It was definitely the year of product growth. 

In august something BIG happened. 
I hired my sister. Now this could have gone really bad- If you knew how we used to fight as kids. BUT it's been one of the most remarkable things to have happened in this year. She brings so much joy and creativity to our brand and the factory. She melted into our team as if she was always meant to be there. I loved being in the factory with all the girls but now I especially love  Tuesdays working with my sissy and the banter/connection that has grown within our bond. 
Now I only hope she reads this next sentence and quits her other job to work with me an extra day and for her to follow her dreams of working within her own company. -Do it. 
As I come to the end of this freaking amazing reflection and we approach our fifth year in business I really do hope that those who are reading this can see the amount of joy, passion and love that has been the foundation of each and every product made. The journey and unfolding of our own personal life that has been the mirror for our evolution within this brand. 
It has been a wonderful place to be. 
With love,
Christie 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

A huge thank you to YOU! Our journey was and is possible because of beautiful people like you who value what you put on your skin, how those products are made and the impact they have on our earth. You have allowed us to live out our dream all while helping you achieve glowing skin. We LOVE you!

The Bod Society Vegan Cruelty Free Eco Friendly Skincare Makeup Australia

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