Jess Hatzis, Co-Founder, Frank Body
Coffee is the humble bean that continues to take over the world. We all may share that insatiable craving for a cup each AM, but it also can be an addicting product for your skin--the grounds serve as an excellent exfoliator, detoxifier, and an all-purpose lymphatic lover to your limbs when rubbed alllll over. Jess Hatzis, alongside her fellow Aussie best friend, recognized this unique beauty potential in coffee, and since launched Frank Body. Harnessing the magic of honest branding and one lovable ingredient, she has proudly created a worldwide phenom, amassed a social following (for further proof, check out their IG handle), and created a whole line extension beyond the original coffee scrub--all with the cheeky voice of "frank" leading the charge to smooth, glowing skin.
What's the best part of having such an extremely engaged fan-base like yours, where thousands of people send pics rocking your coffee scrub?
It’s pretty awesome, to be honest. The first time we saw photos come through on social media of babes using our scrub, it didn’t feel real. Now I feel lucky that we’ve been able to show so many people the benefits of using natural products and build such a great community around our brand. After all, without our "frankfurts" we wouldn’t exist.
What are your thoughts on body positivity? What does it mean to you and how do you imagine your role in that space as a beauty company?
I have days when I feel great, days when I feel meh, and it’s directly linked to how I have chosen to treat my body. When I eat well, exercise and take time out to destress, my mind and body are thankful. As a brand with a large following, we try to show women that your self worth isn’t linked to the shape of your body, the color of your skin or the symmetry of your face. It doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to care about how you look, of course you are, but it’s more important to be a nice person and treat yourself well, #letsbefrank.
We are also a company started by best friends -- how do you think your friendship has evolved since starting Frank Bod?
I feel so lucky to spend every day with my closest friends, but not only are they that, they are my mentors and confidants. Our friendships have definitely evolved - we have to remind ourselves to switch out of work mode when we’re at dinner - but we’ve had the fortune of watching each other grow up and turn into leaders of a small business. We were 23 when we started our first business, Willow & Blake, with very little clue what we were doing, but lots of drive, and we worked together through all the ups & downs to get to where we are now.
What is your process like for sourcing ingredients, especially coffee since it can be a very toxic crop?
Sourcing quality, natural ingredients in ethical ways from trusted sources is no mean feat, but we’re lucky we work with great manufacturers and suppliers who assist us to meet our standards.
What about the brand do you think resonates most with Gen Z and millennials? And what do you think helped attract such an incredible following especially in a already very populated space?
I think people were sick of all the BS in the beauty industry. There was so much jargon, hyperbole and scientific language. Brands used a lot of words, but didn’t say much. We wanted to cut through all of that, to be honest and frank with our consumers, talking to them in a fun, relatable way. I think that resonated with the younger consumer who was looking for a brand she could trust, that wasn’t completely green washed and could still have fun.
What was the inspiration/motivation behind creating this character, "frank"?
Once we decided the concept of “let’s be frank” would underpin our communications, we decided to create the character of “frank” to talk on behalf of the brand. The personification allowed for a deeper connection with our consumers, especially given we were using social media to launch our brand, we needed to have a direct dialogue with our customers. Having frank allows us to have a lot of fun in the way we communicate and gives our consumers someone to form a relationship with.
Where do you see the beauty industry changing in the next 5 years, and how do you hope to be a part of the conversation?
We’re well into the push towards natural & clean ingredients, which is lovely to see. I’ve certainly become more conscious of what I’m putting on my skin in recent years and have seen first hand how safer formulations have evolved to have greater efficacy. I think there is still a huge lack of transparency, with many established brands claiming they are natural in very cheeky ways to fool unsuspecting consumers. We’re as honest as we can possibly be - we use natural wherever possible, we use naturally derived stabilizers and we don’t claim organic for ingredients that are no. There are some great brands leading the charge, like RMS, and I can’t wait to see more pop up.
What are 3 of your non-negotiable beauty rituals?
- I always, always, always wash my face before bed. I love our Creamy Face Cleanser to take my makeup off without stripping my skin. The Charcoal in it is really great for helping to keep blemishes at bay.
- I wear sunscreen every single day. I have since I was a teenager. My face is so pale - I’m literally the lightest shade concealer from any brand, but hopefully it will pay off by the time I’m 40. I love the SPF 50 + by Image Skincare.
- I drink so much water. If I’m dehydrated you can see it in my skin, so I carry around a giant water bottle all the time.
How do you stay balanced while running a company and traveling across the globe (AUS->USA), what are some of your traveling wellness tips?
Funny you should ask, I’m currently in Italy where I have consumed my body weight in pasta. I go out of my way to walk a lot when I’m traveling, it’s good passive exercise and a nice way to see a city. I try to find local gyms and keep some kind of continuity in my routine - drink lots of water, get enough sleep and have dedicated times for work & play.
Frank Bod is so simple in its ingredients, which is one of our favorite things about the brand. What is your philosophy when it comes to beauty?
I love our keep it simple philosophy. We use ingredients that are known for their hydrating, detoxifying and calming properties - rather than aggressive ingredients that strip your skin. Our products help keep blemishes under control without causing moisture loss, which I love, as someone with problematic skin.
What's in your makeup bag this summer?
I’m pretty light when it comes to makeup: I have a concealer by RMS, a brow pencil by Le Sourcil (which the babes at Mecca introduced me to), a liquid bronzer by Nars and a Bare Minerals Mascara. I also have a sneaky new Shimmer product from frank in my case. Wink. Of course I have my frank body Lip Balm in there too and my SPF 50 +.
Skin is obviously super important to so many women -- keeping it plump, perky and smooth!-- do you take any supplements or swear by any foods to keep yours in tip-top shape?
I do. I take an EFA supplement every day. It’s packed Coconut Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Sea Buckthorn Oil to maintain moisture levels. I take an extra does of Evening Primrose if my skin is breaking out. And if I remember I take Vitamin C. I try to eat a healthy, balanced diet full of plants and proteins, but I don’t deny myself of the things I love. I love the Beauty Glow Powders by The Beauty Chef. Whenever I’m in NY, you know that I feed myself with your salads. Now I need Sakara Life to open up in Australia, please :)
What are some of your favorite beauty hot spots around the world, since you're such a globetrotter?
I love HeyDay in NY. They do a great microdermabrasion for someone like me who doesn’t have a dedicated therapist in town. My favorite beauty hot spot is actually the beach - the sun and salt water do wonders for my skin and my mind - and the best part is that it’s free.