Beauty Jobs – Q&A With Ashley and Phil of basd Body Care


Phil LeBeau and Ashley Meston are the masterminds behind basd Body Care; an up and coming Canadian plant-based body care company with a passion for promoting self-love and truly feeling good in your skin. The dynamic duo first entered the plant-based world after working with Vega, a clean, plant-based nutrition company. Today, they have transitioned into the realm of plant-based skin care and are taking the industry by storm. Beauty Nine to Five had the opportunity to chat with Phil and Ashley and learn what attracted them to the natural beauty industry, what sets them a part from the competition and what keeps them motivated.


BNTF: Can you first tell us a little bit about basd, what you guys do and how you got started?


A&P: basd started with an idea, ‘empower the individual’. We believed that we could create a brand that encouraged consumers to be who they are, free of judgment, free of constraints, and to live their life, their way.  From there we looked at all the different categories that seemed to be under developed with true leadership brands, brands that were willing to take a stand and actually deliver on the things they promise.


BNTF: What is it about the natural beauty industry initially caught your attention?


A&P: We love the consumer, it is the same consumer we were familiar with our time at Vega, but this allows a different conversation with them, about not just eating better, but helping them do more of the little things that develop their best life. Clean-products, plus self-love and appreciation we are often too quick to forget.

BNTF: In an industry that’s dominated by conventional beauty brands, how do you stay true to what you believe in?


A&P: It is in our DNA as founders and the brands DNA to be transparent and stand up for what we believe in. We are fortunate enough to have had great inspirations and mentors that help shape two individuals who are mentally tough, but also kind and sensitive to the needs of others. We put this same energy into the brand and products. basd isn’t a bunch of products but an idea of being who you are and who you want to be regardless of the outside pressures. You do you better than anyone, and we feel the same way.


BNTF: Aside from your love for clean beauty, what was it that attracted you to launching your own business?


A&P: We have always had a drive to create, and connect with people, for us, creativity is through the development of the business and finding solutions to the problems we face every day. We got a taste of launching a business with Vega, but now we are all on our own. We have a lot of supporters, who we want to make proud, this drives us to work our tail off, and want to surprise and delight the consumer.

BNTF: What led you to decide that skincare was the route that you wanted to pursue?


A&P: Having worked in plant-based nutrition for so many years we knew firsthand the importance of making quality choices for your body. While there are lots of options now within food there are far less in body care. What you put on your skin is an intimate relationship with that product and we felt we could do better than what was offered at conventional and provide another option within natural. We wanted to create a product people could trust from the efficacy point of view but build a brand that could inspire.


BNTF: What was the biggest obstacle you faced when getting your brand off the ground? How did you overcome this?


A&P: Finding quality manufactures, developing quality systems, and of course, getting the packaging, warehousing, office and all the operational stuff in order.  But the absolute biggest obstacle was developing the product in a way we could be proud of. It took us over a year to launch. We had to get the right scents, we wouldn’t make this in a bathtub, but put a brand out that the consumer can trust, but also products that deliver on the expectations they have on products they put on their skin.


We overcame this by one thing and one thing only, putting in the work, and asking a million questions to anyone who would talk to us.


No one gets to where they are alone; we are always talking to those who have gone before us, and always talking to those just starting out to share our experiences.


We build a better industry when we work together.

BNTF: You not only have an incredible lineup of products, but your overall brand is amazing too and we love that you use clever hashtags like #basdbabe, which is great for standing out on social media. How has social media helped your brand since launching?


A&P: It has allowed us to have a real voice with the consumers in places we never would be able to reach in person. It gives us a chance to tell a story, but listen to others stories. We have made so many great friendships and connections because of social. Our tribe is out there, and we are discovering them every day. We love it! #basdbabes it’s time to rise and slay.


BNTF: Now that your brand has been up and running for a few months are those early business jitters over?


A&P: They are never over  when you have your livelihood on the line, you wake up every day nervously excited about what is in front of you. I am not sure we will settle, we know our consumers have choices every day on how and where to spend their money, we take that very seriously and want to ensure those who buy basd love every minute of their choice. It’s a privilege to be part of their purchase, not a right and we constantly have to work for that opportunity.


BNTF: How would you say you stay motivated? Where do you look for inspiration?


A&P: We love what some of the boutique natural brands are doing like Province Apothecary. They are a great brand and we love them, a great leader for us to look up too. Secondly, we often look outside the industry in fashion, design, and other unusual places for inspiration or how others might do things differently.


When it comes to motivation, we rely on our own determination – we are highly self-driven and hold each other accountable to everything! Moreover though, we find our biggest high comes from our fans sharing feedback and promoting self-love via basd – when you see a babe feeling good about who they are because of basd and another babe cheering them on, you know you are doing the right thing and must work harder to make that happen all the time!

BNTF: What is your number one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs? What about women and men in general?


A&P: There is a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry- “a goal without a plan is just a wish”


It doesn’t matter if you are a woman or a man; we are all humans capable of amazing things. But, they don’t just happen by chance. You create your own luck, by setting out to do something, then putting in the work to do it.


We have found the most success and fun when we surround ourselves with people who act as champions and coaches rather than advisories – when we work together as equals we are far more powerful in everything we do.


BNTF: What do you wake up looking forward to next? What’s next for basd?


A&P: We have some very exciting new scents coming, and a great line extension that allows us to stay true to our brand and deliver on our plant-basd ethics. However, we are most excited when we get the chance to chat with more babes and are working hard to find even more ways to connect, grow and even give back.


You can follow along with basd’s journey by following them on Instagram, or you can check out their amazing products on their website.


All images courtesy of basd Body Care


By Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

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