At first glance, you might think you are looking at delicious cakes and desserts, but just as you start to salivate, you realise these are soaps and body products. Body Bakes, a new Egyptian cosmetics start-up, is the one behind the delicious-looking products. We contacted founder Rana Tarbousha for more information.
Tarbousha is a pharmacist, and her jobs after graduation enabled her to gain more experience in the line of producing body products. “After I graduated in 2007, I worked at a clinical research organisation. We used to conduct clinical trials on new medications for pharmaceutical companies to ensure safety and efficacy of these medicines so that they can attain FDA approval and get legalised to be marketed. I quit in 2010 and started to work as a science teacher in an American school,” she explained.
It was her work at the school that opened up her eyes to the possibility of making cosmetics. “The science fair in school was approaching, and we thought, ‘why not have students actually make something and sell it in school to their fellow school mates and teachers?’ Suddenly a [light-bulb went on in my mind]! Let’s make soap and natural cosmetics. I couldn’t stop thinking about it later,” Tarbousha said. She then built herself a lab at the school to experiment with the different possibilities.
The lab then led to bigger and better things. “I wanted to mix science with art. My inspiration comes from all the colours around me and all the yummy treats that we taste. All the outcomes of my trials were tested on my family members and friends; they couldn’t believe themselves every time I come to them with a new product to try. That is how ‘Body Bakes’ came to be,” Trabousha said.
Trabousha had a very clear vision for Body Bakes and immediately went to work. “I constructed a business plan that had systemic business phases and timelines that I had to stick to. I registered my company and with the help of my sister who is a business graduate, I constructed a team of very innovative and creative fresh graduates to be responsible for different departments like social media management, marketing management, events management, innovation, finance. They all still work with me, and I wouldn’t have made it without them,” she said.
She is also very concerned with the quality of the materials used. “All my raw materials are of very high quality and are imported from abroad; for example, the colours and fragrances are D and C grades, which can be used in drugs and cosmetics and are imported from the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and South France, and Shea butter [is imported] from Africa,” Trabousha said.
As for inspiration for her new products, Tarbousha admits that it is an ongoing process. In addition to relying on brainstorming sessions and product trials, she also seeks inspiration from everything around her. “Inspiration doesn’t always come from the same source; however colours, smells and, of course, the yummy edible treats are always the main sources of inspiration for me. This is also reflected in Body Bakes’ logo of the woman bathing inside a cupcake and covered with bubbles instead of frosting,” she said.
Their most popular products are the Loofah soap, body Sugar Frost scrub and the fizzy Bath Bombs, Trabousha said.
Body Bakes are operational on Facebook and they deliver to customers. They are also available at The Boutique Spa in Zamalek; Tarbousha said that they are working on opening their first store.