Founder and Director / BANGN BODY
I can happily confirm that Priscilla Hajiantoni is as gorgeous as she looks, and as smart as her new business is ridiculously successful. As the founder of Bangn Body, 26 year old Priscilla is unstoppable. Launching her anti-ageing product this year, Priscilla sold 3,000 units in only 12 weeks.
Let me say that again… 3,000 units in only 12 weeks!
But, when you break it all down, and learn that beauty runs through her veins, you realise that entrepreneurship, is Priscilla’s natural career trajectory.
In this interview you will learn how Priscilla changed direction from a digital sales role and decided to start her own skin care line. Why she decided to start a natural, vegan anti-ageing beauty range. What her 9 to 5 actually looks like. What her must have resources are, and the biggest fu*k up that she has made so far in her career.
This is a #careerstory not to be missed.
Let’s dive in…
Hey Priscilla, can you tell us where you grew up and how your experience shaped the person you are, and the career that you are in today?
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia. I had a very happy childhood; I have a twin sister and younger sister and we are all very close and very creative people. Mum was always hard working and someone I aspired to be like. Mum defiantly shaped me to have a high work ethic and to always work hard and never give up. This has really helped me today as being in business you will never work harder, and you need to be resilient and stay focused on what you are trying to achieve. Mum has always taught us with every problem there is a solution, we just have to find it.
Very, wise words. So, where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I went to St.Helena Secondary and Eltham Collage in Melbourne. Had a great high school experience, my twin sister and I were floaters, we never abided by the “click” rule. We liked hanging out with people regardless of their status or “click”. High school can be challenging with bullies and people that go out of their way to bring you down, however I just focused on spending time with positive people that lifted me up and in the end I am still friends with most of them today.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
My mum actually played an important role in helping me choose my career today. In high school careers was always communicated as black or white, doctor, teacher or lawyer. The grey area of entrepreneurship, creativity and taking risk, came from my mum, she was a business owner of hair and beauty salons and when I was younger, she always encouraged my sisters and I to go after our dreams and do what we loved.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
I interned at my mum and aunties hair and beauty salon when I was in high school and it really opened my eyes to a whole new world of beauty and business. From a young age mum always encouraged and educated us to look after our skin and to treat it with love and care as we only have one for the rest of our lives. It was amazing to speak with clients and listen to their skin concerns as well as understand the importance of different ingredients and clean beauty. I also worked for Miranda Kerr’s brand Kora when she first launched and that was really eye opening as all her products are also natural and organic. It was an amazing experience to learn so much about the brand and also speak to so many customers along the way. All this amazing industry knowledge has really helped with creating Bangn Body and making sure it ticked lots of customers boxes.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
Yes, I did an Associate Degree in Business at RMIT and completed a Diploma in Project Management, Human Resource Management & Social Media Marketing. I guess business has always inspired me and taking a concept or idea and turning it into a feasible business really interested me. I chose these courses as they teach you the different steps of business including, how to plan and create a timeline, how to manage and work with different types of people, how to market your product and service and communicate it to your chosen target audience. I really enjoy learning and developing, and I don’t think I will stop as I’ve always believed learning is growing.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who have you worked for, and explain the highlights.
When I finished uni, I actually didn’t follow my passion in beauty I started in corporate. Once I finished my project management course, I worked for ANZ then move to a high end Accounting Firm and then a Business Manager for a very talented Thought Leader. To this day I am so grateful for all my previous jobs as I believe they really did shape me to be the person I am today and have a skill that I need to run a successful business. I really loved learning and working with these amazing multi nationals, but I always felt something was missing. A fire burning within and that’s when I knew I had to follow my passion in beauty.
How did you get into the job that you are in now?
By observing, learning and researching! Three biggest things that I feel are super important when conceptualizing a new brand or product. With all my experience with customers and understanding what the most common skin concerns or frustrations were, I was able to research and find a gap in the market for simple, clean and affective beauty.
By discovering what was missing I was able to fill the gap between high quality, luxury skincare, with effective, affordable and efficient beauty, Bangn Body was born.
Time! When you’re starting a business there is no off button or life balance. There is also not enough hours in the day. Finding a happy medium can be challenging as my work and personal life merge as I love my work life so much that it creeps into my personal life. So finding the right balance is something I’m trying to work on.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you at Bangn Body?
No one day is ever the same but there are a few key tasks that need to be completed daily:
- Responding to email;
- Fulfilling and packing orders;
- New product research and development meetings;
- Social Media (I’m on it a lot);
- Marketing Plans and budgets.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
I would say my mum, Auntie and Fiancé. My mum always encouraged me to go after my dreams and to never give up! My Auntie taught me not to sweat the small stuff and to make sure I always had a backup plan. My fiancé who I have been with since I was 14 years old, has always had my back and has made me believe in myself and to not second guess everything I do. He has been a massive part of my journey and without his support I’m not sure if I would be living my dream today.
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
Research! Research! Research! I totally get starting something new is super exciting and you just want to dive right in. Don’t worry, I was the same! However, the best advice I ever got was to take the time to research your idea, how does it fit into today’s marker, who is your target market and how will you be different from your competitors.
Having a point of difference is key, understanding your purpose and why your idea is missing from today’s market is what will set you apart. Take the time at the start because in the end it will be worth it.
What is your biggest career f*ck up? (Did you fall over in a job interview? Did you accidentally email someone by accident?)
Great question! I wouldn’t say it’s a f*ck up but it definitely was a lesson I learnt. Never under estimate the power of editorial / publicity of an evolving new brand. Bangn Body was very fortunate to be featured in the Daily Mail which was incredible, however not being aware this could happen, I had to pull people from all directions to help fulfil the endless orders. In the end we got all the orders shipped on time, but for a second, I actually didn’t know how we were going to pull it off. Now we are always prepared!
List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: Mecca Maxima, Huda Beauty, Elle Ferguson, Cult Beauty, PopSugar, we also love Gemma Watts – We love keeping up with what’s trending and what people are loving in the beauty industry.
- Favourite Podcast: Glow Journal by Gemma Watts, Seize the Yay, Shameless, Lady-land, Fashion Ave, Jay.
- Favourite Netflix Series: Designated Survivor, Riverdale, Jane the Virgin
- Favourite all time book/s: The Skin Journal by Georgina Alexandra is a 28 day Skin Journal to track your skin. Winging It – Emma Isaacs, #GIRLBOSS – Sophia Amoruso, Purpose – Lisa Messenger, ALCHEMIST – Paulo Coelho.
- People: My mum and Auntie who I look up to everyday, the connections I have built along the way with other amazing business owners who I can turn to for advise and my beautiful customers, who provide the most invaluable feedback and who I am very grateful for.