Bali Body has partnered with influencers like Gabby Epstein. Picture: Instagram/balibody
Bali Body has partnered with influencers like Gabby Epstein. Picture: Instagram/balibody

Tradie’s genius $2m-a-month idea

FORMER carpenter Dave Osterloo and his wife Laura had no experience in the beauty industry or in small business when they came up with the idea that would change their lives.

But today, the couple are running a multimillion-dollar company that has taken the skincare industry by storm.

And they owe it all to one annoying, lifelong problem - and a genius social media tactic.

Ms Osterloo, 32, suffered from eczema and sensitive skin for her entire life, and she eventually realised there was a gap in the market with no skincare, suncare and self tanners available for people with her skin concerns.

That was the inspiration behind Bali Body, a range of products suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, which launched in 2014.

At the time, Mr Osterloo, a former carpenter, and Ms Osterloo, who previously worked in insurance, were living in Bali, and they had to learn every aspect of their fledgling business by scratch.

But since then it has exploded, with a product now sold online every 45 seconds.

The brand has stockists in 150 countries across the globe, and more than 1.3 million Instagram followers.

Dave and Laura Osterloo launched Bali Body in 2014.
Dave and Laura Osterloo launched Bali Body in 2014.

And Bali Body is now raking in a staggering $2 million per month in sales following the launch of its sold-out Face Tan Water, which sold every 30 seconds on the day of its launch.

From the beginning, the new parents, who have since moved back home to Melbourne, stuck to a clever social media strategy that has been crucial to their success.

Over the years they have partnered with Instagram stars such as Gabby Epstein, Belle Lucia and Devin Brugman, and they have also encouraged their followers to post photos of their results, which means Bali Body is now tagged on Instagram every 10 minutes.

But Mr Osterloo, 31, told news.com.au it was far from smooth sailing - and the couple had been hit with a serious problem early on that threw a big spanner in the works.

In the early days, the couple discovered their packaging leaked easily while in transit, meaning many items arrived at their customers' doors in a terrible state.

They had no choice but to replace the products or offer a refund - a costly mistake for a new business only just getting off the ground.

"We had thousands of orders and there was a lot of leaking, so you can imagine the stress levels. We had to scramble to get a solution for that," he said.

"We were finding our feet, so it was a steep learning curve, working around the clock trying to keep our customers happy."

Mr Osterloo said despite the daunting task in front of them, the pair were determined to make it work.

"We both come from completely different fields - I was a carpenter and Laura was in insurance - and we both had no background in business or beauty," he said.

"We taught ourselves everything we needed to know, and we're still learning today. I'm really proud we've been able to achieve that.

"We were passionate about making it work from day one, and we had so many orders coming in and so much demand we had no choice but to figure it out for ourselves quickly."

Today Bali Body has seven staff members and its revenue has doubled since February when its new self tanner range was launched.

The brand recently launched in more than 400 Ulta Beauty stores in the US, and it is also sold through Sephora in France.

Mr Osterloo said the company was now "on the hunt for the right retail partner" in Australia as well.

Continue the conversation @carey_alexis | alexis.carey@news.com.au


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