The beauty and wellbeing industry has been a significant part of Andrea Young’s life, and it continues to this day.
Andrea worked in the industry through her time at Melbourne Girls Grammar and during her university studies after departing the School in 2010.
She started in a store, selling skincare and make up part-time whilst completing a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing, at Deakin University.
During this time, Andrea started learning and understanding what ingredients were going into the products, which horrified her.
She knew something had to change, which lead to start her own company, called BodyCo. She follows one simple the rule when making her products ‘if it doesn’t come from something I would eat, I don’t want it on my skin’.
Four years later, Andrea is as committed as ever and eager to continue formulating her own skin and body products to help others maintain healthy skin.
In this edition of Alumnae Spotlight, Andrea dives into how BodyCo started, her inspirations, her biggest challenge, a top moment, and what’s next for her business.
When did you first have the idea for BodyCo?
It all started when I took my parents out for a Mother’s Day lunch. I was coming to the end of my university degree and was considering what direction I wanted to take. We discussed the beauty industry and where there were gaps in the market, especially for anti-cellulite treatments that actually work. These were the first products developed in the BodyCo range and are still here today after expanding it. They have been reformulated over the years due to the discovery of new active ingredients.
What was the inspiration when starting your business?
A brief background, my family have been involved in the beauty and wellbeing industry for nearly 30 years. I have been lucky to work part-time for them throughout school and university and continued full-time after graduating. Through this, I was exposed to many Australian and international brands. I noticed many of them using inferior ingredients or had active ingredients at a lower than required percentage, which are less likely to deliver the results they promise. My focus is always on using the highest quality ingredients that deliver effective results.
What has been the greatest challenge when running your business? What lesson did you learn from this challenge?
I started BodyCo straight out of university with limited capital, which meant that I didn’t have the resources for marketing, and initial brand awareness suffered as a result. I am involved with every aspect of the brand, from concept to formulation, manufacturing, building a website (which I learnt to do from scratch), sourcing packaging and ingredients, and being the brand’s photographer and entire marketing team.
I have learnt how to be innovative, how to manage my time wisely, to be able to multi-task and, most importantly, to persevere.
What has been a standout moment since launching your business?
When I first started BodyCo, I had a follower in Sweden, Matilda Djerf, contact me to create some content, which gave me a large Swedish following for a time. Another standout moment would be when I have a repeat buyer, as this reassures me that the products are delivering results and people are happy with their skincare. Also, advancing my knowledge of product formulation and launching a new or updated product is always exciting.
What skills that you learnt at MGGS have you applied to running your business?
Melbourne Girls taught me that hard work pays off, how to persevere, not be afraid to ask for help, honesty and integrity, independence, and follow your own path. In Year 11 with Visual Communications and Design, my teacher noticed that I had potential and was trying, so she helped me by giving me some extra one-on-one time and the advice to do something different to everyone else in the class. In Year 12, I designed a range of baby clothing when everyone else was doing a fashion range targeted at teens. I exceeded my expectations at the end of Year 12 with great results for VISCOM, and I know I wouldn’t have done it without the extra help from my teacher.
Melbourne Girls taught me that hard work pays off, how to persevere, not be afraid to ask for help, honesty and integrity, independence, and follow your own path.
What would be three pieces of advice that you could offer anyone wanting to start their own business?
- Definitely follow your passion. You can create something out of nothing, and you have to love doing it every single day.
- Always be flexible, able to adapt and willing to learn. You never know what each day can bring, so going with the flow is important.
- Persevere as you only fail if you give up. Perseverance is also why it is so important to be passionate about what you do, so you get back up and keep going! MGGS has a fantastic community and is super supportive. I have always felt like I could reach out to anyone for guidance and advice.
What are your plans for 2022 and beyond?
This year, I would love to open a physical store where I can properly diagnose skin conditions and offer treatments. As a part of opening a store, I have developed a concept that would offer off-the-shelf and personalised maintenance skincare regimens. To accompany my knowledge of ingredients and skincare formulation, I am also studying dermal science so that I can offer more than just a product. With this, I hope to help many more people by doing short courses to educate them about their specific skin concerns, lifestyle habits that affect the skin, and creating customised skincare routines.
We are excited to see what is next for Andrea and BodyCo. You can learn more about the business via its website or via social media at @bodycoskin on Instagram and TikTok.
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