David Oosterloo: Bali Body
When you picture Australia, a sun-kissed country, beach babe aesthetic and eternal summer comes to mind, and despite what the name may have you believe, Bali Body is the company propelling this image into the future. As the brainchild of Australian husband and wife duo, Bali Body has become a game-changer since launching in October 2014, delivering a natural body and tanning oil designed to nourish the skin and offer a golden glow year round.
Available exclusively online and catering to a global market, we spoke to David Oosterloo, co-founder and director behind Bali Body, to hear more about the brains behind the business.
“We have always had a passion to own a small business, and it was really crazy how it all came about. It was really just a combination of all the things we loved and needed.”
Let’s start things off with a fun one. Tell us the story behind the name “Bali Body”.
Laura and I decided on the name before we left for a career break to Bali in 2014. We knew we were going to start a skincare business before we left, and Bali Body just seemed like an obvious fit. The name had a really good ring to it, and sticks in your head, so it was an easy decision.
What led you to start a business selling tanning and skin care products?
Laura has endured eczema her entire life, and the need for a natural tanning oil which also nourished the skin seemed really obvious to us both. While we were living in Bali, we began creating formulas using natural and organic oils. Our original Natural Tanning and Body Oil was born.
Was there any particular reason you decided to compete in the beauty industry?
No not particularly. Laura and I love the way companies like Glossier operate, they are the new age of skin care and online business. We wanted Bali Body to be relevant and on-trend for our target market, and we believe we are achieving this.
In saying that, the beauty market is saturated. How do you stand out among so many other tanning product names, particularly as a recently established label?
We were the first Natural Tanning Oil, and having an original product and brand image really helped us get noticed in the early days. Moving forwards we have always tried to be original with our products and our marketing. It is clear to see that every major success has been the first in their field, companies that copy and replicate other brands never get too far.
What was the timeline like from initial idea conception to manufacturing and selling the product?
It took us about eight months from conceptualising the idea, to creating our online store, manufacturing the product and starting to sell. This was a really steep learning curve for us, as we both come from completely different backgrounds.
We aim to be that slice of sunshine all year round, and that is carried across our entire brand image and tone of voice.
What’s the main message that dictates Bali Body’s company ethos?
We love the fact that no matter the season, you can use our products and instantly be reminded of Summer. We aim to be that slice of sunshine all year round, and that is carried across our entire brand image and tone of voice.
How did you go about sourcing manufacturers to bring Bali Body products to fruition?
We did a LOT of research online, learning basically everything you need to know in sourcing suppliers and manufacturers. It can all be found either online, or through word of mouth, you just need to take the time and put in the hours to find the best option for you at the time.
We know Bali Body has an incredible online shop presence. Have you ever considered or planned to source instore stockists?
We have never sourced stockists, Bali Body is available exclusively online at balibody.com.au
While our brand is growing and our product range is really coming together, we prefer to keep sales online through our store. Major retailers want everything and give very little, so although we have been approached by countless retailers, the choice to remain exclusive to our own website has never been a hard one.
Your branding is phenomenal, highly coordinated and very creative. What’s the design process you follow to ensure you products are well represented through your social media channels and online store?
Thank you! I won’t pretend to take credit for this, branding is all Laura. Considering Laura had zero experience in marketing and branding when we started BB, she has done an amazing job. Laura is the target market for Bali Body, and I think that, along with a natural ability for branding and marketing, has been a major factor in our success so far.
Bali Body is one of (few) highly successful beauty companies that actively promote a range of body types and shapes on their social pages. Would you say diversity and breaking conventional beauty stereotypes is a big focus for the company?
Yes definitely. Bali Body is all about glowing skin, and from that we believe comes confidence. Promoting all body types is really important for us, we realise that with a large social following, we are influencing a lot of young women, so we try our best to be fair and responsible with the content that we post.
Just a bit more into the product specifically: what ingredients do you use?
We use all natural plant and seed based oils and butters as much as possible in our products.
For the record the Bali Body’s product line features tanning and body oils in cacao and watermelon flavours, an SPF skin care range, moisturiser and bronzing lotions as well as seasonal gift bundles. Natural ingredients used to create the products include coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil and jojoba oil.
How did you go about ensuring the product is sun safe, and were there any legal requirements you needed to consider?
Yes of course, Australia is leading the world in sun safety regulations, so there is a lot of factors to consider when selling products involved with sun exposure. We always ensure we have sufficient and clear warnings and directions on all our products.
How did you encourage the shift from an Australian to an International market and subsequently cater to growing demands?
This shift came naturally for us. Social media is global, so as we advertised and awareness of our brand grew, the demand from overseas followed. We have warehouses in three different countries around the world, which service our major OS markets and allow us to offer fast shipping times.
Another fun one. What’s it like building a business with a spouse?
Everyone asks this! I think you need to have a very strong relationship to be able to do what we do every day. We have our moments, believe me, but I think it is nice to be able to discuss business so openly without the worry of offending or speaking out of line. We do have trouble switching off at home though.” David laughs.
What are the plans to expand business next? Can we expect to see a new line of Bali Body products or even a pop-up store?
We always have big plans! Next year will see more new and exciting products, and opportunities for us to push our brand vision overseas and at home even more.