BY: VANESSA ROBERTS
Having taken the beauty and tanning world by storm since they launched in 2012, Bondi Sands has become the go-to brand for millions around the world who crave that beautiful Bondi glow – from a bottle. With nearly 300,000 instagram followers and legions of devotees, we spoke to co-founder Blair James about the brand and its amazing success.
What inspired you to start Bondi Sands?
While operating my salon in Melbourne for a number of years offering spray tans, I noticed there was vast difference in quality between a salon spray tan and self tanning products you could buy off the shelf at the time. After some research into spray tanning products we came to the realisation that there was no reason that a self tanning product could not produce the same colour or longevity as a salon spray tan.
Can you share with us some exciting things that are happening with your brand?
We have a number of exciting things happening this year. Firstly we have recently just launched in to the USA and Canada as well as into UK’s premier beauty and pharmacy destination Boots. We also have some new products launching in the second half of this year.
What do you see as being the most important ingredient/s in Bondi Sand’s amazing success?
I think it has been a combination of a number of factors such as our salon quality products at an affordable price, the support of our Australian retailers from day one and our ability as a small company to react quickly to trends in the market.
What are some of your highlights so far?
The greatest highlight still to this date is the day we launched into Priceline in August 2012, and is closely followed by our launched into UK two premier beauty destinations Superdrug in 2015 and Boots in January this year.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced since starting Bondi Sands?
We have always had a global vision for Bondi Sands and we were quick to approach to the two biggest self tanning markets in the world, the USA and the UK. Working with 3 different time zones has been difficult and somedays we find ourselves on 6am calls to the USA followed by 10pm calls to the UK, but the biggest challenge has been learning and understanding the cultural, marketing and regulatory differences between the 3 markets.
What was the most effective way of raising awareness for your brand in the beginning?
Social media and PR have played a vital role in growing awareness of the brand. As a new brand the marketing budget was tight and social media enabled the brand to reach our a target audience around the world on a small budget. From the beginning we committed to an ongoing product seeding program through our PR agencies as we believe in the quality our product and we knew if we were able to get our product into peoples hands they would begin to purchase our products.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t do it you don’t enjoy it. Building a business is a long haul, if you do not enjoy it you will not be able to maintain the motivation needed to succeed. –
The one piece of advice you would tell your younger selves:
Learn to trust your vision and go with your gut instinct.
Do you have any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Seems simple, but ensure your know your chosen industry inside and out. Understand your competitors’ brand positioning, their product ranges, trends in the industry and determine where your brand will fit within in the market by defining your own brand’s positioning and unique selling points.
What are your ultimate tips for achieving the perfect faux tan?
My number one tip for the perfect tan is always make sure you exfoliate thoroughly, any dry skin will grab onto your tanning product leaving dark patches. Then after washing off your tanning product be sure to moisturise to prolong the life of your tan. Both tips are very basic,but exfoliated and moisturised skin will result in a even long lasting tan.
You can shop the Bondi Sands range below!