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Erika Geraerts on her new biz, Fluff, talking issues in the beauty industry andher purpose

Welcome to a mini episode of Female Startup Club. In these mini eps I ask successful female founders 6 easy questions and today I’m chatting to Erika Geraerts.

She’s one of the original founders of the wildly successful business Frank Body, a 20 million dollar business that’s become a household name in Australia and around the world, to launching a new startup that’s setting out to revolutionise the beauty industry and bring a whole new meaning to makeup for Gen Z’s.

If you’re new here and you haven’t seen any of my other vids yet, let me bring you up to speed. I’m a year and a half into my own entrepreneurial journey with my sparkly jewellery brand @thisiskincs and I started this little corner of the internet to connect with the female founders and women in biz that I’m inspired by on the reg. And all you really need to know is that by subscribing to all the cool stuff we’re putting out there, you’ll have knowledge, tips, tactics and strategies delivered straight to your 👂 and straight to your inbox from the world’s most successful female founders, entrepreneurs, and women in biz!

Make sure you’ve subscribed to the newsletter to have her 6 Q’s delivered straight to your inbox.

The 6 Q’s we’re asking women all over the world:

* What’s your why?

* What was the thing that made your biz pop?

* How do you win the day?

* Where do you hang out to get smarter?

* When faced with failure how did you deal with it and what did you learn?

* If you only had $1000 left in your biz bank account, where would you spend it?

You can check out her biz here: and find the biz on Instagram @itsall.fluff.

AND you can find me (Doone) on Instagram @dooneroisin with the real life interview videos with female founders and a lot more questions I’ve been asking at @femalestartupclub. If you get something out of this episode please subscribe and share on social media so other women-in-progress can access the knowledge as well.

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

Hey, we're back for another episode of Female Startup Club with Erica, she is the founder of Fluff, the beauty brand made here in Australia and also overseas.

00:01:37Edit Um, and we're going to be asking for the six questions for female saddle club question number one is what's your why? So the reason that I started fluff or the reason we still exist is because we are constantly trying to ask and encourage girls and guys um to discuss their issues with the beauty industry and to realize or build this awareness that beauty is so much more than makeup and that kind of begs the question, well what else is it? Um but that's a future for us, a discussion around it. And so we would like to say that this beauty brand that is so insistent on talking to our audience and incorporating their thoughts and feelings into our brand and what's something you've seen them, like what's come up time and time again you see as an issue I think well the first and foremost it was just that people have beauty issues, I'm good, bad and everything in between and that they really want to be heard and they want to feel like brands are listening.

00:02:37Edit So, so many beauty brands will say that their democratic and that they listen and you know that's not a new concept, but I think brands who actually take what their audience is saying to them, not just around product development, but around messaging um outside of just your typical sort of diversity and aesthetics and appearances but about the influence of brands are having and what they care about and what consumers should care about, that's what people want to hear and the discussions that they would want to have and that a lot of brands are avoiding because they're trying to just play it safe, be really kosher, like animal testing or something like that. Like not even really animal testing, I feel like that's sort of a standard in beauty now and that you're crazy if you know, if that's not if you're not cruelty free um just things around the conversations people have around beauty in terms of right now, like the biggest narrative is that the more that you're buying, the more that you wear, the more that you're worth as opposed to saying like you're fine just as you are beauty, you know, I mean we were called fluff because that's what we want people to know, like it's all fluff, it's not necessary, it's as traditional, it's nice to have and no other brand is saying that because that's actually saying to people maybe don't buy our product or maybe by less, but we're like by however much you need Really Yeah, totally, I love that.

00:04:01Edit It's like a really nice message to be putting out into the world instead of buy more. Buy more, where more do all the things look extra glam, like, Oh, I really like that, That's cool. Um question #2 is what was the thing that made your business path somewhere along the way, I would say that fluff is this like very slow then and maybe we're still waiting for the like huge pop, but we kind of really wanting it to be like strong growth, not this huge, like Spike and then it leaves out. Um but the things that have been significant for us is like girls sharing these issues that we talk about as opposed to just talking about the product, which I think is really strong and my biggest fear is actually being like the next big hot trend because that means you're really easily be replaced by the next next contract. So we're really trying to build sort of everyday products that people slowly incorporate into their routines and get used to and trust and don't actually want to replace with another brand or product a lasting in the shelf on the shelf.

00:05:07Edit Exactly. I think the things that have worked for us again has been using um like content that people is different and new. And so the issues that we write about and publish on our side and then having a little bit of a different as they become social people and kind of like that because it's been, you're an interest, such an interesting brand. I was literally just watching over the shoulder of one of your guys and the team during the website and I was like, it's just so cool, you have to check it out. I'll link it, we think about everything that we do, like there's meaning behind it all, which is nice. But yeah the issues have been great, but I think the thing that people talk about is the packaging of our product and that it's so sort of lux and waited and different. It is so nice. So that's sort of strategic decision around investing a lot more time and money and energy into that concept actually really paid off for us because it's it's kind of become this iconic shape for us. And so many girls are taking photos and videos in the compact itself because it's like a mirror and that's become really vulnerable for us and terrible and people love holding it and the feeling feels good as opposed to just like something that your plan, It makes you look good like that you can flower, it makes you feel good.

00:06:23Edit It kind of reminds me of those like in a different way, like a stressful something we hold it and it gives you a sense of, well we based it off the grounding stone. So oh my gosh, yes, I totally see that. I love that you haven't seen it, check out the website. It's really, really cool. The shapes of the product, It's like like this one right here yet. It's like a little clown. Yeah. Um So question number three is how do you win the day in terms of your mindset and your rituals and things that you do in the A. M. Or P. M. That keep you succeeding both in business and in your life. Um Well I feel like my business in my life is so unfinished. So it's like all in one I don't really do stuff just specifically for work and then just for life. Um But and I'm really interested in different processes or originals are always trying new stuff and I meet anyone who's doing something new and they tell me something, I get really curious and want to try it. But the things that have really worked for me that like haven't changed over the years.

00:07:27Edit Um and that I would recommend to other people because everyone has to find their own thing. But What I think really works is waking up at the same time every day and for me that's super early but it doesn't have to be forever and I would have a 5:30. Um But that's just because I go to yogurts to 30 and it's like when I have time show and not feel rushed and I enjoy tried waking up later and I just feel like not good and I'm a morning person. Yeah but it's like even if you wake up at seven a.m. I just say wake up at seven AM every day like that consistency in your waiting time and your body clock is really good. Um Then yeah I'm a big fan of yoga mostly from my brain and secondary honestly for my body but it just calms me. Like I can arrive at the map, lots of worries and lots of concerns or all the things on my to do list and by the time the class finishes, like all that unnecessary stuff has gone away and I might be left with just one significant thing I need to deal with.

00:08:31Edit So that's been great. I've been practicing for a long time and meditation is also really good. Like I love that and it's one of the first things I drop when I'm stressed, but it's what I know that I need to prioritize. I really want to get into meditation. I've done like a course in transcendental, but it was one of those things like for me, I just wouldn't stick and I couldn't commit to doing. I think it's 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes evening and for someone who doesn't meditate to go into that, it was really like really challenging. That's the hardest thing for people is that they get, can feel like you have to keep up this constant practice and that's so hard when you're living a busy life. So for me it's just about accepting that you're going to dip in and out of it and just giving at the time that you can, yeah, and you know, the more you come back to it, the more you'll see the benefits in your life, both professionally personally creatively. Yeah. But I think the biggest thing for me is I get most stressed when I compound all the issues in my life and instead of just dealing with one thing at a time?

00:09:34Edit So even here in the studio and for everyone who works like we all have our own version of this. Like mind is burdened by burden Allen's mushroom by mushroom and I don't know what Shelby's is, but it's like deal with one thing at a time because if I focused on all my problems at once. Yeah it's overwhelming. It's so overwhelming and then that's, it cripples you and it stops you from being able to get anything done. Whereas if you just look at everything in isolation, you typically can be like ah yeah, I know how to deal with this, you get it done in one step at a time, one ft in front of the other like that that's really nice. And I try to keep my to do is down to three significant things because if I write, I mean I have a never ending to do list and if I look at again all of those things at once, I just get overwhelmed. But yeah, I choose three things to do in a day. Yeah and three I feel is like, yeah it's manageable and if even if they're the bigger task that you can be like I'm just gonna get this done versus like putting it off until tomorrow and tomorrow tomorrow.

00:10:37Edit Yeah and you can give yourself a gold stuff three times 55 gold stars. Um uh what was number four? I can't believe I just forgot. Oh of course where do you hang out to get smarter? Um One of my favorite quotes is I'm a lot smarter when I don't think and so I try and spend time not thinking um even though I've gotten told that I am an over thinker and try to I'm gonna like over intellectualize everything. So I'm trying to just yet feel more and I think that makes me smarter in turn and just taking some space spending time outside and just trying to um Ignite more of that creative side of me. It actually yeah totally but I do read a bit when I can more definitely over like the holiday periods. Um and I switch between business and philosophy books. Um A philosophy, I love the courage to be disliked and the courage to be happy.

00:11:43Edit That's really recent two books that I've read, they're really great, very easy to read. Um Business wise. My favorite book is the hard thing about hard things. It's incredible. I might add a few times and he just released his second book called What you do is who you are all about culture and I'm really great just mentioned that we just filmed a video and I'm gonna go with Greta and she also mentioned that. Yeah so they're kind of like my like just say yeah do them straight away. Right And then from more of the creative or fiction side I love for Esme with love and squalor by J. D. Salinger just like that's it. It's actually really sad book, a collection of nine short stories um but it takes you to another world and I think it's good to do that sometimes and not just be wrapped up in business and fourth I read this post by Marie folio the other day on instagram and she was saying like we really need to take ourselves out of like you know social media and podcasts and all these things that we're constantly trying to like learn more and consume more and everything and just allow ourselves the space to daydream and just to to not think about think about what we should be doing next and just sit in nature and just be like well when you give yourself that space like that's when things can come in and if you don't there's no room for new ideas of the activity or inspirations.

00:13:04Edit Yeah cool that was number four question number five is around failure. And so when you're faced with failure, failure can't get my words out, how do you deal with it? And what did you learn in either a past experience or if you have something like a an approach that you typically try to follow when you're in a crisis kind of mode I think we're getting startup like there's always gonna be crisis. It's and it's just things are hard, that's what I love about the hard thing about hard things, it's hard, like accept it and use all of these experiences is just like, like learning experiences, it's a chance to let grow and to get better and be better because I'm super young and I hope that I'm still doing business at 40 50 60 and I left, I'm excited to meet that business owner at that stage with all of the learnings that I've had, I think that, you know, there are some things in my life I could look at and be like that failed or that didn't work out, but without having gone through it that there would be no lesson to take on and then take into my next business venture or my next relationship.

00:14:16Edit So um it is about I think always doing a retrospective and like being like, what just happened then, what did, what did you learn how to make me feel like who was involved? Big thing for me is always knowing that there's like two sides to every story and most endeavors, it's always around a relationship of some sort, whether that's with a business partner, whether that's with customers, whether that's with friends or family and it's like, what was that, what happened here? And I was interactions and what can I take from it, but I think business in particular is all about being proactive and then reactive you can plan, you know only so much before something comes in and changes everything, so it's really about how you respond to those left of field things which are always going to happen, like there's only so much we can control um but the one thing we definitely can is our response to it, so there's something fails like what is your response, what do you do from there?

00:15:18Edit An event happened, but you just have to ask yourself where to from now Yeah, and move forward. Cool. And number six is more of a gimmicky question, if you had $1000 left to spend in your business bank account, where would you spend it? And where do you think the most important um like allocation of your resources is I think um probably make staff in terms of, I like this sort of concept, you know, if you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they'll stuff it up, but if you give a good idea to a great team, they'll turn it into something greater and so like that's our kind of biggest assets, so it's like Taking it to them and being like he's $1,000, what would you do with it? And how can we turn this into $2,000 in a way? I haven't heard anyone say that as an insult, it's really nice, I like people, it'll be lonely and boring without them, so yeah, absolutely, well thanks so much for the six questions and are willing me link your instagram and the brand below.


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