When I heard that the girls who started Frank Body and run the boutique copywriting agency, Willow & Blake, were speaking at General Assembly's monthly talk 'Young & Lost', I had to be there.
After writing 5 Ways Frank Body Became Famous on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, I guess you could say I'm obsessed.
If you missed out on the event by going to register a little too late, forgetting what time it started or by simply being stranded on the ground floor of the building unable to access Level 16 (it almost happened to me!), this is for you...
1. How was Frank born?
This isn't a birds and the bees story, but it's not unlike how a lot of pregnancy stories go... "It was an accident..." Or, really, an accident waiting to happen and it fell into the right hands at the right time. Bree's partner, who owns a chain of cafes, had some women coming in to ask for excess coffee grounds, which they were apparently using as a scrub, saying it improved the look of their skin and minimised acne scars and stretch marks, etc. The girls, Bree, Erika and Jess, were intrigued and looked into it - finding that there was merit to the story. They began to perfect the product into the humble coffee scrub you see in stores today.
2. It takes time and consistent effort.
People keep calling Frank Body an overnight success. To some degree, it's true, but this seems to discredit the huge amount of unpaid time and effort it took to build up this product and brand to what we see today. Sure, in the business world, two years isn't that long, but let's just break that down... two years for Frank Body equals 5000 posts on Instagram alone (posting around six times a day in the beginning), a solid tone of voice, being on top of every social media account there is, and a team of passionate, hardworking people.
3. Do things with meaning and purpose.
The girls studied journalism at university and were told they wouldn't be able to find a job after they graduated. You might say they're a little stubborn... but that's never a bad thing (clearly!). After gaining some experience and insight into the business world through corporate jobs, they soon decided to start their own agency - Willow & Blake. They did struggle in the beginning - unable to pay rent, working from their apartments, having meetings in various coffee shops around the city and hustling friends for free work. But they kept true to themselves and their passion, stuck to their guns, and are now running Willow & Blake at full capacity, with Frank Body their best case study yet. It might be a cliche saying, but if you keep doing what you love, the money will follow. Trust me, Erika said so.
4. What's next for Frank?
It looks like this humble brand will be expanding way beyond what it was ever predicted to become. The girls keep saying they only thought of Frank as a side project so they could enjoy an extra bit of income. Well, now they're being approached by huge distributors all vying to stock this product in their stores, and so much unpredicted interest from overseas, like the Arab Emirates! What I really hope they do is create an amazing flagship Frank, allowing this online exclusive brand to be tangible and an experience for us all.
You walk into this two-storey terrace, completely painted in signature 'Frank pink' on the outside. A coffee shop downstairs where the baristas are a little sleazy and the menu is completely tongue-in-cheek. A bathtub centrepiece filled with coffee grind and Frank products. And, of course, a Frank Body show room and spa area upstairs.
Tell me there's a petition for this. Where do I sign???