frank body founders Jess and Bree talk about being women in business for International Women’s Day (and solid skincare advice for their younger selves.
Can you give us 2 or 3 tips and tricks have you learnt along the way that has helped you excel in your career or life in general.
Jess: Tip 1—You are the only person who can make it happen: If you want something you have to work for it; and in doing so you can always be kind, gracious and raise other people up with you.
Tip 2—You are worth whatever price you put on yourself: my Grandpa taught me that.
Bree: Tip 1—Get used to feeling uncomfortable. Taking risks feels uncomfortable, having difficult conversations is uncomfortable, trying something new is uncomfortable but often these things are what drive you forward.
Tip 2—“Clear is kind.” -Brene Brown. People can’t read your mind. Trust me I’ve done the research.
Tip 3—Don’t assume. You never know what kind of day someone has had. Be kind, ask questions and lift each other up.
Do you remember who gave you these tips and why were they influential/important to you?
Jess: I like to think I’m the master of my own destiny: there’s something really empowering about that. If I want things to change, I have the power and means to do so within me.
Bree: Powerful women and that wonderful place called the internet. I listen to a lot of podcasts and read a lot of books. Brene Brown’s book The Power of Vulnerability really helped me when I was younger and I often go back to her work when I’m in need of a refresher.
Is there anything you’ve had to work on specifically as a female in business that your male counterparts haven’t?
Jess: Finding a way to be heard as a woman in business; my ideas are good and my input is valid. I am woman, hear me roar and all that. Learning not to disqualify my own thoughts by saying “Does that make sense?”. Leaning into the qualities that make me who I am and not trying to “act” in a certain way.
Bree: I’m constantly working on: Apologising for everything. Even when it’s not my fault. Putting everyone’s needs ahead of my own. Caring if people think I’m nice. Yes—I still want everyone to like me. And always defaulting to being the primary carer.
Who do you turn to for advice?
Jess: Bree, my co-founder. My wonderful husband. And of course, my parents. Yes, I’m 35.
Bree: It depends on the problem. Life—my best friend Hannah or Jess because I don’t have to explain the backstory. They just get it. Business—my husband or sister. Because their brains think differently to mine. Everything else: strangers on the internet.
What are you trying to do less or more of this year?
Jess: I’m actually trying to do less. The motto for our entire marketing department this year is “Less is more” and I truly believe that’s the way to be happier and more successful.
Bree: More: Ask for what I want. Put my needs first. Less: Caring what people think. Worrying over things I can’t control.
Favourite mantra to live by and why?
Jess: Be like water: Life throws so many obstacles at us and it’s so easy to let them disrupt our flow. Water is fluid, adaptive, it goes with the rhythm. I try to remember this in times of high stress, but of course, I don’t always practice what I preach. It’s ok to get mad, there’s nothing healthy about toxic positivity.
Bree: Risk it for the biscuit. The older I get the more risk-averse I become so constantly reminding myself to stick to this is a challenge. Our family motto is ‘Try, try you may see.’
What skincare advice would you give your younger self?
Jess: DO NOT BLEACH YOUR BREAKOUTS! Sorry to every other child of the 80s who grew up in the era when this was our only option. Now I know the power and benefit of clean, natural ingredients and the right actives. I am very happy that I have worn SPF religiously for most of my life.
Bree: Take your makeup off. Every night. Even when you’re tired and especially when you’ve been out. Also, you don’t need to wear make up every day. Give your skin a chance to breathe.