Around these parts, we like to learn about and from people who are running their own businesses – business we love and admire, and the women who are running shit behind the scenes. This week’s interview is with Franziska and Betti, the young founders of Atlanta-based Vana Body, a natural skincare company. In our interview the ladies tell us the best advice they’ve been given, their favorite products, and why it’s necessary to disconnect from our screens every now and then.
Mind your Business: Tell us a bit about your background. Were you always into natural skincare?
Vana Body: Betti was sixteen when she first got into green beauty and clean living. She fell in love with it immediately. Soon after, she began crafting her own products; clay masks, deodorants, lotions. She studied properties and benefits of plants and would create products customized to help a certain problem. She tested and perfected everything she made. A few years later when she graduated high school, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. I, Franziska, loved to create, design, and photograph. Vana is a curation of our passions all in one. Green beauty, spa, self-care, and design. With strong entrepreneur influences around us growing up, we both already knew we wanted to work for ourselves.
MyB: What kind of research did you do before starting your own business?
V: On the business aspect, we really started blind. We learned from doing and making mistakes. We wish we looked into things more deeply so we had a little more of a plan before starting, but that’s the way it went!
MyB: What inspires your products and your product design? How do you choose your materials?
V: When we start formulating a product, our inspiration comes from wholesome self-care. We think “at-home luxury spa day” when making a product.
As for choosing materials, we know you get out what you put in so we only use the best wild crafted and organic ingredients. You’ll find various organic, cold pressed, virgin, unrefined and incredibly beneficial oils as well as pure clays, plant powders, salts, essential oils throughout our line.
MyB: What’s the most challenging part of running your own business?
V: Everything is on you! You must be on top of marketing, photography, branding, promotion, collaborations, the list goes on. There’s so much work for just the two of us to take care of. It has its challenges, but we love it.
MyB: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
V: Be present, take some time out to live slowly. It’s easy to get swept up in things. We always need to stop, take a break and really soak everything in. Running a business that is based online is very screen-heavy. Laptops and phones are glued to us. It’s always so refreshing to disconnect, go outside and slow down for just a few hours. It really is necessary.
You need to take care of yourself so you can take on your life with balance.
MyB: What’s your favorite product and why?
V: My favorite product is our Geranium + Mint Cleansing Oil! My skin improved so much when beginning the oil cleansing method, there’s no going back for me. Our cleansing oil is the best I’ve used. My pores minimized and skin cleared up and my over-all complexion improved. It also has some of my favorite oils like avocado and macadamia nut. Not to mention, it smells amazing.
MyB: Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would change if you had to start all over again?
V: Just to start with a bit more of preparation with knowledge on business!
MyB: Can you give us any insight into new collections, new projects or collaborations?
V: Yes! This spring we will be expanding our line with a bath collection! We’ll be focusing on spa + recharge self-love essentials. We’re super excited for it!
MyB: What advice would you give someone who is looking to go into a similar business for themselves?
V: There is only so much you can prepare for. You’ll make mistakes and that’s okay; just learn from them! And, consistency is key! Work hard and keep at it. It can and will get tough at times. Remember the goal and persevere.