A Bit Hippy is designed for those who believe in the simple life…
To smile at the sunset, to play as often as possible, to be grateful always, to eat abundantly and as close to the earth as possible, and of course, to moisturize, clean and nourish their skin using simple, plant-based and effective ingredients (no jellyfish DNA here). Just quality ingredients that are backed up by peer-reviewed studies.
We interviewed Chakra from A Bit Hippy to hear about her business journey and what keeps her going…
Tell us a bit about the people behind A Bit Hippy…
I’m Chakra and I started A Bit Hippy skin care. I have a background in skin care formulation and always made my own skin care for family. A Bit Hippy was a chance for me to use some new ingredients that recently became available, in particular some Liquorice Root extracts that are much more concentrated than they had been before.
What would an average day in the life look like for you?
It is usually a noisy start with 3 children. I live by the beach in Ocean Shores so it’s a beautiful place to wake up. If I am going into the office, it’s mostly working on new products or solving problems. They are my strengths. I am lucky to be surrounded by a number of very positive people and they are the ones that make sure things go smoothly day to day.
In summer I like to paraglide after work, or have a swim with the kids. But overall I lead a pretty quiet life, nothing to feed an Instagram following, but very grateful to be living peacefully in such a beautiful area.
We can imagine you’re flat out having to run your business, family and flying. How do you maintain your own health and wellness whilst being so busy?
Firstly I don’t try and set the bar too high which is a temptation when following Instagram. But be healthier than average.
I work with lots of health-conscious women that beam with good health and follow all the latest trends. So there is no shortage of healthy food information coming my way. Sometimes a shortage of critical thinking perhaps, so I filter it out.
Knowing how to read skin care ingredient labels also helps me recognize food ingredient trends. For example pasta sauces and children’s food that have front labels proclaiming natures goodness, but an ingredient label hiding sugars, thickeners, flavours that make them look and taste like something natural without actually requiring much of the natural ingredients themselves. Unprocessed is best in my opinion, and variety. Most processed foods are thickened with gums to look “substantial”. Don’t fall for it, they don’t have the nutrition that the real foods have.
I try and do some exercise every day. Usually a run on the beach or the gym. I make that sound easy and like it’s all sunsets, yoga and Lycra, but it’s actually more like work for me – I find it hard. I know if I don’t do it, I will become lazier every day. I don’t want to become lazy as I find it hard to find time to sit down!
What have been the biggest trials so far in starting and running A Bit Hippy?
We are often stocked in a pharmacy and have therapeutic products for people with skin problems like Eczema and Psoriasis. So we have to tread the fine line between natural and “quackery.” We place an emphasis on having a solid evidence base for natural ingredients on the skin, not just throwing in a little of the latest superfood.
Also all the Therapeutic Goods Administration requirements that if people knew more about I think would be upset. We are firm believers that all medicines etc should have all the ingredients on the label, not just the actives. Also that consumers should have access to more information about medicines, and in Australia that includes sunscreens.
But overall we have been very lucky and are very grateful that people have given us a chance – if you like what we make then we can continue to work at A Bit Hippy.
Here at Retreat Yourself, we LOVE dreaming BIG – what is your vision for A Bit Hippy?
World domination…! Haha no, in fact we are just content to grow a little bit each year so it doesn’t get boring. It would be lovely if everyone suddenly threw out their Johnson & Johnson or L’oreal and embraced some natural ingredients with solid evidence for their skin, but there is so much advertising that it all gets confusing.
For anyone out there wanting to start their own business, what would your biggest piece of advice be?
Not putting myself out there as a business guru or anything, but my main advice would be to stop planning and start doing. Don’t worry about business cards or strategic plans until after you know people see value in what you are making and buy it. If people aren’t purchasing, then understand why and what you need to change. Once people start buying what you make, then worry about that other stuff.
I don’t think you need a lot of money to start a business. My first business was started in the kitchen with borrowed pots. Just looking at people in this area around me who have started businesses in their home like coconut ice cream, cereals (Brook Farm), cookies (Byron Bay Cookie Company) etc. it's really a matter of doing it I think. Failing. Learning a lesson and trying again. Enjoy the experience of trying, rather than longing for “success”. It is a life experience that is all.
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