Today on the blog I’m sharing my recent chat with Heather Fritzsche, the founder of youbody. The system focuses on the concept of creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly body wash and preventing water wastage. As a powdered body wash you will literally bring your own water when creating your own body wash in the youbodypod and you can mix up thousands of different formulas from the 8 essences currently offered through the brands website.
In this interview Heather shares about what sets the youbody system apart from traditional body washes on the market today. One of her favorite essences that has been on constant rotation and what she enjoys most about receiving feedback from customers.
When did you first come up with the concept for youbody?
In 2018. I had known about the shower tool design from years before, during my years that were focused solely on product design. Believe it or not, one of my nerdiest habits is trolling the US Patent office website for patents of items I think are unique but aren’t commercialized. But the pod on its own, in my opinion, didn’t bring enough value and so it took some time for me to come up with the idea of powdered sustainable bodywash, and the idea that together they could eliminate single use plastic bottles of body wash. In the US alone, 250 million people use body wash, creating about 1.5 billion plastic bottles a year.
What are some of the factors that set the youbody system apart from traditional body washes?
Pretty much everything! The system is designed to mix and match our essences to make your own custom fragrance, that you can change every week. There are a handful of brands out there that let you order a custom blended body product, but they come in large volume so you can’t change it week to week, and they still come in plastic.
We are the only powdered body wash brand that I know of – Bring Your Own Water is getting traction in hair care, but youbody is new because it is body wash.
The fragrances are gender neutral because we really should be getting past the stereotypes of what men and women “should” smell like. You should just pick a fragrance based on what you like.
We are sulfite, sulfate, dye and paraben free, and we are hypoallergenic.
We are sustainable because our packets break down into clean energy in the landfill in 120 days, and if you image a truck full of body wash, you can fit about 1 million showers of traditional body wash in a truck, or 7 million showers with youbody.
How involved were you with the process of creating the formulas for 8 essences (featuring ingredients such as Caribbean Ginger, Icelandic Kelp, Pomegranate Seed Oil) and the youbody pod?
I was very involved, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to develop the fragrances with my friend and mentor Michele Duggan, who was previously the Director of R&D for face, body and skin care at Avon.
What is your go-to essence combination?
I’ve never used the same combo twice! I actually like the surprise of grabbing three random packets to see what happens. I will say, its been a crazy few months, so Calm has been in heavy rotation 😊
Do you have more essence releases planned for 2021?
That’s the plan!
5% of proceeds from youbody are donated to Water.org which provides safe water to families worldwide. When were you first introduced to the organization?
I researched a variety of organizations, and I was surprised by how many didn’t want to partner with a startup. It was a little disappointing, honestly. Water.org has been an incredible partner for us and it is the real deal – they have their mission and they are single-mindedly focused on it.
What do you enjoy most about reading feedback from customers?
My favorite feedback is from people who tell me in their first week how much they love the product, and they can’t wait to try out their next blend next week. They actually spend time thinking about what they want to try next – its like a small Monday Morning surprise!
What are your words of advice for women who dream of founding their own brands?
You will be afraid but you always have to remember that fear is a liar. Fear just holds you back from the next thing that you know deep down you can do. One thing I like to tell people is that I can prove that.
I was afraid of starting a business. I am not afraid of becoming an astronaut. Do you see what I mean?
We all have strengths and weaknesses, so you have to take a very dispassionate look at what yours are, focus on your strengths, and hire for your weaknesses. Also, partner with someone with the opposite strengths.