Erika Geraerts, Bree Johnson, Jess Hatzis | Who's Your
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Erika Geraerts, Bree Johnson, Jess Hatzis

Directors of Frank Body Scrub and Willow & Blake.
Espresso, long black and a ¾ latte. That’s the coffee orders of frank body’s three female directors; Jess Hatzis, Erika Geraerts, and Bree Johnson. The founders, all under 30 and based in Melbourne, Australia, are long time friends who share a mutual love for caffeine and the internet. They met whilst at university and have lived, worked and written together ever since. They came together to create Willow & Blake in 2011 and Frank Body in 2013. Hatzis, 29, Geraerts, 26, and Johnson, 28, are co-owners and directors of Communications Agency, Willow & Blake.

Name:
Erika Geraerts, Bree Johnson, Jess Hatzis

Home is…
Melbourne, Victoria

What do you do?
Drink coffee, write emails. A.k.a Directors of frank body and Willow & Blake.

What was the catalyst for starting Frank Body Scrub?
The business idea stemmed from one of the owners (Steve) who owns a café. He had some customers come in and ask for some leftover coffee grinds to use as a body exfoliator. The team who includes four others, also went on a holiday to Bali where they had a coffee scrub at their villa – and loved it. This made them realise that their idea was strong. We soon got planning. After much research we discovered lots of blogs and recipes online about DIY coffee scrubs – but no one was packaging and marketing these in a clever way. Coffee scrubs were also proven to alleviate a lot of skin conditions like cellulite, stretch marks, etc.

One thing we realised was that the coffee in frank had to be freshly ground – it could not be the leftover coffee grinds from a café because these lose their caffeine content as soon as they are run through water. We worked hard to formulate the right mix of ingredients including essentials oils and vitamins, sugar and salt – to create frank, a humble coffee scrub.

What has been the best and worst (if any!) thing about starting a business in a group?
Best: sharing the workload.
Worst: making decisions.

We’ve seen so many babes getting dirty with Frank on Instagram, Why do you think you’ve had so much success on social media?
It’s a mix of a few things including right product, right place (social) and right time (almost 3 years ago today). User generated content has also played a huge role in our success to date, allowing us to expand our network on social in an extremely short time.

How do you describe #thefrankeffect ?
Easy. This: http://iconosquare.com/viewer.php#/tag/thefrankeffect/
Over 60,000 tagged images of babes covering themselves in scrub.
Also, this: https://www.instagram.com/frankfeedback/
Before and after images of people using frank body products to target skin conditions like cellulite, stretch marks, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea.

What’s the biggest social media blunder to avoid and why?
There are so many:
Aesthetics: Posting blurry images, inconsistent colours or styles.
Voice: Find your voice, not someone else’s. Keep it consistent.
Sharing/Crediting: Always tag in where you find images or credit sources/accounts if available. If the original owner contacts you about crediting, make them feel special, don’t start an argument.
Frequency of posting: Don’t spam. If you have five things to say in one day, sure – but in most cases – quality rules over quantity.
Pushing Sales: Remember that social media is just that, social. It’s not just purely about pushing sales, instead it’s about creating a community of people interested in the same lifestyle topics as your brand.

We are also intrigued about your strategic communications business Willow & Blake. Where did this idea come from?
At the time that we were all working separate, full time jobs across copywriting, editorial and PR – we noticed a gap in the industry for an agency that focussed solely on words. Our passion had and always will be writing – so we launched a website that provided such for people and brands. Five years on and it has definitely played an integral part in the development of frank body.

Biggest fashion regret?
1996.

How do you stay organised and what tips do you have in maintaining a healthy work/life balance?
We all used to be dictated by our diaries, but I’d be inclined to say that our iPhones and iCals have very much taken over our lives.
It’s so important to step away from them from time to time, whether that’s on the weekend, after work, on holiday or before bed. These things can so easily control your life.
Exercise, friends, family and eating well, and of course sleep – are the obvious but most important things in keeping us sane. Plus quiet time. We can’t forget that.
And travel. And books.

Where is your favourite place to shop in Melbourne?
E: Acne Studios.
J: Green with Envy
B: Life with Bird.

You’ve also recently launched Frank Skincare products such as cleanser and moisturiser. What’s next on the agenda for the Frank/ Willow & Blake girls? Will there be another business venture?
Sure, why not. You’ll likely see the frank body product range expand into simple bathroom staples. Maybe you’ll see what a retail presence will look like, too.
For Willow & Blake, we love that we can keep our agency small (under 10 staff). It allows us to pick and choose who we work with both locally and overseas, as well as maintaining a close relationship with all our staff.

  • Frank body scrub is great for your skin, but who’s your facialist when you need some extra TLC on your face?
  • Stacey Burt at Little Company gives amazing education about skincare and nutrition, and the most incredible facials ever.