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In Conversation with Priscilla Hajiantoni of Bangn Body

Describe your business in a few words?

Bangn Body is a multi-purpose, simple, effective range of results driven products, filled with native Australian extracts and locally sourced botanical ingredients to enhance your natural glow

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

For years I suffered with my own skin concerns and never found a skincare routine, let alone products that did more than what the packaging suggested. My mum and Aunty had hair and beauty salons whilst I was growing up and mum was truly a pioneer in the natural skincare space, always educating me on the importance of looking after my skin from a young age. This however always involved many different products so I decided to strip it back which worked and proved to me how simple skincare can be super effective and that was the beginning of Bangn Body.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I worked in corporate business as a project manager for large banks and accounting firms after university and then made the transition into social media marketing after 6 year. This is where I found I was able to express my passion for the digital space and really focus on experimenting with my creative flare. 

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes absolutely! Watching my mum run her own businesses whilst raising my sisters and I was always so inspirational. She is the epitome of a supermum and always encouraged my sisters and I to trust ourselves and believe in our dreams. I loved watching my mum make decisions and have the ability to create something that was completely brought to fruition based on her love and passion for something and I just knew I wanted the same.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

Prior to launch, we created the Instagram page and began posting as soon as we had settled on the name. We started posting inspirational images that resonated with the brand to ensure that come launch day, we were launching to an engaged audience instead of crickets. Once Bangn Body had finally launched, I truly believe our customers were the driving force behind our growth. Within the first 2 weeks we were overwhelmed with the before and after images that were being sent to us, showing the most incredible transformations from head to toe. We used these amongst influencer marketing to drive traffic to the site, which is where the Firming Lotion and the results just spoke for themselves.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

Absolutely! I feel like I’m still growing and learning every day and probably still make mistakes but I feel like this it’s when I learn the most. I remember a time roughly 3-4 months after launch, where I knew the demand was there but I was having a hard time trusting myself and forecasting for stock. We were selling out so often and had to revert to pre order as a result of this. Looking back I can understand my thought process but since then I have made a conscious effort to be fearless when forecasting and know that our customers both want and love the products.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Without a doubt the amazing team and work environment I have been able to create. I feel blessed every day to work with the most like minded and positive people who feel just as strongly as I do about creative positive change. I love that I get to work alongside incredible individuals that put their heart and soul into their work. We create magic together every day and that is without a doubt something I am most proud of.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

As I’ve mentioned, my team is the most important aspect of my business therefore finding the right fit is crucial. When hiring, I’m looking at the person and not their resume. For me, cultural fit will always beat skill set. We love to know what inspires someone, what they’re passionate about and what makes them truly happy. I think it’s these types of questions that help you to understand a person and what they are looking for in a job, which will help you to determine if that is what you can offer. A tip, always go with your gut.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

We’ve been incredibly lucky to have had the ability to continue shipping to our customers however of course, essentially all touch points in our production line have been affected and experienced delays. I pride myself on being agile and a problem solver which is exactly what I felt I’ve had to do this year especially. We’ve done our best to be resourceful and productive with what we have and still bring value to our customers but have certainly still felt pressures with shipping and delays in stock.  Nothing ever runs smoothly in business so this is just another hurdle to jump in order to grow.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

We are always working on ways to bring more to our customers. We pride ourselves on the way we think and our goal to be innovative and think outside the box which is exactly what we plan to do. We are growing every day and are so excited to share some amazing things we have been working on.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Never sit still. When things don’t go to plan, you need to pivot and think on your feet. Often you don’t have time to sit and think but rather get up and do. I have also considered myself to be a solution finder but this year has completely amplified that.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Not to get fixated on the small things and see the business as a whole. There will always be minor hurdles to jump but it’s all a part of building a business and it’s important to often step back to gain perspective.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Yes absolutely! Of course though this is something I have struggled with as a new business, as this is my passion therefore I am always thinking of new ideas however as the team grows I’ve been able to step back and enjoy aspects of the business so much more. For me, I’ll never stop working overtime for this business as when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. My best tip is to set aside an hour or 2 even on the weekend to put away your phone and just be present with your loved ones, this has definitely helped me.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

Know how to prioritise! Not everything is urgent and not everything can be done then and there so once you learn how you filter through the urgent, you’ll make the most of your days. Get some fresh air! When I’m feeling overwhelmed or feeling the brain fog I always go for a walk. Sometimes 15 minutes away from work will help you think clearer. And allow yourself time and be realistic with time frames. You can’t have back to back meetings all day and expect to get work done. Schedule your time wisely and know when it’s time to work.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Ensuring you’re creating a brand and a business that comes from a passion, purpose and precision. I see being an entrepreneur as being someone that brings something new to the world, thinks differently and outside the box. I love being innovative and trying new things and I’m not afraid to fail. I think you have to trust your gut and follow your heart to be an entrepreneur.

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